Every day, week, month or year there will definitely be some employees who will change, move work or even retire.
Employees who will retire or transfer to other positions; and those who will leave as well as those who will stay will face a difficult problem which is how to deal with farewell.
Parting takes place continuously, from big and grand occasion to no parting events where the person goes without saying goodbye at all.
In some cases, there are individuals leaving the institution who are really too eager, sometimes very hopeful, want a big farewell ceremony, complete with testimonials about its achievements.
Phrases like "we can't replace you," "you've changed this place for the better" and "you charted an incredible path here," and other frequent tossing of praise are not always true.
Some people I have known all along really helped write their own farewell script and even contributed to a detailed PowerPoint presentation plus recording many of their accomplishments.
Some even record spontaneous video clips and share their stories from infancy to retirement age.
However, there is nothing wrong with things like this, but my experience shows that during this parting version, at least some snippets of great achievement seem unbelievable by the audience followed by questions like, "Oh my, is it really true …? As far as I know he is not like …...” or “I guess I didn’t realize he was the leader of our accreditation report. I think the other sucker did it. "
A large number of farewell ceremonies are also from those who agree (informally but not willingly).
For whatever reason, the people ‘informally but not willingly’ agreed to go do not want any kind of farewell event, but there are other friends who try to hold it and they plan the event and sometimes even try to surprise colleagues who will retire.
If you are in that situation, it is good and proper to let the event go on, have fun (or at least act as if you are having fun and make it as trustworthy), and sincerely thank the organiser for having trying.
My favourite type is ‘the one who doesn’t want’. One will go to work on his last day, do his best on that day as he did in previous years and leave at the end of the day.
The next morning, keys, whatever technological equipment is provided, parking passes and maybe work identity card are on the table for your superiors to look for and think about.
Like the main hero in a classic American movie, you just continue following the sunset.
There is no dramatic goodbye. There are no demands, forced or otherwise, no acting "we will miss you very much," because not everyone is missed by others. There is no pressure for anyone to attend the event, as there are ‘acting’ events.
The saddest parting, in my experience, is a parting that is ‘careless or forced’.
Maybe for those ‘who don’t want to’ prefer it but those in the organization insist that something should be held as well. At least ... something is not right.
Just don’t come and say, it’s your memorable moment, it’s your last days here, so treasure it, as it is not true.
This seemed strange to me, as the individual had clearly told everyone that he did not want any occasion. "Shouldn't we let it go with that choice?"
When talking about a farewell, the legitimate question is: Who is meant to be celebrated? Who can decide on the chosen farewell version? Is the person to be celebrated obliged to accept any form of parting that is usually done in a particular institution?
These questions are more complicated than you can imagine, and I have definitely seen a number of challenges to solve them.
Not everyone considers it gratifying. Those ‘who do not want’ can be misinterpreted. Is the person unhappy? Stupid? Crazy?
Sometimes a farewell party is annoying people who are about to retire and those who attend the event understand that it is just imperfect.
So, what needs to be done? How should a farewell be handled? As someone who has left several institutions and also who has attended all sorts of farewells, I think the person who is going off should be make the decision.
Ask a retiring colleague what he or she wants, and then do everything possible to plan the event accordingly.
If someone wants and really wants a party to be held, try to do it as best you can.
If someone insists that they do not care and do not want the ceremony to be held, respect his request.
Organizers can continue other work to be completed.
If someone chooses ‘do not want’, that is also good. Do not assume that the retiring colleague regrets something or acts in a rude manner.
Perhaps the individual is uncomfortable with the occasion. And if you are present at an imperfect event, sincerely thank the organizers for some specific positive things they contributed, shook hands and pray for the better.
Azizi Ahmad had just retired
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