This is my first “Noteworthy Entry”. These Noteworthy entries are life changing. I heavily edited this document to make sure there can be a life lesson taken from every word. There is a picture to start off every section. Please read to the end and enjoy.
Before going to sleep last night, I checked my email one more time and found out that Obs replied to my email. I replied enthusiastically to her message and was glad that she sounded interested in the idea of publishing a book together. I presented the idea as a way for us to get to know each other better on a deeper level, as well as accomplish something we both have never done before.
Obs and I are friends for life, we’re not dating right now, but we have agreed to be friends until we died, and so we trust each other enough to work on complicated projects as a team. I really enjoy our friendship, I feel great whenever we talk and hope she feels the same.
I fell asleep thinking about the inevitable event that was going to happen tomorrow.
The next day.
I’m in the office now and it’s 8:21 AM. I arrived before 8:00 AM, much earlier than most people on most days. I sat here with the present and gift card for Person’s Name ready, I took a picture of it before heading out of my home. Well a few minutes ago Person’s Name sent out an email to everyone in the office, inside the email she was saying her goodbyes and gave a shout-out to 24 named people individually. The format was something like this:
Person: Thank you for blah blah
Person: I will never forget blah blah
Imagine the above 24 times, and in the end was:
Person, Person, Megg, Person, Person and Person: Thanks for being such great team players! Will miss working with you all.
Sigh. Sigh. Can’t sigh enough. She was one of the people who interviewed me and trained me. To me she was someone awesome and special. We had a lot of private and personal conversations. I was the person that got this gift plus the gift cards plus got everyone else involved into funding so we could wish her a farewell. No one else even motioned a suggestion like it.
I mean no offense to the people I’m grouped up with, but yeah, I got grouped up with the fodder, normal people in the team? Most of whom came on board several months or even a year or more later than I did? Again no offense, I’m just pretty upset I didn’t get any special mentions because I thought we were at least a little teensy bit special to one another, there’s a long list of 24 people with special mentions and I get placed at the bottom with the ‘others’… I feel like a normal person that just blends in.
After reading through a second time, I don’t feel so bad anymore. I’m happy for her. There’s a few other people I thought were close to her that she didn’t mention at all in the email, which I was surprised at. I read into the email and there were a lot of subtleties, things possibly done on purpose to send a hinting message to the company. It is so very interesting the way the email was written and specifically which people were targeted in her farewell message.
The picture above is of 3 separate greeting cards that we invited the entire company to come and sign. They were left out in the open near the reception desk. I often walked through there and saw people grouped together signing the cards. I was surprised she didn’t see it these past two days, but she said it’s because she never walked through there. This event is described in detail later, but when we presented these to her, it was a huge surprise even though the cards were displayed out in the open!
For the first time in over a year I have more money in the bank than I do in debt. How good does it feel to finally be able to breathe freely? My debts still aren’t paid off though, this is just a landmark occasion where I can choose to just throw everything I have at the problem and the debt problem will be gone. Except I barely have any money to begin with. I wouldn’t be able to survive for a month with the amount I currently have. I’m still broke, so I’m not going to pay off everything all at once yet.
Our team just went out and had lunch with Person’s Name. I wish I didn’t eat such a heavy breakfast this morning because now I am stuffed. I think I gained a lot of weight this week so I’m going to spend tomorrow exercising and not eating anything except for fruits and water. Weight loss is seriously one of my goals, so far I’ve lost 45 pounds since I started dieting and exercising, but I’m trying to lose around 50 more pounds.
After having lunch, we started our slow walk back to the office. She didn’t know about the Amazon Dot Echo gift and greeting cards we bought her and had most people in the company sign. I knew I was going to be the one to have to present everything to her because I was the one that got everything organized, and everything was in my backpack. I thought about what to say on the walk back, and as I ran through different scenarios I started getting a little nervous.
When we got back to our desks and we all sat down, my nervousness kept rising. I saw Person’s Name sitting in front of her computer looking through her phone, looking occupied but bored. I forced myself to call her name and surprisingly my voice didn’t tremble or sound nervous at all, which gave me a bit more confidence. She looked over and said “Yeah?” I valiantly stood up and gave a toast to her in my unrefined untrained manner with people in the team watching and she started to tear up while saying “aww” and smiling.
