Celebrating the non-event

tomorrow we are holding a farewell lunch for one of the girls in my team. it was only on Wednesday that i realised there were only that many days left to her leaving that i quizzed her work BFF what were they (her lunch cliche) doing for. surprisingly the answer was nothing. at my urging, a mass email was sent out and suddenly the entire sales department was turning up for it. there wasn’t a gift prepared either so after quizzing the same BFF on what she likes, i’m heading down to the mall tomorrow before lunch to grab a present.

last week, Bluntgirl (ex-team mate of mine before the department reshuffle) spent her last day  at the company quietly packing up. i didn’t think her last day was till two weeks later until i finally returned to my desk at 530pm and saw her farewell email. shocked, i went over to her desk to wish her well. to my horror, she started crying and thanked me for the guidance i gave when she used to report to me. i waved my hands about frantically and told her please don’t cry. and that if she ever needed anything, feel free to call me anytime. that got her sniffing even louder and so i said okay enough with the crying and hugged her so we could get over this farewell thing quickly.

i went back to my desk slightly upset that no one planned a goodbye get-together with her. granted that there are separate camps even within the department, i was sadden that there’s no team unity within the sales department. aside, i spoke to one of the other unit heads P and questioned why Bluntgirl’s boss S (there are 3 of us unit heads within this team) didn’t plan anything and why didn’t anyone tell me she was leaving. P said he thought i knew. i did know of her intentions to leave but i didn’t realised how fast time went by. it’s no excuse but i really don’t realise the days that go by. took me awhile to realise that today’s Thursday. P mentioned that he, bluntgirl and a few others went out for dinner with her the night before but he agreed that it was sad that a person was leaving so quietly without anyone caring.

Angry at the Bluntgirl’s supervisor, who was nowhere to be found, i refused to let her go like that. so P and I drove to a nearby bakery and got her a chocolate cake. we got another girl to help us gather the rest around so when we got back, we could all surprised her. she was pleasantly surprised and we all took the usual photos and stuff. it was a very simple affair, where unfortunately there was no present or card. but i was glad that we at least made her smile before she carted her things out of the office.

in between all that, i called her supervisor to demand to know where he was. that moron was in fact at home already. i asked why did he not arrange a small something.  his response? that he asked Bluntgirl’s best friend to organise something, but when she asked Bluntgirl and Bluntgirl didn’t want. he just left it as that. i swear at that moment i wanted to throttle his fat neck. only an egoist would say yes to wanting a farewell party organised for him. i told him off that we do not let people leave the company like that, and then i hung up the phone on him with a resounding touch of my finger on my iphone touch screen.

funnily, a few days ago someone else in the sales team also left the company without me realising it.

i must have been spoilt from my days with the marketing department. that department is really good at celebrating things. during my times there, we’d have a welcome lunch for newcomers, birthday celebrations where cards are passed around for signing, funds are collected for presents, surprises were sprung for farewell parties. it was a rather cohesive bunch that even though smaller groups form for lunch, getting everyone together for grander occasions was no issue. everyone in that department was treated with equal love.

then when i got transferred to the sales department, the assumption was that my new department would celebrate my birthday with me, so the marketing team didn’t do anything. but the sales team didn’t do such things so practically NO ONE celebrated my birthday. it was such a non-event i was alittle annoyed. to top it all, my supervisor then was the same moron that was overseeing Bluntgirl now. i bet he couldn’t even organise his underwear drawer, much less someone else’s birthday.

all this kinda reminded me how pissed off i was last year regarding these things. for most of my adult life, i’ve been the one arranging things, organising birthdays. for most parts, i even ended up organising my birthday even. then last year i told myself i had enough. if no one was going to bother to arrange my birthday for me, i’m not going to celebrate it. luckily my girlfriends decided to arrange a dinner and i was properly mollified. however i resolved not to care about planning anymore. i was SICK of planning things.

however, as this year was Bryan’s grand entrance into The Unclehood of the 30s, his party was begging to be planned. thanks to facebook, it was pretty easy to rally everyone to show up at the same place, not necessarily at the same time though. planning his birthday cake took several months of planning, and then getting everyone to chip in on the present was no biggie. the wide smile on his face and his proclamation that this was the best birthday ever made the two hour commute i had to do during evening peak hour just to collect his cake almost worth while. but a part of me wished that someone out there could make some effort and plan something for me too.

it kinda sucks to feel as if no one cares.

However, this message from Bluntgirl made me smile:

Thanks! I heard the cake was your idea im so touched! Anyway i’m really happy for your progression at [company name], it’s been great. Just wanna thank you again for all your guidance. I learnt a lot and I think you’re a great manager 🙂 hope to see you again.

Well at least I got the intended effect I was hoping to achieve.

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5 comments

  1. i know what you mean about people not doing anything when people leave. i totally hate it, its like you cant even like buy them a farewell dinner or something? my co does it but always very last minute and we have had situations where people leave and no one knows, crazy right!!

    at least bluntgirl is appreciative. i think that’s most important, planning everything is ok but people must appreciate and not take it for granted

    1. i know of people leaving where no one knows but then sometimes it’s under really terrible circumstances and i understand why they’d prefer to leave quietly. but to me, as one of the unit heads in the department, it’s the least we could do to make people feel abit treasured. no one is THAT terrible that we can’t have a simple farewell to acknowledge their contribution to the team. unless it’s OMoron who contributed jack shit.

  2. i dunno, we had a country head leave before, i think he was played out by politics and we did the most LAST minute thing ever. i wasn’t close to him but i thought it was horrible, i mean no matter what’s said and done he was still the country head right… tsk tsk

  3. I’m a fan of celebrating everything. Welcome, goodbye, for fun, bday, Xmas, every occasion imaginable etc. It makes the person feel good and it gives people a chance to interact.

    So it’s a good thing you are doing.

    1. but i want people to plan for me!!!! *stamps feet* even Santa wants to sit on someone’s lap occasionally!

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