Monday, June 6, 2011

In Swings the Tide

Until recently I was only excited about leaving my job for our Big Adventure. It's not that I don't love my job, I do. It just wasn't a big deal to leave behind the stress, drama and gossip that goes with the good bits. My boss delayed the search for my replacement in an effort to bury her head in the sand, metaphorically putting her fingers in her ears, closing her eyes and la-la-la-ing as loudly as she could. Haakuturi, the third and final puzzle piece of our little team, joined me in teasing our leader as the days ticked by with no replacement in sight.

When my position was eventually advertised and the applications came rolling in, I was no more affected. I scoured our staff lists looking for the perfect replacement and approaching anyone I thought I could trust to look after all the hard work I've done over the last few years. I joined in on the recruitment process in phase two, participating in a mock-training workshop run by the potential candidates and evaluating their suitability. Still, I wasn't phased.

On the day that my successor was advised of her new promotion, I shared her excitement. Our new team member earned her place fair and square. She is an inspiration because she didn't walk into this job. From day one she wanted it, and she made this appointment happen for herself. At this point I still had 3 weeks left at work, but two of them would be training an Induction Course for new employees, teaching our new team member how to train future Inductions herself. Time was running out. I cleared my drawers, leaving only what was necessary. A constant list maker, I made my last to-do list of the things I need to do before I go.

That afternoon, Haakuturi, our boss and myself were each at our desks listening to music in our own headphones. We were in a group Instant Message chat together discussing one project or another. Haakuturi commented on the fact that we were sat next to each other but not talking to one another and I responded 'I'll miss not talking to you'. And that was the point that I finally got sad.

Despite her passive aggressive can't-say-no attitude and despite his constant bantering of useless information and questions to which he already knows the answer, I will miss these two people just as much as she will miss my do-it-in-a-minute attitude towards things I don't like and he will miss my blatant not-caring and brutal honesty. Hopefully.

Despite all our flaws, I have never learnt so much from one job than I have from this one and these two people in particular. We are a well-oiled machine, the self-declared most organised team in the company. We know each others strengths and weaknesses like the back of our hands. We know how to push each others buttons and how to butter each other up. We know that Haakuturi will explain the hard stuff and do the things that are too complicated and that I'll act as interpreter to the masses and make the boring bits at least look good.

As the proverbial son and daughter, Haakuturi and I know when Mum is best left alone and when she is in the right mood to consider our most adventurous requests. We know she always has our back, always. Except when we disappoint her in which case we metaphorically hold hands and cower together. You would never pick it but I would rather be in trouble from anyone than her. It's terrifying.

We are family in every sense. We hate each other as much as we love each other and it's unconditional. I won't ever have a better team to work with than I have now and I am eternally grateful for everything I have learned from them. It's just time for the tide to change.

I hope my replacement realises how lucky she is, I think she does. What has been your best work experience?