Went by my old work place today. Was smart and paid for the all-day parking, because once I get talking with old friends, there’s just no stopping.
It’s been two years and things have progressed along the way they do in a large organization. Some things changed. Many things haven’t.
I saw my successor: smart, strong, confident in my old office chair, catching me up on the recent changes.
We met years ago at an HR workshop. I sat down beside her and discovered I knew her mother (technically she introduced herself and I cried out “oh my god, you’re Judy’s daughter!). In the workshop they asked what we were trying to figure out in our lives at the time, what chances we wanted to take. She wanted to take a chance on a new job. Turned out I was looking to hire an HR Manager for a medical leave coverage. Two years later she’d moved from our HR Manager, through special projects, into my job. She was nervous and worried she couldn’t manage the financial aspects. I had complete faith.
My faith has been rewarded. More than rewarded. She is flourishing, as is the Department I left in her care.
For the second year in a row, I stopped by on front office holiday decoration day. (I have a gift for showing up when there’s treats?) They set up the tree, put up lights, ate some goodies, decorated with bows and boxes and greenery.
The tree is an old, fake tree. It was actually mine. When I moved into my current home I made a personal vow that if I couldn’t fit an item into my apartment, it had to go, no storage room pileups for me! So one early morning I took my old, fake Christmas tree to the office (when I still worked at one) and snuck it into the storage room with the rest of the holiday gear. It was accompanied in that trip by a bunch of old ornaments that didn’t make the dear-to-me cut and an old tree skirt my mother made for me when I moved into the basement.
As I walked past the closed front office on my way out of the building today, there was that tree, standing small and kind of proud, with lights and garland, decorations I recognized from my years setting up the tree there and from my old personal collection and beneath it was the tree skirt from my mother.
(Side note: it turns out you can’t anonymously donate a tree to a department without causing incredible kerfuffle, because apparently people don’t believe in magic tree faeries and start wondering if someone stole the neighbouring Department’s tree when they weren’t looking. In the end I had to confess to my donation. Sadness.)
There were a number of other little reminders, little moments when I could smile and point my internal, mental finger at it and go ‘hey, I helped bring that into being!’ You know, reminders of basic operational practices that I helped create and that are still useful and going strong, things like that.
I have left a gift of legacy. I wasn’t perfect, and by the end I was far from perfect, but still. I see my successor and hold deep pride that I helped bring her to that place, for her and for the Department. I see my tree and skirt and can literally see that in odd, small ways I have left behind parts of my self that still serve.
I am honoured to be proud.
I didn’t plan it. It just happened. Legacy.
~The Abysmal Witch