WHAT A DAY!!!!
Everyone spent all morning saying how much they would miss me and asking me if I was sad to be moving. I kept saying NO! and laughing that I would see them all next week when all the offices were brought together in the organisations new building.
My colleagues traipsed with me down to a South Indian restaurant for my leaving lunch. This is the one we usually go to for work occasions because it had both halal and vegetarian food. Well I ordered my usual gorgeous Masala Dosa and waited. Half of us received out food, half did not 40 minutes later. Of those that did, the food was cold. This meant that we were grabbing various waiters at various stages asking for food to be heated, food to turn up and at one point returning chicken because one of my colleagues thought it looked stale.
The pièce-de-résistance came when after much to-ing and fro-ing, one of the girls turned around and stopped in her tracks. We followed her gaze to see a enormous black cockroach ambling up the wall. As we watched mortified it fell off behind one of the girls and we all jumped up.
Seeing this, a table of school-girls behind us let out a synchronised SHREIK. The waiters hurried over and one of the ladies commanded that someone let her pay for her drink so she could leave. The restaurant staff were mortified and refused to let us pay the bill. Despite the insistence of some people who felt they should pay as they had eaten.
In the end we all streamed out looking affronted. As soon as we got outside we started giggling and laughing like crazy at what had happened. Two of the girls hugged me and apologised that my leaving lunch had been ruined. I told them it was the best leaving lunch ever and I would never forget it.
When we got back one of the girls who had stayed behind presented us with three big trays of scones with extra think double cream and melon and strawberries which were delicious (she had two big boxes of the sweet, giant strawberries left which she gave to me – bliss).
Another one of the girls handed me some chocolate brownie cheesecake (I offered to share with her, but she said I should share with the kids)
I decided to quickly pop out again and return my library books. On the way out, I met one of favourite colleagues (and friend) Reetha carrying a beautiful bunch of pink roses, gerbera’s and lilies. She said hello, then remembered she had the flowers and jumped and run off. I don’t think my smile could have been any bigger. I returned from the library to find the flowers on my desk, so I went off to find Reetha and say thank you.
Because of the nature of my work, although I am always polite, people out in the services can get very defensive as we can appear to be “harsh taskmasters” in the words of one colleague. This being the case, I e-mailed everyone telling them I am moving, who they should contact in my absence and also thanking them for their co-operation over the last year. I was nicely surprised at all the e-mails I got back wishing me luck.
Later that afternoon, I went round to the other side of my bank of desks and one of my colleagues grabbed a file and slammed it down on a card. She then looked at me and started giggling saying “I’m rubbish aren’t I?”
I packed up for the afternoon to leave early and on a high note, when the darling lady who sits next to me stuck her head in the door and gestured for our manager to come out. “Oh help” I thought and then promptly forgot all about it as I waited for four o’clock.
At a quarter to four, people from the rest of the office started coming in to say goodbye and my manager made a very sweet good-bye speech. She handed me more cards than I knew what to do with. They all contained gifts and vouchers. I was humbled by everyone's generosity: £25 worth of Hobbycraft vouchers, £25 worth of WH Smith's vouchers and £15 worth of Accessorize vouchers - they even gave me the £10 left over in pound-coins to go booting! (Obviously my colleagues know me well - crafting, books and pretty stuff)
I start with the new team on Mondy, the team I worked with before will move over on Wednesday, so I will welcome them then.