5/3/08

Last Day at the Call Center

Friday was my final day as a call center employee for AT&T. Thursday I will foray into the world of retail sales. I'm excited, a little scared, but eagerly awaiting this new chapter in my work life. But before I did that, I had to get through my last day.

I don't say that like it was a chore; I'm an emotional guy. I spent all day trying not to break down as I said my goodbyes. It started out just fine. I went in early to help facilitate some training (as a technical support SME [subject matter expert]) and that lasted from 9:30 to 12:00. When I went into training, the bulk of our Tech Support staff wasn't in yet, so it was quiet. When I exited the training, though, different story. Everyone was there and we had a really nice potluck. Lots of folks contributed and a lot of monies went into it.

I sent out my farewell emails to the reps, and the managers. I received so many kind replies...it was very touching. It seems like just about everyone came up and offered a handshake or a hug along with best wishes. I got several cards of "thanks" and "we'll miss you" as well as a DVD of goodbyes tapes by one of my reps. Everyone pitched in for a Cheddar's gift card, as my fondness for steak is well known. I was wished well by both our Director and Regional Vice President. And my team is working on a shirt for me that'll be ready next week.

I learned all this, and was okay. Gave hugs and farewells, and was okay. I turned in my Blackberry, my badge, cleared out my email folders, and was okay. At 5:45, when I started walking around to those left working, shaking their hands and telling them it had been a pleasure working with them, knowing I held in my hands all that I was taking and that this was my 'final run' was the rough part. I could feel my throat wanting to betray my stoic demeanor and had to fight it all around the center 'till I said goodbye to the security guard, went to my car, and started to drive away. Yeah, I'm a softie. Can't help it now, it's hard wired.

I'll visit from time to time. I'm off work till Thursday to prepare and relax. Plus I'll get in some scooter riding time! Gotta learn somehow.
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