Hopefully my last day ever. I guess hopefully. I would like to move forward and not have to go back to it only out of desperation. But I guess I don’t know what the future holds. My anticipated last day of my life in the veterinary field was. . . Anticlimactic. Which perfectly sums up the 19 years I spent working in the field, honestly. I didn’t want a fuss. I didn’t make a big deal during my last 2 weeks of work. Didn’t tell any clients I was leaving–I didn’t want to be THAT person. This was my decision and I didn’t want people to feel obligated to say things they didn’t genuinely think to say on their own accord. But I wanted??? Something. At least a goodbye or a good job or–I don’t know, not a big party or drama or phoniness–but. . . Something.
I honestly don’t know how I feel about my last day, former life, veterinary assisting. When I was giving my resignation I thought I would feel excited. I’m not, really. I put pictures up on Facebook, thinking it would make me feel nostalgic. But it actually made me feel kind of icky. I didn’t have very many pictures of me working, or even work at all from the last 19 years. I always had the mentality that there was not even 2 minutes for pictures at work, because I had to BE working every second I was there. So that was disappointing. Posting the pictures also made me feel–icky. There were a lot of Mary, and being reminded of her cheating, horribleness, mid-life crises, and the way she treated me hurt. The pictures just reminded me of burned bridges, thankless jobs, and made my whole 19 years seem more negative than positive. Which I hope is not the case–but I guess almost half of those years WERE more negative then positive. And I thought I would feel relief today. But really, I felt nothing. I wasn’t sad/happy, bitter/sentimental, nervous/excited. Just blank.
I knew they wouldn’t do anything nice for me. So I made my own nice last day and sent myself flowers. When I ordered the bouquet I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t feel TERRIBLE that nobody got me a card or a gift or said last goodbyes (I knew they wouldn’t). So I sent myself flowers, clearly labeled to me, from me. It wasn’t a sneaky–ohhh I’ll send myself flowers and play it off like someone else sent them. I was OK with me doing something special for me. And maybe I wanted to shame them (just a little) for neglecting such an important, mile-stone day. Except when the flowers actually arrived at work, I guess I lost my nerve and got a little embarrassed about it. Suddenly I felt like a lame-ass sending myself roses on Valentine’s Day or something. So when my coworker guessed they were from Cool I just said they were. Lame.
But I’m glad I did send the flowers, because sure enough, in the morning, there was no card, no cake, no gift. Certainly no balloons wishing me well or thanking me for my service, or congratulating me on a job well done or on my future endeavors. None of that. My boss mentioned my last day, just an acknowledgement (which IS better than the nothing I got from EVERYbody else at work), a couple times throughout the day, but never made a big deal, indicated she’d/they’d miss me, or said anything thoughtful about it. But that’s veterinary for you.
There’s such a high turnover rate, such a high burn-out rate, that when people come and go it’s just business as usual to the hospital and those still working there. Veterinary staff are truly just bodies–fairly easy to replace. So vets expect people to leave–they quickly turn to finding the next person, covering the shifts–logistics. It’s just the practical thing I guess. It’s been much the same everywhere I’ve worked–and for everyone leaving. There was not only no fuss, but hardly a mention, when I wrapped up my seasonal horse position, moved from Missouri, finished the summer at emergency, or went across the state from Seattle. And there wasn’t any during my last morning ever as an assistant.
Nor at lunch. But at 3PM(?) when the flowers came, my boss said, “I’ve had something in my car for you.” And I’m a suspicious person so I wondered if she HAD specially picked something just for me for this day, or if it was random groceries that happened to be in the car or a gift from someone else still in there, or a gift intended for someone else. But who knows? Maybe she HAD specifically gotten something with me in mind and HAD already intended on presenting it at the end of the day. And it was champagne. Which she had no idea I can’t drink. They don’t know enough about my life to realize I’ve given up alcohol completely. There was no card either. Which made me more suspicious it just happened to be in there already and when flowers came she felt guilty for being jerks and neglecting my important occasion. But maybe she brought it just for me and just didn’t put a card–or mention it until my flowers arrived. I guess I’ll never know, and it doesn’t matter anyway.
We had to stay late. And it was snowing a lot all day. Everyone was eager to leave. And without pomp & circumstance, they did. No goodbyes or final words, just leaving like a normal day–like every other normal day. To them, tomorrow’s just another day and someone else will be there instead of me–no big deal. I just remembered I had instructions from Cool to walk out that door the last time of being a tech, and take a deep breath. Let go of the old and embrace my new direction. I forgot. I also hurried to my car and started scraping snow off my windows to get ready for a slick and snowy commute home. I guess veterinary medicine is a part of me too. It was just another day leaving work.