In a day less than two weeks, I shall be leaving this office for the last time. I have been working at this desk for nearly three years and in the building for around seven and a half. In all that time, I have worked with several colleagues continually and I have seen several others come and go: from apprentices who have long since moved off to the greener city pastures on which I intend to build my own fortune, to ill-advised, greedy employees who tried to found a company in direct competition with us. (This, of course, didn’t work. Their stupidity in advertising in the newspaper belonging to the very employer they tried to cheat shows how well they must be doing by now.)
I now face a whole group of companies, full of new colleagues and friends-to-be. I am approaching them with the mixture of apprehension and anticipation I felt when I first began working for Cable and Wireless (Mercury Communications at the time I joined them), in big, four-storey-high, tinted-glass-fronted lakeside offices in Bracknell containing (as memory serves) at least 1,000 employees.
I bade farewell to the first of my colleagues yesterday, who is leaving today to go on holiday until after I have moved on. Later this evening, I shall say goodbye to my direct boss, with whom I have worked since I arrived here and who has been alternately a tutor and the bane of my life. All that I can say here is that daily life will be much, much different without his daily influence and yet I owe him a debt of gratitude for all he has taught me.
On Monday, I begin the second to last week here without his influence, tidying up loose ends and preparing for new things.