Friday, January 23, 2009

Endings and Beginnings

Yesterday was our hoped-for official last day at work. My co-worker Ben managed to make it so, but I've still got some things to do that require the input of our manager, who has been out of town for the inauguration. So I'll be going back to the office at least one more time, but for the most part, it's over.

This is a card I had up on my door for most of the time we were at our old building. There, I had a collage of such cards with sayings on my door. When we moved into the new, more sophisticated building, it just didn't seem appropriate to tape things all over the slick wooden door, so I didn't. Except for this one. I didn't know then that we were going to be laid off, but there were forebodings, so even though I put it up for the sake of my clients (who are generally dealing with losses of some sort), perhaps I knew I also needed the reminder.

At any rate, I'm sore from moving lots of books yesterday. I knew there were a lot of books, but they seem like more in boxes than they did on bookshelves.

I'm also a little sore, admittedly, about the whole thing. It's hard to leave a place with no official "thank you" or "good-bye" or anything. It was made harder by the fact that the very evening we were packing up and moving out, the medical providers were having a meeting/dinner in the room right across the hall. So it meant we were walking through their buffet waiting line, back and forth to our cars. And then they left the door open all evening, so each time we took a box or bag of things out, we could see some of them and knew they could see us. Awkward, to say the least. And I'll leave it at saying the least, rather than saying the most I could.

The main effect of this for me was that I felt a bit cheated. The thoughts and feelings provoked by being so obviously excluded crowded out all the thoughts and feelings I had imagined I would have in the moment of packing up my office. You know, the memories, the images of clients I saw for longer periods of time, the thankfulness for the time and experiences, the comaraderie experienced with certain staff members, the little lump I expected to rise in my throat at some point.

There was none of that. Just trying to deal with the awkwardness of carrying those boxes out, hungry, with the aroma of chicken and potatoes and green beans and warm bread in the air, and that open door a continual reminder of the lack of comaraderie between us and the powers that be.

On the other hand, in a way it made it much easier to be leaving. I will say that. It's not that I think the doctors and nurses didn't care that we were leaving. My guess is that they didn't know what to say, felt uncomfortable. The way some people are at funerals. (And some, I'm sure, didn't even know who we were, though most did.) For whatever reasons, it wasn't deemed important to say goodbye to us, and that made it easier for me to say goodbye to the place. Even though I'm not quite finished, it felt very much like The End.

And another story is just beginning. And I'm eager to see how it is going to go.

(I have a feeling I'll get to see more sunrises now, like this one out my home office window last week.)


Carolinagirl said...

It can be frustrating at times when we have to close one chapter in our lives while waiting for the next one to begin.

Sometimes, it's even more frustrating when we feel we've already written an entire book in which someone else wrote the final chapter.

Will keep you in my prayers.

Lucy said...

That does sound wretched, having to keep walking past with the stuff, while they feasted. Somewhat Dives and Lazarus...

While all the conviction that all will be well is, I'm sure, grounded, it's still a hard moment, and evidently not made easier by some who could have made it easier.

But I like the quote.