16 June 2007

Saying goodbyes to old colleagues

Recently, there was a spate of turnovers - 4 to be exact. 3 teachers and, surprise, surprise, the department manager himself. In my short span of 1 year here, another 2 staff left, while there were quite a few of stepping down and up movements.

It is a small department of 20+ staff. Yet it is a turbulent one. We are filled with fiery people and emotional characters. Many of us have very strong opinions of what should be done and could be done. But like any government division, we have our fair share of those who don't rock the boat, especially the 4-5 of them who are facing retirement in a couple of years time.

Now we are having an interesting time wondering who will be the next manager. Will it be the covering head? Will it be another experienced teacher? Or will it be someone from another department or from outside? Speculations are rife. Our ears are wide opened ;-)

I feel sad that people come and go. Sigh. I'll miss their friendship and their support. It makes me treasure those who are still around and working quietly but faithfully.

Teaching in this environment is never easy. You give your decent best, but that is not enough. There are still projects to complete, students to discipline, bosses' whims to fulfil.

For me saying goodbye is hard. I am usually at a lost of words. A handshake, a smile, few trite words like, "keep in touch" or "all the best" are usually what I can managed. Beyond that it is really hard to keep in touch.

How many of my ex-colleagues have I really kept in touch? A few. We probably communicated at best once a year. Why do I find it hard to keep in touch? Things changed. New situations and lifestyles cropped up, and you forgot them. Those that I still managed to keep in touch are those from the church, the small groups, and perhaps relatives.

However, saying goodbyes may not be such a bad thing. My manager is one that many of us wanted to see him go. Sad - but true. He was viewed as incompetent, self-serving, and totally uncaring. Seldom do we see him venturing out of his office. And when he does, he whispers at times to my colleagues and it gives the impression of some conspiracy going on. I think it is sadder for myself as we have much in common. Will I end up in this state as i climb up?

Well, new colleagues are coming in. I have not met them yet, but hope that things will change for the better here. Due to all these movements, I have been bumped up the hierarchy to unofficially 'senior' ;-)

Well, let's see what will happen in the months to come...


k said...

Yes..gdbyes are hard. You don't know what you have missed till they left. Cheers

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