Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The End of an Era

I'm starting to have separation anxiety.

For six years – the entire time I have lived in Maryland – I have worked for my store and my nonprofit. I've had my ups and downs with both jobs, and thought about quitting many times, but never have I actually done it.

As the moments until my last day at the store tick down, I'm starting to feel sentimental.

I love my coworkers. I love how we can act all ridiculous around each other and that's OK. I love how all of my bosses heap praise on me for the simplest little accomplishments. I love how I can cry at work and everyone just knows that's normal. I love working for two different organizations with a strong environmental ethic.

I love that when I have an idea, I'm almost always allowed to run with it. I had so many ideas for my nonprofit that I never had time to implement. Working half-time, I always had so much on my plate that I wished there were two of me so I could actually get something finished for once. Now I'll never have a chance to finish any of it. Excuse me while I get a little maudlin.

And a little scared.

Sure, these people hired me. Based on an hour-long chat and a couple of bookmarks. But what if they don't like me once I'm there? Sure, in the past I've garnered myself a reputation for being a stellar employee, but I've become so complacent at my current jobs that I worry I've lost the energy that drove me to be good at them. And of course I'm afraid for my social life. It took me years to get comfortable with my co-workers at the store. How long will I be awkward and reserved with the new ones? And how long will I be getting their names wrong?

I get a little teary-eyed thinking of the comfortable existence I'm about to leave. Here are some of the other things I'll miss:
  • Bringing home free vegetables almost every day
  • Getting exercise and getting paid for it
  • Talking to coworkers without having to ask those awkward get-to-know-you questions
  • Being able to play my bizarre music at top volume and having coworkers who appreciated it (or at least were willing to indulge me)
  • Setting my own schedule part of the time, and having a fairly flexible schedule the other part of it
  • Having ample time to do my shopping on the weekdays when the stores aren't busy
  • Being able to walk to work in under 10 minutes
Let it be said here and now, that while I leave my present jobs, it is not for lack of love—just a lack of enthusiasm for the low pay and draining time commitment. Employer and Employer (which I still hesitate to name lest some intrepid Googler discover something I'd rather they didn't), you will always have a place in my heart!