Friday, April 15, 2005

What a Team of Characters

What I should be doing right now is getting ready for work. Am I? Obviously not, I'm sitting at the computer, reading blogs and checking email. I've gotten 6 emails from my mom in the last day and two voicemail messages from her. My grandma is in the hospital and there's a long story there.

Yesterday was my big day at work, thanks for those who crossed fingers but it turned out like I thought it would. It's not news then.

Tonight is my last night of working before my vacation. I actually get 17 days away from NABABNA (11 days of vacation time and six weekend days). I have so much to do at work tonight and I know I'm going to go insane. It's possible for me to leave an hour early, but the more I think about it, the less likely this seems to be. There are a bunch of people I have to sit down with tonight and coach and then there's the sad part of my day I'll need to get past.

Three of the bankers on our team are leaving the call center. Each one is moving on in their lives and I'm thrilled for them, yet a part of me is sad. I go through this every time someone leaves, especially those who I've worked with for a lengthy time.

One of the bankers, Jay, is starting his own business. This is very exciting for him and he'll be successful. He's got the talent, the smarts, and the drive to do it. He's also a banker that I've know for a year and a half and admire and enjoy his company. His last night working with me was on Wednesday. I spent the last hour of his shift talking with him. No work was really done (we covered the business of that meeting in the first 10 minutes), but I am glad I took the time to chat with him. I was doing fine and saying goodbye and then I saw him walk away.

Well, that's when I lost it. I started crying quietly at my desk, happy for him, yet thinking it would be a little dreary in my world without him.

Tonight may be even harder to deal with. I have all the preparing for vacation to go through but I also have to say goodbye to two bankers on our team.

Jordan is a guy who has been on our team for about 6 months now. That's not a long time in the grand scheme of things, yet I feel like I've known him forever. I remember when he first started and he sat in a desk right next to mine. He's young and full of energy and he loves to make those around him laugh and smile. He is extraordinarily talented and brilliant. That's why he's leaving. He was offered his dream job by another company and that company is moving him to London. It is truly the opportunity of a lifetime for him. But I'm going to be sad to see him leave. He's a great performer, yes, but that's not why I'm sad. We can get more talent and more wonderful people, it's the fact that he's part of the team and a reason for me to smile each day. I'll miss him.

Barbara is a woman who I've been working with for two years. She's leaving our team for another department of NABABNA and she's going to excel at the job she's being given. She's also the one banker on the team who works the exact same schedule as I do. Every Tuesday, she asks me about my weekend, eager to hear fun karaoke stories and she tells me about the time she spent with her grandchildren. She mothers all of us on the team, bringing in treats and making each person feel special.

When Barbara had been working with us for about three months, she said to me, "Beth, how many hours a week do you work? You're here ALL the time!" I had to laugh a little and then explained that she and I have the same schedule. I work the same hours as she does, I just managed to get there about five minutes before she did each day. She thought I was there for eighty hours a week! And she's going to be moving on now too. I'm going to miss her.

I'll miss each one of these three. Not for the fact that they are great bankers and help our team with numbers. I'm going to miss each one because they are great people and I feel privilegded to work with them. I feel good to have had the opportunity to get to know them and see them develop and grow and laugh and smile and make friends. It's still going to be a great place to work, just different without them. And I do end up losing it each time I have to say goodbye to someone moving on to something thrilling and exciting in their lives. It's a bittersweet happiness.