JERRY DOESN’T WORK HERE ANYMORE
Today is my last day at my lousy job, and of course, because I’m a complete idiot, I’m actually getting depressed about it. When I started working there, I never expected to be there very long, certainly not for two and a half years, which is how long it’s been, so I was careful not to get too entwined in the job. I didn’t get attached to any of the people, didn’t worry too much about the minute details of my responsibilities, never changed my voicemail password from 1-2-3-4, and I never put up any pictures or personal items in my cubicle, with the sole exception of a desk calendar.
Well, I took the desk calendar home yesterday, and despite all my efforts (or lack thereof), a weird territorialism set in. Someone else is going to be sitting here, I thought. They’ll have their own calendar, and they’ll put up pictures of their grandkids (judging by the demographic my office seems to attract). And as I trained the temp, I realized just how much there was to know about working at my desk. “If it’s administrative, the billing code is A45-0631.” “We send those forms to Linda in Accounting.” “When Anthony Powell calls, he’ll make it seem like it’s really important, but it’s not.” Hundreds of little facts — maybe thousands — I had picked up over the years without even realizing it, and which were all second nature to me now.
And I think what’s making me depressed is the realization that all of that information is now 100% useless to me. I’ll never bill anything to admin again, never send anything downtown to accounting, never have to deal with obnoxious Powell and his bullshit. Two and a half years of knowledge and experience, made worthless the moment I walk out the door at the end of the day today.
I’ve made myself a promise never to do this kind of work again. (If I ever get desperate enough, I’ll probably allow myself to break it.) And since this was never what I wanted to do in the first place, it’s hard not to feel like I’ve wasted two and a half years of my life at this job.
I know that’s not true, of course. The day-to-day details may never come in handy again, but there are things, many of which I don’t even realize yet, that I’ll take with me forever.
There’s a flipside, of course, and it’s the one thing that might be able to cheer me up as today winds down. Tomorrow, there will be a lot of free space opening up in my brain, space where a lot of stuff I never cared much about anyway used to be. And I can’t wait to see what’s going to fill that space up.