An Open Letter to My Wonderful Colleagues – Thank You!

Dear All,

How many times have we all read an email with that as the opening. It’s usually followed by ‘please be advised’ or another strongly worded sentence phrased to instil a fear felt so deep that you will adhere by the instructions that follow… or so it is hoped. Don’t worry, this is not that kind of email. I will not be demanding that you input reservation details in a certain way. I will not be sending on table plans for busy dates. I will not be informing you about a VIP4 guest to keep an eye on, nor will I be letting you know how lovely 218 is (why can’t we just give them everything for free? They’re just soooooo nice!). 

Nope, I won’t be doing any of that, because as of last Friday, I no longer work with you all (sad face!)

What has prompted me to write this post instead of writing the normal generic thank you email? Well, I’ve written those twice before (this is my final time leaving I promise!!) and where do they end up… soon to be forgotten in the trash folder once you’ve read it, smiled, and moved on. I’m not ready to move on just yet!! As we all know, I like to do things a little differently. I’m a thinker (apparently), I’m a reader, and I clearly have notions of myself as a bit of a writer. This is more cathartic for me to write than it is for you to read, so I applaud you in advance if you do manage to reach the end of this rambling reflection.

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I was absolutely overwhelmed by the hugs, cards and gifts I received on Friday. I wasn’t expecting anything, honestly. Thank you for all being so very thoughtful, and making me feel very much appreciated and loved on my last day. I didn’t think I would be emotional about leaving. It just felt like another day at the office. But the flood gates opened when SC, with his kind words and a big hug, made me blubber in the back office as we were both packing up our things to leave… him for the evening, me forever (waaaaaahh!)!! Thankfully it wasn’t a full on Kim Kardashian meltdown, just a little tear, and I quickly composed myself in time to say my goodbyes to everyone I hadn’t yet squeezed to death. It wasn’t until I got home that I opened your cards and gifts (while munching on one of my many delicious cupcakes – thank you KM and Team P!) There was one card in particular that really touched my heart. It was from a lovely girl in accommodation that I didn’t have much (if any!) direct dealings with, however over the last few weeks I found myself in the staff canteen at the same time as her and I got to know a little part of her through our short daily conversations. It meant so much to me that she took the time to write me a short message. This got me thinking of the impact and influence that a signal person can have on your life in such a short period of time, without you even knowing it. 

While it’s common practice to acknowledge the ‘hard’ work of a colleague when they leave, I’d like to take this time to acknowledge your continued hard work and the impression that all of you have imprinted on me. There is a great sense of community within the hotel and a cohesion between departments that isn’t found in a lot of workplaces. It sounds cliché but we really are one big (usually!) happy family. People come and go all the time, but the as EVV says, they ALWAYS come back – and I am certainly testament to this! Whilst we will have moments where we give out about it, the one thing we all have in common is an innate love for the hotel. And let me tell you if anyone says anything negative about our workplace, we will be the first ones to defend it. Only WE can give out about the place, no one else! That’s an integral part of our unwritten code. It really is a great place to work, and this is simply because of the people who work here.

I have discovered while reading your cards, emails and messages that I have far too many private jokes and ‘things’ with my colleagues. It is these shared, small, insignificant, totally-unrelated-to-the-work-at-hand moments that I treasure the most. I’m going to miss “freaking” CDon out because I’m “strange”. I’m really going to miss the impromptu singing & dancing in the kitchen with KMitch and EB, with backing vocals from EF and SCal from Team P! Speaking of music, DOS we will finish writing our musical before I jet off to Amsterdam – we just need to sharpen the choreography of the tap dancing Bar Manager – or should we just Let It Go?!! I’ll miss sneakily turning down the music in the bar right after EVV has turned it up too loud. I’ll even miss the constant menu changes from the kitchen. Who is going to surprise the gals in sales & reservations with cake, chocolate and random notes now just because? Who’s going to mediate the cutlery wars that are silently declared between the restaurants on busy days. FYI I’m pretty sure there is still a full basket of teaspoons hidden behind a couple of champagne bottles in the wine cellar – On your marks. Get set. GO! May the best restaurant win! 😛

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The intense giggles over strange names with JT. Complaining about horrible formatting & horrendous grammar with RF and OOK – it has literally been a pleasure working with you, my fellow grammar nazis. The hilariously inappropriate comments made by JMc will be imprinted in my brain always!!!! Thank you DM for being my work mom – always there to listen to a rant or to offer a cuddle when bad news strikes! NK, I’m only a whatsapp away for a DMC or an ol’ chinwag! “Oh my goodness”, how could I forget dear Pants (KD)!! CD, I’ll send you virtual hugs whenever you need them – they’re pretty much the same as the real thing, right? IS, I’ll send you as many stroopwafels as you need from Amsterdam! AOS, you card meant everything to me – congratulations again and best of luck with college. You are going to make a fantastic dentist! KF, you are an inspiration – incredibly hard working, amazing at what you do, personable and a true lady. NM, you know me too well – your gifts are proof of that, and they are moving with me. I actually love you!! SC, thank you for you patience, guidance and general hilariousness – oh and cheers for the coffee!! And a massive thanks to EVV for the numerous opportunities you have given to me, a lot of which I still don’t think I deserved!! I have learned more than you know. Your dedication and passion for the business continues to amaze me. 

I’m gonna miss MY AMAZING TEAM! Let’s be honest, we work in a very demanding industry with pressure levels on the higher side of the stress spectrum. We got through the difficult days together, and embraced the great times with gleeful synergy. It’s always a pleasure to see a group of colleagues who get on so well with each other, are willing to offer (and accept) help when needed, but who also have the patience and willingness to learn from each other. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to become a member of your little unit and getting to know all of you on a more personal level. Thanks for welcoming me and accepting all my little changes! Even though I’m no longer manager, do me a favour and don’t forget to always SMILE (I’ve told you enough times by now!!!), and please nominate someone to continue the quote of the day. Just because I’m not there is NOT an excuse to not do it anymore. It wasn’t just my thing, it was our thing! (Ok, maybe I loved the quotes more than anyone, but don’t tell me they didn’t put a smile on your face every day!

And finally to everyone I have not mentioned, do not think that I have forgotten you. You have each inspired me and taught me valuable lessons. At the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, you have ALL played your part in shaping me into the person I am today!

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It still doesn’t feel like I have finished. I feel like I’m taking a well deserved and much anticipated holiday, but that’s a good way to look at it. I still feel very much part of the family! I’ve been given some amazing opportunities, had some once in a lifetime experiences and met some of the most remarkable and inspiring people. I have not only enjoyed working with you all, but I’m pretty sure I’ve made some friends for life. But now I am unemployed by choice. Now it’s time for a new adventure; a change of career maybe?! Next stop Amsterdam! It’s not goodbye, it’s simply au revoir!

In short, thanks for everything. I’m going to miss you ALL!

For the last time, may I wish you all a very Happy Tuesday *jazz hands* 🙂

P.S Have fun decoding all the names!!

P.P.S Do you wanna build a snowman?

Charlene

xoxo


 

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11 thoughts on “An Open Letter to My Wonderful Colleagues – Thank You!

  1. Charlene I never knew you were such a writer. You certainly put time in to that. Well seeing as you are leaving the hospitality (remember I was the one that found you in Kinsale , it looks as if you could be a writer in your next career.
    Keep in touch.
    You won’t get me on facebook as that’s not for me ( I would know too much about my children then and what I don’t know won’t worry me. So an old email to bettyomahony@gmail.com would be welcome and I am also pretty good at the old Skype.
    Best of luck and it was lovely to work with you. I am looking forward to hearing your career path.
    Wishing you health and loads of happiness always.

    Betty

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