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Bon Journal

Fare thee well

I must have attended a hundred leaving drinks, most of which I felt like a guilty freeloader. Half the time I didn't know the leaver but I liked the comaraderie and free drinks.

Today I knew that many people would feel the same way about my leaving. Half the people didn't know me past a mere hello. Why should they come if the drinks and food weren't free?

My colleagues and myself deserved to be treated, I thought. In my previous companies, one of them in particular, management was generous with "team-building" exercises which included lavish dinner and entertainment. Other than a modest Christmas dinner and dance, my colleagues -editors and sales people- get their freebies at conferences. What about the support and production folks?

So I really wanted everyone to come out and order their favourite drinks and meals at the All Bar One. I didn't expect a leaving card or a present, but when I got them I was truly touched. I knew from numerous leaving do's that these were hard-earned money that each signee dished out.

At my last leaving do, my colleagues in Singapore ordered a cake and gave me a set of backpack and matching sportsbag. The cake had Snoopy carrying a racksack to face the brave new world of London. The backpack lasted me twelve full years. The card still sits on my bookshelf today.

28 June 2002 Friday

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