Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Accidental Goodbye

Well, it's finally here...tomorrow is my last day on my uptown project. I've been working at the bank since Valentine's Day now...a relatively long project for a consultant, but with the end of the year comes the end of my assignment. I'm not sure if you've every consulted before (or maybe just job-hopped), but it's kinda weird going from project to project sometimes. If you stay long enough, explore your surroundings, and take the time to talk to people, you can get really, well, cozy. You make friends, find your favorite places to eat and places to shop.

I'll definitely miss the convenience of working uptown. There's a whole world out there hidden within those tall structures and behind high glass windows that you would never know about unless you worked in that environment. Tunnels and covered bridges span from building to building and you start creating paths that wind you in and out of buildings, unwittingly crossing several city blocks in one trip while you check out the little boutiques, shops, over-priced convenience stores, and cafes. It's kind of funny...walking down these long, over-crowded halls...there is just so much inside these buildings that you can't even see from the outside. From the outside, you think, hey, there's an office building. I guess bank people work there. Inside, the bank people are scurrying from their desk to grab some fast food, choosing from Einstein, Sbarro's, Chick-Fil-A, and Salsaritas all in one hallway, so they can scurry back to their desk and get back to work, all the while not caring one bit about what street they're technically on or what's going on outside.

Yes, they "scurry". You start to notice...there are the "scurriers", the "Sunday walkers", and the "loungers". I guess you can say I'm a scurrier (is that a word?) because I like to walk quickly. I get frustrated walking behing the slow "Sunday walkers" even when I'm not in a rush...isn't that silly? I get this feeling like if I don't get around the slow people I'll be stuck walking down that hall forever! Walking these uptown halls can be like driving down a multi-lane highway. You have to wait for a "lane" to open up to pass. Sometimes the halls are so full with people walking this way and that way that you just can't quite squeeze through, so you have to wait patiently taking slower-than-normal steps until you can make a move. Ahh...the silly quirks of a work environment. I guess I'll miss that whole everything-you-could-possibly-need-within-five-minutes-of-walking convenience.

I'll even miss our strangely efficient elevators. Instead of up/down buttons, like normal elevators, ours have a touch-screen panel where you choose your floor and the system tells you which elevator to take. You hit the button for the 7th floor, the panel directs you to elevator #4, you hop on elevator #4 and you're off and to your floor in a matter of seconds! No waiting for the floors below you (well, sometimes the system will couple them)'s quite nice, actually. Not hard to get used to, but hard to get not-used to, if that makes sense. I went to my consultant company's office recently, pushed the up button outside the elevator, got on the elevator and stood there. Our elevators are extremely slow, so it took me a minute to realize that it had not gotten slower, but in fact, wasn't moving at all! Heehee...oopsie! Good thing no one saw that!

I'll miss the constant hustle and bustle around the trade floor. I'll even miss the super dressy dress code. (Button-down shirts and dress pants aren't that bad, afterall) And, I know I'll miss the people. Isn't it sad to say goodbye to people that you know you very well may never see again? I don't like "goodbyes" and I don't like "nevers." They're so finite. A good friend told me once that he always said "Later" to his friends instead of "Goodbye" because "Later" means he'll see them again and "Goodbye" is forever. I've tried to avoid the word "Goodbye" ever since and when I accidentally tell a friend "Goodbye", it makes me, what if I never see them again? Sometimes, I'll even follow up the accidental "Goodbye" with a "Later" know...just for good measure.

I'll miss my comfy window seat with the great view of the sunset. Here's one I snapped yesterday. The sun was just peeking from behind a gigantic blue curtain of clouds and there was an amazing golden peach spreading through the sky.

I mean, how lucky, out of a building of thousands of people, am I to get a window seat? I was talking to a woman on my floor the other day about how I was leaving and she should try to take my seat when I go, since it's a good spot. She said she'd been asking for a window seat for years but hadn't gotten one yet. Years? What? The conversation made me want to go to my desk, pack it up, and hoard it somehow to keep it safe. What if my company sends me back? Where might they put me? Eek!

Today, I started packing my desk. That's the worst part of moving...whether it's jobs or houses. The packing up, the goodbyes or "laters" you share with friends, the finality of it all.

And yet, with an end comes a new beginning, right? I'm scared and curious and hopeful of where my company will send me next. I hope not too far, yet at the same time, I don't know if "far" wouldn't be good? You never know what's out there for you until you stumble upon it, you know? Cross your fingers it's somewhere good. Till next time...Later!


shredz said...

Aw. I totally know what you're going through - not in terms of jobs, but in terms of moving and all that. I had to move countries last year, and that was horrible.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll adjust to the new environment :)

Shopaholic D said...

eek...moving countries sounds way hard. you would think i'd be used to moving with all the moving i did as a kid...i went to 4 elementary schools...a middle school in a different state from where i went in elementary...a high school in a different district from where everyone from my middle school went...that was "fun". lol. i'm glad i went through it, though, b/c i think it made me better with adapting to new environments.