Yesterday, I officially retired. Coincidentally, I also received an invitation for a COVID-19 jab. The two were unrelated.
For the last fifteen months (since COVID-19 - perhaps they are related, after all), I have largely been working from home with occasional trips into the office to touch base and attend meetings.
A morning tea had been arranged, so there was no possibility of slipping quietly out the back door. Although I had been dreading the event, it turned out to be a lovely affair and people said some very kind things. I am getting much better at not being internally dismissive of personal compliments; it's healthy to be aware of my own weaknesses, but there are times when I need to take heed of what others have to say. I think this was such a time.
As I left with card and gift in hand, it seemed no different from any other day. The fact that I would not be returning again didn't seem to have sunk in. That all changed later that evening when my work email account was deactivated. It's weird how it's the smallest of things that sometimes speak the loudest. No more "printer busy for the next 30 minutes" messages, or "has anyone got the keys to NJL 798" pleas. I'm not a part of that anymore. Ouch!
The other "ouch!" was the COVID-19 jab. Not that I have had it yet. It was ouch when I found the booking website was broken - apparently, if there is no vaccination centre in your exact postcode, you are told there are no appointments available and you don't get to book. The rather bored lady in the call-centre had the same problem and I had to tell her some nearby towns so that she could look them up. Eventually, I got an appointment booked in Rangiora (35km away) for the 2nd August (1 month away) double-ouch! Let's hope the jab is less painful than the booking process.
There were, of course, other, more pleasurable aspects to my first day of retirement: