There is a coworker who finished their last day with us yesterday. This person was moving on to another job, an opportunity closer to home, for more money. No one can blame this person for taking advantage of the opportunity, but we can lament their leaving. I have had several conversations with this person about influence. This person talked about dissatisfaction with our department, specifically because of the lack of influence they had. We talked about a pervasive lack of access to the decision makers in our office. During this person’s last days, we also talked about low expectations for the new job. Sure, it was closer to home, but there was writing on the wall that the job might not be an overly pleasant place to work: too much work, not enough organization, and too little personality.

The reason I will miss this person is the same reason I think everything will be just fine at her new job. Despite this person’s protests, she had a tremendous influence on our little corner of the department. The policies, practices and procedures were not where her influence was felt; even if it was how she measured her influence. No, her influence is best measured by the enthusiasm that each and every one of us felt coming into the office every morning. Work was a fun place to be. This person was part of the heart, soul, and conscience of our office. This person was one of those people that brought other people together. This person will do the same thing at her new job.

Their gain is most certainly our loss.

Once again I am faced with a coworker leaving my team. Once again I feel like a member of the family is leaving home.

And life goes on.