Last Friday felt like a birthday to me, it was the day I left work. Not because of leaving the company actually, well this part got me breaking down the last couple days, unexpectedly. Truth is that my farewell gathering was so emotional I wept in public... Started out when I had that conversation with Rula - our HR manager, the first couple days I knew I’ll be leaving. I told her about me preparing something for the company, as she was insisting on how crucial it is to always leave a good impression whenever leaving a community, no matter what. I knew I was about to do something, telling myself it wouldn’t be me, Natheer, if I had dropped that call and simply left with a couple goodbyes and kisses on the cheek.
Ideas were sparkling up in my mind like fireworks on New Year’s, yet it’s been a one man show ever since, and my schedule is already booked ahead. The only thing I could do was to compromise, put aside the nice and shiny gestures I had the intention of doing and settled for the only fact that a video will soon see the light. It was only a matter of putting up the scheme and kicking off with work.
Fast forward to the evening of the 30th, the night before the big day, I found myself at Sodeco Square munching on a mouthwatering pancake, and surrounded by my brand new laptop and several external hard disks. I was obviously fiddling with old pictures found here and there among the huge amount of files and photos (well duh), up to the point where it was nearly closing time and I hadn’t even finished picking the material. It was decided then, this would be a nuit blanche, a night where I – uncontrollably – fell asleep/fainted around 2.00AM.
Much of the work wasn’t done, better yet wasn’t even started with. I had to wake up as early as 6 and carry on with the project. Spent the rest of the day copying pictures onto the editing program, manipulating videos and testing around soundtracks that would work for my little souvenir. I have to confess one thing here, Souha is a phenomenal person. That’s not only because she had helped me around with broadcasting the invitation email, but she was actually the main reason why the last couple years were enjoyable for me. She’s a bliss; I knew beforehand she was preparing that mass email for the company to gather me some money for cakes and such, and she designed the cakes herself, plus, found out later that she, along with Randa her lovely manager, have set up one of the most marvelous gifts I had ever received my entire life: the RGH Photography Club Trophy. That’s of course not to mention all the deeds and favors she gave me throughout the time, the soul she has is simply a charm wherever she’s at.
As insane at it may sound, the video was finished AN HOUR BEFORE the invitation time, which gave me enough time for me to show it (partially) to Souha, and time to bounce through the 8 floors at the Museum tower to greet my colleagues and invite them over to the gathering at the same time. I had honestly expected a moderate amount of friends to show up for the gathering, somewhere around 10-12? There were eventually more than 40 colleagues at 3.30.
I had only wished, at the moment, to have placed a camera at a certain angle to record my friends’ emotions throughout the video. I could hear their gasps, their giggles, their sighs and even their tears. As soon as the video rolled up and ended, I looked at them thinking I was the only one touched by the HUGE amount of emotions there, found out the whole meeting room was drenched in tears, something to admire. I literally shivered the moment Souha and Randa, the marketing and communication team, came up to me with a trophy, yes a trophy :) a trophy from the one and only Photography Club, it was then when I totally became speechless, my facial expression at the moment says it all.
I was greeted by everybody there, those who had to leave urgently and those who stayed for the cake(s). I had absolutely forgotten my second surprise, well here it goes. Whenever somebody leaves the job they send an email to their colleagues with their wishes and most importantly their contact. So, as always I play it differently, right? It was my business cards that were waiting to be picked at that day, instead of the dull usual farewell email. I was happy I still remembered to offer them even though I missed a handful of friends there. Kisses and hugs everywhere, wishing me the best of luck in the future and telling me how beautiful it was to be working with me. I can’t forget that moment when somebody came to me and told me that Priscilla, my coworker at the 8th, wants to say something to me, but she was shy at then. I giggled and grabbed a chair so she could sit in front of me and tell me what she wanted to say, I had no clue I was that intimidating to people, eh?
Honestly, the kind of exhilarating emotions I felt that day were unprecedented. This company had given me some of the most unforgettable moments in my entire life, and my farewell topped them all, can you believe that? It takes me back to that time I broke down in the company bathroom, and sheds light on the way I used to treat people around me, it all makes sense now, doesn't it? My emotionlessness throughout my time there has turned into an uncontrollable stench of sadness for the very fact that I am to leave these beautiful people.
One evening and during a conversation with Souha, I pointed out the fact that everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, in this company is good-willed and white-hearted, literally; the thing that kept me wondering, all until we reached the conclusion that whoever steps foot in that heartwarming family’s entourage turns into a good human being, unwillingly. It’s the charm of the place I believe, most probably the impact of the (well picked I assume) human resources and head of departments personnel. There’s laughter every single day, there’s jokes and tears, compassion and meaningless conversations, reckless colleagues and idiot friends, courteous individuals and splendid smiles that help you wipe away all your worries. I will miss you beautiful people...
In case you missed it, or feeling curious, here's the one and only video: