My last day at Initech

OK, so I didn’t work for Initech. I couldn’t resist the Office Space reference. But as of 4:08PM CST yesterday, I am unemployed. Fortunately this time it’s only until 8:00AM CST on Monday.

I pretty much intended to just go in, clean out my desk, work as much as possible like I would any other day, and stay until someone came and told me it was time to leave.

But of course it wasn’t quite that simple.I did a lot of mundane stuff that morning, mostly because I’d been putting it off as long as possible. I signed in and took care of a couple of things. I answered a couple of questions (verbally) about some really old Microsoft patches and whether they were deployed. They were.

Around noon, I sent out a farewell e-mail message. A lot of people respond to those, as it turns out, so I’m glad I didn’t wait until later to send it. One of my managers wrote back and said, "We always knew if Dave was taking care of something, it would be done right and we didn’t have to worry about it."

That was nice to read. In this job, I tried to be as unassuming as possible. I think when your job is primarily security, the less notice you get, the better job you’re doing. One might think that a security guy who catches a hacker is a hero, but I think if you catch a hacker, that means you failed. The hacker should just bounce off the security measures you put up, and never get in in the first place.

Those Microsoft questions prompted more e-mail from me, a sort of final "state of the network" address if you will. Some questions will come up after I’m gone, and some of them could very well be in a year or two. Hopefully when that time comes, someone will remember that memo.

The morning came and went, as did part of the afternoon, before I knew what I was supposed to do to outprocess.

At 3 PM my boss called. I packed up my stuff one last time and met him in the parking lot. I handed over two of my badges, and he drove me to another building so I could turn in my laptop. I answered a question from a high-ranking manager about SecureCRT. He thanked me and assured me there were no hard feelings. A better opportunity came along and I took it. He said it’s happened to everyone.

From there I had to make one more trip to another office, in the next town over, to sign some papers and turn in the last of my ID badges.

The HR representative apologized for a couple of snags that happened in outprocessing. I shrugged. "At least I didn’t get a mysterious meeting request with only one other invitee, then walk in the door and find out I didn’t have a job anymore," I said. She gave an absolutely horrified look. "Happened to me a few years ago," I said.

It was pretty much the opposite of that Office Space scene. No being escorted out of the building. No suspicion. The funny thing was, until about 3 PM, I was nearly alone in the office. Most of my other coworkers hit the 40-hour mark early in the day, so they split around noon.

It wasn’t quite a matter of deleting my own accounts and then turning out the lights and locking the door behind myself, but it was the next closest thing.

It’s good to be trusted.

So on a crisp Friday afternoon in October, I hopped in my car, rolled the window down a little, and pulled onto I-64. Monday would come soon enough, but in this case, it would be a lot more than just the start of a new work week.

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