I finished my job at the Student Union yesterday. That’s an 18 year chapter of my life closed.
It’s a strange feeling, packing up such a long period of your life. But that’s what I’ve spent the last 8 months doing. The University made the strategic decision to centralise all corporate services, which included the IT department of which I was, until yesterday, the manager.
It was big task. The University originally scheduled three months to shut us down, based on the fact the the Student Union only had around 150 staff. I pointed out how many different departments we supported, and how many different computer systems. The university panicked slightly, and extended the project by another six months.
One of the proudest moments I’ve had lately was when the project manager described our IT environment as “more complex than the Medical faculty.”
My other proudest moment isn’t a moment: it’s been the entire 8 month period whenever I reflect on the performance of my team. After you’ve been told to pack up your job and walk out the door, it would be very easy to disengage, to do the bare minimum. Or to do nothing at all. But my team have worked diligently until the very end.
(Literally the very end: my sysadmin got a phone call asking question as we were walking down to our farewell drinks.)
They did an excellent job. They were widely thanked, and they got to walk out of there with their heads held high.
I’ve been thinking about farewells a lot this past month. What does it mean to say good bye and move on? What does it look like?
And this is where my nerdiness shows through again. Because my answer, my personal answer, is that it looks a lot like Doctor Who.
We’ve had twelve different actors play the Doctor now, thirteen if you count dear John Hurt. All execpt Capaldi have said their goodbyes, one way or another. I’m a big fan of Christopher Ecclestone’s parting lines: “Rose… before I go, I just wanna tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!”
Great lines. A bit final, though.
The parting word I kept coming back to were Sylvester McCoy’s, delivered at the end of the “classic” series.
“There are worlds out there where the sky is burning. And the sea’s asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke, and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger. Somewhere there’s injustice. And somewhere else, the tea’s getting cold. Come on, Ace — we’ve got work to do!”