The Fallout

I spent this morning unpacking things I brought from the office. There wasn’t much, just a couple bags. Another advantage of working in an open office configuration, I guess. Still, I gathered enough doo-dads and trinkets to make a good mess, and I had with me a listing of a bunch of my old performance reviews and whatnot. Interesting reading. I’m not sure I changed a whole lot through my career.

Now those are all trash, though. Don’t need ’em.

I’m holding onto things my teams gave me, mostly. Dilbert stuff from the AFT (and my most cherished award … the “Out on a Limb” award given “for consistently pushing the management envelop and daring to be a pain in the …”). The coolest globe in the world given to me by the OnBoarding team. A super-slick and highly motivational plaque from my current team (the cookbook remains upstairs where it will become dog-eared). Then there are a few family things.

Going through this is actually a very hard thing. I know beyond doubt that I’m ready to do this, and that this is exactly what I want to do. But it’s a strange, strange process for me merely because there are so many attractive things about working where I did. I am most definitely running toward something, rather than away from anything.

A few lasts:

My last trip through headquarters: On my way into the office yesterday, I took a small detour and walked slowly through the building where I had spent 10 or so years. I mainly just thought about people, but a little about the great work we accomplished together. It was really a fun time, actually. I assume I may get back to the building, but I took advantage of the moment in as many ways as I could.

My last one-on-one meeting with a team member: Held with a young woman who was born in China. I think if someone had told me that back in the mid-80s when I started my professional career, it would have made me boggle. We spent it talking about careers, where we thought she was relative to peers and relative to the best in her business. It was a discussion that raised my heart. I love those.

My last hug: Received from a business team leader who wished me luck, told me I would be missed, but confirmed I was doing a good thing. I like that about our leaders. At the end of the day, they really do want what’s best for the people who work here. It was interesting that every single business leader who wished me well specifically thanked me for my work in challenging the way they think. That says something for the way the company works at its heart. Speak up, friends. Our voice means something. (Though I suggest perhaps it might serve you best to do it in such a way as you’re not a candidate for the “Out on a Limb” award. I assume that not everyone likes it out on that limb as well as I do. [grin])

My last mail received: From a member of the controls team I managed 15+ years ago. He had remarkably kind things to say. It made me smile. I was/am a people’s manager to a fault, I suppose.

Anyway, it’s been an emotional 24 hours. Time moves on, though. A story awaits.

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