Well that's it then - after 33 years, 3 months and 22 days, Tuesday signalled the end of my old career as a civil servant and the beginning of a new one as a "full-time" wine merchant. I use inverted commas as, apart from finding new and hitherto undiscovered ways of selling more wine, I also hope to be able to spend some time getting on with lots of jobs in and around the house that have been on my to-do list for far too long. Not to mention, of course, spending more time with TLD and riding my bikes (both the pedal-powered and motor-powered ones).
Although the opportunity to give-up the day job (and receive a lump sum and a small pension in the process) was too good to miss, the actual leaving was quite emotional for me. When you have worked for so long for the same organisation and met so many wonderful people and made so many good friends along the way, it is a bit of a wrench to say goodbye. Thankfully, the age of the Internet ensures that it is relatively easy to stay in touch with people, even if you don't see them very often. Having said that, I intend to do more than just communicate online with some of my old work colleagues, especially the team I have worked with for the past couple of years, who I can honestly say were collectively the nicest bunch of people I have ever worked with. And they gave me a mighty fine send-off on the day, with some very touching remarks on my leaving card and a cracking pressie............
Although I will miss my colleagues, I certainly won't miss the job or the organisation. Land registration is a worthwhile (in fact pretty essential) cause, and was once run by people with real concern for both the quality of the product and the welfare of the staff - people with real knowledge of land law and the registration process, who very often also happened to be born managers. These days, the ones who "manage" are pretty much detached from everything to do with the actual work (and the workers) and obtain their management "skills" from books, training packages, meetings and innumerable, totally pointless workshops. All they require these days is a room with a desk, a computer and a few spreadsheets - the ability to actually connect in a meaningful or personal way with their fellow human beings is purely optional. On the other hand, a once highly skilled and often specialist workforce are now - in the main - trained to do a bit of everything and be expert in nothing. It is (or was!) a depressing experience, although I am sure it is one which resonates with millions of other people who are caught up in their own particular version of the 21st Century rat race. Of course, I will be eternally grateful to the very people for whom I developed such a healthy contempt, for the fact that they are now - in a way - paying me to never darken their door again!
Anyway, now I've got that off my chest, I can get on with the rest of my life and be my own boss. Right............ Who wants to buy some wine? ;-))