Today was last day at second longest job I've ever worked for. Gave it everything I had to help as much as I could and enjoyed doing it, but it was time to go. My original request was for it not to be announced until my last day; I didn't want people to think I was checking out or panic because they knew my department was already understaffed and everyone hated my counter-part. I just wanted to keep helping without a whole lot of attention thrown my way, but they had to announce the job was open and managers were asking why.
Anyway, I've never felt so appreciated as I did today. There were customers that were sad I was leaving, one even offered me contract work on the side, but I turned it down because I knew it was out of frustration with the remaining staff (couldn't tell them homeboy was possibly in for rude awakening when more people brought on, but I already knew). Pretty much every employee in the company came to my desk to wish me good luck and that they were happy for me, many of them trying not to comment on their concern which I had as well.
So I thought everything was cool, but they weren't done.
They threw a surprise potluck for me out of nowhere,
I got a card signed by everyone in the company,
a picture to hang up,
a pen made from scratch by the former CTO in Redskins colors (wore my Sean Taylor today, btw),
and $220 in cash pooled by those who worked in the office.
It's not like when I left my last job where on last day my manager and some co-workers got me so drunk they helped me to my couch and I walked several miles in the AM to go get my car. I remember hitting a strip club in between with them, but this... this was different.
My last job knew they were going to have a hard time replacing me (latter admitted that they gave up and one of the owners just started doing my job himself), but wanted me to leave anyway. This one they all expected me to give up, throw in the towel years ago, the red tape, the BS, the nepotism, but I didn't. One of the first ones in, usually the last one out everyday, even after I put in my notice. This one, people were basically telling me that out of serious concern for the effect on the company and their own jobs they didn't want me to go, but was happy I was able to get out into a better situation. They were tired of telling me I work too hard and to go home, they did what they could to show how much they appreciated that, they knew I was non-exempt and deserved more if I was going to work like that.
I'll tell anyone that character is what you're doing while no one is looking, and if you stick with it, people will eventually notice. And I expect better stories then mine (this is pretty tame, leaving last job was ratchet but prototypically for this type of thread)...I gave three weeks notice, but I'm sure some of you gave less then that in your own special way : )