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This morning I’ve sent out the invitation for my ‘goodbye with cake and coffee’ next Friday and I’ve received a few heartwarming (and at the same time heartbreaking) responses to it. I always try to give those kinds of email a personal touch and not stick to the default content so this was what I came up with:

On November 3rd 2003, a rather pale looking thirty-ish year old came walking onto the service desk to start his first working day at (at the time :-) Philips Medical Systems. Over the years that followed that same guy has worked here with a lot of pleasure, has learned a lot (both on job territory as on a personal one) and has come to know a lot of new colleagues and friends. That guy, of course, is yours truly.

They say all good things must come to an end (by the way, whoever comes up with this kind of nonsense may be punished for all I care) and now it’s my turn.

Next Friday, the 21st of March, I’ve been here for as long as 4 years and 4 months, 145.000 incident tickets, 50.000 change requests, at least 600 laughing hours, 230 defined problems, around 60 hours of (too) direct sunlight, 27 different service desk employees and about 6 months of local support duty. Thank goodness I haven’t been solely responsible for these numbers, I had a bit of help … Chances are that you too, because you’re reading this story now, are responsible for a few of those numbers.

Anyway, next Friday will be my last day here and it’s safe to say that it have been around 1600 very nice days. ;-)

To cut a long story short(er): you’re invited for Friday morning around 10:30 to come and get a piece of cake and a cup of coffee so I can thank you all for a pleasant time over the past few years.

The responses varied between simple ‘good luck and take care’ kind of messages,  to even a few people asking me why on earth I never mentioned them I wanted to leave because they could have had good use for me in their own department. I’m really no good being on the receiving end of these messages; they bring me close to breaking into tears. And the harsh thing about this is that I never actually needed to leave Philips in the first place. That was just the downside effect of me leaving Brunel. With all of them I’ve promised to keep in touch and we exchanged personal data to make sure we can. So should the new job for some reason turn out to be different than expected, it’s very reassuring to know that there are at least a few people around that can use me in their organization.

Looking back on all the years I’ve been in detachment business now, this moment, with the whole job changing thing going on, has to be the first time I’ve really regretted working for a company that then hired me to another. When you start having some issues with your actual employer, the company you are working at (but not for) has nothing to do with it at all. It’s very hard to cope with all that. Right now I feel awful, and I haven’t been sleeping well all week. I really hope my colleague, who said the feeling will pass eventually, is right and that things will return to normal soon enough. It’ll take at least until Friday, my last day at work, before that happens and I fear that it might take a little longer than that.

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