It’s March 17, 2023. My last day of employment for the foreseeable future.
While my official record reflects 16-odd years of service, that’s not the whole story. Through various acquisitions and job changes, it’s more like 16 and-a-bit years split up into a few different chapters. From work experience at Next Byte and my first ever retail job, then moving to Brisbane and starting my first corporate role on an IT Service Desk, all the way through to making mistakes and learning even more as an enterprise applications administrator, it’s been a hell of a ride.
Looking back on it now, all I can remember are the good times.
It’s true what they say. As the years coalesce into each other, no one remembers what you did or said in specific scenarios, only how you made them feel. And I feel so, extremely privileged to have been able to work with not just some of the best and brightest, but also, and more importantly, the nicest and kindest people.
In the first few years when I started, when we had quarterly meetings with the rest of IT, and I was exposed to everything else IT was doing — not even the rest of the business, just what we were doing within IT — that made me, just a lowly IT Service Desk lackey at the time, feel like such a small cog in the machine.
And a little later on, after I had a little more experience under my belt, every time I was starting a new project and in a meeting with other people from other departments, I felt so proud to be working alongside those people. Almost none of which I knew all that well, at that early stage — but who all seemed to know what they were talking about. It made me feel like part of a team, knowing that everyone had their own little speciality, and just needed some IT glue to put it all together. The entirety of Vita support was such a small team, occupying maybe 120 seats in total, give or take, but though the power of collaboration and ruthless efficiency, we ended up doing so much over a period of years that I often wonder how much big businesses get anything done with so much overhead.
How does it feel?
It feels strange. To know I’m leaving behind people I’ve worked with for years, just like all the people I’ve worked with in the past that have already left. To know that it’s probably extremely unlikely that I’ll work with those people ever again, or that we’ll never ask each other what’s for lunch, or commiserate over the work that needed to be done, or laugh at whatever crazy thing just happened (again). I feel sad that we’ll never bring up issues to the attention of the group, that we’ll never problem solve together, or collectively come up with some brilliant solution that ends up being the silver bullet to all our problems.
But as they say, all good things come to an end. Maybe not to an end of your choosing, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. The important thing isn’t to be sad that it’s over, but be glad that it happened at all. I’m so grateful for the experiences that I had at Vita, and especially the people that I worked with. I know it’s probably not that healthy to have such a large attachment to your work, but with work occupying such a large portion of your waking hours, I feel as though it’s at least partially justified.
Chances are I’ll never find a place like Vita ever again. Now that I’m a little older and wiser, I wonder if I’ll ever again feel the wonder of what it’s like to know that everyone else is smarter than me, or that I know nothing and they know everything. And because I carry those experiences with me to my next job, I’ll be able to lament the lack of email address consistency at my new gig, question why things are done a certain way, or wonder if the lack of meeting attendance punctuality is a symptom of more deep-rooted problems, or just another example of individually poor time management. Probably a little of column A, a little of column B.
Above all, I miss being close enough to not just the coworkers in my direct team, but those colleagues in other parts of the business that I worked with on a frequent basis. I miss being able to just go and hang out or catch up. Not necessarily to talk about anything work-related, but just shoot the breeze. I realise that this kind of camaraderie can be built up, over time, but the timeline for this sort of thing is years, assuming the people I work with don’t leave during that time. I’ve been at my current workplace for four months, so I’ve still got a long way to go in this regard.
But I miss Vita so much. I miss working in the city, for however a brief period we were there. I miss being the guy that people came to ask questions to, the guy that knew what they were talking about, most of the time, by sheer virtue of being around for so long. I miss knowing how most parts of the business operated. I miss knowing who to go to if I had a problem I needed help with. I miss having that pre-established rapport to know that they would usually be willing to help, be willing to answer a question or two, or even show me how something worked if I had no idea.
I miss Vita so much. But mostly the people I worked with.