Tomorrow, by this time, I will be free of the well-worn path. I will be sitting at home, free from a 8 to 5 job, free from the clock that’s ruled my life up until now, free to think of the way forward. Tomorrow’s farewell will bring forth the dreaded question, “What next?”. While I try to explain, that I have not thought about it just as yet. After-all, I am still juggling home and work as of now. I will open the next chapter only after I have closed this chapter and I will be able to think only after I am rid of a regiment that my brain has been acclimatized to .
Tomorrow, at this time, I could do anything I please or do nothing at all. These very words would have sounded exciting and worth a celebration to my 10 or 15 year old self. Yet today, while my spirit could definitely do with some revamping brought by an unconventional change as this; I know not what to think. While I am not particularly excited about it being my last day, I want to get it over and done with. Does it sound weird? The problem is, I find it difficult to have several chapters open. I like to close one before I open another one.
I have been a little anxious about the last day since the last few days. I want the curtains to close in style and I want a celebration that’s worth remembering; not just for me but for everybody present there. I want every person to leave the room, feeling good. Does that sound like a lot of “I wants”? Well, that’s just me. So while I am all for surprises, I am also aware that surprises can turn into dreadful shocks, even if everybody has your best interest in mind. There is absolutely no point in feeling sorry or wishing, once it’s done.
I planned my farewell and I planned it to the “T” 3 days prior to the day
After all the work done and hours spent at office, why should a person not be given an exit worth remembering? Some organizations do it and some others don’t. It all depends on the leadership, the team and the culture of the organization.
Farewells in my office generally involve just the department and the management team. People stroll in, a cake is cut, a gift is given, a speech is made by the boss, the person leaving and maybe a few others depending on who is leaving, a few pictures are taken and everybody strolls out. We decided to do it bigger, make it a real celebration of achievements, friendships, relationships built during the period and build bridges with the “not-so-friendly”. The objective was to come together as a team once again to create something that everybody would remember with a smile. Something positive. Something that would set the trend.
First we drew the list. People from various departments who had either worked directly with the team, even if they were those who had given us a tough time or those with whom I happened to exchange a “Good Morning” or a smile, in the pantry or while waiting for the lift during the last 5 years. This included the security guy, the office boy and the mail room guy. We had to be practical with the numbers because there’s always that budget that ensures you dream with your feet on the ground.
With 50 people on the list, the existing training room wasn’t good enough. We needed a room big enough to house everybody, comfortably. So the next action on the agenda was getting H.R. approval for the big training room which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Fortunately the team has specialists in relationship building. So, off went the first soldier, to get the room while we awaited with abated breath. In she came, a grin and two thumbs up ☺. It was done!
Next the invite. The soldier with I.T. skills in the unit who is extremely quiet but absolutely great at getting stuff done (typically I.T. ) drew up an invite, with voting buttons and all so people could confirm their attendance.
Now for the personal touch. Soldier number 3 is great with networking. He is the unofficial ” P.R.O” in the unit ( I also call him Reuters because he is also the harbinger of grapevine). Soldier number 3 is assigned with the job of inviting people personally which he does on day 1.
Next was the food. Arabic food was decided upon hands-down considering that majority of the guests were Arab. A light brunch at 10.30. Restaurants were shortlisted and then the choice was made based on the budget.
Day 2 was when the tasting was done. One of each type of sandwich on the menu was ordered, so that a decision could be taken. The order was placed. Day 2 was also when the invites were sent by email to the guests and the confirmations started coming in.
A decision was to be taken on the cake. The team decided on the flavor. A debate was held on whether it should be pastries (reduced the hassle of cutting and distributing) or just one big cake. That’s where the boss 😉 stepped in. The big cake it was to be. Why? Because, it’s tradition to cut the cake🙂.
Before winding up day 2, the job of taking the photographs and doing the video recording was assigned. Since the cake shop would start delivery only at 11 a.m., it was decided one of the members would pick up the cake. We were good to go. For one last time, the team came together to make things happen once again. Just like we had done every other time and had come out as winners.
Day 3: The day of the farewell
With a few hours to go now, I can barely sleep. My stomach feels uneasy like it does on every other occasion that’s close to my heart. I know in a few hours it will all be done and I will be sharing with you my experience again. Yet, for now, I cross my fingers that it all goes well.
Don’t forget to read my blog tomorrow to know how it all went. Until then have a wonderful day. Xxx
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