16 January 2006

Dignified Exit

How do you bow out gracefully when you don't feel very gracious? The bustling hectic office became quiet and treacherous. Having been sent firmly to Coventry for undisclosed reasons, this final month has tested my stamina to the max. I have had little or no work to do for three months and time has hung heavily. Imagine the convicted inmate on Death Row with ten days until his execution and only four cell walls for company. Every tick of the clock is amplified, every minute an hour.

It finally hit me at the weekend - I don't need to do this. I don't need to be laughed at behind cupped hands. Accordingly I drove to work as usual this morning, emptied my desk of personal belongings and announced my departure. After twenty nine years slaving for the same employer this was not the way I would have chosen to leave but I felt backed into a corner. Too much time and not enough to do is an unhealthy mix.

My doc will supply me with a certificate to prevent deductions from my pay. Twenty nine years ago I wore a suit for the first time and travelled proudly to work on a double-decker bus wearing shiny black shoes and a sober tie. Today I sat at my desk for the final time between 9a.m. and 10a.m. wearing leather jacket and trainers. Those who bothered to look would have noticed I shaved my head over the weekend.

At 10:01 a.m. I said goodbye to my friend and left the office.

24 comments:

sirreene said...

I am sure there are many who missed saying farewell to a man who made a dignified but hasty exit.

NMAMFQLMSH said...

Bravo! Now my friend do what YOU WANT to do. I can see you now - holding your head high (and it better have been) marching out of the office. KUDOS to you! Time for you now. Time for you to do something you have always wanted to do. Like visit me. LOL.
I see you bro and I love you,
JJ

the cloned corpse of marcus tal said...

Friend & comrade of Cocaine Jesus... know this and report it on my site. The reports of demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Kind Regards

The CLoned Corpse of Marcus Tal

Perfect Virgo said...

Sirreene - after a 29 year race I didn't quite run through the tape. There are a couple I managed to speak to privately and some I will contact over the coming days. In the end I left on my own terms.

JJ - I had to make this stand. I couldn't wait dejectedly until the final day and slope off while everyone is saying their teary goodbyes. My head was perhaps not too high but certainly not down. A lifetime of work came down to a single act of defiance but I still think I retained some dignity. Keep the spare room aired for me, I'm a coming travelling!

Cloned Corpse – wwelcome. The reports of my own demise are not exaggerated at all. They are in fact wholly true and if anything understated.

finnegan said...

That's my Virgo! Come this time next year the company in question will have ceased to exist even in the furthest recesses of your mind. Good riddance!

Now it begins. Your shaved skull is the perfect shining symbol of defiance!

I see a bit of Travis Bickel in this picture, don't you?

Perfect Virgo said...

Finn - reminded me of that great line about "washing the scum off the streets." My head turned a couple of heads but not mine. Fuck, fuck and thrice fuck.

Queen Neetee said...

I am so moved by this and extremely impressed.

What an excellent exit. Leather, trainers, and a shaved head. Need I say it? - PERFECT!

The reason they didn't turn their heads to notice was because their teeth were so clenched with jealousy and now how in the world can they save themselves after such an exit as yours.

I wish you the best. Actually, now the best has just begun.

Bravo!

Cocaine Jesus said...

fuck me, now people are even grouping us together.
marry me PV, marry and take me away from all this.

sad to read the last comment on this post but that to one side fuck 'em all. they are the losers in this and not you old chap.

(shaved head eh? ditto)

Perfect Virgo said...

Neetee - thanks for the nice words. A pity I didn't see it through to my intended release date but at least I left on my own terms and not entirely under the corporate rod.

Finn got it about right, I think I removed my few remaining hairs as a final act of petulant defiance! As to leather - I like leather, I have 5 jackets including my motorcycle jacket!! So it was the natural choice for one not intending to stay for the day...

CJ - but I hardly know you old chap!! Oh, all right then if you insist, we'll work something out. My hair has already started to bristle through again and I might let it grow back as I feel very COLD and exposed without any at all!

finnegan said...

Darkness hasn't got any advantages. If we light a candle in a dark room, the little bit of light can show us the way out.

By contrast, a dark box opened in a brightly lit space has no effect whatsoever.

This little group here feels like a veritable candelabra, don't you think Virgo?

Perfect Virgo said...

Finn - you're right it does. I have needed light shed on the darkness and am very grateful to all those turning up with their votive candles. I have been round closing all the windows to make sure no draft blows them out.

dAAve said...

... and his new life had begun.

Jen said...

You are free, my friend, free free free. Now you can live your life the way you need to. I eagerly await news of your upcoming adventures.

Perfect Virgo said...

Daave - sharpening my pencil to start scratching some notes for the new chapter...

Jen - nice to see you back, I knew you weren't far off. I have a feeling some of those adventures will see their way into print on here!

Patry Francis said...

This is so visual--from the first day in the shiny shoes and the suit to the last day in the leather jacket and the trainers. It sounds like liberation-- though I'm sure it wasn't without pain.

Bouls said...

I am new to your writing, but it's so up front and real I feel an immediate recognition. The mental picture you draw of yourself 29 years ago, so proud and ready to face a new and hopeful future, makes the complex emotions of your leaving all the more visual. Here's to a new and hopeful future in 2006!

Perfect Virgo said...

Patry - a lot changed in 29 years. By the time of my departure there were so many mis-matches between me and my employer that we had nothing in common except my file number. I like the word "liberation" - I hear freedom, release, forgiveness, compassion, opportunity and hope.

Bouls - welcome, immediate recognition is good. The contrast between the first day and the last day was stark. Correction - harrowing.

RuKsaK said...

The black leather raven has flown
Watch those towers now

Perfect Virgo said...

Ruk - sell shares in a British Bank is your implication sir. I like to think I will be missed, but...

A vast silent shadow will betray the presence overhead of an avian spectator gliding on wings of mummified hide.

the cloned corpse of marcus tal said...

A fascinating tale dear boy. Good luck with the future. I am inspired to write a poem about this incident.

Kind Regards

The CLoned Corpse of Marcus Tal

just sayin' said...

The intended release date proved to be a fantasy full of elements to make you small and sad. I like your Easy Rider approach better. A bald head or a bared ass, you're the hero of your own life. KUDOS.

Perfect Virgo said...

CC of MT - so glad to have offered some small inspiration. The future beckons with an enticing crooked finger... I will be visiting to view your poetic words.

Morgan - thank you indeed my friend and trainer of dragons. I decided the shaven scalp had provided enough excitement to that motley crew for one day so kept nether regions under wraps!

Jane said...

Has your friend called?

Perfect Virgo said...

Jane - two texts in 5 weeks instead of the usual 2 a day. She has been promoted yet again and now has a very powerful job within the Bank (works 7 am until 7 pm, single mother, 15 year old son etc, so it is convenient to think she is too busy. The reality is things just got way too close and a break was essential.

I'll say more privately and when it doesn't hurt so much, as time goes by :)