How to “Go Away” your own way

Is there anyone – ANYONE ON THE PLANET – who actually enjoys going away luncheons for departing colleagues?  Didn’t think so…

In my world, they are expected, and generally horrific, events whenever someone is promoted, moves to another group, or retires.  A low turnout is considered a “lack of love”, so if few respond to the announcement, management is out beating bushes to drum up attendance.

Having had to preside of many of these awful things when i was in management, i grew to hate them with the acrid fire of hydrofluoric acid.  And then some…

When i snuck away in the night changed jobs last year, i refused all attempts for a luncheon.  Organizational blasphemy!   i’d been there 27 years, and how could i dare deprive people the opportunity to wish me well? 

Fuck that.  Not my style.  These dinosaurs, they are tenacious, and i’ve fought it for over a year.  But pressure was on again – they played the “It’s bad for morale if you don’t let us do something” card, and i’d let them set up an informal event for later this month in the conference room.  i was even considering showing up for it…

Then my good friend, The Ninjaneer, sent out a party invitation.  He is changing jobs soon, and rather than leave the festivities up to a few well-intentioned suits, he is throwing his own party!  Deciding that this was a great way to take the monkey off my neck, back, shoulders and ass, he and i agreed to ‘tag-team’ it…


From: Ninjaneer
Subject: Ninjaneer – Going Away Party

Well folks, after 24 years here – “working” in one branch or the other – it’s time for me to pursue other opportunities in my Golden Years.  To that end, I have taken a position with our Southern Group, located on the sunny (or oily) shores of the Gulf of Mexico. 

With sincerest apologies to J.R.R Tolkien (and somewhat less sincere apologies to everybody else), I paraphrase Bilbo Baggins at his “Long Expected Party”, and I offer that, “I like more than half of you twice as well as I ever thought I would and hope less than half of you like me less than I think I deserve”. 

Now I realize at this point, as you ponder whether that was a compliment or not (it was), I’m supposed to slip on a magic ring and immediately disappear, but that’s unlikely to happen given that 5 different Directors and a host of Branch and Division Management folks  have been trying to make me disappear for 24 years now with no luck either….

Most of you are aware that I have little use for “going away” lunches, but like hobbits, I DO have a particular fondness for parties.  And in keeping with that fondness for food, drink and merriment – I want to throw MY “Long Expected Party” for you folks.

Both the food and the drink are on me.  Here are the details:

Date: 11 Aug 10

Time: 1530 –  until my budget runs out

Location: The Bar Up The Street

I’ve arranged for food, and they will provide more wings as we need them until we’ve “filled out the corners” as a good hobbit would say….. 

I will have an “open bar” until, again, my budget runs out…..

So all of you Boffins and Bolgers and Bracegirdles and the rest of you please join me for great party!  No wizards or fireworks please.

– The Ninjaneer

PS:  If I’ve forgotten anyone that doesn’t loathe me, please pass it on – but remember, the more people there, the less free food and booze for the rest of you…


Subject: RE: Ninjaneer – Going Away Party — NOW, WITH ADDED “FAREWELL FOR DAISYFAE”

Of the 27 years i worked there, The Ninjaneer served as “The Little Brother* i Never Wanted” for 24 of those…  When he suggested we combine parties, it seemed appropriate to join forces one last time, and see just how nervous we can make the management team! 

We have a rather amusing history – and if you show up, be sure to ask us for the story of how we tested out of “Sexual Harassment Training” by doing a skit.  If you wait til we’re plastered?  We might even provide an encore performance!

Maybe now he’ll stop looking at me and STAY ON HIS SIDE OF THE CAR!  AND STOP TOUCHING ME!  MOM!  He stole my blackberry! 

Oh, yeah.  The party… 

Granted, i’ve been gone for just over 13 months, so my departure event is a little overdue.  That is not due to lack of effort on the part of Management.  i’ve just been a little evasive**.

There will be food.  And drink.  And “equally attractive non-alcoholic beverages”….  We are requesting the omission of gifts.  Unless it’s a very fast motorcycle.  For me.  Or a speedboat.  Also for me.

Date: 11 Aug 10

Time: 1530  – until our budget runs out (Note:  We can drink longer.  i make more $$ than he does.)

