Allegedly (pending successful progress with the Alabama Licensing Board for Interpreters and Transliterators) I will be leaving the SC DMH at the end of this month. As is the unfortunate (in my perspective, anyway) custom in Deaf Services, there is a "farewell" party thrown for people that leave us at the monthly statewide meeting called Deafnet (unless the person really doesn't want one or leaves on bad terms).
Why do I say unfortunate? Because I HATE HATE HATE events that call attention to me like that. Ask anyone that was unlucky enough to be near me when I was planning my wedding...they got a lot of "I don't knows" and "whatever you wants" as answers to their questions because I was so incredibly uncomfortable at the THOUGHT of all these people coming to one place just for me (well, and Scott too but you see my point) that I couldn't think. I blocked out most of the wedding but I remember clearly wanting to fly away at the end of the reception but still being concerned that everyone there was still having a good time, that everything would get cleaned up and put away, etc etc etc. I was so worn out from the stress of that experience that for the first several hours of my honeymoon I did nothing but cry.
Man, if that wasn't a clear indicator I don't know what is...but I digress...
Sooo if I can reign in my ADD brain a bit...The dreaded Farewell Party For Nancy has been planned for the August DeafNet meeting. Our administrative assistant, Shannon, asked me at the beginning of the week if I was scheduled to work the Friday before I leave for Britain. You might as well have asked me what the square root of an imaginary number is. "Ummm I don't know, did I request to be off?" was my answer. No response from her.
Yesterday at lunch with our psychiatrist Jill, my supervisor Tressy, Shannon, and our new children's counselor Dana, I was asked the same question. I again referred them to my leave slip. Tressy then told me that I was working that day and that I was to make sure I came to DeafNet. The point was still bouncing off my pointed little head. See, I don't go to DeafNet usually...it is more a staffing for the clinical personnel and quite honestly there is a LOT of clinical information that I don't want to know for fear that it might skew my interpretation.
But suddenly one of those thoughts that was skipping around my head like it was a maypole found purchase. "Oh no, you guys aren't thinking of something for me because I'm leaving?" Knowing smiles and nods all around. Tressy reminded me that my supervisor had told me to attend. I was trapped.
Let me stress again how much I hate anything that puts me at the center of attention like that. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like having the floor just as much as anyone else does, but then I'm happy to give it to someone else. I'm totally not cool with thinking that someone has gone out of his or her way for me, it's just how I'm wired.
About 4pm I was sure that I had gotten my revenge. They said at lunch that my punishment for leaving was that I have to attend this DeafNet thing. Fine.
Holly (regional coordinator for the Columbia area, tends to plan DeafNet because she's central): Where would you like to eat for DeafNet on the 18th? What's your favorite kind of food?
Me (twisting my moustache evilly): My favorite? Sushi. Ha HA, thought I, no one likes sushi but me!!! I will have my revenge because THEY will have to decide where to eat rather than making me subject others to what I want for lunch!! Take THAT!
(and NO, I don't really have an evil moustache...)
(I don't have a friendly nor benign moustache either, thank you.)
Holly: GREAT! There is a wonderful sushi place in Columbia!! They even have cooked food for the non sushi eaters!
Me (after scraping my last shred of comfort off the underside of the cosmic sneaker): Great. Sounds like a plan.
What did I learn from this? Four things:
*Don't tell anyone you're leaving till you turn in your notice.
*Not everyone hates sushi.
*Farewell parties are as much for closure for those left behind as they are send offs for those leaving.
*I work with some of the best folks in the world.