Good-bye with Aloha

@postaday 97; #postaday2011

In Hawaii when we say good-bye to someone, it’s quite often with lei, a lingering hug that is supposed to last the rest of your life because you never may see this person again, a kiss on the cheek, and always some tears.

I’ve had my share of good-byes. Even though I was ready to move on from a job or a place, even if I was so excited about the new adventure, I always had a heavy heart when those last moments ticked away. You say good-bye to people you don’t care if you never see again, because we all work with people like that. You say good-bye to those who looked out for you, who made sure you had the keys to your desk drawers, who asked about your kids or your weekend, who spent more than a superficial moment and dug a little deeper to have a conversation.

Saying good-bye provides closure. If you were successful at what you are walking away from, if you are being let go because you let folks down, it is always, always, always an opportunity to reinvent oneself, to grow. Some departures deliver a shocking blow. You hear about them through the coconut wireless, you may never get a chance to bid adieu. And some departures are so final, that you never even get a chance for a conversation that helps the living move on and the dying go in peace.

Janine & Johna
Later today Janine will say good-bye to her friend and manager, Johnna, who is leaving Starbucks for another adventure. We wish her well!

I’m not being maudlin. It’s just that Johnna, the manager of our Keeaumoku Starbucks near our HMSA Center offices, is moving on to a better job, a new adventure, and toward new challenges that will continue to shape her as a person and a professional. Last week she told me to be sure to stop in today. I didn’t want to miss the chance to say farewell!

I do know what makes people reconsider what they are doing and look for another way to make an income. I know being bored, or broken hearted about being in such an awful job that you feel sick every morning upon approaching the mental sweat shop. The people are stupid or cruel, and almost always dishonest. You just don’t feel right about being part of their mission.

Having had some awful jobs and having been unemployed, I am genuinely grateful to have finally landed at a place where I don’t feel any of that. I like being at work. Last year when I blew out my Achilles tendon, I tried everything I could to keep working from home. It is a good thing to arrive each morning at a place where people are confident in your abilities, interested in your success, and occasionally ask about what’s going on in your life. You gotta have that.

Acknowledging others is priceless. Yet it seems to be the commodity that is withheld most.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.

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