* Dedicated to military members, clergy and anyone else who gets moved around for work… whether they like it or not.
Pretend it is not coming. Continue to think of yourself in this place with these people forever. Whine over the same daily annoyances as if they are permanent problems. Tell no one you are leaving.
Receive email from your relief. Treat it like an intruder. Wait three days before replying and blame your lateness on “network problems.” Make ominous remark to him about how he’ll have to learn to put up with that, too.
Read and reread his email. Be sure they will like him more. Get depressed. Remember past difficulties with colleagues. Present these to yourself as evidence that it is really time to leave. Completely ignore all information that does not support this thesis.
Pick a fight with a staff member or policy. Get worked up over it. It is easier to deal with anger than sadness.
Do something that you know will be “the last time in this place.” Feel melancholic. Tell no one.
Announce that it is Spring. Clean the junk out of your office. Pretend not to hear someone whisper, “Isn’t she leaving soon?”
Mention matter-of-factly over lunch that you have heard from your relief. Be glad when surprised colleagues ask, “You’re leaving soon?” Brag about new assignment. Keep fingers crossed under the table.
Refuse to call person you are relieving. Fear that “something will go wrong” and you won’t get this assignment if you call. Google new job and gather outdated information.
Tell colleagues nice things about your relief. Begin to pave the road for his success because you care about these people. Once you have convinced yourself about the goodness of your relief by the recitation of his attributes, call him and begin a proper turn over. Laugh a lot during the conversation. Look forward to meeting him. Really. Hope things will go this well when you contact the person you are relieving.
At staff meeting, listen to litany of upcoming challenging work requirements. Remember you are leaving soon. Smile.
Remember you are leaving soon. Panic! Force yourself to call the person you are relieving. Pray he does not answer the phone. He does. Know that he is as conflicted over leaving his assignment as you are over leaving yours. Be nice. Ask lots of questions. Take copious notes. Thank him for his good work. Congratulate him on his new assignment.
Get excited! Make plans. Change plans. Hurry. Wait. Panic. Get frustrated. Be sad. Say goodbye… cry, but don’t let anyone see.
Say hello! Be brave… keep breathing … find your way… business as usual.
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