Although I had an amazing time on holidays, I’m now back and I have to face reality:
Today is my last day in my (now old) job!
That’s the first job I’ve started after finishing my postgraduate degree in that foreign county I know call home. It was weird cleaning out my desk yesterday. I’ve been in that same job for more than 3.5 years and it’s the very first proper 9 – 5 (approximately) job I ever had. I’ve learnt so much here and I met some wonderful and some not so wonderful people. I believe that I’ll leave with some very good memories.
I remember the first day I arrived at work, in our old building when my company was still a branch of a bigger national. Just before the recession we became independent which was actually perfectly timed. Anyway, I hadn’t asked about the dress code and I arrived in suit and tie. Things here are far less formal and everybody was in jeans. Of course they made fun of me! I had troubles remembering everybody’s names and I mixed a few. I was also too self cautious to do anything like go get a cup of coffee or even go to the toilet. I was such a newbie (understandably). I didn’t know how people in England work.
I was amazed at the way people took their lunch brakes. Everybody simply gets up and leaves, minding their business. At first I found that rude, even if it seems so natural now. The first days I always asked in the open plan office if anybody would like something from outside before getting up to go have my lunch. I was always getting negative replies, so I stopped doing it.
What’s also funny is the day we first went all together to the local pub. I wasn’t still very familiar to the pub culture and I didn’t know the rules. I hadn’t learnt that the most serious work meetings take place in the pub and that you learn so much about your work and colleagues there. I even had my progress meetings there! I didn’t know about the beer rounds and how you never offer money for your drink but instead you offer the next drink round when available! Anyway, during my first visit to the pub with my colleagues I did the moral sin of asking for coffee! Almost everybody was amazed! Being Greek, having a coffee at 5:30 on Friday afternoon seemed normal! I would never do the same mistake…
I am lucky enough that today, my last day, is the day of my company’s ‘Summer Treat’. That means that we’ll all go out and enjoy our day! We’ve planned a visit to the Olympic village to take a tour in the newly built Stadiums and then for dinner. That means that everybody will be there and I don’t have to plan goodbye drinks with possible people not making it.
According to custom, I’ll soon receive a goodbye card, a small gift and a small speech. I hope I don’t get emotional (that will be embarrassing). On Monday morning I have to check in my new job… New rules, new people… How exciting (and stressful)!