My last two leaving speeches have made me laugh and cry to the point of creating a brand new facial expression that even Paul Ekman couldn’t decipher.
This one was no different.
Lost passes, spillt coffees and my greatest achievement being the fact I give everybody around me something to laugh AT.
Tier One Colleagues
Managers can be useless, colleagues can be backstabbing morons and some people can brown-nose so much you want to punch them in the ovaries – the workplace is basically just a school playground for adults. I’ve been so incredibly lucky with this team. We’re like the perfect little dysfunctional family.
It feels so long ago since I wrote When life gives you lemons, but today I’m saying goodbye to four people I’ve tormented with the title of Tier One Colleagues for the past two years but who were secretly given the title of Tier Ones from the second I met them.
Unbeknownst to them, they’re the ones who got me through the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through…and all they did was make me laugh every single day and love me, just the way I am.
The Cream Egg
The first person to officially welcome me into the team was H. You get one chance to make an impression, and from there on out you’re either on her naughty or nice list.
She’s like a cream egg – hard on the outside but gooey when you crack her (that’s the best analogy I can think of right now – it’s been an emotional day).
We first bonded over one of my famously awkward hugs when I found myself accidentally cupping her left bum cheek, and our friendship went from there.
More often than not, we’re both in tears laughing at something ridiculously inappropriate.
Next to join the team was Benny G who is very much like Buddy the Elf all year round, minus the yellow leggings.
His childhood stories are like something out of a fairytale – frolicking through the meadows of Gloucester like a quintessentially British Simple Jack to see his Great Aunt Rose, sipping tea and eating scones.
Most of the time he wears a mask of prim and properness but lets his LAD facet out on special occasions. His dulcet middle-England tones echo ten decibels above the average and his inability to whisper makes it impossible to keep any conversations on the DL.
Ben’s been my partner in crime for all things fun and silly and it’s his fault I can’t stop quoting Shantaram.
The Feedback Ninja
Then there’s AndKaren, second in command.
Her I don’t take any shit facial expressions, down-to-earthness and business logic instantly reeled me in.
She deserves her title of next in line to the throne because she knows her stuff, understands when to pick her battles and also gives fantastic feedback.
Like when we were in one of those team-bonding sessions and she was asked to describe me, professionally, in three words. I guess it just goes to show how much I’ve delivered over the past two years if all she can conjure up is Happy and Fun.
My favourite thing to do with AndKaren is torment her when she’s being super serious and watch her unsuccessfully try to swallow her own smile.
And last but definitely not least there’s Uncle Mike – one of the nicest humans I’ve ever met, who has an equally nice wife and adorable daughter to match. They’re the perfect little trio.
He’s the Spirit Measure of the team who brings an overwhelming sense of calm that keeps us all in balance.
He’s my tech support, my excel guru, my go-to person for L’Admin (life admin) and quite frankly, without Mike I could quite possibly be dead by now.
His face of contempt and words of disdain will stay with me forever.
I don’t know how you survive.
It’s like having two toddlers.
What’s wrong with you?!
That kind of thing.
Today I put on my sunglasses like the kid in Big Daddy to hide my tear-filled eyes as they each took it in turns to read out their heartfelt messages in my very thoughtful parting gift – a personalised leather-bound travel journal.
Leaving speeches always feel like you’re attending your own funeral, except that once they’re done Eugooglizing and you’re ready for the ground to swallow you up, they haul open the coffin and expect you to say a few words.
I tried, but the lump in my throat stopped me from stringing more than two pathetic sentences together. Something about feeling like I’m on the waltzers in a fairground and thanks for not making me feel like I need to put on a telephone voice.
A classic farewell.
Hope About Laurie
So its officially official.
I’m homeless, jobless and single can no longer be a tagline said with sarcastic undertones – I actually am.
I now have less than three weeks to learn Spanish, somehow fit my entire life into a backpack and turn myself into a skinheaded monk.
Oh god what have I done.