Saying Good Bye

23 Oct

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It was an incredibly full week with an emotional end. I was busy for the last five days wrapping up projects, handing active projects over and training my temporary replacement. Each of my lunch hours was happily booked with farewell and celebratory dates with coworkers.

You spend what feel like endless days at work going through the motions to meet deadlines and do a good job. Some days you feel as if you are going to crumble with the stress and worry of your job. Some days you feel as if nothing is going right and you’re the one who’s responsible. Recognition and appreciation is rarely expressed for a job well done. You question your value and worth, and in turn, your happiness in your work and even worse, in your career.

Yesterday was my last day at my company, and while I knew it was going to be tough to say good bye, I had no idea that it was going to be a big emotional cry-fest for me and the people that I work with. I don’t need to say it here, but the majority of your time is spent with your work family. You live and work together, and you learn to love and appreciate everyone very much. Not only do they contribute to the work you do, but in a big way, they contribute to your life overall. They become more than just the people that you work with.

The whole company took me out for a nice lunch yesterday. There were bottles of wine and laughter shared over some really delicious food. My boss sat right across from me and toasted me, saying that in the more than 15 years that they’ve been in business, I was one of the best employees he’s ever had. This is when my crying started – how could it not, being paid one of the highest compliments I’d ever heard from him? We lingered for a long while over lunch and dessert, and I was just tickled that these people were there with me for my last lunch as a group with them.

At the end of the day I was called into the boardroom for one last meeting. The whole company was there and my boss asked that everyone around the room say something about me. Oi. Trying to hold my tears back would’ve caused me to combust, so I just let it all out – I was so deeply touched by everyone’s words because they all described how much of an impact I had on them in the few years that I was there. I had no idea. One young designer said that out of everyone, I was her favourite Project Manager and that she was really sad to see me go. And one of the Principals, who I have always known to be so controlled, composed and wisely thoughtful, actually cried as she said to me that she was so very proud of me as an employee and a person.

Most emotional meeting ever.

The best part of it all was the going-away “card” that they gave to me. Working with creatives, you can always expect something crafted just for you. It was a coil-bound Steph Brand Guideline book which is hilariously supposed to act as a standards guide for my new employer. It outlines such things as my colour palette (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary), typeface (Professional Steph vs. After 5 Steph), Dos & Don’ts (Do: Play old school music, give her wine; Don’t: Ask stupid questions, Piss her off after 5PM.), and the required “safety area” around Steph, which is the equivalent to two Stephs all around.

It was a wonderful end to my time there, to know without a doubt that I was valued and that my work was good there and most importantly, that the impression I had made was a deep one. I leave that job with some great friends, and with the confidence that I can rock my next job just as well.


7 Responses to “Saying Good Bye”

  1. Steph S C-O October 23, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Gosh, reading this almost made ME cry!!!
    What a thoughtful send off you had! I especially love the “safety area” guideline!!! Lol.

  2. Maureen October 24, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    sounds like a very emotional week for you, but also a happy one. i’m sure at your new job, you’ll make just as big of an impact professionally and personally.

    i would love to see the “card” they made for you. you should take a photo and post it.

  3. Leeann @ Join the Gossip October 25, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Glad it ended well 🙂 It’s nice to know you are appreciated.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and entering my giveaway!

  4. kat October 25, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    it’s always sad to leave people and a place that you’ve come to know so well. It’s also great that you’ve made such an incredible impact on them! Good luck at your new job!! If it’s anywhere in the Don Mills area, lemme know and we can meet up for lunch 😉

  5. reni October 25, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    despite the tears, you know you were loved, valued and appreciated. i hope your new workplace provides you the same belief, warmth and respect as the last one did.

  6. Steph October 26, 2010 at 2:23 pm #

    Thanks for all your encouraging words, Lovely Ladies!

    @Kat – No, I’m still downtown in that same neighbourhood, by Marie and your old work!


  1. Redux | A Simple Kind of Life - April 13, 2013

    […] To say the least, the last 1.5 years of life have been bewildering, especially to someone like me, who does not welcome change easily. I became a wife and before I could even think about getting used to that, I discovered that I was going to be a mother. One would think that with everything that was going on, I would have much to blog about. Oh, so contrary. Despite all that was happening, I felt somehow that I had nothing interesting to say. I think at one point I’d chalked it up to an uninspiring company that I had  found myself working within, regretting putting myself in this position nearly every day when comparing to the previous company I had left. […]

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