Thursday, August 7, 2008

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye ...

Shout it from the rooftops! I've got my freedom papers and soon I'll be walking off the plantation and headin' North!

Today, I put in my resignation notice (last day will be Aug. 21st) and I confess I'll miss this place. At home, I constantly b**** about The Fund, complain about annoying co-workers and being at the bottom of the barrel here. Nevertheless, there have been many extraordinary memories and it's been a significant component of my life for over five years … how can I NOT feel something?

I arrived at The Fund a fresh-faced, cocky college boy who thought he knew everything. What I didn't know was the real world. And boy, oh boy, did it put a whippin' on me! While I had probably one of the nicest managers (he's since retired), there were a few nasty ogres in my fairytale. Throughout my first year, I rapidly bonded with my immediate co-workers (the company was split into three sections on two floors) and while I was extremely efficient with my responsibilities, I still found time to celebrate birthdays and shoot the breeze. I suffered through my former cube-mate Weezy (a rather large trashy woman who wheezed with every step but deep inside had a heart of gold), dealt with Mr. Burns and his self-indulgent mood swings, and endured Gaia and her weird nature-loving personality. I had favorite (former) co-workers who were the most fun and made sure every birthday and holiday were truly special. I can't even begin to recount the hours of conversation, gossip, laughs and jokes we shared.

Even when I moved to the "dark side" of the building, I adapted. My brother, Rugrat, and my former friend, D.G., worked alongside me and that made many "rough days" tolerable. We shared gossip, traded e-mails, acted goofy, ate out often, and did many other fun things to make the months fly by. Moreover, there were countless days of mind-numbing commutes, in all seasons, trudging through snow, sweltering while waiting for the slow-a** bus and fuming during train delays.

The best part about my time spent here was learning about Boston through many of these professionals. I was introduced to high-end restaurants, small, well-hidden gems from the North End to Beacon Hill and subsequently, I ended up writing restaurant reviews for the company newsletter. I viewed championship parades for the Patriots, Red Sox and Celtics from our building and cruised local festivals and markets. I've ridden on a Duck Tour (the "fake" Duck Tour), gone to Christmas parties and even met clients/vendors who constantly plowed us with cookies, cakes and other gifts (you wouldn't believe the s*** I've found while cleaning out my cubicle!). Moreover, I even watched as they filmed several scenes from The Departed right across the street from my building!

Inevitably, there were bad times. Times when I wasn't speaking to D.G. for weeks or arguments between Rugrat and I that carried over from home. I've been to funerals for co-workers and endured the wrath of the VP and Aunt Thomasina on more than one occasion. I've even hustled to the other side of the city on company errands when I didn't want to go and slaved over scanning and copying machines for hours.

Since returning to college, I've matured into a young man who wants to succeed and make a better life for myself. While I don’t fully comprehend the ways of the world, I’m wiser and stronger and I attribute much of this personal growth to working full-time. The Fund has shaped and molded me into an improved human being. This is the longest job I've had and consequently, there is no chance in hell I can pretend I'm not emotionally affected. Five years is a long time and many of my co-workers (even the despised) are akin to family. We've been through it all. We've seen people come and go. We've seen births and deaths. We've had celebrations and we've had difficult times (lay-offs, audits, etc.). And through it all, I learned what it means to be beautifully human.

Many individuals have stopped by my desk as I’m writing this post to offer congratulations and wish me luck. Even though, I'm not leaving for another two weeks, the reality of the situation is here and “smack[ing] me around and call[ing] me Susan” (Blankman!!!) There's a tiny amount of moisture tucked in the corners of my eyes. My emotional state originates from anxiety. I’d be lying if I said I was Deebo-tough! But then again, we all know what happened to him by the end of the movie. All my fears combined (spiders, heights, elevators, monster/horror movies and the dark) have nothing, nada, zilch on this feeling. The fear of the unknown is extremely paralyzing. Granted I may get a better job with great co-workers, or I could get a crappier job, but who is to say?

All I know is that, right here, right now, I'm saying my good-byes, memories race through my mind lightning quick, I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity. Thanks to everyone for the greatest five years and I wish all my co-workers the best!

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