Time To Leave
I was getting criticised in the workplace. Neither hard work nor decent college results seemed to do any good. I designed a system to pinpoint the company’s profit or loss on a contract by contract basis. Before this, they quoted on jobs and did the work without any data on margins. It was used to increase profitability. And the small department I managed completed its work accurately and on time. But I was given no credit at all. I’d had enough. Upstairs and at the back of the two-storey building, there was a small, windowless room. Shelves filled the walls with folders. I used to go there to spend time alone. Things were coming to a head. It was the end of the line.
On the day of my annual review, I saw my boss, Bob Hangdog, walk through the front door of the office. He had shaved his beard off. It was the first time I’d seen his actual face. He looked like the cartoon character, Droopy. I burst out laughing and he glared at me. But this was a serious day. I had to keep a straight face.
During the meeting, I found it hard to concentrate because his face was distracting me. I tried not to smile. I really did try. At best, I just about managed to stifle a grin. Bob Hangdog assessed me as a “Sort of manager,” as he put it. I stayed silent. There were fifteen minutes of points for improvement, blah, blah, blah.
“You’re very quiet. Do you have anything to say?”
“Yep, I think you’ve focussed on subjective negativity. You’re wrong and I don’t see any point in discussing things. I ‘Sort of’ resign.” I explained that I was going to spend the summer in the USA and then I was off to study for a degree at Oxford Polytechnic. The meeting ended abruptly.
On my last day at work, Bob Hangdog and I talked while standing by a tall table in the workshop. “I didn’t think you would leave, you know. This is as close to a job for life as it gets. Anyway, you’re too old to study for a degree.”
“I’ve done as much as I can here. And twenty-four isn’t too old for anything. It’s just time to move on.”
The conversation limped awkwardly on about how the company had grown in the last few years and was now more efficient. It was time for goodbyes.
“I’m really surprised you’re leaving to be a student. I mean, the only thing you’ve ever done is the Paras. And they’re all stupid.”
I frowned and leant toward him. “Don’t EVER put something down that you’re not capable of doing yourself.”
Turning, I walked away and kept on going.