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The Big Goodbye

, | Working | February 1, 2017

I have been working about six months in a food service job when I get a call stating that I have been offered a government job from a previous interview and that it is mine provided I can pass a background check. I let my manager know, along with the understanding that I won’t put my notice in until the background check clears.

Over the next few weeks, I make sure to let my other coworkers and some of my regulars know, as I’ve grown to have a good relationship with them. I did expect a good-bye on my last day; however, I didn’t expect the three specific things that happened during my last shift.

Firstly, one of my breakfast regulars said how proud he was of me and that he’d really seen me grow as a professional while I’d worked there. I appreciated him saying that given I’d definitely had some screw-ups in my time.

Secondly, three women who had been using our lounge to study for their nursing exams presented me with a Starbucks gift card, and a table of women who liked to come in after their swim lessons gave me a card with sixty dollars in it.

I was practically walking on air for the rest of the shift, but the real kicker was at the very end as I was packing up to leave. One of the managers, someone who had been tough but fair with me, came up to me and after taking back my apron, said, “Just so you know, we’re all so proud of you for landing this federal job, and if you ever need it, you’ll always have a job here if things get tight.” I never had to fall back on that, but as I walked out that day to go home, I couldn’t restrain a smile and some small tears of gratitude.