Saturday, 11 March 2006
The end is important in everything
I couldn't have imagined a better farewell from my late team.
To start with my side of things, I thought I wrote a fairly neutral farewell email. What I mean to say is that what it meant to say is that although I liked the place, I owe to the place, I like the people, and I owe to the people, there was still a significant quantity of things that weren't well. I meant to convey a rather neutral portrayal by hinting at the Elton John verse I didn't quote:
You know you can't hold me forever
I didn't sign up with you
I'm not a present for your friends to open
This boy's too young to be singing the blues
But no one seems to have picked on that. It must have been way too subtle, because a minute after sending the email I got a call telling me that this was the most kissy-up-the-assy farewell letter ever.
But who cares about that. What really impressed me was the farewell I was given, not the email I left behind.
I was touched because I got to have a farewell lunch at the place I wanted, despite technical difficulties.
I was touched because I got various people, both from my former company and from my former company's client, who actively suggested that we stay in touch and offered ideas for extra curricular meetings. For people who have such a problem making friends like Jo and I, and for people who have so few friends in this continent (like Jo and I), this is of extreme importance. I just hope we won't let the opportunity slip away, because Jo and I also tend to be crap at friendship maintenance (although not as crap as some of my friends, and definitely not as major league crap as some of Jo's friends).
I was touched by the farewell card the guys gave me. You should know my views on gift cards, but this was different; it had photos as well as the regular farewell comments, which meant that not only someone thought of something to write (and let's face it, most people are as original as "good luck with your future endeavors"), but someone actually did some hard work on the card. And that personal touch means a lot.
And I was touched by the farewell gift. I thought about it and even dreamt about it at night, and my conclusion was that Borders gift vouchers are the thing I would like the most. And guess what they gave me?
I said before that books mean a lot to me, but I also cannot escape the comparison with the gift my clients gave me when I left my all time favorite airline job: They gave me book vouchers at a time in which I was buying all my books through Amazon, so I didn't really know what to do with them. On the vouchers' last day prior to their expiration I drove to Stimatski in Dizengof corner Frishman (finding parking was hell on earth) and settled on a copy of Lonely Planet Australia, way before I had any plans of coming here as a tourist; it was a time in which I simply enjoyed reading travel books, and I thought that it is most suitable for me to use vouchers given to me by El Al's Central Reservations Control Department on a travel book. Little did I know how useful this particular book purchase would be.
Back to the present, not only did my recently late colleagues give me this nice gift of books, they also gave a very generous sum of it - more than any I remember any of my departing predecessors got. Now I don't mean to say that more money means I'm better than the rest - I'm not and it's not the case - but I am definitely touched to see that I meant something to certain people.
There is one person who is mostly to "blame" for hitting home on most of the things I just mentioned. We live at a time in which people do not tend to say much in the way of good things about one another, and so this effort made by my friends in general and by this one person in particular to show me that I made a difference to them is most appreciated. In fact, I would go and say that these are the things that matter most in life because family and friends are our primary source of happiness in this world, and such a show of friendship is rarely exhibited.
Now I'm sorry for this smeared and unfocused blogentry, but thank you, Elaine!
Final note: For a change, the title for this blogentry was not taken from a Beatles song. It is rather a quote from the Hagakure, the Book of the Samurai.