Location:  The Bar Up The Street


* despite the fact that he is 1 year and 340 days OLDER than me…

** for those who have yet to notice, i left in June, 2009.  Like the Baltimore Colts, i went quietly in the night….

27 thoughts on “How to “Go Away” your own way

  1. Love it.

    The funny thing is, I was just crafting my own going-away missive, and was trying to work in the very same Bilbo Baggins reference. I may have to borrow a few things here…

  2. e4 – steal it with reckless abandon! he’s a clever boy, and i’m going to miss him… or just have to find a reason to visit him on business trips!

    archie – i am planning to show up late. the ‘suits’ who are stopping by just to say they did will be gone by 1600, and then we can relax and have fun. but i’ll be there when it’s time to settle up the bill…

  3. A going away party one year after you actually went away is certainly an original take on the ‘farewell’ theme, though I must say i find the promise of “equally attractive non-alcoholic beverages” a little dubious, how do you make non alcoholic drinks attractive….?!

  4. Best inter-office memo of the year!

    Departure lunches are almost as evil as baby showers, although generally there are more humiliating hats to wear at showers. I sincerely hate them all.

  5. Brilliant! I thought going away lunches couldn’t get more painful at my previous employer’s, until my boss decided that the departing person’s manager should deliver a speech.

  6. Going away luncheons…… trapped next to co-workers you either don’t really know or just despise…… polite applause for? well, nothing really….. blathering speeches……. oh yes. I *love* going away luncheons. No, I don’t. I loathe them.

    You and ninjaneer should patent your idea. Or, wait! You could set up a special catering outfit to put on going away parties that rock! Maybe that’s an alternative retirement gig? After all, there will be many retirements as the boomers continue to trundle off out of the work force, eh?

    • It doesn’t even have to be alternative – you can still tend bar. I understand you know someone who used to be in catering.

  7. All this talk of magic rings reminds me of a former colleague. He was a Grandmaster level arsecreeper, so when he suddenly stopped showing up for work one day, we all assumed he’d slipped a little too far up the boss’s colon and got lodged there. We held a party for him in absentia. Come to think of it, I quite enjoyed that one.

  8. Do you know what’s worse? Those horrible birthday celebrations. The forced merriment and people mumbling through a rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Awful. But I’ve had fun at Christmas Parties. Before the economic meltdown, investment banks knew how to feed you at Christmastime.

  9. the best part about these things were i work is how the place comes to a stop and the herd all flock in for cake and fruit punch and crackers, these people fucking love this shit, i being the anti-social work type wait until they end and go down and raid what’s left so i don’t have to speak to anyone, besides it’s my gig to tear down and set up these happy little functions… but this one you have planned seems right up my alley Ms. Daisy, i’d contact everyone and tell them it’s cancelled so there would be more booze and wings for me, i’m crafty like that.

  10. EXCELLENT Idea. Since I work from home the only party would be with my husband… it. should. be.
    We are however hosting a party when we pull the plug to move to HI. We’re telling everyone that if they don’t come to the party, then don’t expect a welcome mat when we move. 🙂

  11. Mom and friends had a Bridge group for years…six women, one of whom didn’t age well. But how do you tell a 15+ year partner you don’t want her to play anymore? When she was going to move to Florida, another woman said she’d host a cocktail party. “But you don’t like Marion!” “Oh, I’m hosting the party AFTER she leaves!”

    So no one mentioned it to Marion…and they had a festive little blow-out.

  12. The only going away party I ever got involved people from Security. If you get sick of this current job, you may want to consider being a playwrite…you’re that good (and funny). Enjoy the soiree.

  13. well, i’ve never actually worked in the corporate field, mainly because rip always has … mine have been little fun jobs that make teenie tiny paychecks but are waaay more fun. …

    i do hear about the corporate bullsh!t that goes on there and your posts about work seem to align with the stories i hear daily. (mostly he bitches about management as he currently has a boss from hell.) that’s why i say that you and rip would get along so well!! your sarcasm is your sexiest feature according to rip… ♥. enjoy the party ~on your terms. nice post.

  14. ruby – the management (one person in particular) sent me a ‘scolding’ when i told her i’d changed my mind. she said “Well, it just doesn’t seem right to do it this way, but we’ll respect your wishes. See you on the 11th!”. expect she won’t stay long…

    dolce – that’s why you have the party for the slugs AFTER they’re gone! if people i like are leaving? a handshake, a drink, a personal goodbye… good enough! oh, and there’s this thing called ‘e-mail’, and a crazy contraption called a ‘phone’ where you can actually stay in touch when they’re gone!

    tNb – i’ve had fun at baby showers, but never the ones that are thrown together at work. kinda like ‘forced family fun’ on vacations. we did a practice run last night (friday happy hour) for some of the folks who won’t be in town on the 11th, and it was a damn good time!

    nursemyra – that would definitely make the party! you have a few drooling fanboyz amongst my work colleagues who are tracking my blog. oh, yeah! they wouldn’t know what hit them…

    jeanpant – THAT’S good fun! thanks for the pic!

    renalfailure – i’d have been pretty happy to skip it entirely. i found out last night that several folks on the old management team really had their knickers knotted over this… i should have let them keep twisting.

    chris – when i was a boss, i had to ‘preside’ over lunches for everyone. tried to keep it short, sweet and fun, but there were some people who found every possible way to make it awful. never again…

    rob – wondering how your colleagues and managers are going to deal with your unexpected absence from work due to that pesky heart attack. maybe you can convince them you need a ‘welcome back’ luncheon?

    imeantno – i’ll put you to work on the marketing side of things. as for catering? what more do you need than pizza, wings and barfood? enough beer, and no one is tasting it anyway… i think that person i used to know might be able to handle decorating the pretzels.

    texastrailerparktrash – we didn’t actually test out, but we sure made the boss nervous when we told him we had. something about suggestive tongue gestures and a donut…

    kyknoord – “Grandmaster level arsecreeper“? we call those types “Polyps”.

    unbearable banishment – the birthday cake things in the conference room are worse. just put out the food, tell us who it’s for, and if we like him, we’ll stop by and say ‘happy birthday’. the christmas parties are a fabulous opportunity to watch people fuck up an otherwise healthy career track! i love ’em!

    living dilbert – welcome to ‘the park’, and thanks for your kind words! i’ve had a rather crunchy week, due primarily to weirdness at work, but will stop by your place when i get some time this weekend!

    kono – oh, god. the food. when you put out cookies at a meeting, or have the cake and punch thing? they flock like children to an ice cream truck. like you, i tend to go in on ‘sweep’ detail, and eat leftovers so i don’t have to socialize… and we’ll have to watch out for any crafty devils sending out the cancellation notice! that’s tricky!

    HMH – it’s a dive bar, about a mile from the office. sort of a ‘biker’ bar, i used to do open mic stuff there, but they now have karaoke, so i avoid it. the food is kak, but the bartender generous, and the floor isn’t too sticky. there are going to be some uncomfortable suits that afternoon!

    carlae – hosting your own ‘farewell’ party is the way to go, whether it’s leaving a job, or leaving town! we should have thought to tell them if they dont show up, we’ll never include them on our snarky e-mail joke threads again!

    nana – welcome to ‘the park’ (is that you, ms. fragrant liar, under your old handle?) the post departure party is sneaky-good-fun! when we got rid of a horrific secretary earlier this year – after 2 years of battle – the boss simply called an impromptu ‘beer call’ in the break room at 3:00 the day she left. didn’t have to say what it was for. we all knew…

    FJ – don’t think i’ve had ‘security’ called, but i have been driven home. good to have responsible friends like that… thanks for your kind words. not quitting the day job. if i gave up the paycheck, i’d be crabby.

    lynn – the corporate gig is a good, easy ride. it beats the hell out of doing roofing during the hottest days of August, or bricklaying, or jobs that are truly tough. can’t say it’s always fun, but i’m good with it… hope to have a chance to meet rip someday – we’re still trying to figure out a plane trip adventure, weather permitting…

  15. Nice to get a peek into your world. I’m not much of a team player so I usually look for jobs that don’t involve a lot of meetings and such. Sounds like a fun party. I have had a party once when I left a job. I was shocked and uncomfortable but I survived the ordeal.

  16. starla – in my next job? i work alone. or better yet, i retire and don’t do anything.

    hereinfranklin – yep. i donate money for the big gift (stroller, crib, whatever is on the list) and find a reason to be busy that day.

    silverstar – seems civilized. we’re doing ours this week. i’m sure there will be photos. many of the blurry!

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