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The end of an era at work


Last week Wednesday, an era at work came to an end. My colleague finished his last day of work at the school and was about to move out again into the big wide world of business IT. Apart from a total of about 3 weeks, the two of us have been together as a team for 2 and a half years, changing things left, right and centre at work.

Stepping back a bit, my colleague resigned on Friday the 5th of August, just before the school had a long 4 day weekend. When we came back in on the Wednesday, he dropped the news to me. I was shocked, yet not entirely surprised by it. Looking back, all the signs were there that he was getting ready to move away from the school. I could write about any number of reasons why he made his choice, but I think the reality is that working in IT in a school environment tends to burn you out. Politics, budget issues, salary issues and more all contribute towards a frustration that slowly builds up. I’ve suffered some of the same problems, so I’m very sympathetic towards his decision to leave.

The biggest challenge in the couple of weeks leading up to his last day was trying to cram as much information about the school admin system into my head as possible. My colleague has been the person more or less in charge of that since the start, due to his prior experience with the product. While I’ve managed to get most of the knowledge down quite well, there are still many areas I worry about. School reports are due in a few weeks, which will be the real test of things I guess. All the procedures are in place and ready to go, but it’s usually when marks start getting entered that things go wrong.

The somewhat annoying thing is that the school hasn’t yet taken any concrete action in finding a replacement. The principal had the idea of hiring someone for the rest of this year and depending on their performance and teamwork with myself, that they may stay on permanently next year. We compiled a list of qualities needed in a replacement and sent it on to management, but no advert has yet been published. When staff have asked me about this and I’ve told them about this fact, many of them seemed puzzled by the fact that an advert hadn’t gone out yet. I dare say that I’m pretty good at what I do, but the school network is too big for one person to handle alone, no matter how automated it is or how good the person is. Sheer size and scale just make it too much.

Above all else, I’m going to miss the team spirit I had with my colleague. We argued, had different views on technology, fought on how to to handle staff amongst other things, but in the end we were a team. We covered for each other and grew together. We balanced each other out and managed the workload between us. Time will tell whether such a bond will form with the new person, but I hope it does. There’s no real other way to handle things I think.

To my colleague, I wish you all the best. I know that you are already enjoying your new job, and I hope that you will have a long, enjoyable and constructive time at your new job. Thanks for everything bud Smile 

P.S Indeed Winking smile

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  1. Abrasive Colleague
    September 7, 2011 at 08:40

    One hopes that they will find a better name for my replacement and you. We have been through a lot together and I wish you luck. Indeed Indeed.

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