Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fond Goodbyes, In With The New

I've started my new job... or it's started on me.  With a vengeance.  I received my laptop last week, but do you think it would connect on my home internet?  Of course not.  I made a couple of trips in to the local Spinal sales office because I could work there and my laptop liked their internet wireless better than mine.  I could also visit my old coworker Teresa, who I miss like anything.  The last time I was there I had a heated session with the company IT department, who still wasn't able to figure out the problem.  They suggested I cry Uncle and connect with an ethernet cable.  It goes against the grain, but that's exactly what I did.  And it works like a charm.
I planted my backside in my work chair All. Day. Long.  I started wondering in my head about 4:30 this afternoon why I was feeling so sore and stiff, and then I remembered I hadn't gotten up out of the chair since this morning.  I was still not showered OR dressed.  I figured it was time, so I abandoned my post for a quick 30 minutes.  I am refreshed, and I smell so much better.  I figured I owed L that much, seeing as how I haven't set foot in the kitchen to even think about dinner.  I'm thinking it's an In 'n Out night.  My treat.
I can't believe what a learning curve I'm going through - especially since I did part of this job a little bit in my previous work life.  But there you go.  The brain turns to mush after 2 months off.  And, to be fair, things had piled up a bit, and there was a lot to plow through.  It's almost caught up, so I'm feeling a little more optimistic than I was this morning.
Have any of you ever worked with a computer program that is full of little glitches, and you swear sometimes it has an evil brain?  Either that, or you're going crazy.  Maybe both.  Well, that's this program.  It's like a shape shifter.  It will behave one way now, and in 5 minutes it will do something a little bit differently.  Really - it's like you're going nuts.  And the really nutty part is that you're so used to the dysfunctional relationship you have with it, that you think it's normal.  Until you start thinking about it too much - which I try not to do.  I try to have a little treat instead.  (But since this is ongoing dysfunction, I'm going to have to police those little treats or I won't be able to fit in my chair)

To move on to more pleasant conversation, my old work group gave me a little Goodbye/Send-Off party on Saturday night.  I had a hard time getting ready to go it for some reason.  I'd hoped to be about 40 pounds lighter, I wanted my hair to be more perfect - you know, because you want them to remember someone that really isn't you.  Someone who looks like the movie star that would play you in a movie.  I finally was able to blast off with L, and it turned out to be so much fun.  My old boss knows how to throw a party.  It was at the La Casa del Camino Hotel  in Laguna Beach that is old (like maybe about 80-90 years old?) and has a wonderful area on the rooftop where you can sit and look out at the ocean while you have drinks or eat.  View the sunset - it's a gorgeous spot.  We also had a room just off the rooftop terrace where we came in to have dinner.
It was so much fun to be with my old friends and coworkers again.  All of them weren't able to come, but I have to be honest and say, everyone that came was someone I really wanted to see.  A couple of girls I like weren't able to come, but for the most part all of my faves were there.  No one talked shop, and I loved every minute of it.  I got to talk to my old boss in a more relaxed setting, his wife was there too and I like her quite a bit.  We are both named Karen, and every once in awhile my boss would slip and call me "Honey."  Then he'd get embarrassed and mutter an excuse about too many Karens.  I used to love that.  It made him like a real person.
I had kind of gotten over my old team and moved on.  But for a couple of days after the party I felt a little melancholy and nostalgic - rather like how I've always felt after a high school reunion (which is why I don't like going to those).  I was going through the loss all over again.  (L is ready to drop kick me...) I'd really like to believe I'd keep in touch with all or most of these people, but I know I won't.  Everyone moves on, and that makes me a little sad.  There are four coworkers (John, Judy, Teresa, and Olga: I'm looking at you) that I most definitely want to keep doing things with.  John is that irresistible, harmless naughty boy who won't behave.  But he has a heart of gold, and he's so random he makes me laugh really hard.  L always loved my John stories.  Judy is absolutely the most unique person I've ever met: one part super nurse (I insist she's at my bedside to advocate for me if I'm ever in the hospital ) and another part earth mother who loves everyone, cares deeply about everything, third part surfer girl.  Lovely person.  Teresa and Olga are my Partners in Admin Crime.  We have had so many huge laughs together.  So many funny stories have passed between us, as well as tears.  I love these girlies like family.
So these four saw me through some rough days in the last nine years.  They always knew when I was having a bad day, and they've always come through for me in a way that made things all right again.  Like the two times I almost got creamed in my Miata.  Or when I lost my job.  And my boss, Carey.  There were times when I wanted to shake him, but I know he always meant well, and that he had my best interest at heart.  He always tried to do right by me, and I appreciate that.  It was hard for him to let his guard down, but every once in awhile he would, and we'd have some great chats.  Or he'd call me Honey.  I've lived through all my kids' weddings, sickness and sad times, and the births of my grandchildren with him as my boss, so he knows me pretty well.  Plus, I have to admit it: Carey is just so nice looking it was a treat to see him in the office.  Sorry.  But it's true.

