It’s a funny thing, this working-your-notice lark. It just doesn’t seem right: I haven’t had a row in the office for ten days now. I’m not saying I’m walking around with a bloody great smile on my face ( I do have an image to maintain) but through a system of calm meditation, deep breaths and mantras I have, so far, been able to keep the lid on it. “It doesn’t matter anymore, it doesn’t matter anymore” I chant to myself as the next idiot lines up to make my life a misery. So with half a skip and a third of a jump and smidge of how-do-you-do, I inch my way towards my goal of getting out of here. Walking around, trying not to to engage in anything too heavy, with that thousand-yard stare usually adopted by characters in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, or by Charlton fans at 4.45 every Saturday afternoon. I feel drugged. I feel distant. I feel detached. I feel thirsty.
To be honest, most of the chaps (and chapesses) around here are all-round good eggs, and welcome to marry my sister (or brother) any time, if indeed I had a sister and I knew where my brother was. Yes there are a couple who I would gladly insert an Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer into, but by-and-large they are top people. If I’m frank, this is where the similarities between me and Christiano Renaldo end. I’m not sure he’s gonna leave too many friends behind, and he’s been detached from anything that doesn’t directly concern him and his ego for years—not just since this morning. Wayne Rooney will be treating himself to an extra pie-and-a-grannie Happy Meal as he looks forward to next season when he realises that someone might actually pass him the ball. Let’s hope Wayne manages to get in just one more stamp to the goolies before the Portuguese ponce departs.
There are obvious differences, of course: I’ve not been poached for £80m to join another team, for starters. No! Not even close, honest—even though some might say I’m worth it (others differ). My remaining weeks here will involve what to take, what to leave, what to transfer to my old office to my new one. Obviously I won’t be stealing from my present employers, but there are a few things here I own, have bought or have been given that will be just as useful in my new life—so bollocks! There’s a leaving drink to sort out, of course, I doubt if Ronaldo will have one of them. If he does, do you reckon it’ll be down his local boozer, with him stumping up 50 quid for ham sarnies (just in case there are women there) ? No, nor do I. I bet he’s not worrying, either, if there’s any way he can get Chas n Dave to play at the pub to give him a right good knees-up for his farewell.
Yes, I do hope I’ll be a little more missed from here than Ronaldo will be from Utd. I would like to think I haven’t upset quite as many colleagues over the eight years I’ve been here as he has in his term in Manchester. (okay! no-one count em up). We’re obviously two highly-skilled professionals and have rightly gleaned many awards and plaudits from our peers. But whereas he is and big-headed, self-centered, selfish, earringed, one-trick-pony little arsehole, I have never worn earrings.
Everyone would get a little bit grumpy after 8 years in the same job ? Trouble is, I was like that after the first fortnight.