Yesterday was my last day.
I gave two days’ notice, but amazingly, a rather extravagant series of goodbye dialogues and going-away spectacles ensued. Thus, my final day of employment at Technicolor was filled with oodles of unfamiliar socializing and endless ruminating. I hadn’t opened my mouth so much since my last dental appointment.
They say introverts are drained by social engagement. This is true, and it was very true of me by the time I commenced my final march last night.
Instead of my customary 6 pm exit, I didn’t walk out until after 7 because the last hour was spent talking. Flapping those lips.
I was tired. Interacted with so many people. So many faces and so much outward engagement throughout the day. My psyche was drained. Still, the dry, cynical, resentful ingrate that I am had to admit that for the first time in a very long time, I felt the love. I’d been at the company for so long. Could it be people noticed and cared about me? Yikes. What an unsettling notion for someone who expects the worst from others, or at the very least, anything but the best. I was stupefied. The final gesture was a small surprise gathering in which people shook my hands and thanked me for my service. I was praised for being a great co-worker who would be missed. It was the company’s loss, I was told. It was repeated so much, I actually came to believe it. I received two cards, one with money. I don’t do well in front of so many attentive people. I shakily said I had stage fright. I ran out of things to say. I ate cake and the crowd slowly thinned and the people in my department remained talking.
By the time I left, I was a dusty, social skeleton. I need alone time. I took the stairs which was particularly fitting being that it was my last journey out this building. I thought I could sneak out, but in the stairwell I ran into a guy who works in Operations. Good guy, friendly, and I thought he wanted a handshake but we hugged. Hugging another guy in the work stairwell is kinda strange but it was cool. He told me what a great asset I was for the company, and how I would be missed. The company had been better because of people like me. It’s scary for a social miscreant like me to start believing this stuff. I’m better off when I’m not privy to this stuff for it wrecks havoc on my brittle psyche. I thrive when doomed. I’m a pessimist and my life’s nourishment is darkness of spirit and of expectation for I am frequently not proved wrong. If allowed to continue my course of despair, I thrive.
When I experience sugar plum dreams of hope and life, I wither. When there is too much hope, too much affirmation, and too much appreciation, I am left as dessicated as Dracula in a sunlit field of garlic.
The stairs down, Friday, too late, hugging a male co-worker, and amid the flattering flood of appreciation, I retorted, “Thanks. I’ll miss this place,” to which he responded, “You won’t miss this place. You’ll miss the people.”
And he was right. The last month aroused thoughtless streams of bitterness and caustic judgement, but ultimately, I didn’t hate many people.
Walking out the door, to the parking lot, one more guy smoking in a group by the smoking area, waved and said something that sounded final. I waved back and rushed to my car, for I couldn’t reach it fast enough. Not to cry, but to exhale.
It’s been surmised, by many, that you “cannot keep a good man down.”
The pessimist in my head, me, the owner of me, tells me this is bullshit. Good men are kept down all the time. Good men are discarded. They are refuted in the name of the powerful egomaniacs and the shameless short-sightedness of a society that desires its righteous gratification now in capitalistic doses of desire.
I doubt I am even a good man.
A new job. A new journey. And I await.
The pessimist is gearing up for all that he knows will, and won’t, happen. When good things happen to a pessimist, he seeks the Bad to butter his soul with. Otherwise, why blog?