This afternoon, on the job, I attended at hail and farewell luncheon for a well-liked co-worker, the administrative assistant of my immediate supervisor. She started off working at my principal worksite, and I took an immediate shine to her because of her quick wit and irreverent sense of humor. When she made the switch to the main office, I joked, "Now that we're in the same department, we'll see a lot less of each other." In her office position, she would often email me about the more outré aspects of my job, forcing me to describe procedures and equipment without resorting to jargon, which is an important skill to acquire.
Her husband got a job in the Pacific Northwest a few months ago, so she was tasked with holding down the fort in New York until their daughters finished the school year and she could put their house on the market. Buying a place in Cascadia is contingent on the sale of their current home. She's a smart, feisty woman, so I have no doubt that she will handle this task with aplomb.
At the going away luncheon, I ended up at a table with a bunch of muckey-mucks- our organization's president, two vice presidents (the head of HR and our head of community engagement). Our conversation started with a joke about my profile picture in the payroll system, specifically the fact that Ginger is 'photobombing' me. I then passed around my phone to show off some photos of other workplace companions, such as this gorgeous lady... we had a laugh about her being a member of the grounds crew, in charge of pond cleanup. It was a lovely time, they are an engaging bunch of people and they appreciated a window into what goes on when the bulk of our workforce is off.
The sendoff was a good one- everybody was excited about our friend's new adventure. We will miss her, with her professionalism and comedic skills, but she's going to excel in her new environs, and that outweighs any melancholy we might have felt.