Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Cheer

It was somewhat odd to walk into the holiday party of my old office (of 5 years ago).  I was immediately greeted by familiar faces, but there were so many new faces, people who had come on board after my departure.
One of the reasons I decided to attend was the fact that the venue was a sports bar only minutes from my house.  I would not have relished a trip to Suitland, but Arlington was too good to pass up.  
I showed up with my wrapped gift for the round robin gift exchange -- a jar of Wasabi Passion Fruit mustard from Kauai.  I decided not to go with a bottle of wine or beer although they had always been the most highly sought after gifts in past years.  (It turns out my mustard exchanged hands several times before ending up with someone who really wanted it.)
The big boss who had caused me so much angst apparently left a few years ago, rumored to have been forced out.  Part of me would say that served her right if it was true.  But regardless, I met her successor, someone I had worked with at least 10 years ago.  He is an easy-going competent guy who seems to have the support of his staff.
I talked at length to the guy who took my place.  He never mentioned the possibility of bringing me back as a consultant and I never asked.  There is a good chance I wouldn’t remember enough about my old job to even be effective any longer.
I made the rounds to visit with lots of people who worked with me and for me, giving each of them a hug, something I never did while working there.  I learned about children grown up and off to college, one coworker who was actually fired by my old boss, and any number of other interesting tidbits.
It was a good feeling to be so warmly received.  It was nice to realize that none of the bitterness that clouded my retirement remained any longer.  


Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

sounds similar to a retirement party that I went to in June... so nice to see all sorts of people! It's interesting to see who you were five years ago and how much and in which ways you have changed.

5:06 PM  
Blogger e said...

Perhaps your life is now full of happier things that going back as a consultant isn't as interesting to you. Of all the people I know, you make the most of your time.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- Although I really like a lot of those people, I am also relieved not to have the stress of the job. My staff was responsible for processing the data of a national survey of 3 million respondents a year. There was and still is a lot riding on those results.

Now my greatest stress is how to use up all the veggies in my CSA share each week!

E -- If I really needed the money, I would probably feel cheated not to be sought out as a consultant. And although it gave me a good feeling to do a good job at work, the rewards from my volunteer work, playing music, and cooking are far greater.

I always seem to be looking for an hour or two each day that doesn't exist. Someone asked me today if I felt bored being retired and I had to laugh!

11:25 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

It sounds like you really have moved on, which is a good thing! I'm glad any signs of acrimony have died down as well.

5:09 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

Stress is inherent in some jobs, but can be magnified by the administration. The moment I saw my old boss at the retirement party, I felt all the muscles in my back clench!

11:01 AM  

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