Farewell Officemate

Earlier was the last day of an officemate of mine. And a well loved one at that.

Really hated to see her go. She made quite an impact to the team, despite her being on the job for only a few months.

Then I had a crazy idea. I asked the team something like, “Why not get her something?”

One suggested a cookie jar of sorts with our messages and names on it. Another reminded that the officemate is flying away, so…not feasible.

Heck with it. I decided to get one of those giant cards instead.

I joked with someone that it’s going to be like a marathon. She wished me good luck (and boy did I need it).

Come lunch, I made a mad dash for it. I initially hesitated whether to ride a bus and go to National Bookstore in Glorietta, or walk to the other branch at Greenbelt.

I decided on the latter. At first I thought I was insane, walking under the intense heat (and God it was hot) without my trusty umbrella along.

When I finally got to National Bookstore in Greenbelt, I saw the clock inside. Took me roughly 12-13 minutes to get there, so I looked around.

I finally saw the cards. Initially I was going to get two (the 2nd for the more senior officemate who left weeks back), but I only found one with an appropriate message.

I decided to get the other one next time. Besides, officemate (she) might get suspicious if she saw I have two.

I bought the card and ran back to work. Ate a quick lunch along the way.

When I finally got back, I had five minutes to spare. And of course, I was sweating bullets.

Fortunately I brought a large-enough towel for my back, so put it in. Then I messaged everyone (except her) to sign the card…and fast.

One of the guys later messaged me with an article. It was appropriate: it detailed how a manager and his/her people passed around a birthday card before finally giving it to the recipient, like it was some clandestine CIA mission.

I have to admit I didn’t really feel like working that day. My attention was rather distracted by each member of the team signing the card, and watching officemate to ensure she didn’t see what was going on.

Eventually, everyone (including someone from another team who pitched in a few times to help) signed. Gave the card to a manager and said to give to her end of shift.

When shift ended, everyone gathered around her. We all said our goodbyes, gave our parting gifts, and – essentially the highlight – delivered the big card with all our personal messages in it.

I was honestly hoping she’d read the card or at least cry. Damn, too bad she didn’t do either one.

Still, mission accomplished. She got the card, we all did and said our farewells and thanks for everything, then eventually left.

For many of the team except me, probably the only “downer” was that a former teammate (who moved to the other side since then) talked to officemate. Apparently he was like the last to know, so they talked for a while.

The others wouldn’t (understandably) wait. So, we all eventually left even as the two of them talked.

We all had a good laugh when we got out of the building. Saw them off, and went on my way.

I looked up and thanked God for another day, for the officemate who’s leaving (and will have left by next week), and for helping the team let her know she meant a lot to all of us.

Meanwhile, life goes on. And I look forward to another day.

(And okay, it felt good having bought that card. But seeing the others signing their messages on it and seeing her off, that felt even better.)

Edit: odd that this post didn’t show up immediately. Don’t know what went wrong as it’s supposed to publish immediately, so I had to make some adjustments to make it finally show.

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