Nobody likes to say goodbye.
Bidding farewell to the people you care about is always hard, whether you’re watching a long-distance family member depart at the airport or simply seeing off a friend for a summer adventure.
I have always been particularly bad at goodbyes. I usually blame moving from Calgary to Winnipeg when I was 16 as the reason, but truthfully, that’s a cop out. The real reason why I hate saying goodbye is because I don’t ever want to lose touch with the amazing people I’ve met throughout my life.
Moving on is an inevitable part of life. For me, accepting a new job is the natural progression of what I hope will be a long and successful career. I’m ambitious, I’m a hard worker and I want to end up in a large communications department where I can spread my wings.
With that being said, I absolutely love my job at Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). The work is challenging yet rewarding, the cause we’re working for is important and the people – well, I think you’ve gathered by now that I’m really going to miss the people.
But, despite all of the positives that DUC has to offer, opportunity came calling and it is time to move on. I’m definitely ready, and so incredibly excited… but I really, really hate saying goodbye.
I’ll never forget the first day I started at DUC. My manager introduced me to everyone in the communications department, and I was intimidated. There was a Hungry Hippos game on one shelf, a bunch of random games on others and the designers were introduced as Aquila and Jeope. These people seemed so creative and so cool – with seriously, the neatest names – and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up.
It took a little while, but gradually I found my groove. And once I found my stride, things got busy.
Our communications team has tackled a lot over the years, including a complete re-design of our website and two major changes to our magazine. We’ve said goodbye to some wonderful people, and welcomed a few new additions. And since we are a communications department, we’ve also encountered the usual communications dilemmas…
I’ll never forget the day we spent an hour trying to determine if the phrase “promotional email” should have an “s” on the end when talking about multiples (damn you CASL anti-spam legislation). We all know that no one really cares except us – and since that day I’ve seen it written BOTH ways – but it matters!
There have also been a few lost-in-translation moments, where multiple drafts of a document have resulted in no one remembering where we started in the first place. Not to mention those actual translation woes, and the resulting groans from various offices after the realization the English and French STILL DON’T MATCH set in.
I could go on telling stories, as there are hundreds, but the most important thing I can say is that my team and I have had an amazing time together. And that goes for the whole building (and across the country), not just my little corner.
We’ve danced, we’ve laughed and we’ve cheered on Team Canada at the Olympics – including a very tense yet industrious live-streaming operation during the gold medal hockey games.
There have been moments of excitement – when crazy spring storms have blown in and drenched the marsh in a matter of moments. There have also been moments of dread – when crazy winter storms have appeared suddenly, leaving us all wondering if we should attempt the drive home or camp under a desk at the office for the night.
But no matter what the days – and the elements – have thrown at us, we’ve always managed to work together, get things done and get them done well.
Personally, I am grateful to my team for supporting me throughout some major life events. And truthfully, this goodbye in particular is tough because I experienced so many milestones while working at DUC.
Everyone supported me wholeheartedly when I quit smoking last year, and encouraged me when I took up running. They were with me as I planned my wedding, and listened patiently when I outlined – in great detail – the phases of my six-month home renovation plan.
Most importantly, they gave me endless love and support when my father-in-law died. They were a source of strength (and sometimes a shoulder to cry on) as my husband and I learned to deal with the loss of a loved one and the inevitable life changes it causes. For that kindness alone, I am forever in their debt.
There are so many people at DUC that have inspired me over the years. If I could write a separate blog post for each of them, I would. That might be a bit much, so I’ve decided to give specific kudos to the ladies in my communications department at the marsh…
Carie – I probably wouldn’t have made it through the last year without you. Whether we’re locked in an office talking strategy, or attempting to determine the proper spelling of a word (I’m shaking my fist at CASL again), we’ve worked so well together. I have learned so much from you, and am grateful for your friendship.
Ashley – You are one of the sweetest people I have ever met, and you truly have a heart of gold. You’ve taught me how to be more patient and understanding, and that there is always a solution to every problem. DUC is lucky to have you.
Aquila – I’ve thrown a lot of crazy projects at you over the years, but we’ve managed to slog through them together – and miraculously, we still like each other! I’m going to miss your laughter, your positive attitude and your sense of humour. You have lighted my days and lightened my mood at the times when I have needed it most.
Lindsay – I’ve also thrown a lot of crazy projects (sometimes no more than a disjointed idea) at you, but you’ve always dealt with my requests with the calm professionalism of a wonderful designer. You are talented, smart and so very friendly, as well as a great wife and a dedicated mother. In short, you are fantastic and I will miss you terribly.
Leigh – Where do I even begin? Thank you for teaching me to be a better writer, a better listener and honestly, a better person. Your talent, your strength and your spirit inspire me. I’m going to miss our great conversations and our endless laughter. I’m also going to miss knowing you’re just down the hallway, even though I know you’ll always be only a phone call away.
To the boys at the marsh, Jeope & Quinn – thank you for the laughs and the good times, as well as the expertise you bring to the team. I’ve learned a lot about design and the web from watching you work, and you both truly are masters at what you do.
Like I said, I have to cut this off somewhere, but I can’t end this post without giving a shout out to Gillian, Carmen and Hayli. These ladies were my buddies at DUC. We became fast friends, and I owe so much to them. Thank you for making my workdays not feel like work.
Every chapter in my life – no matter how long or short – is equally important. The three years I spent at DUC have made me a better person, communications professional, friend and wife. Thank you to everyone who has shared this part of my journey with me. I will miss you all.