So you are nearing the end. You’ve just about made it. This particular 8-5 workshop you’ve been practically slaving away at for years will no longer hold you hostage. Whether you are leaving to continue your studies, found a seemingly better job (false-hope, most likely), or are taking some time to rethink your next step, you have finally decided to move on. The approaching fall brings with it a new experience along with the new season. While you anticipate walking out of the place for good, the remaining days can breeze by, making you almost nostalgic. Simultaneously, each minuscule task or tepid interaction with the office moron makes it feel as if the days will never end. Your emotions bounce back and forth, ranging from appreciating the opportunity you’ve had to build your resume, to wondering how you’ve ever sat in rush hour traffic only to deal with your fellow office dwellers every day. You walk around wondering how different life will be when not spending majority of your time locked within those office walls. You even think about who you will keep in contact with, slowly narrowing down your coworkers in order of importance.
Most importantly: you stop giving a shit. You say you are going to end your time there on a high note, but you will be lucky if you can muster the strength to arrive to work on time at least two days of your last week.
You are now dealing with a common condition known as Short-Timer’s Syndrome. You, the otherwise very hard worker, have started to arrive just after 8 a.m., or take a lunch for just over an hour. You start requesting off more time than you ever have because hey, if you don’t use it you lose it, right? Certain tasks at work suddenly are not that pressing, and they remain on your desk for days on end. In fact, anything close to difficult has now been branded as someone else’s problem as you learning anything new or contributing to a complicated project could result in coworkers having to deal with it when you leave. Nobody wants that, right?
In truth, these are all common symptoms of your syndrome, and you will be able to move past them as most coworkers understand your pain. There are a few rules to live by in order to make this process easier, and I will walk you through those now. As someone currently facing less than a week left at my current job, I know exactly what you are going through.
It’s All About Appearances
Now more than ever, you will be attempting to shirk your duties, or at least not do as much. You’ve done your time and are about to leave, so why should you be sweatin’ the small stuff? At the same time, you still work there and you need to collect that money. So what do you do? Be just like the coworker who has been there 10 years and has figured out just how to always appear swamped with work. You know exactly who I am talking about: You go into this person’s office to discuss something important, and they are usually on the phone, papers sprawled all over his or her desk (in this digital age, this especially stands out), and when they finally get off their phone call, he or she informs you how late they might stay and how they most likely will have to work through lunch.
You walk away determined to figure out your problem yourself, not wanting to add to the stressful day this person is having. By this time you have realized this person is actually hardly working at all and already learned how to game the system. You must now acquire these traits in order to survive.
Don’t Start a Smear Campaign
When preparing for your exit, you must be aware that the daily tasks that are quickly becoming meaningless to you still matter to them. A lot. Talking trash about the job and how unimportant it is will lose you friends real quick. Even if you are moving on to something that can be perceived as “bigger and better,” that does not detract from the job you are leaving, nor does it mean you are better than the people you worked with. What if this job is their dream job? What if they haven’t voiced their other dreams or goals in life? Does that mean that because they are technically “stuck” still working there, or that their lives are miserable? No. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and leave on a relatively quiet note. People will appreciate you showing respect, and they will also respect you for moving on to something that will better your future. You can also always talk as much shit as you want with your closest office pals at happy hour- save it for then.
Seriously, don’t. Everything involving work will start to matter less, and you will therefore allow shit to pile up. This will only cause you more stress during your last week, and nobody wants that. I started writing this article two weeks ago when I was at the lake on a vacation. My job ends soon, and I am so busy with celebrations and preparations for what’s next I almost forgot about this amazing piece of writing. Don’t be like me. Get your act together, tie up loose ends, and make sure when you leave it’s for good.
Your coworkers are mostly your friends, maybe, and you don’t want to leave with an ongoing feud. You’ve likely made some lifelong relationships at this gig, and you need to make sure you keep those connections. When one worker is harping on a small issue and annoying you so much you question why you’ve ever spoken this particular human being, just stop. Relax, and remember (unless it’s the office idiot or the #OCCW) he or she isn’t intentionally messing with you. Yes, you want to do as little as possible, but your coworkers will not share had luxury, so at least pretend to care. Also, when the office know-it-all starts rambling facts, let him or her go; that person will most likely be performing the same charade for another unfortunate soul next year. When your other coworker dumps an entire pile of paper work on your desk and disrupts your Facebook time, smile and count to ten, then do your work. It will all be over soon, and flipping out on a person who is dealing with their daily struggles is uncalled for and not worth your time. Besides, it’s just a normal day for everyone else except you! Expecting the entire office to cater to your departure is ridiculous.
Walk out of there with your shades on and your swag turnt all the way up. You’ve made it, and an exciting new chapter of your life is about to begin. It’s time for margaritas, some shots of Ketel One, and some Saturday regret — all paid for by your former coworkers..
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