You are entering a “No Sweatpants Zone”

Well, maybe.  At least for now.  I am still wearing jeans and shaving.  As much as  I did before at least.  Give me another week and let’s see if I really stop caring.  THEN it may be nothing but sweatpants and muscle shirts to show off the “staying home and playing video games” body.

I’m technically on vacation from Shaw right now, although my first day back from vacation will also be my last paid day of work there.

Huh?

Sorry, I went all Doc Brown and started talking fourth dimensionally there.

I had my last “full” day of work on Monday.  Then for Tuesday through Thursday I am burning the remainder of my vacation time.  Then the Easter long weekend and then Tuesday the 26th.  That’s the day I do what I was dreaming about for months and hand in my laptop, ID badge and name tags.

(that last sentence right there confirms that I was doing a nerd job.  Cops get to hand in their gun and badge.  Me, a laptop.  Also, my last full day of work was probably a couple weeks ago.  It was getting pretty difficult to make it a full day.)

I’ve been asked a few times if this is a little surreal.  And it is.  Finishing work after 11 years is incredibly odd.  About three years ago, maybe even two years ago I had no idea this time was coming.  It started to get strange last week when I dug through my desk and stacks of paper to clean up.  That digs up a lot of memories.

And they all went into the recycle bin under Al’s desk.  Then removing any personal stuff off my PC, then taking home any personal items.  Showing up at work was getting pretty difficult, and so was sticking around.  Everyone knew I was just filling time, and that’s what it was.  I tried to help.  But like the guy who should’ve retired years ago, people would smile, laugh and say something like “that’s ok, I can do it.  You just go get a slurpee or go home.”

I like slurpees.  A lot.

And then having a farewell lunch on Monday.  Almost funeral like, but fun and positive.  Thankfully we could just laugh about the circumstances and how it worked out so well, but again it was just odd.

And then the cards.  Anyone who has left a job on positive terms probably has them.  They got lots of signatures and little witty comments.  There of course is the joke on the card to make you laugh.

“Leave if you must, but remember one thing… We only make fun of people aren’t here to defend themselves.”

(My favourite part with this card is that I am 99% positive we gave the same card to the last guy who retired from our team.  Did people know that, and was that part of the joke?  I’m going to believe yes, because I laughed pretty hard seeing the card.)

I have a feeling there will be many things said about me now that I’m gone.

1. What was with his coke slurpee habit?

2. Did he ever shut up?

3. Finally, we can de-stink his desk.

4. Can I have his stapler?  (it was a Swingline)

But enough about work, let’s talk about my newfound freedom!  Here’s the answer to y’all’s questions about what I’m going to be doing between now and July when we get our move on to Houston.  (can I say “y’all’s” and “get our move on” in the same sentence?  I feel like I broke some kind of cultural norm there.)

Um, I don’t really have a list of stuff I want to do.  I know I want to not go crazy.  And probably not spend 5 hours a day playing Civ: 4.  Again.  Once the house sells I will be helping Michelle pack.  Of course, “helping” means running interference with Katria so Michelle can pack.  Because if I pack, Michelle will just unpack it and do it correctly.

Oh ya, dealing with kids.  Being home already has increased my respect for Michelle and her ability to stay sane amongst the non-stop inane chatter.  I don’t mind house work, when I’m able to just do it.  But having a 4 year old running around asking questions like “what is the car saying right now?” adds a level of stress that I don’t do well with.  And I thought dealing with IT was difficult.

I may have to pick up a hobby to help pass the time.  I’m leaning towards learning to play the bass guitar.  And hitting the internet and downloading as much music as I can.  And TV shows.  Oh ya, and actually watching my DVD collection which is bordering on obsessive now.  It’s not as big as some people’s, but I think the quality of selections will make any man weep with joy and any woman weep in shame at how their man is bawling.  Naked Gun Trilogy, you may be first up on the list.  Followed by some non-stop Will Ferrell fun.

Last thing to do, I have to write up a funny but touching farewell email to all my work people.  And probably not write that sentence in a blog entry since many of them might read this.  I was planning the farewell email for months, even before I quit/ got laid off.  But now I can’t bring myself to write it.

I had so many great things I wanted to say.  Some funny, some sappy.  I’m pretty sure none of them were offensive to most people.  I loved working there.  There were so many good memories and fun times.  How do you not like a place that allows a person like me to succeed and take care of my family?  So many good bosses and great co-workers.  This might be the 2PM beer buzz talking (just kidding), but it is tough for me to leave that place.  It’s going to be odd to not have my daily routine of getting up at 6AM-ish (by Friday it was closer to 6:30), showering, eating breakfast in front of Sportsdesk, hopping in the car, hopping on the bus, reading my bible followed by getting off the bus and walking the last few blocks to the office.  Getting off the elevator on the 8th floor and sitting down in the same chair at the same desk overlooking the same spot on the river.  Talking about the Flames and how awesome or crappy they are.  Complaining about engineers and/or IT and silently knowing those groups are saying the same things about us.  Running to the kitchen when the report of left over pizza/subs/donuts/ cake came out.  I was always first there.  I think in the last couple of years people just waited until I showed up out of respect.  Or possibly fear.  Or some kind of loathing sympathy perhaps?  Whatever the reason it didn’t matter, I had a free snack and was happy.

(I think I just finally got that email started!)

/RD

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