Déjà Vu, Another Last Day

Today, as I predicted in another past posting, was my last day. But today isn’t an ordinary “last day”. There’s no coincidences in life. I remember when I finished my first job in Canada, at the National Library of Quebec, I changed radically and I went to work at Relations Board Tribunal. Now, I worked at Justice Library and I’m going to International Trade Tribunal. Everything in life is linked in someway, somehow to teach us something apparently hidden.

I helped as much as I could to the girl who’s replacing me, giving her instructions about invoices, procedures, stupid forms etc. etc. etc. I feel sorry for her, she will work very hard, and won’t have time to breath…she’s ex student, I hope the director will be patient with her.

I made the last preparations, adjusting last numbers on the financial system, I paid invoices, I went to say goodbye to the financial officer who I gave more than a headache when I started this job, I just told her I was feeling guilty to leave her, I explained I used to work with other system, Oracle, which it’s more friendly…she told me for someone who had no training I did it pretty well. I don’t know, I just went to see her to apologize, I didn’t want to bother anyone. The funny thing is before leaving I had to fill out an exit form…what’s funny about it? I had to make sign like 8 people, I have to go to every single building, mailroom, file room, finance, IT, communications…my God, the director also had to sign it…what a nightmare!

This Friday it seemed hard for the director, I heard she was making some phone calls, shutting the door, shutting the printer cover, going up and down. When I had my last mini meeting with my replacing, she just left her office in a very rough way. The ex student asked me “is she mad?” I don’t know I replied, probably.

At 3 pm she appeared with a card, with a rose picture on it…she said “something to make you cry more” I just made a face as saying…you little devil. After that I sent my last update and finally the email I was keeping since the morning:

Chère directrice;
 C’est avec tristesse que je quitte la bibliothèque. C’est bizarre mais je savais que serait mon dernier contract avec une agence … maintenant le tribunal, maintenat je sens que, pour une fois dans ma vie je peux décider quoi faire avec MA vie.
J’ai du traverser trop d’épreuves, c’est toujours difficile faire tout toute seule (ou avec une chatte de Montréal) mais  …pas de choix.
 I  just have words of gratitude for you, as I told you this morning, I worked with registrars, several managers, commissioners, directors, language evaluators, lawyers, librarians etc, until now, your performance as a director, has been outstanding, I never saw somebody like you in these years. You work a lot, you don’t eat a lot, you say you can take care of yourself, not sure, but I’m convinced you do that with your beloved library. It has been more than honour working with you, all apologies I wish I could helped you more with IFMS, PO and etc. I don’t like leaving this way and you know it.
 Also, finally I know what happened to LexisNexis document, that day Rachelle left the paper on my chair, I was on my RDIMS training in the morning and in the afternoon we met for our update priorities meeting. I remember asking you what to do with the signed paper … you said “I don’t know, ask Marcelle” which I did, so before giving her the original I asked she wanted a copy, she said yes, so I made the copy and asked her where I should send it, I think she said Finance, but I thought the copy was for her not for my files, well, at the time I didn’t know I had the file in my office, but finally after weeks of desperation Marcelle found it in her office. What did I learn from this? Never give a copy to Marcelle!!!
 I will miss your blue eyes at 9.30 am, chapeau pour tout votre travail.
Take care, good luck, and … try to eat.”

 It surprised me her answer:

“You put (happy) tears in my eyes on a tough Friday of a verrrrry long week.
 May you keep those stars twinkling forever in your heart.
 Good luck!!”

That woman gives and will give a lot to her life to that library, I’m scared of her boss will stab her…I don’t believe she can take care of that, or even noticed, her colleges the same. At least she protects her back looking every single paper she signs, but that’s not enough. The day I told her about my contract at the Tribunal she gave a mini speech “you should do the best for you and your career”…I was wondering if she was making projection of herself on me. She deserves better, I added in my last reply.

I will miss her, I will miss those beautiful deep blue eyes,  those eyes that show a fortress, with tall walls, protecting herself, doubting to trust, inquiring, examining, watching, penetrating…I can see her fragility and fear…

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