Farewell to Alstom

How to erroneously make tons of friends, why you should never mix Jannis Joplin with a glass of red and why a perfectly legitimate farewell can cause pangs of conscience.

Red Wine Spill

Today was my last day at work. I have to admit it was somehow less emotional moment than I thought it would be. After all, it’s been almost fourteen years! In such time everyone grows accustomed and attached to things – the cubicle, the old desk phone or if nothing else, at least to that beaten up and broken chair. But there are also people. Your friends and foes, the funny and the grumpy characters, your office neighbors… Those, that were your family away from home, your colleagues. They were the people I’ve been spending more time with, then with my wife and kids. And for some reason,  the farewell didn’t seem hard at all. Just like going away for an extended weekend and saying bye to the team…

Did I become a soulless cynical bastard…? Some of those people were friends, some close as family. And yet I left them with a  handshake and a simple “keep in touch” at the door. My excitement and the promise of upcoming adventures overshadowed the sadness of leaving some good friends behind. On the flip side, it also looked like inmates waving their fellow convict goodbye, while watching  him leave the prison cell. Watching him with envy and jealousy, at heart wishing it was them. It felt a little awkward…

I’d like to blame my somehow emotionless attitude on high level of activity and enormous stress, we’ve been coping with in the last few weeks. Frankly, if I knew the price we had to pay to set sails for our journey, I’m not sure we would have taken this decision. But we did. And there is nothing stopping us now! We will get the house rented and we will hit the road soon! We might be suffering from a mild case of a reisefieber, which would explain my rigidity earlier today. I may need a week or two to get back to normal. But hey, what’s “normal” in my case, anyway?

I’d like to thank everyone for the good luck wishes. I received tons of them – in print, in email, through the blog and directly while doing my farewell round around the office. I received a lot of wishes from friends, colleagues and people I personally never met – I guess that has something to do with the fact of semi-accidentally sending a mass e-mail to everyone at Alstom (sorry folks, I hope you’ll forgive me!). All your feedback was very positive, supportive and encouraging. Through that e-mail I’ve gained a few new Facebook friends and probably also a few readers for this blog. As promised, I will update it as often as possible. In the near future, I’ll create a FAQ page to respond to all the e-mails I’ve received, but I’ll also try to respond to each of the emails individually. Just please, be patient it may take a few days.

In the meantime, here’s a toast to all the inmates I’m leaving behind! I’m raising a wine glass this evening to celebrate the moment of becoming officially unemployed, underfunded and soon to become homeless. But what the heck, lets have a drink to celebrate “just another word for nothing else to loose”…

OK, I might have one too many tonight, but it’s not that often that I quit my job. This was actually my very first time…

89 thoughts on “Farewell to Alstom”

  1. Hi your dream and plan has moved me and my wife a lot and I will follow your trip on your website. Best wishes to your family.

    A colleague in Alstom Mannheim. 

  2. 2 years ago I also took a sabbatical from Alstom for a one year trip in Australia – and I was lucky to find a job in the local branch once I fell in love with the country! It is going to be a wonderful experience, enjoy!

  3. I have been wanting to uproot myself from CT and move to my adopted home of Roanoke VA. I visit  friends there every six months and love the place. Hoping that reading your blog will give me the courage to make that giant leap. I wish you much luck and happiness

  4. Well, I’m one of those who received you mail by accident! We were all wondering who the f… is Robert Bajan! :o) Good luck anyway! Guess you won’t miss Alstom with all the nice things you’ll see during your trip…

  5. You mean NO ONE told you about the party we through the next day???

    The journey has begun…and clearly you WILL enjoy the ride…

  6. Thanks Gary!

    I’ll try to keep it straight and tell you guys about the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of a Sabbatical trip like ours. I hope our experiences will be of value to you and others alike.

  7. Thanks Gary!

    I’ll try to keep it straight and tell you guys about the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of a Sabbatical trip like ours. I hope our experiences will be of value to you and others alike.

  8. I am really gonna miss you Robere’. I was almost in love with you and now I have to find a new male friend to bond and confide in at work!

  9. Gay marriage is legal, but bigamy is still a no-no, right…? Since the legislation was passed, I already got two offers. Damn, those divorces are expensive…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.