I came back to work on January 18th knowing that I would be leaving. I didn't know exactly when, but I knew it would be in the next few months and guessed that it might be sometime around Easter.
Time got away. I had quite a few things to do and was kept fairly busy.
Then I had a conversation with the relevant people and confirmed an official leaving date of March 31st. So more or less Easter time. And time seemed tostop.
Now you and I both know that Dates in the Diary are much closer than they appear. Things hustle up with unseemly haste, even when they seem ages and ages away. I assumed that would be the case with this too.
Not this time. The University is closed from tomorrow through to next Tuesday. I arranged to take Wednesday and Thursday off, coming into Sheffield on Thursday for a farewell lunch with people I have been in the habit of lunching with in the almost 19 years that I have been at SHU.
So, today is effectively my last day in the office. And the last six weeks or so have gone very, very, very, very slowly indeed. Almost as though today didn't actually want to arrive. I simply cannot say that, although the individual days have taken their time, the weeks since my leaving date was decided have flown. They have not. Today has been a long, long time coming.
And even now I don't absolutely believe it. There is a large part of my brain which assumes I will be back at work after the Easter holidays. That did not, however, stop me not just turning off but actually deleting the "get up and get ready to go to work" alarm on my phone when it rang this morning :-)
When I came for my very first interview at SHU, I walked into this building and thought that I really wanted to work somewhere that had had the imagination to turn a muddy wasteland into a beautiful airy atrium. My first appointment was a six week temporary contract in the HR department as a receptionist. I started at the end of May in 1997. I've been here ever since, without a break in service!
After a brief interlude in the Admissions Department, I came to the Learning Centre, on a permanent contract. It didn't look like this then! It was quite dark and dingy. Now it's all glassy and shiny and an innovative library.
Books? Well of course there are books. This is a library!
I've been in several offices in my time here. This is the last one.
"So long, and thanks for all the fish" (Adams 1984)