aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Now I will write for me

So today is technically my last day at work, after nearly 18 years. I say technically because I won't have anything to do. I'll probably go out to coffee with a friend, and then crawl on my hands and knees under my desk to make sure nothing fell down there five years ago that I really want. And then I'll pack up my emergency makeup, my snacks, my photos, and the little cup where I've kept spare change.

Yesterday they threw a party for me. It was wonderful and strange. With me goes a lot of history and a lot of knowledge.

Six years ago, our CEO was abruptly let go. A new CEO came in, and as CEOs are wont to do, fired people. And kept firing them. I lost count of the people who went to a "meeting" and never came back (but a secretary was dispatched to fetch their coat and belongings). The people hustled out by security. The time my officemate called me and said, "Sandra is in her cubicle crying and putting things in boxes with someone from HR standing over her." The meeting where they called 57 middle managers in and then handed them packets about their severance. My own department went from 33 or so folks to 20.

I used to pray to be one of those people, but with my length of tenure, my severance would have added up. Instead I wrote memos and articles for the new CEO, trembling a little when I had to talk to her. Then finally she herself was fired, and I wrote memos and articles for the interim CEO. And for the last year, I have channeled the thoughts of our new CEO - and written the memo thanking the old CEO's cronies for their service and announcing their departure.

And now, starting this afternoon, I will be writing for myself. Oh, and editors and copyeditors and maybe some freelancing.

What a long strange trip it's been.

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