Saturday, December 15, 2007

Today's Noun - Farewell

fare·well /ˌfɛərˈwɛl/ [fair-wel]
goodby; may you fare well: Farewell, and may we meet again in happier times. –noun
an expression of good wishes at parting
leave-taking; departure: a fond farewell.

[Origin: 1325–75; ME farwel. See fare, well1]

In light of the excellent news that I will be starting a new job on January 2, I was able to turn in my notice at the college bookstore. Today was my last day. Since it was a temp position, a longer notice was not called for. (And boy, am I glad!) I am going to take a couple of weeks off to enjoy the holidays, spend time with my family, and mentally prepare myself for the new job.

Everyone knew it was my last day fifteen minutes after I got there and informed the baby-talking manager. Ironically, everyone was much more friendly toward me today than they ever had been before. Many asked questions about the new job, and what it was like to work under such conditions. Several started telling me about the mental illnesses in their family. A couple asked my advice about what to do with their own teenagers. Isn't it interesting how people change once they find out things about you? They (save one) were not interested in my life before, nor even interested in being friendly as co-workers, but once they found out I was leaving and why, their tunes changed.

There are (well, were!) five temps working at the bookstore right now. The manager let all of us go a while early today because we just were not very busy. I had gone to the storage room to get my coat and say my goodbye's. As I made my way back up to the front to leave I spoke to each person, giving them good wishes for the holidays. I felt almost a sadness. It was quite strange, because I really hated this job. I did not expect to feel anything but joy as I left. But alas, I was wrong. It was clear that the others were feeling the finality of things as well. It showed in their eyes and in their body language.

When I'm in front of virtual strangers and don't want to show my feelings, I tend to resort to joking around. I searched my brain for an idea of how to help all of us feel better. They were all standing at the counter - staring at me with goofy grins on their faces - and I was in front of the counter - and I don't have a clue what my expression was.

Then it hit me.

I clicked my heals together three times, and said . . . "There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's no place like home."

They all laughed.

Then I rushed over to the Mr. Thrifty display that a co-temp and I put up last week. I grabbed up the skelleton, wiped a faux tear from my eye, and said . . . "I think I shall miss you most of all."

They all laughed even harder.

I then walked out the door (and the inevitable "dong without the ding" resounded in my ear for the last time), saying . . . "Come on Toto. We're going HOME!" . . . while motioning for an invisible dog to jump into my arms.

As I turned to wave as Dorothy would, I saw them holding their stomachs and pointing at me, and laughing harder than ever.

I didn't feel sad anymore. =)

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