‘Tis a sign of the times that the comings and goings of our fellow workers have become murkier with each passing day. The numbers of those laid off and the shaky economy they are released into have made a joke of the Office Farewell: there is no giant “Sorry To Hear You Were Let Go” card for everyone to sign. There is no “Holy-Crap-Not-You-Too” cake.
There is, perhaps, a couple hours at the bar, post-evisceration; but outside of the tears of those closest to you, there is no office-sanctioned recognition of the change in your employment status. As a matter of fact, they’d like you to leave quietly, please.
Take nothing for granted, ladies and gentlemen.
I helped clear the desk of an ex-employee the other day, a sad little task that primarily involved re-introducing the staple puller to the Island of Unclaimed Office Products and stealing the desk calendar (Ireland! The Emerald Isle).
I didn’t know this person, couldn’t even conjure up an image; but I feel something should be said on his behalf.
Please join hands, won’t you?
We’re here today to mourn the passing of Employee X. Had this little duplex of a cubbie been fully occupied, we may have known more about him; but he was here, in this corner, on this floor, alone. We have nothing to remember him by but these paperclips; this soon-to-go-missing calendar; and his “history” on the Internet, which the Help Desk assures me will not be shared.
Double-wide-cubicle-dweller X was a short man, judging from his chair height. Did this affect his job performance? Was he difficult to work with or combative because of it? We’ll never know, since he’s been let go; but I think we’re safe in assuming that he struggled with this shortness, railed against the constant adjusting of the meeting-room chairs until the end, when his height and his presence at said meeting became irrelevant.
In absence of proof to the contrary, X was a punctual man, a man who brought his lunch in when he thought about it, a man with skills, determination, and a strong suspicion that he was the next to go.
His files were neat (and now boxed), his work surface clear of impediments.
He enjoyed the black Bic.
Employee X kept a tidy desk, and he shall be missed.
Winter mornings and pottery
9 hours ago