The evening ended too soon, and L and I were on our way home with an armful of loot.  The group gave me a lovely parting gift (as usual, way way generous: $250 gift certificate to South Coast Plaza.  Christmas came early this year...) and I straggled back to the car bearing my gift and lots of flowers - even a lei to wear for the evening!  None of my work friends read this, but I wish I could properly tell each one of them how much they've meant to me over the years, but there aren't words deep enough to describe it.  So a regular thank you note will have to do, and that won't half do it justice.  But in business, there's only so much mushy huggy stuff you can convey before you sound suspect.  Pity.  This work family could be a little dysfunctional (*fixing John with a stink eye*) but when the chips were down I couldn't have asked for a more loyal bunch.  I have loved and fought with them all - but mostly I've loved them.  Thanks, guys - for the growth, for the friendship, for the best 9 years ever.

15 comments:

  1. Karen, I love the way you tell your story. It always makes me feel I'm right THERE. Meeting all your co-workers...foibles and warts and sunshine.

    Looks like they know who and what they will be missing..
    Hugs and remember to get up outta that chair more often gurl...

    Hugs~

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  2. I felt like I was right there with you! I'm sure your coworkers are going to be quite blessed to see themselves here in your blog. All the best on the new job!

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  3. It sounds like a lovely gathering of friends. Its always a little sad and scary to leave something familiar and start a new adventure.
    I was laughing over the computer glitches. Don't you hate it when you try and try something and it doesn't work and then tech support waltzed in and does the exact same thing you were doing and it works for them, first try? Arrgh LOL

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  4. I'm glad they threw you a party, even though it was a little on the bittersweet side. Mostly sweet, it sounds like.

    As for the computer software glitches...Yes, yes, and yes. I had a million of those using an older from of Abacus in the law offices I worked at. Needless to say, I do not miss that program one bit!

    ;)

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  5. PS. I do miss the ladies, though, and you're right. It's hard to stay in touch properly once you're gone. I really meant to, and I haven't.

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  6. Found your blog from Sweet Tea. Sat and read and read and read. Nice way of putting some crazy stuff (esp the 'staff Minnesota time'. Now following.
    - Joy

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  7. Ah. IT PC troubles. I miss those. I have a MAC now after YEARS of Windows machines. not and it's scare how easy it was to get on the network.

    Good luck with you new job.

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  8. I hope you don't have to work as hard at your new job as you did the first day.

    It's nice that your old boss and co-workers gave you such a nice party.

    Like Sue said, it is really hard to keep track of old friends once you quit working with them. I used to try, but it never worked and now I can barely remember their names and unfortunately, I've actually forgotten some of them. Good luck on trying though.

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  9. What a nice thing for your coworkers to do! I'm glad you had a fun time and a way to say goodbye. I hope you take time during your work day to get up and move around..sitting like that can give you a blog clot..oops, sorry, it's the hospital in me coming out! Your computer complaints sure sound like the ones I hear everyday at the hospital since we've gone to computerized medical charts. Boy, the staff struggles some days! So good luck with this new job and enjoy those gifts..you deserve them!

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  10. Good luck with your new job. Sometimes it gets harder before it gets better... and it will get better. It won't be the SAME with the old friends, but you can still link up from time to time, remember birthdays, etc. Once you've had those friendships they are still there, maybe just a little different.

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  11. Obviously you are well liked by your previous co-workers, which says a lot about you and the kind of person you are. Change is both fun and scary at the same time, isn't it? I hope you absolutely LOVE your new gig and working from home would be something I would LOVE...Thanks for stopping by and sharing your GOOD NEWS today!

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  12. Change is always tough. I'm not good at it all at!

    In'N Out though? THAT is right up my alley. You are a girl after my own heart, my friend. YUM! Get those fries animal style for me, would ya?

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  13. Good luck with your new job.

    I think it says so much about you that your old coworkers gave you a nice party!!

    {{{HUGS}}}

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  14. Such a sweet authentic tribute. And I love the part about wanting your hair to be perfect. Have a lovely day ~ xox Alexandra

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  15. Out with the old. In with the new. That's such a lovely concept on paper, but it's always so hard in real life.

    Last week, our network was having a meltdown and my spent most of the week tied to the ethernet cord. It's amazing how quickly the ease of technology takes over our life.

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