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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Closing one door... and opening another

Friday was officially my last day with PRS. My Right Fielders publisher asked me how the day had gone, and, for such a simple question, I found it rather loaded.

The day was a whirlwind that was jam packed with various emotions.

1. I was incredibly foggy, as I had been up until all hours of the night both Wednesday and Thursday trying to get two HUGE pages of paperwork done. No sleep + stress + 23082304324 things to do = a very weird, surreal foggy feeling that's a little hard to describe.

2. I felt really crazed and frantic all day. I had three clients that I was seeing and saying good-bye to; I had paperwork I had to finish before leaving the house (sometime in the middle of the night, I had lost power and was forced to go to bed with unfinished work); I had to get my fingerprints done for Arlington County, drop them off with HR, and drop off my direct deposit, tax forms, etc etc etc with .... a different group of HR people in a different building (ok... so I don't really know who I gave it to, but it was in a different building, making it three separate places that I had to visit); I had to drop off my laptop and cell phone at the Falls Church office; I had to drop off some signed forms and a referral with Nova at the Mt. Vernon office; I had to do my exit interview over the phone with Natalie from HR, which took longer than I thought it would; I had to do my time sheet, mileage, and last three weeklies; I had to send the "bye, I'll miss yall" email to everyone before I got booted out of the system; and I had to make sure all loose ends were tied up, and all pertinent information was relayed to whoever needed to know it.

3. I felt excited knowing this was the last batch of paperwork I would have to do!! Yes yes.... I know my new job has paperwork - and probably a shit ton more than this job did, but I won't have to sit at home to do it, which makes it totally different and way better. I'll have a DESK and I'll get to finish it up there and not have to think about it when I get home : ) I was also excited at the big professional step I know I'm about to take. While the pay is... barely more... for a job that basically has me taking on the role of two people for twice as many clients.... it's a HUGE step up professionally, which is fantastic! I also really like everyone at the Clarendon House, and every time I'm there, sooooo many of the clients say hi to me and call me by name, which makes a girl feel good : ) Admittedly, I have no clue how most of them know my name, and I have no idea who they are, but still. And I guess I'll have plenty of time to get to know them soon enough.

4. I felt a little nervous/anxious at the idea of starting a new job as someone who is above the position I'd been in for 2.5+ years. With this job, shit happens... almost constantly... that I totally can't control and really can't do much about. The standard response was "tell so-and-so's case manager," and it came with the implied attitude of "...and let them deal with it." Well, now I am the case manager, which means I have to deal with it. YIKES. Typical thoughts have been running through my head, like "OMG am I even qualified for this??!" (SHHHHHH! don't tell my new boss). Then I remember that I had that thought all the time over the past 2.5+ years (SHHHHHH! don't tell my old boss), and I somehow managed to survive, as did all of my clients. There were some bumps along the way, but in the end, everyone was fine - some even ended up better than they were when I met them. Imagine that! That also makes me realize that I have done a lot of case management, and, more importantly, given the nature of my job and that I'm out in the community separated from my supervisor all day, I've had to make a lot of split second clinical decisions and judgements all by myself. While I always spoke with my supervisor about what had happened, I'd pretty much always made the right decision. All by myself! The nervous/anxious feeling also has to do with the fact that I don't like new things, and I don't like change. At all. This is a big change, and it puts me in Arlington, which I don't know (or like) very well. Don't get me wrong - Arlington has a LOT of good qualities and it has a lot to offer. But I HATE having to navigate my way through it - especially the "down town" area. Too many one way streets, and THERE'S NO WHERE TO PARK. Grrrrr. This will be an... experience.

5. I felt so incredibly beyond sad. I haven't been this sad to leave something since I finished up my degree at UVA and they told me I had to go away. I seriously LOVED the people I worked with. Our CEO somehow knew who I was from day 1 (even though I was never in the office), and she always said hi and called me by name, and would take a few minutes out to talk about UVA with me, which always made me feel like I mattered. She also knew I would ALWAYS want the baseball tickets we sometimes got ; ) Whenever she was around clinical staff, she always took a minute to let us know what a great job we all did, and how our awesome clinical work not only directly impacted our clients, but did good things for the company as a whole (we were pretty respected in the community and beyond for our hard work). On Thursday at my homebased meeting, I was surprised with PINK! roses (yeah... they were a treat to get home... in traffic... but that's ok) and a card signed by a ton of people (and a gift card, which was HOTT, but I'm focusing on sentiment here...). I was reading the card at a stoplight, and I almost started crying (lame, I know... but I'm a crier... you should know that by now)... which almost resulted in an accident. And my clients. I learned that I really, REALLY like all of them. It was so sad to have to say good-bye to them. Coworkers I can more easily keep in touch with, but clients... it really was good-bye. My last client of the day said some of the sweetest things to me during our visit. Almost made me cry (but I held it together), and made me SO HAPPY that I had ended the day with him, so I could leave on that wonderful note.

So here I am, kinda waaaaah after thinking about all of this. I'm excited that Monday I get to start my new job!! but sad I won't see all my usual Monday clients (haha... and sad I'll be spending the day in an orientation). Tuesday will bring another orientation/training in the morning, but then I get to go to Clarendon House AND SIT AT MY NEW DESK!! and do whatever one would do on their first day acting as a case manager.

Can't wait!! : )

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