A last day in the life of…


How will an officer's final 24 hours play out?

Today’s post takes a leaf out of the book of Bauer by being the first presented by this blog in real time.  Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@welovelocalgov) and check back throughout the day to hear how one local government officer’s final day in the office progresses, and share your own last day tales in the comments.

7.00am - Wake up to start my last day in the office.  It’s a bit weird to think that tomorrow I won’t be here any more, but I’m sure it’ll be for the best in the long term.  To be honest, that line is wearing a little thin, but it helps me to think that this is something I definitely want to do and that I actually have a choice!

7.30am – Working out what to wear today to leave with a positive impression.  Shall I go cool casual, or full formal?  Decisions decisions!

8.00am – Leaving the house to go in for the last time.  Funny how much more I’m enjoying the journey this time than all the other times before – the delays on the train are an opportunity to look at the countryside rather than a deliberate attempt by the government to derail my projects.  Ended up wearing the same clothes as usual.

9.00am – Walked into the office expecting to be greeted by cheering hordes and back slaps.  No-one seemed to notice.  Everyone just wandered in as normal and started to get down to work.  Perhaps they’re all saving the congratulations and camaraderie until later?

10.50am – They’re not saving it till later.  People are just going about their normal business as if I wasn’t leaving at all, don’t they know what a momentous day this is?!  Instead of reminiscing about old times I’ve tried to finish my handover notes.  They’re really useful and full of info, but I get the distinct impression that no-one is going to read my 33 page masterpiece; instead they’ll probably just skim through it once and then wing it.

11.45am – Just had a frank chat with a colleague about leaving.  They wished me luck, thanked me for my work and then told me that they needed to be honest about the fact that as soon as I leave they will be blaming any unfinished projects or minor mistakes on me.  didn’t know whether to thank them for telling me, laugh at a ‘joke’ or start getting a little worried about my reputation, such as it is.

12.15pm – It’s coming up to lunchtime, so they’ll probably hand over my card and present soon.  I know it’s been passed around recently, everyone who leaves gets one, including the people that no-one really likes.  Even the battleaxe from accounts got a card last month, although no-one chipped in for a present.  I’ve prepared a short speech for when the guys come over, nothing too special but where I mention most of them (except for that wally who sits opposite me who never really does anything most days).  I hope they don’t just get me some cheap flowers and a voucher though, that’s so unimaginative.

2.00pm - I did invite everyone to my last lunch, but only that wally who sits opposite me turned up; apparently everyone else had a ‘meeting’ or ‘were too busy.’  Turns out the wally and me could have been great mates, we have a shared love of gardening and ancient Rome.  Ahh the missed opportunities.  Had a couple of beers at lunch, so am feeling a little light headed for the afternoon.

4.00pm –   My manager has just stopped the office and presented me with my card and presents.  It’s a really thoughtful present; some lovely flowers and High Street vouchers, which are great because they allow me to buy what I want with them.  Admittedly I was hoping for an i-pad, but I’ll take what I can get, though it does now mean I have to go to the pub with a card bigger then me.  Glad my manger gave a little speech, though it did sound like the one they gave last week when my other colleague left.  Staff seemed to be getting a bit impatient just 15 minutes into my leaving speech, so I cut out naming each person I’ve worked with over the last six years and sharing exactly how they’ve inspired me.   Now all I’ve got to do is set my out of office and leave, although it looks like it’ll be easier said than done!

5.00pm - meant to leave an hour ago, but those last minute little things just won’t stop coming.  I’ve made the decision to just leave them now, otherwise I’ll never leave.  Did the filing (i.e. put any other paperwork in the recycling bin) and avoided setting something mildly abusive for my out-of-office reply.  It’ll be genuinely sad walking out for the last time, I’ve made some real friends here but I have to remember that this is leading on to new opportunities and paths, some of which will lead to the people I know here and respect.  And some I don’t, but that’s a blog post for another day.  Very nicely, the Chief Exec popped round and said goodbye, which put a smile on my face.  Will be interesting to see if anybody turns up for a pint tonight!

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14 Comments on “A last day in the life of…”

  1. Jon Harvey Says:

    Good luck. With you all the way & beyond. What do you want to do next?

    • localgov Says:

      What I want to do and what I will end up doing are alas not comfortable bedfellows! I’d want to spend a week investigating day time tv, followed by a relaxing break abroad ‘to clear my head’ before returning to take over as chief executive of Leyton Orient FC.

      Instead I’ll be starting my new position on Friday morning, doing more of what I’ve been doing just with slightly different chairs and views out of the window.

      Thanks for the kind wishes though!

  2. UleyGirl Says:

    Are you leaving through choice to go somewhere else, or redundancy? Adds context to your day….and are you continuing blogging during after-work drinks???

    • localgov Says:

      I’m definitely leaving through choice. Definitely. 100%. It has nothing to do with the fact that my post was being deleted and my choices were leaving of my own accord or three months of zombie-like existence in our redeployment pool, interviewing for jobs I didn’t want and counting down the days until I could legitimately escape. Nothing whatever. ;-)

      Truthfully, it’s of my own free will and I’m really excited.

      And yes, I’m planning to keep micro-blogging through the day and evening!

  3. Roger White Says:

    I guess your many loyal readers would be intrigued to know whether the new freedom (?) for this particular member of your team will allow their cloak of anonymity to be lifted…in any event good luck and not just for today.

    • localgov Says:

      Thanks Roger, very kind of you!

      Were I leaving the public sector I may very well be planning a grand(ish) unveiling ceremony, but as I am merely shifting around within it I’ll have to stay undercover.

      For now…


  4. This will be me in a couple of weeks! Looking forward to hearing how your day unfolds. I’ve only just started following this blog which is a shame as I’m off to the private sector soon. I’m hoping for back slapping and tears on my last day, or at least a remake of Candle in the Wind to play me out as I leave the corridors of power for the last time. In real life, I’ll probably just end up weeping into my diet coke as I do a solitary desk-clear. I’m leaving through choice too, and excited about my new job, but I did love local gov!


  5. Working at Leyton Orient FC, eh? I’d hope you could get them out of the start-of-season-rut they’re currently in.

    Hope you get more of a send-off this afternoon, including the obligatory excruciating speech from your manager ;)

  6. Roger White Says:

    Quote from movie Fever Pitch (thanks to Wikipedia) – “I might start supporting a team that never wins. Orient, or someone. At least you know where you stand.”

    (Sorry ’bout that. Bit below the belt on your last day but at least suggests you’re better off in your new job than being their CEx). Enjoy the rest of your day. Have the *****s given you your card yet?


  7. *coughs* Mr White, I’ll have you know that Orient were just outside the playoffs last season! ;)

  8. Roger White Says:

    “just outside” – I think that’s all we need to know…

  9. haufrau Says:

    you forgot to mention the copious amounts of alcohol that you kind(?) colleagues and friends helped you celebrate with :)


  10. [...] before leaving, my Chief Exec came over to say goodbye and ask me where I was going and what I was looking forward [...]


  11. [...] motions and not really caring for one another as we deserved.  I took the tough but right decision to leave, and it was at that time that you came into my [...]


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