The rain beat down on the BART Train as it sped from the Dublin Pleasanton station on route back to the Lake Merritt Station. The sky was heavy with clouds pregnant with moisture and colored with various shades of grey that used that same palette over the whole landscape. It was a fitting picture. This was my final day at work. Yes, I was a fatality of the great economic downturn. I was laid off. No job. No real job prospects in sight. Only rain and grey skies.
Actually, what was weighing deep in my heart was that this final day was rushed. I had no real time to say goodbye to colleagues and friends that I worked with for years. We were so busy trying to be brave and upbeat. We were all exchanging emails and information. It reminded me of yearbook signing at the end of the school year. You see, our whole facility was being closed down.
Tears were not coming easily so I let the sky do it for me. However, the feeling was there in my heart. Those men and women that I have worked with on a day to day basis will now be off to different futures. I will miss our shared experiences from the morning coffee breaks to the tough projects we have worked hard together on to accomplish. I spent most of my waking hours with them. In many ways they were my family.
I know we plan to get together soon. That would be nice. However, it will never be the same again.
These hard economic times have not only taken its toll on the financial health of people but it has taken a severe toll on their relationships. It has caused forced severances of ties and bonds, which are traumatic and can be far reaching. I am not sure how one can quantify that kind of impact.
One thing about rainy days, the sun does come through eventually. There are opportunities ahead for everyone. Perhaps with a little effort we can all keep in touch with our former colleagues. It won’t be the same but we do not have to lose each other.
To my fellow office mates, it was a wonderful ride. Thanks for taking it with me. Much success in all you do! Oh yes, Give me a call some time and let’s do lunch.