Sunday, 23 September 2007

Last day on the job!

Saturday, September 22 was my one-year anniversary in the Public Service. Friday, September 21 was my last day at PCO. A new adventure starts Monday.

But, first things first: speakers on.

Good, now click here. You can do the walk if you want.

I enjoyed my last day at PCO immensely, aside from a few minor devastations. Friday dawned beautiful and sunny and warm -- surely a good omen -- and Chris and I slowly got ourselves out the door (I was well into my "what are they going to do, fire me?" mode), only slightly after 8 am.

We got to York and Byward when we saw the crowd; there were people on rooftops, in garages, and everywhere. Oh, that's right: Blue Rodeo was playing a street concert for Canada AM! From 6:30 am onward, they popped on and off the stage, playing some new songs. (http://www.ctv.ca/ - under "highlights - Blue Rodeo; I'm not sure how long it will be posted) We were standing just behind and to the left of the stage, when suddenly, Jim Cuddy walked up and stood two feet in front of us - very cool. There were a few hoots and hollers, but because the host wasn't yet finished interviewing Margaret Atwood (she was there too - how uber-Canadian can you get?), the production assistant shushed the crowd. They actually quieted down! Amazing. Jim was very friendly, posing for pictures and talked to the people in front of us (although I overheard the girls beside us taking a photo of his butt) - the most un-rockstarly rock star I've ever seen...I was impressed. We watched them play a beautiful new song (not one of the video clips, unfortunately), and then Chris and I moseyed on to work.

For a Friday, it wasn't too bad - they still expected me to work, for some reason (what the--), but I managed to slip out at lunch to complete the final step of the long, drawn-out, Huffification process - the new passport. I swung by the Cock and Lion patio on my way, to get Mat to guarantor-ee my gorgeous, gorgeous passport photos (kaff), and told him that I'd try to be back soon as I could, so save me some beer. As I had filled out my forms online again at Passport On-line*, I jumped to the front of the line, and got back to the patio just in time to watch him drain his glass. Boo. But whoa, it was quick -- and a much better experience than last time.

I had time to swing by the bank before deciding that I probably should go back to work, where I was put to work (gasp!) again. At 3, the farewell wine-and-cheese started, and this is where the smile started to freeze on my face.

In this case, Jeff and I were both leaving, so it was an extra big deal, with awesome snacks, a good assortment of wine, and two wrapped presents. It is custom for the Boss (nameless - you'll see why) to speak at every farewell. She started with me.

She described me as the "face of (department X)", as the first contact the public has, as an ambassador who gives the first impression of professionalism, helpfulness, and energy. It was a lovely speech for a departing receptionist, the one who answers the phones and greets visitors. How nice, I thought, followed by, does she even know what I DO around here? Apparently not.

This is the woman who looks right through me every time I give her a message, and doesn't even acknowledge that I've spoken. She is very charming and fit, a successful woman in her late fifties that everyone admires....but dear god, I swore then that I will NEVER be like her. I am quite sure that the soles of her stylish and very expensive shoes are marked by the many people she has stepped on, on her way up...but she probably didn't notice.

I know, I know, I sound bitter and angry. Really, she can't be that bad. After all, she gave me a warm and friendly smile when she shook my hand and handed me my farewell gift (a lovely globe paperweight, picked out by someone else).... and called me Vicky.

*I made another PSA about it at my class this morning - it's that fantastic. Seriously, saved me at least an hour - instead of waiting your turn in line, you get bumped to the next open window - awesome.

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