Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Replacement

When you leave a job you really love, it’s kind of like a breakup. After years of hard work, dedication, of pouring your heart and soul into it every day, you have to take a deep breath, cut the ties and move on to bigger and better things.

And just like an ex boyfriend will eventually find a new girlfriend, your former employer will find a replacement for you.

This morning, while sitting snug and smug and happy in my new, fancy office and sipping my designer coffee and reading my email, I happened upon a new announcement from my old company naming my replacement. I knew this had to happen eventually—after all, it’s been nearly 3 ½ months since I left that job.

Up until I read the announcement, I hadn’t felt ONE shred of nostalgia for my old job. NOT ONE.

So why do I feel so weird right now? Some of it is probably b/c my hormones are on pre-period spin cycle and I have a new emotion every 10 seconds. But that’s not all of it.

I will further illustrate using the breakup analogy. When you break up with a guy, even though you walk away from your relationship knowing full well he will eventually find someone else and move on, that doesn’t make the shock any less when you see him skipping around town with his new girlfriend, right?

Even though you fully expected it, when it actually happens, you still get that stabbing pain in your heart, those silly tears in your eyes, and that stubborn feeling of he may have found someone else, but she’ll never be as (insert proper flattering adjective here) as me, dammit!

This part of the breakup process is much easier if your replacement is a rebound chick. That is, if she’s clearly wrong for him or somehow not as shiny or amazing as you are—like if she has bad hair, or wears pants that are too short, or uses hair scrunchies or something—it just makes the whole situation easier to deal with.

But what happens if she’s even more shiny and amazing than you are? What if you find out that your ex is parading around town with some Jessica Alba look alike while you’re home alone eating Cheez Whiz straight out of the jar and feeling all of a sudden like you need more closure?

Well, Ladies and Gents, my replacement is clearly no rebound chick. Actually, she’s fantastic. Amazing, even. She won’t do a good job—she’ll do a great job.

And it’s not like I’m sitting here crying and eating Cheez Whiz or anything, but…ouch.

My old job was often more strenuous than fabulous. It was more scrappy than sexy. It was in a dingy suburb, not a glittery midtown office building. But it was mine, and for all of its imperfections, I loved it dearly.

I left that job willingly. I know I did it for all of the right reasons, and I have never regretted my decision. I was ready to move on. And until now, I really haven’t given it another thought.

But love is funny like that, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s just life that’s funny like that. Seeing that announcement reminded me that I am not irreplaceable. And that’s humbling.

But I’m not exactly replaceable, either. And that’s closure.


Anonymous Quinny said...

And you know what? Not to sound like Gary but...she does look a tiny bit like you.

Don't hurt me.

5:08 PM  

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