On Monday I gave notice at work. For the past four days I have been trying to figure out how I feel about that. I have worked for the same employer for 12 years, been planning to do long term travel with my family for 5 years, and have been blogging about it openly on the internet and on social media for the past 2 years. Yet, not one co-worker knew about it and it came as a total shock to everyone; just as planned. I had always wondered if someone would stumble across our blog and ruin the surprise, but it never happened. I had fantasized about giving notice for 5 long years and had always wondered about how it would go down. But, the day came, the dirty deed was done, and the day ended. And now I can’t figure out how I feel about it.
The Dirty Deed
I had planned to give notice the day after the sale of our house was finalized. No sense giving notice and having the buyer back out at the 11th hour and then try to tell my employer than I am actually going to be sticking around for a bit longer. That could have been ugly! The house was finalized last Thursday and Kerri told her boss that day. I was planning to give notice the next day, which was a Friday. They say it is best to fire someone on a Friday, as they are less likely to go postal. I figured that might be the same for giving notice. So Friday it would be. Unfortunately, I woke up Friday morning sicker than a dog (where did that saying come from?) and had to call in sick.
On Monday I showed up to work and saw that my supervisor was out for the day, and the director had called an emergency staff meeting at 9am. Perfect time to drop the bomb! I went to see the Human Resources Manager and told him I needed to discuss something, but since I was still pretty sick, he probably didn’t want me in his office. I told him I would send an email. In the email I told him that I was officially giving notice and when my last day would be, and then explained that I was not quitting because of another job offer, but because we are taking a 2-year sabbatical to travel around the world. The first word in his response was, “Wow!” The next was about being jealous.
At 9am I went to the staff meeting. We just had two long term managers quit; one was offered another position elsewhere, and the other retired. This has caused some chaos around the office and this meeting was to try to find some stability. The irony! Throughout the meeting I tried to figure out what I would say while my heart was pounding with the anticipation and excitement of the situation. At the end of the meeting, when everyone had discussed what needed to be discussed, the director asked if anyone had anything else to say. I cleared my throat and said, “Yes, I do. Today, I am officially giving notice and my last day in the office will be October 31. My family and I will be taking a 2-year sabbatical to travel around the world.” There, I had said it. I glanced around the conference room and everyone’s eyes were huge, their jaws slack, and then, almost in unison, everyone said, “Wow!”
Over the last 4 days word has spread at work and everyone keeps telling me congratulations and telling me about their own secret desires to do what we are doing. I keep hearing the term “Wow” and “Jealous” and I keep wondering if this will start a new trend and others may take off on their own sabbaticals. Why wait for retirement, right?
How I Feel
I keep trying to figure out how I feel about giving notice after 5 years of planning to do so. I was so hoping to feel elated and free. To be free to openly discuss our plans that I had kept secret for so long and not having to worry about a co-worker accidentally finding our blog. To be escaping my cubicle to see the world instead of reading about others doing what we wanted to do. But truth be told, I just feel sick. Not the kind of sick of the, “Oh my God, what have I done?” variety, but more of the virus type. I have a really nasty cold that has turned me into a walking snot factory. My body aches, I have no energy, and I just want to sleep. Maybe I will feel elated next week…