A lot of “Firsts” and a lot of “Lasts”

This is my department’s last week at its current location. We have been at this location for over 17 years. I have never participated in a company moving to another location in all my working years so this is my first move. I haven’t even had the opportunity to move desks as wherever I worked, that became my office. Never having to pick up and migrate to another place. So, this move has brought about a lot of mixed feelings. I’m a creature of comfort and I didn’t mind my office location and the surrounding area. Whatever issues I had, I got over them in the first couple of years at this position. As time went by, this became just like every other workplace. You get familiar with where the bathroom is, what pantry is the clean one and better stocked and what is the best exit to the elevator bank so you don’t have to walk by the powers that be. I had it down to a science.  It is hard to walk away from all that knowledge I amassed over the years.

The biggest issue and saddening fact I have is the people whom I get along with and are considered friends in the office will not be on the floor I am moving to. In other words, our department is being split up. The group I work with, while a nice and civil bunch of professionals are just that. Civil. There is very little interaction among each other unless it is work related or serves a professional purpose (i.e. moving up in the company). People will chat and appear friendly but it is all on the surface. Try to peel back the layers of the onion and all you get is a stinky attitude. The other groups in the office, whom I do not work with, are a different bunch of people. They enjoy conversation, each other’s company and work well together in the process. In fact, I find them more efficient. Those other groups are the ones I found myself interacting with more so than my group. We could talk business and pleasure in the same sentence without being careful with our words. It was comfortable. With the splitting of our department, I fear that it will not be the same. Sure we are one as far as a legal group but not one in the physical sense. At least not after this Friday. It almost feels like with this move, that I will never see these wonderful people who made the work day decent just with their personalities.

I noticed today as I went outside for lunch that I will not frequent the delis, fast food places, stores that are close and around the office. Suddenly these places will be too far from the new location. My morning coffee or breakfast sandwich are closer to my current location than my new location. While on some days I can walk over to them and grab food and catch up, they won’t be my primary source.  Instead, I will have to find new places along the way to get my coffee. Establish new relationships with street vendors and other locations which I frequent during the course of a workday. As I picked up a tuna melt from the deli down the block, I thought this will probably be the last week I ever go to the deli unless I am in the area.

As the days get closer, I am sure there will be more lasts that I will encounter. While I will mourn them in my own way, there are a lot of firsts that come with a move to a new location. I will think of those only after we move. Until then, it is farewell to the work life I know and was so accustomed to.

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