Well, sitting in my ‘used to be work chair’ preparing to share my truly last day at work and hoping I can do it justice.
It was a kind of cool and drizzly day– actually some of my favorite kind of weather, so it was a good start! I always stop at Cindy’s office as it is right inside the front door where I gather my mail and talk about the previous 24 hours or the weekend’s events — she always comes early so has a finger on the pulse and it is a great way to start each day. It prevents surprises or at least lessens them and gives me a minute to kind of prepare for the day– good, bad or indifferent
The first ‘change’ became evident as I took my mail from my box and sorted the work things that needed to go to Seth from the things that were my personal things– a couple of cards and some junk mail. Heading to my office was pretty normal- greeting the folks along the way, exchanging a giggle with one of the residents, then turned the corner and — the door was open! Seth was behind the desk working on something on the computer and for the first time since this has begun, it was a bit uncomfortable– for both of us I believe. We kind of exchanged small talk as he moved from behind the desk to around the front and I slipped behind it. Thank goodness it was time for our weekly Status meeting so we headed to the conference room. Once there, I tried not to comment to much, but you know me– just being quiet doesn’t seem to be part of my makeup. I always have an opinion and feel the need to share it!!!
After the meeting, I stopped to visit with the surveyors to ensure they had all the things they needed and to ask if they needed me for anything. Assuring me they were fine, they said exit would probably be about 4 this afternoon, so told them I planned to leave for a while then come back for exit. Seth and Josie were leaving for lunch, so I told them my plan and they said that since I would be gone, they would be preparing the office for painting this afternoon. I stopped by my office again to check my e-mails and found my computer had been changed– starting with a new screen saver (no Willie Nelson in the bath tub — a wet willie don’t you know!!) A quick check and then left for lunch.
I bid Cindy a quick good-by and said I would be back later. It seemed to be a good time to try that Shrimp Fettuccine from Fazoli’s that I have been wanting to try, and that was a great decision. Love it when my administrative decisions are so positive!!
Back to my house, I sat down and gave some thought to the morning and I realized the first thing I must do is to drop the MY. I guess that is the first BIG CHANGE that I need to deal with and that is: it is no longer MY. Not my business mail, Not my office, Not my computer, Not my residents nor my staff. Seth said I can take My chair which I will grab when I come back for exit, along with my “Grandfather ” Indian bust that has been with me since I started. That will remove the last of the MY’s that are mine.
Once home, I stole a short nap that was interrupted by Seth’s phone call saying they were planning to exit in about a half hour. I jumped up and ran. It was very important to me to attend this last exit and they graciously waited for me. Another rather uncomfortable moment happened as the exit began. We all had to sign our names and positions so didn’t really know what to sign–so went ahead and signed administrator because I didn’t really know what else to put, and Seth signed Administrator too, but the State ladies seemed to take it in stride so we did too! The exit was fairly quick and painless with the areas needing corrections minimal and fairly easy fixes! So I get to leave with a good ‘report card’ reinforcing my belief that we are the great team I have always known we were. We have some improvements needed in some of our systems, but our team is solid!! WHOA—“We” is kind of a spin off of MY huh, so better just grab my chair and the grandfather bust and head out!
When I got to the office, everything was out except my chair which sat in the middle of the room. The curtains were down and the room seemed large and empty and kind of impersonal and cold–so it was not so hard to leave. Jo P and Seth loaded the chair into the backseat of my car –and that was a bit of a trick, while I tucked the Grandfather into the front seat !! I peeled the key off my keychain and handed it to Seth, bid farewell to he and Jo and pulled away from the sidewalk with a big smile that lasted until I got out of the parking lot. As I drove off, I realized AGAIN just how very much I truly love this beautiful campus and that I never will be able to really return. They say you can never go home again, and suddenly those words hit me hard, melting my smile into big alligator tears that blurred my vision enough to force me to pull over along the side of the road. After a few minutes, I wiped my tears and blew my nose (thank goodness for those Amigos napkins!!). As I headed down the road, I realized that “the party’s over”, and it is time to look ahead to a new adventure.