Monday 26 June 2023

Going gone

Did I mention that I R Retire? Did I ever stop? Did I say that, nearly 1,000 days after my last day at work, The Institute formally said goodbye? I did. In contrast to The Blob, the Goodbye Do was not all about me. Lockdown had accumulated 8 of us silverbacks looking for their ice-flow. In the before times, the retirement celebration was bundled up into the Christmas party on the last Friday before the end of term. The President presented each person who had finished in the previous 12 months with a large glass vase etched with their name. The retiree said a few, or far too many many, words. There was a smattering of applause or a ragged cheer and everyone went home to their family for the holidays. On of the last things I did before leaving work for the last time was to urge my HoD to please please not etch-a-vase for me nor yet a clock. Rather give the equivalent money to the student emergency welfare fund.

But there was an admin shake-up after I left and my well-briefed HoD was no longer in that post
nobody read The Blob on the matter of vases
and it wasn't all about me
and there is a process / protocol / tradition
. . . so dear readers, I am now in possession of trophy [R] shaped like a tear-drop because the concept is so sad. Quite properly, they gave out these, identical except for name, ornaments ordered by length of service. Me first: a paltry 7.5 years. Everyone else had been in post [in the same place] for at least 30 years and one for 42 (!) years. It's little wonder that The Institute tended towards cliquey: these people had spent their entire adult lives together. I was just passing through.

The 1cm thick tear-drop is a lot more robust than a vase. Even if we had a mantel-piece, I wouldn't put my go-gift up there. It will be just the thing to bury in our 2122 Centennial Time-capsule: it's surely not going to degrade over that time and will be sufficiently enigmatic to those who dig it up later. There are no dates in the dedication, for example.

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