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Posts Tagged ‘new job’

  1. Last day and beyond

    August 25, 2013 by superlative

    This is a rather late post about my last day in my job of five years, a couple of Thursdays ago. As I predicted, I didn’t enjoy it very much, but not for the reasons I was expecting.

    As it turned out, my last day in my old office ended up being the single worst day I have ever had in that job in the whole time I’ve been there. I have never felt so harried, and stressed, and unreasonably put upon there before, to the point that when I finally left the office my sadness at going was partly overwhelmed by annoyance and relief.

    I was really quite surprised, because normally it’s quite a laid back sort of job. I keep on top of my work, and although it tends to arrive in unpredictable bursts, I get it all done fairly quickly. Something went wrong on that particular Thursday day though, and I was suddenly given MASSES to do, most of it by one person, and all of which simply had to be online by Monday. Given I was on annual leave on the Friday and the following Monday, that only left me that day to do it. And it really pissed me off. Everyone knew I was off on Friday, so in what way was sending me large pieces of urgent work on Thursday afternoon with a Monday deadline going to be helpful?

    “It’s for Clearing”, she said (Clearing is a big deal when you work in a university), as though that would sweep aside any of my objections.

    “Yes – so are the other three things you’ve given me today, and the rest of the work everyone else has sent me. You can say everything is for Clearing, but that doesn’t mean I can fit it all into a single afternoon,” was my rather terse reply.

    So I ended up rushing everything, not taking any breaks throughout the whole day, and leaving late. I have NEVER left that job late. At some point around lunchtime everyone gathered together to present me with a card (which I couldn’t read, because I would have cried) and a lovely box of chocolates and some champagne. I had so much to do all I could say was a mumbled thank you and then return to my desk.

    Most people had gone home by the time I could leave.

    “Haven’t you normally left by now?” said the person who gave me all the work.

    “YES,” I replied pointedly as she swanned off home.

    And then when I’d finally finished everything, I just packed my stuff into box files and carrier bags, shoved it all in the car, and left. It was nothing like the day I’d envisaged, where I’d take a last walk around the sunny campus and the adjacent field, and then carefully pack up my stuff and forlornly lock up my office. Instead I stomped out exhausted and in a huff, and I’m sad that that has to be my memory of my last day there now.

    I’ve had a couple of weeks working solely in my new job now. I still haven’t worked a full five day week there, because I take all the Mondays and Fridays off during the summer holidays, so I don’t think it’s quite sunk in that I’m there permanently really.

    At the same time though it’s been nice to install myself properly at my desk there, with my books and toys and nick nacks from my old office. I feel like it’s my own space now and that’s made me much more relaxed and chatty there. Previously when I was only there two days a week, I never used to leave any belongings on the desk when I went home, in case someone else needed to sit there. I used to take a few bits in with me in my bag, and just take everything away again at the end of my two days. So it never felt like it was my desk, and it always seemed a bit transitory. But now it’s MINE and it’s got my stuff on it, and that’s quite nice.

    I think it will feel a bit odd once I am there for a whole five days in a row, but the people are really nice and I do enjoy the work, so I’m hoping it will be fine. And I’ll try not to remember how annoyed my last day made me.

  2. Moving on

    August 5, 2013 by superlative

    I wrote recently about how futile it can seem, arriving every day at my office and staring at the same two computer screens for hours on end, then leaving having not really achieved very much. I’ve been in the same job since November 2007, and nothing much has changed about it during that time. I’ve been in the same little room, doing the same work, with mostly the same people around me, staring out of the same non-window at the white wall opposite me. It had all become very comfortable, and very dull, and I could quite easily imagine that I’d be there forever simply because I didn’t really have anything else I’d rather be doing.

    But now I’m leaving. And rather suddenly. On Thursday.

    I mentioned on here about a year and a half ago (you’re forgiven if you don’t remember) that I was given the opportunity to go and work in a different office with our main web team two days a week. It was to support them on special projects and bits of web development, like making our website responsive for mobile devices and working on the new CMS we’re buying. I didn’t get any more money or anything, and I didn’t get to do any less work in my normal job – I just did my normal job in three days each week (which is generally sufficient, because it’s a stupid job), and I took on 40% more work for free because it made my life more interesting and was much better for my rapidly stagnating skills.

    Although it was a temporary arrangement in principle, it was one of those temporary arrangements that gets extended and extended, and somehow nearly a year and a half has drifted by with me doing two half-jobs in two different offices.

    But now after much prevarication things are changing. The new job wants me full-time. And that means giving up my old job, and my little room, and my pseudo-window, and my lighter coloured circle of carpet.

    I’ve known this was on the cards for a while, not least because our new CMS will mean my old job ceases to exist in many respects. So I’ve been very lucky to be able to ease gently into usefulness in another role that I can move over into just before that happens. And I do like my new job very much – the people are fun, and it’s proper web development work that stretches me and asks me to achieve things I don’t know how to do, forcing me to learn all the time.

    But at the same time I’m sad, very sad, to be leaving my old job now, and in such an anti-climactic fashion.

    Officially I’m being seconded temporarily into the new job, so I’m not ‘leaving’ my old job as such. But in reality it’s very unlikely I’ll be coming back, because once the secondment ends I’ll hopefully slot into a newly created permanent role and I’ll just carry on doing what I’m doing. So I am leaving really, but not really, and I’ve only had a couple of weeks to get used to the idea. I told my old job colleagues last week, and because of annual leave and things I’m only actually in that office again on Thursday this week, when hardly anyone is there, and at the end of which I’ll pick up my things and leave. And never come back.

    It’s not the work I’ll miss. The work is boring, and after five years somewhere everything becomes annoying. But I’ll miss the people, some of whom I’ve known for a long time. I’ll miss the luxury of a non-visible computer screen and a hands-off manager that have meant I could do pretty much what I liked, when I liked. I’ll miss being in an office on the edge of the Downs, surrounded by fields and fresh air. And I know I’ll cry when I leave on Thursday, because I always do – I even cried when I left a job I hated after two months, so I’m certainly going to cry leaving this one. I cry at television adverts. My eyes just like crying.

    In some ways, the manner of this transition is very good for me. I’m terrible at change and I tend to get very anxious and freak out during the first two weeks of a new job. I always settle down, and I’ve learnt that it will pass, but it’s not a pleasant time for me. But this way I’ve been eased into the new job and got to know everyone first, and now I’m just dropping the old job. So it’s perfect really and I couldn’t ask for more. I mean, I could have been made redundant in six months time when my old job disappears. I cannot complain at all about this.

    But it’s still sad, and odd, and disconcerting, and not how I thought I’d go. And I feel bad that it’s been so abrupt for all my old colleagues, some of whom I already won’t see again and of whom I’m very fond. We’re going to try to arrange a belated already-left leaving celebration I think, which is nice of them to want to do. And I’ll no doubt cry at that as well.