Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Flowers from a friend

I left my job last week. I'm taking this week off before starting my new job to do some long-ignored chores and get my teeth cleaned. Don't worry. I won't be sharing photos.

When leaving a job, it is amazing how attached I become to people. There are people I saw every day, more often than some of my family, and now - poof - I won't see them. There are the guys at Starbucks who gave me and my boys free tickets to a Revolutions game (how's that for service with a latte?), the colleagues who put up with me and the students who let me into their lives and listened to my tales of social change. I think a couple believed me.

One guy I'll really miss is the day security guard. I think he is a Vietnam Vet, not that he talked much about himself. Accept for fishing. He would talk about fishing even as you backed into the elevator. One day he mentioned taking his family on a long car ride and we all gossiped about it for days. "He has kids! And a wife!" He did tell me what last year's Christmas presents were for the grandchildren. He was very generous.

Last year he ended up in the hospital. No one heard any news so I figured out where he was and called. I eventually got a nurse and she (appropriately) asked me who I was. "Ahhh... a colleague?" "Nice try," was the response.

She did tell me that he would be in long enough to receive a card from our office. That's all I needed to know.

So last week I handed him a small card to say thank you for all of his help, kind words and reassuring presence. And I gave him a big bear hug.

Later in the morning he walked into my office with a bouquet of flowers. He gave me another hug and had tears in his eyes. I filled up too.

When I ran out of the office to get my lunch some young kid was sitting in the security guard's chair.

"Where is he?"

"He called me this morning saying he wasn't feeling well. It's not like him."

Get well my friend. I'll come back to visit.

6 comments:

Jodi said...

That's the hardest part of leaving a job. You actally spend more time at work then you do at home, so these people become your family.

binkytown said...

How sweet- it is hard to leave people you spend so much time with..even the ones you sometimes wish you didn't..

Alex Elliot said...

I know it sounds weird, but I am happy for you that your ARE sad about leaving the people from work. I have friends who have hated their jobs and everyone they worked with it. Changing jobs is hard for me too. I also was supposed to have a teeth cleaning this week, but I figured no one would want to watch my puking child so I rescheduled :)

chelle said...

awww he sounds like such a wonderful man...what an honour that you got to be a part of his world and he of yours even briefly.

tiffany said...

How excellent!

Best of luck on your new job!

Jenn said...

awww i miss him! he's so great!

I hope he's doing okay, since yaknow your most recent post is about how terrible the US govt treats vets.

It's pitiful. China treats theirs like heroes.