Monday, April 14, 2008
Today, I decided I had to clean out my desk. I have somewhat co-opted our third bedroom and turned it into an office. When we first moved into our house (in 1980), there were just 3 of us--my husband, me and our son. The smallest bedroom was originally our son's. Then when we were expecting our daughter, we made this small bedroom into a nursery. And it remained our daughter's bedroom until our son moved out of the house, after college. One time, she went storming back into her bedroom, after some "discussion" we were having--she announced: I am going back into that closet you people call a bedroom. Her point being, it is a small room. But it makes a fine office.
Back to the desk. I had sort of let stuff accumulate. So, today was cleaning, pitching and tidying day.
And what should I come upon but these--special cards with various messages on the pink folded cards, each with its own blank insert, save for my name inscribed.
These cards were a parting gift from the time I held a position in our state Department of Health. I left that job in 1993--and I still have most of the pink cards. So, out they go in this cleaning frenzy.
It did make me think about the parting gifts we get when we leave jobs. I have held four different jobs prior to my current part time teaching in a community college. First, I was an instructor in a four year college; then I went to the state medical association; from there to the health department job; then a large health insurance company in our state. At two of those jobs I was feted to a going away honors.
But in each case, the gifts were . . .well-intentioned, but not what I might have picked. At the state medical association, I received a framed commendation from the board of trustees, and a large book called A Day in the Life of America--lots of interesting photos. I looked at it, then shelved it--no idea exactly where it is right now.
At the health department, my secretary arranged a lovely luncheon. I was given two gifts--a silver covered photo album, and the aforementioned note cards.
I don't know what a perfect parting gift might be. At one time the custom was the proverbial gold wristwatch (or maybe even at one time the pocket watch). I have received more clocks than I know what to do with--from having served on various advisory boards.
When I left the health insurance company, some of my employees took me to lunch. One of them gave me an electronic footwarmer! Never used it.
OK--my ruminations on parting gifts are over.
How did the desk cleaning out go? Quite fine, I think.
And the office cat even approves.
Any thoughts on the perfect parting gift?