Things you find out on your last day at work:
–The reservationist who trained you on the phones and Open Table is a life saver when it comes to figuring out how to rent a car for a month–especially when it involves a one-way rental. You always liked her. Really liked her. You just never knew how many extra miles she’d go for you.
–When you tell one of the best managers you’ve ever known that you’d work for him any time, any place, and that you mean that and that means you’d work for him even in a fast food spot like Pizza Hut, he doesn’t quite get it. Then you realize you may have offended him. Crap.
–Your direct manager has pulled together a nice little going away moment, complete with gifts of candy (“All gluten-free–I checked!”) and a few words about how much she will miss you and how great you were to work with. And you wish she had shared a little more of that over the past six months, but you hug her close, at the end of the day, because it is the end.
–One of the many nighttime bartenders you never knew because you never drank after work at your restaurant until tonight, tells you he knows someone in your new beach town, a bartender, and he’ll hook you up. He better, you tell him, because you don’t know one single person there except your soon-to-be manager. A bartender would be a nice back-pocket name to have on hand.
–That this bartender who knows someone in your new beach town is actually an incredible bartender in his own right–his hands fluttering over the Micros touch screen like delicate butterflies, his ability to pour call drinks as he makes guests feel like he is only there for them is truly a skill, a talent. And even though he makes fun of you about your uneasiness to start over in a new place, you still respect his top-shelf skills as a bartender, and you would never tell him that his kidding around struck you through your heart. This was not the day to kid around with you, for sure, but how could he know that? You’d only just met.
–How another manager, one you helped train on his first day on the floor, seems like he will truly miss you. And you tell him you will truly miss him, because he is always a gentleman. Always.
–How the manager you always liked because he gave you a nice nickname, seems uncomfortable and awkward saying goodbye.
–How the GM didn’t realize this was your last day.
–That leaving this place, this company, is harder than you imagined it would be, despite how excited you are to tackle the new job in a far-away beach town. It was nice, you acknowledge, feeling comfortable and familiar in a place that took you in with open arms.
–That leaving it all is absolutely, positively the hardest thing you have done yet in your life. And you had no clue how hard it was going to be. Until you cried and cried while walking the four blocks to the Metro, while riding to your stop, and while walking all the way down the hill to your home that will no longer be your home in two days. And you never once cared who stared at you and your tears.
–That two days before the movers come, on the last day of a job you know you did quite well, when you know there are no more walks with friends or alone along concrete sidewalks with predictable cracks and bumps that trip you, that this is it.
This is it.