There are only a few things in life that I can say I hate with a passion. Saying goodbye is one of them.
I’ve said a lot of them in my short life, most without my consent. However, in the last few years, I’ve said goodbyes out of choice. Now, mind you, they were not choices because that was what I desired, but those goodbyes were of necessity in order for me to continue to follow the Lord in the path He’s leading.
This week I’ve chosen to say a few more goodbyes. I chose these goodbyes, leaving Tim Horton’s to move on to Levine, Gouldin, and Thompson, from coffee shop manager to legal secretary, from hair nets and glaze-covered clothes to dress clothes.
It’s a good change, and I have the excitement of what lies ahead.
What boggles me, however, is that I can feel such a paradox of emotion in this decision. I’m leaving a job with 24-hr, 7-day responsibility, overnights, phone calls, call-ins, call-outs, 50+ hour work weeks. I’m starting a job where I can leave work and go home and leave work at work. I’ll work 40 hours a week, dress nicely, turn my cellphone off at night (or at least have that option), spend Saturdays and Sundays doing whatever I wish, and never have to worry about other people’s schedules. I’ll even get holidays off!
So, why am I wrestling with saying goodbye? Why have I avoided telling my regulars I won’t be there on Monday?
I’ve learned to love so many of the people I’ve come to know:
Joe, the guy who comes for coffee or hot chocolate 3 times a day and asks spiritual questions regularly
Paul, Shane, Ben, Mike, Billy, and Andy, who all work together and are some of the bright points of my day
“Small with one Splenda”, who tells me all sorts of random and unrelated facts about his life and “Hey, I got new glasses!”
My Fed-Ex lady who makes me miss delivering mail
Steve, a relatively new believer, who likes to update me on his Bible studies and share his excitement for the coming of Sunday
The most adorable older couple who comes in daily and lets me know if they did or didn’t go on their walk in Otseningo
All the police officers who come in on the job and get coffee (and don’t get donuts…. 🙂 )
The young couple who just got engaged and told me I could come to the wedding if I brought the coffee
Our youngest regular who gets a “cinnamon waisin bagel with stwabewy cweam cheese” and his older brother who eats way too many sweets too often (I informed him he was eating half his daily calories at breakfast alone.)
Sonny, the sweetest man from my church, who always comes in and buys his dozen at the most inopportune times.
Doug Vail, Sr, who had a going record of insulting me in a new way every day (and not realizing it)… We won’t forget the senior discount.
My quiet friend who struggles to talk but wants two small double-doubles and a honey dip.
Sue, who is in so often her husband thinks she has a problem. She does; it’s working overnight.
The school teacher who gets a medium with milk and a plain bagel with butter… and always leaves $2.20 in change as a tip.
“Cranky pants”, as we call her, who always has a complaint about everything and we try to take her seriously.
Corinne, Dave, Jack, and Deacon (and the new baby on the way!), a couple and my favorite “little people” (their kids) who scream “Hi Ashley!!” through the drive-thru speakers and make me smile every time with just how adorable they are.
It’s not just the customers either.
Although there are stressful people above me in this job, I have learned to love the people I work with.
John, the Mirabito manager that has me in stitches multiple times a day. He tries to be tough, but he’s really bad at it.
Jen, who works every day with a smile and the sweetest laugh.
Tammi, the one who runs in circles and talks to herself incessantly but tries her hardest.
Leah, the most-hilarious and fun person at Subway. Such a hard worker with a great sense of humor and fun personality.
and my people…
Sarah, my assistant manager and friend. I’ve grown to love working with, hanging out with, and discussing life with her.
Val…. oh Val. We’ve had some great times working (….well, I was working, Val was probably talking to a customer..hehe), talking together, laughing, sharing stories, venting, etc. I’m gonna miss that.
Pete, my quiet steady worker who’s gained the reputation as “the tall one” and “a great kid” with both workers and customers.
Fred, my energetic passionate one, who never ceases to call me at least once a shift to find something as simple as coffee filters. However, with him, I never mind.
Jared, my rocker overnight, who’s kicked butt in every way.
Emily, the absolutely sweetest, most-hard-working doll. 🙂 Such a smile, such initiative–love it!
Nikki, my new hardworking but shy one. 🙂 It’s been too short a time.
Maybe this means nothing to you that I went through all these names. Maybe this was boring —maybe you’re not even still reading — but for me, this has been the realization that, although I’m so happy to be moving on to a new career, I really do have many sweet memories and relationships with those I’m leaving behind.
See, Soul, all the frustration, mourning, tears, and sleepless nights were all worth it for this, for the work God has been doing in and through me, and for the friendships that were built here.
Lord, help me not forget this lesson… for what seemed like wasted time and effort was not that at all…just seed sown in a new field.
2 thoughts on “These are a few of my favorite things.”
Hey Ashley–thanks for sharing! I can totally understand and relate. How exciting to be moving on, but goodbyes are hard when people have such an impact on our lives…no matter how long or short. And, for just the right time, God you there intentionally. That was your mission field. And, with a new job is also new co-workers, friends, challenges, opportunities.
You will thrive! And, as I’ve heard this quote a few times in the past week: Bloom where you are planted :o)
Mixed feelings ’cause Pete won’t be working with his adopted sister. We rejoice at your new adventure! If you have one more shift with Pete, please take a picture of the two of you for me. Love you!