Monday, January 25, 2010

The Last Day

January 15th was my last day of work.

My former employer, who likes a certain internet anonymity, was a super-efficient industrial supply reseller. We consolidated risk for industrial operators of all kinds by warehousing material that no one needed often but someone always needed daily. And quickly. My job, whatever position I happened to hold any any moment, was to make it easier for good customers to order, accept, and pay for whatever special something they suddenly needed. I learned a lot from the company about effectiveness and efficiency.

For the most part, it was a normal day. I worked almost enough. I took a long lunch. I tried to make my work as effective as possible. After my exit interview, I went back to the data I was gathering and kept it up for another hour. But at 4 o'clock I hit a wall. The sun was still shining, and wouldn't be for long. I couldn't sit at my desk anymore. I gathered up my stuff and thanked my bosses. I walked out of there giddy and emotional, hyper aware of the significance of the moment, unable to do anything about it but drive home. I wanted some ritual, some ceremony, to perform and properly mark the transition, but nothing came to me. Ideally, I might have wanted to sacrifice a small animal.

When I crossed the parking lot for the last time, my feet never once touched the ground. Six months of deciding and affirming and questioning and redeciding picked me up at the door and swept me right into my car, already running and halfway down the street. Traffic was light for a Friday. Even if it hadn't been, I could have floated right over it.

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