Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Sunday, April 08, 2007

So long, farewell, auf wiedersein, goodbye...

Well. Last Thursday was my final ever day at work. Hoorah! And yet it all felt rather odd and unreal too. As I said in my farewell speech, it's going to be very strange not going into work as usual, on Monday. Although as someone kindly pointed out, this Monday is actually a Bank Holiday so I might have looked slightly silly turning up to an empty office. Most of my last week was spent frantically beavering away to get everything finished on time, like the ultra-conscientious person I (usually!) am, even staying back late a couple of nights too. Woohoo! I wrote copious handover notes (even though I didn't even know who my work was being handed over to!), deleted umpteen unnecessary documents and emails (including the erm, non-work related ones that I didn't want people to see), threw away lots of bits of paper (I managed to fill up two whole sacks - no rude remarks please) and tidied up all my files. What a good boy I am.

My final day was a bit of a blur as I put finishing touches to things, but I managed to enjoy it too. I sent a Goodbye/Thank You email to all the consultants I'd worked with, and got lots of replies from them wishing me all the best, good luck, telling me I'd be missed etc, which was lovely and very heart-warming. It's nice to know you make a difference even if it doesn't always feel like it! I also brought in a couple of boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and lots of posh biccies, very moorish, but definitely appreciated by my colleagues. Surprisingly there was still stuff left at the end of the day. Goodness knows why, my department are total gannets when it comes to food!

Then, late afternoon I became aware of the presence of several colleagues all standing round my desk...followed by yet more people. Gulp. Yes, it was my staff presentation. Without sounding conceited, I knew this was coming, as we'd had several such presentations in preceding weeks, for all the other people that had recently left my department. In fact it's a work ritual. And very nice really that your workmates take the time out to say goodbye properly. One of the senior managers delivered a little speech, reminiscing about my time there and a few anecdotes including me being known as a diva. Although I hasten to add that I don't fit into the Diana Ross variety. The sight of me in a red fish tail ballgown barking out orders might not have made me very popular. I was then handed a couple of bags with a farewell card and presents which my colleagues had clubbed together to buy (again a well-established work custom). How lovely! And my gifts were...erm...a pink feather duster, a pair of marigolds (rubber kitchen gloves), some Calvin Klein eau de toilette and a Dalek Easter egg - amongst other things! A rather interesting choice of pressies and it made me wonder exactly how people see me.

I was actually incredibly nervous, having some thirty or forty people standing there watching me, like some kind of expectant audience (I could hardly qualify for diva status then, could I?) whilst I unwrapped my presents. With everyone stood there observing I felt obliged to deliver a leaving speech. I'd actually planned to write a humorous diatribe and deliver it in best Oscar-winning style : "Ladies and gentlemen, Mr President, members of the academy, I'd like to thank all of you...blah blah blah...All of my team and workmates, for their support and advice...blah blab blah...Also Madonna, Sir Francis of Assisi, the ladies on the sandwich counter, David Tennant, Tom Baker and K9..." Er perhaps not. Neither did I do a Gwyneth Paltrow and break down in theatrical hysterics. In fact I didn't cry atall. Am I heartless or what?? No. Maybe it was the fact I was that I was glad to be leaving that made me a little less sad about it all. So I made something up on the spot, saying how strange it felt to be leaving, how I'd appreciated all that my team had done, and, although the time was right for me to move on, I would miss all the great people I'd worked with, which pretty much summed it all up!

As the day drew to an end it was time to pack up and go. I took one last look around, and then it was out the door and down the pub with my colleagues - the bit I'd been looking forward to most! We went to a nearby bar that does rather good cocktails with two for the price of one from 5-7pm. A few caipirinhas went down very well. Then off we trotted to another bar. I'd hired the mezzanine floor especially for me and my pals and it was great to have our own little space. The drinks and chat continued to flow. Nothing really untoward happened (unfortunately - I was relying on someone for gossip) but we all got nicely sozzled and it was a fab night.

So. That was it. All over. My very last day done and dusted after six years working for the same organisation! But change is good and who knows what lies ahead...many good things I hope! And, erm, in actual fact there is a slight possibility that I might be doing some freelance work for the organisation so perhaps my ties are not entirely cut after all! When I was asked if I was available for this, my initial reaction was to say no, however I had second thoughts...the daily rate of pay is good, and going back as a freelancer isn't the same (or as restricting) as being a permanent employee. So we''ll see about that one...In the meantime a world of opportunity beckons...It's all good! Goodbye to the old and hello to the new!!

Me at my desk. I don't look THAT sad do I?

Followed by some shots of me and my lovely workmates...


  • At 2:26 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    Good luck with all your future employment choices. You were wise not to turn down the offer of freelance work.

  • At 3:16 am , Blogger matty said...

    This is all so exciting!!

    And, you get some time off to have fun!!

    (you look a little sad! ...but I would imagine that you are much loved and it was hard for your co-workers to say goodbye!

    Good luck, and -- hey, congrats! A new adventure awaits!!!

  • At 9:40 am , Blogger Steve said...

    Glad your last day at work went well - I always feel ambivalent about leaving anywhere: it's refreshing and cleansing to be moving on but it's always sad to say goodbye to friends. I've never cried at presentations when I've left. It's nothing to do with being hearltess and everything to do with feeling every single eye watching you... it always makes me feel like I have to "perform" rather than feel the sadness and cry. I always end up with a big cheesy grin plastered to my face as I open all the pressies (constantly wondering if I'm showing enough gratitude and if it looks genuine and heartfelt) and then spend the next two hours with my jaw aching as a consequence!

  • At 2:33 am , Blogger matty said...

    what did you do today!!!?!?!?!?

    what exciting thing did you do?!?!?

    ..oh, wait. It is a holiday there. i forgot.

    well, what will Cool Cheeser be doing tomorrow?!?!?!?

  • At 2:59 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Timewarden - Thank you, and yes I agree! Going back as a freelancer is not the same as being tied down doing a permanent job, and consequently much more bearable! Plus the cash is good too...

    Matty - Indeed it is and thanks for the congrats! And in answer to your most recent message, yes Monday was a bank holiday so it was an extended weekend. Today (Tuesday) was my first official non-work day! And I celebrated by getting out of bed late (well, 10am, not too bad), going to the gym, coming home and taking it easy. To be honest it hasn't felt THAT strange not going into work - perhaps a sign that I was ready for the break all along eh - what does that say about me? I plan to spend the next few days looking for jobs and relaxing - getting a mix between the two is the order of the day I think. And I'm going to Wales a week tomorrow, which I'm really looking forward to - the great outdoors and beautiful scenery apparently - will be nice to have a break before I knuckle down to the real world of work again. But then again, who's to say that work has to be "real"?

    Steve - Indeed, I guess there are mixed feelings but if I analyse how I'm feeling right now there's virtually no regret atall! And whilst I met great people in my last job there are only a handful that I would consider real friends. I think you're very right about the presentation thing - it was a bit like that with me too. You feel a bit shellshocked and it's hard to perform in front of so many people (particularly when you have no pre-prepared speech ready!!)

  • At 3:39 pm , Blogger Minge said...

    A pink feather duster, a pair of marigolds, some Calvin Klein eau de toilette and a Dalek Easter egg...?


    They know all about you, don't they!?

    Are the marigolds of the Kim Woodburn variety perchance? And are they now soiled?

  • At 11:04 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Minge - they sure do! Rather too well I think.

    As for the marigolds, use your imagination...


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