I took out from my backpack the gift we got her, and the 4 greeting cards (1 from the team, 3 from the entire company). I told her we got the entire company to sign these four cards and we also pooled money together to get her a gift. She was so happy. She hugged each one of us and asked to take a picture with everyone one last time.
Right now Person’s Name is sitting across and to the left of me. In a few moments she won’t be there anymore, and will never be there again.
And Person’s Name is gone now. I saw her walk out of the office taking the back exit. The back exit only opens to let people out, there’s no way to open this door from the outside to go back in. While she was here I didn’t really feel much emotion, I thought she’d be here forever. Now that she’s gone I feel like crying. She’s been here for the whole two years I’ve worked here, and then I saw her leaving, never to return.
The picture above is of her desk after her departure. She left the laptop because it’s a company laptop, all the data and files from it have to be erased.
It really feels like a death. I was one of the last people she saw. Everyone else in the team exited and went somewhere else, and we had ourselves to talk for a while. She let me take pictures of her desk and the gifts on top of it. The entire sales team also pooled up money together and bought her a present, a bonsai tree.
I don’t exaggerate when I say that she touched everyone at the company and everyone was sad to see her go. Even though she wasn’t a completely vital part of the company, since many people were able to do her job, she left a lasting impression on everyone she talked to. I’ve seen many people come and go. I think out of everyone, still working there or already gone, she might have been the one person that people least wanted to see leave. The four greeting cards we got her were all filled up, almost everybody signed.
While she was there, we talked a few more times about private topics. Both of her kids are extremely successful, one of them won the distinction of being honored as Student of the Year in the United States’ richest county. There are thousands of schools in the county, each school having around 1000 to 2000 or more students. From those students, one student per school is nominated for the distinction. The nominated students who are each the top student in their school go to a ceremony where only one is chosen. One of her kids received that distinction. So I asked her if we could remain in contact for parenting advice when I have kids of my own. She said yes, always.
She said one last goodbye and picked up all her things which was a lot for her to carry, she looked burdened by it all. We hugged one last time and she started heading towards the exit door. There were a few stragglers who wanted to say goodbye to her one last time and ran towards her as she was walking towards the exit. I saw her standing around talking to different people for a few minutes, and then she walked out taking the exit door.
It didn’t feel final until that door closed tight. It automatically closes and locks itself once you walk out, and the only way back in was to take one of the three other entrances. It makes this signature loud and heavy thud when it closes, there is no way to exit through that door quietly, and I think she chose the best way to go.
All the other doors were made of glass and closed slowly, silently. If she took the glass door route everyone would’ve still seen her even when the door closed behind her. She took the opaque door route and you never saw her again once that door closed. That final thud was the final sign that she’d be gone forever. Since she didn’t have her keys anymore, as soon as she walked out, it was final that she would never return. I looked at her desk, empty. She won’t be back ever again. It really feels like a death.
Rest in peace.
Selfie for the day
I’m home now. While she was still there and while we were taking her out to lunch, it felt like eternity between then and her departure. We as a team had an awesome conversation during lunch, and an awesome meal paid by the company. Now that she’s gone, I can never go back to that moment. In reflection of it all, it’s strange how the inevitable happens. She made this announcement last week on Monday that she would be gone, and I lived these past 10 workdays knowing that she’d be gone, but not fully expecting it to actually happen. Now that she’s actually gone, it’s a moment in time you can never get back.
I’m glad I recorded my thoughts and feelings here as those moments passed. I didn’t get any work done today if any at all, but I already realize that work is not everything. There are 260 working days in a year, I’ve been here for two years, so I’ve worked roughly 520 working days (though I did take vacations too). In all those 520 days, very few were special. For most days, I experienced the same old thing driving to work, working, and then driving home exhausted. Today was extraordinary.
I’m going to be dead someday. It’s inevitable much like in the way Person’s Name’s leaving was inevitable after she announced it. Yet, I don’t see it. Right now as I live, death is hard to imagine. I’m young and full of life, to me I view life as long. I still see several years of life ahead. Yet I know, we will all perish. No matter what we try to do, no matter how much effort we put in, this inevitability will never go away.
I’ve worked enough that I can throw everything I have in my savings and my debt problem will be gone. I can’t throw everything I have at surviving to make my death problem disappear. No matter how long I work, no matter how much knowledge I acquire, no matter how many resources of anything I’m able to have, to anybody who has the gift of life, living forever is impossible.