Apparently I don’t deal as well with change as I
fooled myself into believing thought. My boss called a staff meeting
Friday last and a little after 3 o’clock announced his retirement. I was all right until he choked up a bit and
after that there was no stopping the flow of tears down my face. Since I wasn’t prepared for high emotion (no
hanky), at one point I had to wipe my nose on my winter scarf. I was so upset that I left work early,
knowing I could not sit there with more tears ready to fall at any given second—and
fall they did.
It’s not that I resent the boss leaving; on the contrary I couldn’t be happier for him. Since I myself am planning to exit in a couple of years, it would be selfish of me to want him to stay. So why is his news hitting me this hard?
Well, I thought it over and I believe I figured it out. To me, leaving, at least this form, equals a kind of death. So I’m basically grieving. I’m sad the person is gone (death/retirement) but I’m happy they’re out of their former circumstances (sickness/pain/work). Grieving the leaving…at least it makes sense in my head.
Now, the office secretary is also leaving, at the end of February, and the boss is leaving in June. There will also be a new university president around June. My work world is about to change and in a big way. I do have a safety net in that I have all the years of service necessary to retire should things become intolerable. My motto has always been “change is good” but lately I’m having a hard time convincing myself.