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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

leaving

For reasons that will shortly become apparent on this page I am about to leave my job. This is an event that brings with it its' own set of anxieties and problems, most of them a bit embarrassing.

1. Writing and handing in of the letter of resignation, which is probably the easiest part of the whole process. It's such a formal thing to do that that it needs little or no attention other than to remember to put 'Yours faithfully,' at the bottom instead of 'Yours sincerely,' (something my last minion did on his rather unceremonious departure).

2. The bit when people start to find out before you've told most people in the office. You are from this point until you leave the building on your final day going to be asked the same questions again and again. Culminating in the inevitable 'so why are you leaving?'. This question is always asked with a slightly searching look no matter how content you have been in your job. At this juncture I intend to try bursting into tears and quickly leaving the room. That should raise a few eyebrows. At this stage in the leaving process it is wise to invest in a small tape recorder which you dictate your plans onto in detail. Whenever anyone approaches you with the 'so you're leaving' look on their face you simply press play.

3. The announcement that you have to make by email to everyone you work with. This is something I am not looking forward to at all. My natural tendency with things like this is to be a bit too...er...frivolous. The temptation to misbehave is just too great. For example what on earth do you put in the subject line of that email? My current personal favourite is 'So long suckers!' but I'm not 100% convinced that will go down particularly well with the Chief Exec. It is still better than 'I am rid of you all at last!', or 'Fuck this, I'm off', but none of them look like they will go over at all well. I have had 'The mother ship is calling me home...' suggested to me which I quite like. Any and all suggestions considered.

4. The agonising leaving gifts presentation and cakes etc. in the office. Which requires you to look pleasantly surprised at the touchingly unimaginative gifts they clubbed together to get you whilst trying desperately to find something to say that doesn't make you look insincere or hard of thinking. The temptation here to misbehave is also fairly pressing but is somewhat more intimidating prospect with everyone staring at you. Some surprisingly senior members of staff have misbehaved, or worse, spoken their mind, at this step in a 'screw you guys, I'm going home,' kind of a way.

The fifth and final step in the process is actually divided into parts 5a and 5b. This is the final release after the trauma of leaving day - the drinks after work.

5a. Everyone you have ever had any dealings with at your place of work is entitled if not pressured into coming to have at lease one drink. Which normally means you are surrounded by the people you disliked the most in the situation you disliked them the most in at a venue you hate (the one you like being deemed either too dingy, too loud or too far away). Thankfully the polite maximum number of drinks for people you didn't actually invite yourself is only 3 so you can be rid of them pretty quickly.

5b. All the people you actually liked at work accompany you to a venue that you actually like and get you shouting drunk. This is normally followed by a curry and possibly another louder drinking venue. Sometimes there is also a...
5c. Drunken, and slightly sloppy, clinch with the one you always fancied but never got close to before, but let us draw a veil over this unseemly thought.

I may try and come up with a more dignified exit strategy but will probably stick to the 5 step programme. I doubt I will get as far as 5c, but you never know...