Tag Archives: the importance of leaving people with a good impression
This is the sad sally face outfit from the other day. I put it on here for all those who wanted a peak…and it’s quite fitting for this post because it’s about saying goodbye.
I am moving out of Lille next week to the beautiful Champagne region in Reims with Max’s parents. Leaving Lille means that I’ll be saying a lot of goodbyes and a few “see you later”s . The “see you later”s are always very easy to do. Knowing that I’ll see the contact at a later date and also knowing that we will most likely keep in touch makes it feel like I’m not really going anywhere but it’s those challenging goodbyes that I’ve always had a problem with.
I find it very difficult to leave a job which is what I’ll be doing. I will not only be leaving a job but 5 families and their children whom I teach English too. A huge part of me wants to be a jerk and kind of call them on my leaving day and say, “Oh, by the way, I have to move today so I won’t be able to come back.” And they would have no choice but to accept my decision and I wouldn’t care what they thought because telling them at such the last moment was really a jerk move and they should think poorly of it. And I am obviously not going to do this but I am just painting you a scenario as to what would be “easier” in my mind that saying goodbye.
I find it difficult for these reasons:
1. If I have a job, then I’ve committed to it and I don’t want to go back on my word
2. I don’t want the employer to have to go through the trouble of finding someone to replace me
3. I don’t want to deal with the negative reaction that these people may have towards my news
4. I generally just don’t want to put myself in an uncomfortable situation which is telling people what they don’t want to hear.
I did end up calling the families and the company I work for way ahead of time to break the news gently that I’ll be leaving and because they are understanding human beings, they were appreciative that I told them honestly.
When it comes time, I’ve been leaving on a good note for the past few years, after I was fed up of losing contacts or being unable to retrieve an important reference that I needed due to leaving situations in poor conditions.
Let me give you a few examples.
I was living in Toronto with a roommate and we shared an apartment for what was supposed to be a year. We got along okay, there was some tension but we weren’t evil towards each. We talked sometimes and did each other favours and lived well together. After around 9 months of living together, I went to Montreal for a weekend only to return to find out that her boyfriend had moved in. I was not happy, after all this was our apartment and there was no reason why she couldn’t make that decision after talking to me. Anyways, I was so angry that we started arguing every day after that until I decided that I couldn’t live there anymore and moved out. We never spoke again. And I needed her as a contact. She had important information about the lease that I could have used later on. I had info about all of our charges. In general, it was unpleasant for me to leave a situation in such bad taste and she may forever have a negative impression of me at least to some degree.
Another situation happened when I was working at a daycare for a summer. I loved working at this daycare! There were 7 little children between the ages of 1 and 4 and they really adored me and I, them. I had a problem with the way that the woman who owned the day care was taking care of the children. She wasn’t putting them in harms way or anything and she was mostly good at watching them except the fact that she was always yelling at them and she was extremely prejudice towards the black baby, calling him names and ridiculing him in front of everyone and constantly telling him he was “bad”. I sought so much advice on what to do in this situation and finally made the decision to leave the day care because it was doing me more emotional harm than good, and be honest with her about needing to leave. So one day I uncomfortably brought this woman aside and told her I was giving my notice for leaving. She begged to know what the problem was so I politely told her that I didn’t feel that our values were a good match for each other. She then told me that I was terrible at watching children and that I should never have any because I would probably harm them. And I left. If I left this situation on good terms with her, she could have provided me with a valuable reference.
Based on these two stories, you can see the loss of value you get from leaving on poor terms.
After the incident at the daycare I made it a point to really be the best person I could be with everyone whether I didn’t like them or not because it provides no value to leave people with a bad taste about you.
In the next while I met people and gained a ton of valuable contacts, with whom I keep in touch with still. Although I may never need their reference, I still have their friendship.
After I gave my notice to the families here in Lille, one family told me that she would stay home from work on my last day to make sure she says goodbye, another family told me to call them if I ever have a problem and another family told me to give them a call if I ever visit India (because they are moving there next month). These valuable people are too good to be wasted in a poor goodbye.
The point to life is really to enjoy and to leave it a better place so that one day world peace can be realized. I truly believe in this as this a major component to the life philosophy that I practice. I want to be the definition of what it is to be peaceful. I want to show people, through my life, what it means to be a great human being so that when we have to part ways, I would have made a positive impact on their lives even in only a few minutes. This is not even idealistic, this is incredibly important and realistic and the way to create a chain effect of value creation in society. And if this means facing people with the truth and continuing to be my true self until the very last day of our connection, then that is what I’ll do.