Friday, 14 November 2014

My last day

As you might know, I'm crap at saying goodbye. And when I'm the one who leaves, it's even worse. 

Today was my last day at work and I will start my new job on Monday. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. You always know what you leave but you never know what you get, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Sure, I'll be grand (I'm really trying to convince myself here -Irish style!-).

First of all, I thought I would actually not make it to my last day. My village was flooded on each side, and I had to take a 20 mns detour to go to work! Thank God I eventually got there after a good hour of driving. All the way to work, I thought about how it was the last time I was waking up early, taking the same road, going through the toll bridge. The last time. The LAST time.

I arrived at work and started my day as usual. I'm actually surprised about the amount of work I got done. Of course I took it a bit easy today, but I'm still professional and didn't want to leave on a bad impression, especially after all those years.

I worked (it feels very strange to say it in the past tense) for an International delivery company, so my early morning was spent saying goodbye to all the drivers before they left for their own day's work. I don't think I've been hugged by so many men in a such period of time. There were awkward hugs (most of them), squeezing hugs, kisses (they were trying to do it the French way obviously), a handshake (So impersonal!), and one of them even lift me off the floor... But all of them had kind words and trust me, by the end of my tour I was becoming very emotional. They really are a nice bunch of lads and they were always very nice to me (even at the beginning when I couldn't understand half of what they were saying).

I then spent probably an hour working on my "Goodbye" e-mail. I just couldn't get into it. I didn't know what to say, how to say it. I usually have no problem writing, but when it comes to goodbye, I just can't do it. Everything I came up with was flat, boring and didn't reflect how I felt. Maybe I'm just not great at expressing my feelings in general. I couldn't spend the whole day writing an email, so in the end, I wrote something generic, with a little joke and some words in French...

I got lovely presents from my colleagues. And here's the funny bit. It looks like the different departments and people I work with, didn't really consult each other. They all did their own little thing. And that's how I got 4 cards and 4 bunches of flowers! I also received a box of chocolates and a bottle of wine.

My managers slagged me off till the last minute. I wouldn't have expected my exit any other way to be honest. One of them joked that the next time I would have that many flowers would be on my grave... Oh, typical Irish humour!

8 years is a long time. It took me a while to settle, mainly because I wasn't used to work with Irish people, but I can now say that I've learned a lot about my adoptive country with my Irish colleagues.

And to be honest, I'm probably "Nearly Irish" thanks to them.