A few days ago I had my farewell lunch from my current work place. My job was cut in December 2011, but being a Civil Servant meant I was placed into a pool of people, who like me, also had their jobs cut.
The UK Government is currently reducing the numbers of Civil Servants and one way they are doing that is to offer people cash to leave on voluntary terms. I applied and was accepted, my last day is next Friday.
Usually when people leave, there is a lunch and the big boss will get up and say a few words; thanking them for their service, you’ll be missed etc, and then the leaver gets up and say a few words; usually something like “thanks for coming, I’m going to miss you all” etc. Me, being me, i.e. too modest, didn’t actually expect the big boss to attend!
So I wrote a speech that contained a potted history of my 15 years service. Of course, the big boss did turn up and he gave a most excellent and glowing account of my career, and how I would be missed (something that I now just about realise, as I said, modest).
The speech is below – although I have redacted some of it, place names etc.
I would like to thank you all for coming to lunch today, and a big thank you to Emma for organising everything. This day has arrived sooner than I expected, I thought I would be at (the place I worked) for some years to come.
But things change, and over the past eight months, they have for me, both at home and in the workplace. When I went into the RDP I wasn’t sure what to do: I could look for another job, sit it out or go for VERS and we are here today because I was lucky enough to be selected for the latter. So after 15 years, 9 months and 20 days, it’s time for a change of direction, I just have to settle on what that change will be.
As you’ve heard I started my career in the Post Room at (the other place I worked), then moving to Seniors, before settling in Budgets. And for those paying attention, no I didn’t forget the MT, as hard as I’ve tried, I can’t forget the MT.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the 15 years I’ve spent at (the place I worked), right from my first day in Seniors where I didn’t even have a chair and Babs tried to get me to answer a ringing fax machine, during my time in Seniors I was lucky to be able to spend a day on (the ground) watching a training day, take part on the (long walk over a mountain), and a skiing trip to Bavaria led by Ken, I even got to speak to Paula Hamilton, she of the late 80’s Volkswagen Golf advert when she rang for Ken, for a whole 10 minutes I had her mobile number!
In the MT, in between trying to make trucks and trailers magically appear to satisfy a never ending demand, I drove a car around the bypass, under supervision I should add, before narrowly avoiding the MT garages on my return, it would be roughly 11 years before I got back behind the wheel and finally passed my test, unfortunately at that time I also learnt what a bad manager was, in Budgets I learnt what a good manager was, and about the importance of integrity, and how that can make an office unpopular, people don’t like to be told that they can’t do something, even when it’s in their best interest, I was very fortunate to work with Sue & Nick for so long, they both taught me a huge amount, and I owe them a lot,
At (the place I worked) I’ve made some good friends, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very talented people
I’ve scored some quite fantastic goals whilst playing lunchtime football in the gym, I’ve also had access to the very same gym for 15 years and still didn’t get fit
In the past six months I’ve gone full circle and have been back in a Post Room, where I found out that Welsh isn’t a dead language, and anyone saying so, in earshot of Rhian, had better be able to back up their claim, and I speak from personal experience
I’ve learnt that (some) students enjoy online shopping (a quick post fact: in the first week of February there were 38 parcels for them), and I also found out just how much Budgets + HR knowledge did actually stick
During my time at (the place I worked)I have been to many lunches, Christmas do’s and Budget Office code reds, for those not in the know, a code red is a lunch, much like this one, that extends, for those willing, into the evening; and on a couple of occasions I didn’t make it into work the next day; so I’ve already booked tomorrow off just in case!
And through all those functions it’s been a standing joke that I’ve never bought a drink, I was born in Yorkshire after all, where part of our motto is (Eat all, drink all, pay nowt). But I’m hoping that on your way in you helped your self to a glass of wine or orange juice as those are on me, cheers everyone!