Tomorrow is my last day at the bookstore. I'm really happy about that, but it feels weird. After 6+ years in one job, no matter how much you dislike it, there is a certain comfort level. My job before that (that I loved) was as a store manager for Pier 1 Imports. I was there for almost 8 years and it was a sad day when our store went out of business. Now I'm going to be doing something completely different than what I've done for over 15 years. I expect it will be much easier and less stressful than retail management, but in any job you have to learn the ropes and adapt to a whole new atmosphere and new people. I hope it will be okay.
One thing I'll remember fondly about this job I'm leaving is all the wonderful friendships I've made there. All the women in my two book clubs (with the exception of my friend Marla) are people I met through work. I've gained several new friendships because of the bookstore, so it hasn't been all bad!
Then there are the regular customers that have come to mean a lot to me that I'm going to really miss. Some of you may remember me talking about an older couple originally from Colombia that shop there and help me practice my Spanish, Mr. and Mrs. Sarmiento. Early on, I accidently told Mr. Sarmiento in Spanish that my husband and I eat our dogs! He still laughs about that to this day! They are the sweetest people, and I was happy to see them come in the other night so I could tell them about my new job and tell them goodbye. They were so very sweet, and happy for me...they both hugged me, and kissed my cheeks, and said so many very nice things to me that it made me cry. I sure will miss them, and a handful of others like them.
The district manager for our store visited yesterday, and asked me about my new job. He's been kind and helpful and we've had a good relationship. I always knew that if the HR problems at the store ever got out of hand, that I could go to him for help. I never did, and probably should have a few times, but at least I knew it was an option. He was also very, very kind to me yesterday. He shook my hand, said some really nice things about my service to the company, and told me that if he can ever do anything for me in the future to please not hesitate to call and ask. That choked me up a little bit, too. It's nice that at least one higher-up in the company seems to appreciate me and the work I've done!
My coworker, John, has a little daughter (3 years old) that started calling me "Aunt Jenn" last year. It was completely her own idea. I'm going to miss her, too. John is off today and tomorrow, but he told me he's planning on bringing her up to the store today to see me before I go. I expect to get teary eyed again when I see her. So many farewells this week....
In addition to the new job that I'm starting next week, I'm also going to be starting my work as a Guardian. The program coordinator emailed me this morning about my first assignment--a teenage girl living in a foster home here in Florence. I'll be going to meet her one day next week after work--so now that's two things to be nervous about next week! I actually had hoped that my first case would be a younger child, but I had to be given an ongoing case that doesn't have any court appearances scheduled in the very near future since I can't take time off work right away. So it's going to be a teenager--meeting her is almost more scary to me than the new job.
Well, off to my next-to-last day at the bookstore. These are scary (but exciting) days!