Author: Aimee LaBrie, LPS’13*
(*That’s if I finish my capstone project in December)
Today is my last day at Penn after being here for four years and eight months. It’s hard to believe that so much time as passed; it’s like I had my interview in February 2009, blinked, and now it’s almost five years later. I’m going to work at another university in another state, and I’m happy about my new job, but am also very sad about leaving here. So many things to love about Penn (the library, Tyson Bee’s food truck, the beautiful campus, the lectures, the Penn bookstore), but since I spent five days a week with my colleagues people in Alumni Relations, I want to focus this last post as a staff member. Since I also like lists, here are my top 3 things I will miss most about my job, each with a caveat about something I will not miss, to avoid too much sentimentality.
3. So many perks of the job, such as how most of the staff bakes cookies and cakes, or have candy by their desks, and how we get free lunches about twice a week, either related to an event or a panel or just because. Ditto the number of Penn T-shirts, scarves, hats, gloves, notebooks, clocks, luggage tags, and other swag that comes with the territory.
Will not miss: Stepping on the scale and realizing I’ve gained three pounds from the numerous candy bars I’ve taken from Nicole’s office or Janell’s candy jar or Kelly’s stash–mostly taken when they’re not around…
2. Collaborating with the smartest, most creative people I’ve ever met to come up with a theme for Alumni Weekend, or to find innovative ways to market a new blog, or story-boarding a video for Alumni Weekend, or brainstorming panels for a conference. I’ve done some of my best creative work here and it wasn’t done alone. The example below is to get you inspired to register for Homecoming Weekend 2013. This was the video our team made last year.
Will not miss: Thinking I’ve come up with a brilliant new tagline for Alumni Weekend, only to realize that we used it two years ago. That’s happened twice now.
1. All of the people. These are people who daily laugh at my dumb jokes, let me skip through the hallways unchecked, and don’t mind if I say, “Hi, Julie Andrews!” when their names are Kristina or Jason. I knew this was the right place for me in my final interview with Hoopes and Elise when they posed potential scenario and didn’t balk at my response. The question was something like, What would you do if someone didn’t make an important deadline? And I said, Burst into tears. And, instead of exchanging worried glances, they understood that I was joking (mostly). Because of their own good humor and acceptance, I understood that I was in the place where I belonged. This is a place where people buy me cat clocks and bring their dogs to work because they know it will make me happy and listen to my nonsense without judgement. That is a rare, rare thing, and hard to give up.
Will not miss: Saying good bye to all of this. I am tired of it, because there is no right way to do it without feeling sad and missing people already, like Liz Pinnie and her good book recommendations, and Colleen who, even when she’s feeling low, always asks how I’m doing, or Lisbeth who it seems can only say nice things. Every single time I walk into her office, she gives me a compliment. I could stroll in with brambles in my hair after three sleepless nights and she’s say, You look so pretty when you’re tired! And Elise for lugging in her Sunday NY Times every Monday morning and leaving it in my mailbox (and arranging that my going away gift would be a subscription to the weekend edition of the newspaper moving forward), and Patrick for letting me pirouette into his office, blurting non-sequiturs and demanding he read my stories. And Casey, and Nicole M., and Kiera who write blog posts without being reminded, and Molly, who writes them for me because I’ve asked, and Kristina who knows all my stories, and Marla, who tells it like it is and who always finds me funny and Trina and Emilie too , and I could say something about everyone, but I don’t want to be too self-indulgent or Sally Fields-like here, so just finally, Jason who has always made me laugh and who surprises me constantly with his creativity and writing ability and his kindness, which you might miss if you aren’t lucky enough to spend time with him.
Okay, enough, enough. I have things I want to finish before I go, and I’ve asked Janell to keep me on the blog schedule as an alumna now, so this is not really goodbye at all (maybe I’ll even come back for Homecoming and cause a ruckus at registration). It’s more like “so long,” in this capacity, goodbye for now. Much love.