RECORD STORE TALES Part 320: End of the Line #3 The Last Day
The last two weeks at work after giving my notice were difficult, but now I had light at the end of the tunnel. My boss took me aside and asked me not to buy a hundred CDs with the last of my discount.
One thought that had occurred to me after giving notice was this. If I had gone to my doctor on December 19 for some Prozac or something, instead of writing my letter of resignation, he immediately would have written me a note for at least two weeks sick leave, right in the middle of the Christmas rush, absolutely screwing them over. Without question. That’s how much I had cracked. I chose not to do that. Instead I chose to leave on an upstanding note, head held high. I stated in my letter that I understood that this was the busy season, and I had no desire to cause scheduling problems for them. I offered to stay until the end of the month of January 2006. This would allow them plenty of time to find a new manager.
One thing that disappointed me was way that the store handled my departure. They waited until my last day to announce that I was leaving. This hurt my feelings. In my experience, when somebody like me leaves, an email will go out a week or two ahead of time. “So-and-so has decided to move on to new opportunities. His-or-her last day will be Friday the 13th,” or whatever. I didn’t get that. I speculate there was a certain amount of shell-shock. When your longest serving employee moves on to greener pastures, it’s hard to spin that positive, I guess? I really don’t know the reason behind it, all I know is that it stung.
Christmas had come and gone. I have almost no memories of that Christmas at all. All I really remember was that I went to Brampton on Christmas Day to meet Jen’s extended family. I met her Uncle Peter, Nana and Granddad for the first time. And I couldn’t stay long, since I had to open the store for our big annual Boxing Day sale the next day. I have no memories of Boxing Day, New Year’s, or any of the other days from that period. I really only remember my last day.
Thankfully my journal has some details of my last two weeks, but they are few and far between:
Date: 2005/12/27 10:09 am
I have been at this store every second that it has been open since 1:30 pm on December 23. That is an utterly depressing thought. How many more days of this? I do not yet know.
Date: 2005/12/28 8:13 pm (I had been told what my final scheduled work day would be)
January 4, 2006, I will be a free man again. The emotions I am feeling run the entire spectrum. But on January 5, there’s a good chance I may just sleep the entire day, just because I can. For the first time in 12 years I will have no reason to think about that store. That is a very liberating thought.
Date: 2006/01/04 08:00 am
My last day.
I was hoping to just go home quietly today, but I hear there’s something planned. I know my boss is buying me lunch, I don’t know what else is going on. I hate being the center of attention at work. At a party, sure, I’ll gladly take center stage and ham it up. At work I’d rather just fade into the background.
Meh, I shouldn’t be complaining. It IS my last day. Hard to believe. Well, I’d better be getting ready.
Date: 2006/01/04 10:49 am
The goodbye phonecalls and emails have started pouring in, they made the official announcement of my last day this morning. It’s overwhelming. So many people I may never see again! The emotions I am feeling, they are overwhelming. No matter how bad it got here, I had so many friends. I lost sight of that fact. I sure will miss so many people.
They bought me one of those giant “farewell” cards and had loads of people sign it. I still have that. It was a kind gesture.
I still miss a lot of people, but life does go on. I had never done anything like this before; leaving a place I had worked for so long. It was like losing a part of myself. But, that part had become dark and cancerous. So, my health gradually returned. I slowly became myself again, a long journey in itself.
To be continued…
Jen and two great co-workers arranged a surprise party for me a couple weeks after. I have some pics from it. I also have no idea who that guy is in the picture with me.