So, today was the last day of another teammate. I thought of doing another team send-off.
Only, I was hesitant. I only thought of it yesterday, even though we all knew when her last day at work is.
I asked myself, “Is there enough time to actually do it? What can we do for her, anyway?”
Initially I thought of asking someone in our team. But, I doubted anyone can suggest, although someone could have if I only asked.
So I decided I’d just get a little something, like a basket maybe. Then, we’d all give post-it notes saying our farewell messages.
Soon after I left work, I went straight to Rockwell. Off to buy that basket or something.
Then it hit me: I remember I once asked her to suggest what to get for another teammate of ours who just celebrated her birthday. She recommended balloons with post-its inside!
What better way to give some kind of sendoff than what she suggested?
Fortunately, I still have the balloons. I only wondered how the heck: a) am I gonna get the post-its inside, and b) how to inflate the balloon.
I decided I’ll figure it out tomorrow. Which was today.
Only when I got to work, I realized I forgot to bring the damn things. Ugh.
So I messaged our manager to sort of cover for me. My last-minute plan was to leave during our one-hour lunch break, run, get the stuff, then run back.
He agreed. Come lunch, off I dashed!
And stupid me, I also forgot to bring my umbrella. It was just damn hot because of the summer heat.
Oh well, I just put up with it. I survived my Reserved Officers Training Corp (ROTC) military training a decade ago under the sun, so I figure I can get through this.
I ran, arrived where I needed to go, changed shirts (because I was sweating bullets), got the stuff I needed, drank lots of water, then ran back to work.
Along the way, I went inside a popular coffee shop to change shirts again. Then, I got back to the office.
I saw my manager and told him to start writing on the post-it. When I got back to my workstation, I messaged a few other teammates to be ready to write their farewell messages for her.
All the time, I was nervous: what if she saw someone writing? What if she suspected?
I thought, screw it. She’ll find out, anyway.
I even messaged one of her friends/teammates to get her away from her station during our last 15-minute break. Some of our other teammates needed the opportunity to write while she wasn’t around lest she’d see them.
By the time our last break was over, fortunately most people (except for three of them) wrote their messages. I got them, then went into the bathroom to try fitting them into the balloon.
My plan was to put the post-its into the balloon, then have her pop it with her butt. He he.
At first I folded all the post its and tried to fit it into the one balloon. No dice.
It was gonna be harder than I thought.
After much trial and error, no go. I decided no choice: I’d have to group the post-its into threes, then fit each group into each balloon.
All in all, I had to blow into five balloons to make them all big enough. But, I got all the post-its inside them.
Then I hid the balloons under a workstation, making sure she didn’t see them. Everything was set.
When our shift ended, everyone wrapped up. Especially her, the teammate about to leave.
We teased her to give a speech, of course. When I saw some people “nudging” me to get it on, I decided I’d better.
(I noticed one in particular essentially gesturing me to hurry up. Apparently she was in a hurry.)
So, I brought out one balloon. Most of the team was surprised, some of whom laughed.
Teammate especially laughed out of shock. It turned out she never suspected, even though it was actually her idea.
I told her to pop it with her butt, but she refused. She wore a skirt, after all.
It was reeeeeeeeeeeeally funny. Some of the team goaded her to pop it already, but she was clearly scared.
Finally, she decided to pop it with her pen. Even then, she was reeeeeeeeeeeeeally scared to do it, probably thinking she’d get hurt or something.
At that point, I was ready to volunteer and pop the damn thing. But, she finally got the courage to pop the balloon, and poof!
She got the notes inside. Then I walked to the side, said, “But wait! There’s more!”, then tossed the remaining balloons to her.
Except one, that is. I saved that for later.
So, she started popping them one after another. Looked like she finally got the hang of it, to the point of enjoying popping them out.
Just when she thought she was done, I “apologized” (he he) and threw one last balloon. Of course, she popped it after.
After she compiled all the post-its, that’s when she finally gave her speech.
While she spoke, she cried. I expected it, and I’m sure some of the others did as well.
Then we all went out of the office and into the elevator. We talked a few more times, and had a few more laughs.
When we got out of the building, we all went our separate ways. I walked home, smiling.
Thank goodness that’s over with. But I felt good, anyway, knowing that I helped the team do something meaningful and special.
Then I texted teammate, explaining that I forgot to write my post-it. I just wished her the best.
Another good day has passed. I thank God (or whoever) for the events.