Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The End - A True Story

Beginning of the day: cupboardMy last day as a Worldwide Travel employee started about five hours after I went to bed last night.  I managed to get up, though, burned one last backup disc of WWT files from my laptop, decided not to stop for bagels for the office as a final gesture, and got to work almost on time.  On the desk were a bag of Kona coffee from Mal's Hawaii trip, a carnation from Marie-France stuck in a drinking glass, and a rub-off lottery ticket from Eleanor.  I'm not sure how to do that one.  I'm not a lottery person, but it could be worth $7000 or something.

Elaine and I were busy all day as I scrambled to cover every aspect of the job she didn't know about yet.  We got through it all--sort of, barely.  Lunch consisted of an assortment of Baggins sandwiches (my favorite is the turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce), potato salad with bacon, chips, cookies and ice tea (in a cardboard box with a spout).  There were extra cookies, sent over by a client in thanks for messing up 40 group tickets by giving us the wrong return date, resulting in the need to do 40 time-intensive exchanges.

Beginning of the day: other cupboardAs Elaine and I went over the long, tedious procedure for a monthly report to a company called Cook, a big basket of fruit arrived.  I assumed it was from Mal and kept on working.  It turned out that the fruit was from Mal's wife, Sandy, a wonderful person whose poor health has severely curtailed her activities in recent years.  When Mal checked in about whether I'd read the card, I explained, "We've been Cook-ing."

Quote Mal, "No, no. You don't cook fruit!"  Funny man!

I did call Sandy back, and had a nice chat with her.

At the very end of the day, each person said goodbye individually, with or without a hug, with or without tears. After Elaine left for the day, I updated the vacation and sick time spreadsheet, figured out my time sheet, and finished packing.  Dave helped, but I still missed stuff: an etched blue globe (as may be seen in one of the photos shown here), part of a little sewing kit, and a congrats balloon are the items I know about.  Dave assured me that the office will be on the lookout for additional junk of mine.

Among the items I hauled out of a closet on my last day:


  • Star Wars meal premiums from Taco Bell, The Phantom Menace era
  • Plaster castings of my feet (left over from an expensive, fruitless attempt to make custom orthotics to relieve my foot pain)
  • A water-damaged pink box containing part of a Barbie airport playset

Beginning of the day: cabinet
Top of Other Cupboard:

  • Two CD holders and my remaining CDs
  • A tiny handmade paper and wood geisha figure made by my friend Shiori before she died of cancer.
  • Disney and Back to the Future Happy Meal toys, which had been stored in a little round white wicker box
  • Wood carvings of an elephant and a head
  • A couple of globes, gifts from Mal and Sandy
  • An airplane seat from that Barbie playset

  • Cover of The Observer #4 (Time parody)
  • Notary certificate
  • Lithoed cross on pressed cardboard

Top of Filing Cabinet:
  • My marble and brass name plate
  • Another glass globe, gift from Mal and Sandy
  • A promotional rubber duck cowboy
End of the day: cabinetDesk:
  • My notary stuff
  • A green cardboard box containing Toros ticket stubs
  • One of my DoubleTree cans, with a meal bar and a couple of novelty pens
  • A Goofy Pez dispenser
  • Mostly Disney toys from the window ledge

When I got to the office this morning, I took a bunch of photos of the office, relatively clean but with some of my stuff still init.  At the very end of the day, I photographed some of those same areas with my stuff taken away.  I'm sorry to say that due to the rushed nature of Elaine's final training day, I did not leave her with a clean desk.  Still, it doesn't have papers from 1998 on it any more.  That's got to count for something!

Tomorrow:  the brave new world of life in a cubicle, working as a staff accountant in the mmmfrnm industry.  My anxious fantasy is that I'll be instantly fired for not having made a second trip to the new place of business since my morning paper chase a week ago, so that I could print my employee handbook and get a key card and parking pass.  We'll see.  I'm due in at 8 AM.  Ack!  I'd better not stay up until 3 AM again tonight!

The question of what I do with all this stuff I just brought home remains to be resolved.  But I've eaten most of the grapes.


(some of) the stuff at home

the fruit basket at home 

P.S. The next Round Robin Photo Challenge is "Mysterious Doorways," with results to be posted Wednesday, May 25th between midnight and midnight.  Come join in the fun!  See Carly's entry on Ellipsis for details!


ryanagi said...

You may not know it now, but you will treasure these photos of your work place one day. I hope you took pics of your co-workers too.  I have photos of my last office, before I "retired". I loved my setup in there. I loved my office mates. It was a great space...and it no longer exists. The company sold the building and the interior was gutted. It makes me sad to think that I can never go back to visit, have lunch in that insanely good cafeteria, hang with my former co-workers (they were scattered to the 4 winds as the company broke up). *sigh*

cneinhorn said...

you know, I've never taken photos of places I've worked...and I wish I had...chronicalling these things is a nice way to remember the details