Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Big Goodbyeski

Hello friends...I feel I am beginning to like the whole, start articles with a quote thing, so I think I will go with your friend and mine Mr. Rodgers for this one. 

"There's only one person in the whole world like you, and I like you so much. Meow meow meow so much. Bye bye."  

I think this quote speaks for itself in introducing the theme of this post...no...really? I thought it was obvious...OK then, the post is about saying goodbye, and because I am leaving in a few days I will make this a two-fer and include goodbyes to friends and to work.

I'm going to start with leaving my job at ICOM.  I am not including Julia's thoughts on this one because she technically didn't leave her job, she was just transferred.  Plus, I gave her authority to post on this blog and she hasn't yet...so I'm calling her out.  Anyway...

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have not always been the nomadic entrepreneur that I am today, until March 15th of this year I was employed as an Instructional Designer/Project Manager at ICOM productions, writing and managing the production of E-Learning programs.  Truthfully, it was a job that I was happy in and enjoyed, however, I also always wanted this opportunity to travel.  That juxtaposition alone made it very difficult for me to weigh out the choice to leave versus the choice to stay.

Ultimately, Juls and I spent some time discussing things seriously and it came down to me thinking back to when my friend Jonathan and I were determined to move to New Zealand to farm sheep (seriously). 

                                 In Our Defense, This Movie Was Years From Being Made

For a number of reasons, that adventure never happened, but the reason I wanted to go has always stayed a part of me.  I have always wanted to live in another country for a period of time and integrate with a different culture.

So, with the decision made, I just had to inform my work.  I decided to give ICOM a full 2 months notice so they would be able to transition me out fully and find a new person to take my projects.  I also decided to give myself 2 weeks after leaving my job and before moving away from Alberta (to NS for 1 month, then Paris).  I'm glad I did too, because the stress of working those last two weeks while doing all the other things we had to do would have likely ended in Juls leavin' my ass.

As it turned out, I had time to deal with a lot of those last second details and avoid becoming a single man in Paris...Ontario...

I must say though, that the hardest part of the whole leaving the job thing, was leaving the friends I had made there.  As I said in earlier posts, the ICOMers were an interesting group, and my propensity to make friends with "interesting" (that's a different way of saying weird) people meant that we got along well.  It's surprising how much you can connect with some people you work with, and I am a person who usually fights against getting to know people I work with.  When it came down to it, I had actually met a few people there that I would say crossed the coworker realm into acquaintances...and even friends.  For those unfamiliar with the progression, it goes something like this...Oh, and I have also color coordinated them, I hear my American readers find it easier to understand levels if they are color coded and vague.

1. Stranger
    2. I saw him/her once (otherwise known as "Oh yeah, that guy")
        3. Coworker
            4. Acquaintance
                5. Good for a fun time, or fun for a good time
                    6. Friend

As for friends outside of work, this was an even harder undertaking.  Being in Calgary for 5 years had meant that we had created quite a friend base.  We had friends come and go over the years, but also had quite a few that had been constant throughout.  Just as we did with apartments, Juls and I made a list one day of everyone we knew who had moved to Calgary and were either still there or had moved away...I won't include the list but we found that we knew 38 (ish, I can't remember the exact number...high 30s anyway) maritimers who lived in Calgary at some point in the last 5 years...it's really amazing and a testament to the fact that the maritimers really are/were moving to the "promised land".

The biggest problem that we found when we began the goodbye process with coworkers and friends was underestimating the time it would take.  Naturally, we (mostly me) wanted to avoid saying goodbye for as long as possible.  This was for two reasons really. 

1. I hate saying goodbye
2. I wanted to avoid that awkward meeting when you have said goodbye and then see that person again...not only do you feel like an idiot, you have to go ahead and say goodbye a second time...shitty.

The unfortunate side affect to this is that you wind up putting it off so long that you run out of time and are literally running from place to place trying to spend a little time with everyone.  In the end, we wound up spending less time with everyone than we would have liked, and missing some people altogether.  So, for those we missed and for those who we didn't spend enough time with...sorry :).

In an attempt to make up for it, our solution was to organize an event at the local watering hole (I will truly miss the Barley Mill) and invite everyone, work friends and non-work friends.  the event was a smash and everyone came to say goodbye...we were truly touched.  Thanks everyone!

Next up, I am going to skip ahead a bit and talk about my month in NS before the move.

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