“I think I’m going to buy some of those diet chips”, Diane says.
I prop my bare feet on the edge of her desk and cross my ankles. “Make sure you read the bag carefully. Some of those diet and sugar free foods can cause anal leakage.”
She throws back her head and laughs, the sound echoing down the corridor. I smile and shake my head as she launches into a story about a woman that had to have her asshole reconstructed, due to her penchant for taking the dirt road. I’m going to miss these daily dicking-off fests more than I originally thought. And I’m going to miss her.
I remember the first time I sat in this chair, in her horribly messy office, wearing a brightly striped sweater, black skirt and black old lady pumps. I was a nineteen year old kid with a month old baby at home and I had no idea what I was doing. Diane sat me down, explained the job, spent a half hour gossiping and then showed me around the suite.
I immediately wanted to work here, not even considering the corporation as a whole...just this little area where the work space rang with laughter and the halls smelled of coffee and someone’s breakfast burrito. It was my first “real” job.
But though the woman who hired me is my supervisor, she’s never been just a boss. From the day I interviewed until this moment, this last day we get to sit here together as employee and employer, she’s also been my friend, mother and psychiatrist.
She cosigned for my first loan to help me establish credit, she made cakes on my birthdays and sat drinking wine with me all night on her living room floor. Just recently, when I had to go to the doctor for what was apparently vertigo, she came, without asking, in sweats and tennis shoes on her day off. Just in case I needed someone to hold my hand and drive me home.
She’s lectured me, made me listen to the same stories over and over again, occasionally irritated me so much that I wanted to scream...but I love her. She gave me a job, she gave me a chance and she’s continuously put up with all of my tardiness, grouchiness and immaturity.
And now, after weeks of wondering and waiting, the day has finally come. The transition from old job to new will be complete tomorrow, when I pack up the last box and they cart it two blocks away. I’ve been excited about taking a step up the career ladder, about more money and more opportunities to grow and learn. I’ve been excited about my new chair and my new title, about rubbing elbows with presidents and COO’s. Excited and a little terrified, but not sad. Not until now. Not until it really hit me that in order to grow up and move up, I’ll have to give up a few things too.
This is the last time I’ll sit around with no makeup on and a frizzy ponytail, barefoot and relaxed in the privacy of an office that’s more like home. The last time I’ll dance on tiptoe around her door and primp in front of her mirror to make her laugh. The last time I’ll drink coffee and shoot the shit for an hour in the mornings. The last time I’ll wear flip flops and leggings, play games when no one is looking and close my door for an hour with a current bestseller.
And perhaps the saddest thing of all, right up there with saying good bye to her and other coworkers I’ve come to think of as family - this is the last time I’ll sit at this desk and write.
Proximity, and Revelation.
6 days ago