Part 320: End of the Line #3: The Last Day


Emotional material ahead. If you have been upset by past Record Store Tales, do not read on. 
I’m not fucking kidding.



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.


  1. It shows me what kind of guy you are, allowing that soul-sucking scourge dictate when your last day was just so you don’t screw anyone over. Upstanding!!

    The pics of your sendoff don’t show you terribly happy (or healthy for that matter).

    I feel the same about send-offs – I don’t want anyone to do anything for me if I should leave. No cake or parties. The leave itself is emotional enough!


    1. I didn’t want the party, I wanted a clean break. Ahh well.

      Unfortunately this series, as I feared, has resulted in some fallout. I received two emails already.

      I’m sorry that this all happened to me. I’m sorry that some don’t like that I chose to write about my life. I only hope that the two people who wrote me will no longer read. I put those stop signs up there for a reason.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Again, “stay true stay you”!
        There is no denying you had your truth the tell. Some will disagree with that truth. That never changes.

        Yes, likely you will lose readers / acquaintences from it, but I hope you get some catharsis from this!


        1. Thanks…I’ve tried. On the other hand I also heard from 2 former store owners and they were very supportive.

          I never asked for any of this to happen to me.


        1. I’ve been accused of twisting my story to make myself a victim. I offered to post their side unedited. That offer was refused and I asked to not be contacted again. I hope that’s the end of that.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Good on you, Mike, for acknowledging that there were still good parts, good people in all this. And for keeping the card, that says something.

    But I gotta ask if you made that last pic deliberate. I’m scrolling, scrolling and then… BUBBLES!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t imagine why some people are upset by what you wrote after all this time. You are writing your memories as best you can remember them and you are not mentioning any names. Why are they so sensitive? Guilty conscience?
    You were a wreck at that time and you are now in a much better place. Good on you!


    1. Well I have been asked not to get into specifics in public. They have their reasons. But I can’t help but think that they do not see the dark place I was in for the last 3 years.


  4. Hey Mikey – you gotta do what is right for YOU and noone can make that decision except YOU. Boy it took guts to leave a job before having another one and I am so glad you made the right decision. I have had to do that once before in my life too! Blessings you’re a great guy. Marg R. (from back in the day)


    1. Aww Margie, you are just awesome. Thank you so much for stopping by, reading this and posting.

      Yeah I had a rough couple years before United, but I know all the decisions I’ve made have been the right ones!


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