Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Goodbye Hello

"Cause it's a bittersweet symphony this life...
- The Verve

I'm feeling extremely bittersweet about moving on to a new job. At times I feel so fed up with thinking for other people and sorting out issues that aren't mine to sort out, that I would be happy to walk out the door at that instant. And then, 5 minutes later, I start to feel extremely sad at leaving a bunch of people who I've worked closely with for the last (almost) two years.

There's a list of things that I'm not going to miss that runs through my mind on a daily basis, but for every "thing" that I won't miss I have at least one "counter-thing" that I will miss.

I will miss teaching the people who have a genuine thirst for knowledge and who use that knowledge to go out and improve the plant. To see someone use what you have taught them, it something incredibly rewarding.

I won't miss teaching the same people the same thing, day and and day out, who come to you with an issue expecting you to solve it before they've even looked at the issue themselves. It's soul-destroying and frustrating.

I will miss meetings that turn into an impromptu chat with the other 1 person who is also on time, where you learn more about work and the history of the factory than you would have from the meeting that was meant to happen.

I won't miss going to meetings where arriving on time is considered to be early and the word "late" does not seem to exist in peoples vocabulary. Neither do the words "Sorry I'm late" exist.

I will miss the fact that when I've been called out by one of my team, no matter what mood I'm in, somehow I always leave with a smile on my face.

I won't miss the job and the fact that I work at a place that never sleeps. Ever. And the guilt of missing calls or not being able to help when you're far away, even though it's not even your problem to begin with.

I will miss being able to disappear into the factory for hours at a time when I have nothing to do in my office and a craving to walk around. No one ever questions someone walking around the factory, making sure the lines are running smoothly.

I won't miss my heart speeding up and adrenaline coursing through my veins every time my phone rings - because usually it's someone from work. I won't miss being complained to but not ever given a solution for those same complaints. Being told about problems that don't concern me and being expected to fix them or know why they're there. Repeating myself day in and day out, reminding people (who are grown ups) to just do their jobs. Going to battle every day, suited up in white coat, earplugs and hairnet. Banging. My. Head. Against. A. Brick. Wall. 

I will miss the people. The individuals who commiserate with me when I'm frustrated and celebrate with me when we get something right. The ones who have been at the factory for years. And the ones who have been here for a few months. I will miss our Engineering morning meeting prayers. How everyone greets each other, no matter if you've seen that person 3 times before that day or if you're complete strangers. Planning fun events for new grads with a group of people who are based at all our different sites. Trips to Durban HO. The laughs I share with my team and learning about people who are so different to me in so many ways, but similar to me in the ways that count. I will miss learning and interacting with company leaders who challenge our points of view. Promising to go for coffee breaks with colleagues every day, almost going to a coffee break (and then one of us gets called to look at something) and then finally, actually going for that break about 2 weeks later. 

Maybe one day I'll come back and see how the factory is looking. Maybe I wont. Either way I'll be sad to say goodbye. On the flip side, I'm excited for what the future hold and new challenges that are coming my way. I'm down to single digit sleeps until my last day. I can hear Cape Town calling!

Girl jumping on path with yellow flowers

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