Gratitude: What Could Have Been

I am not a big fan of blogging about places of employment, past or present – I don’t think it’s a generally good practice for what should be obvious easons.  And I don’t mean this in a proscriptive sense, I mean it in a i-dont-trust-myself-to-not-say-something-stupid sense. 🙂

Having said that, I feel like sharing something I am grateful for.  And it requires posting about a former place of employment.  Someone reading this who knows me really well will know exactly where I mean, but I would thank you to keep that to yourself.  🙂

So, visiting said former place of employment last week was a surreal experience for me. The place I used to work at was not the best fit for me and my skills, hence the “former”.  Leaving there was one of the better things I’ve done in my life and really I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my sister for helping me realize what options I had available to me at the time.

Enviro Chamber

Last week I had the very bizarre opportunity to re-visit that place, not out of choice but by chance. Basically the place I used to work at is an environmental lab and this many years later I had need of their services.  I was there dropping off the samples.  I could have mailed them but that would have delayed the results. And, anyway, I guess a part of me was curious.

Photo credit: sri_grafix from

The building hasn’t changed much from what I could see. Some sprucing up in the entry way but overall, the same layout as when I was there.  What shocked me most though was who greeted me at the desk.  The (second-to) last person I expected to see.  I guess the boss would be the actual last person I’d expect to see (not because he’d have left but because he wouldn’t be at the front desk).

But this person, Former Colleague #1, didn’t appear to have changed one iota. Slightly older, sure, but the exact same mannerisms. And a second person I used to work with was clearly still there (their name was everywhere) as well but not available for a proper reunion. It was just as well – all the reasons I left were apparent within seconds of talking to Former Colleague #1.  And later when I called to get the lab results, Former Colleague #2, was pretty much unchanged as well.  And yet they were both what one could call good co-workers.  Generally nice people, easy to get along with, helped me get up to speed, and weren’t overly competitive.

But the whole experience of walking in there that day was surreal.  Made me feel as if sometimes you do get to travel in theTARDIS TARDIS. Just for a moment. Crack open the doors and see what could have been…then back home in time for dinner.  No time to ask questions and get sucked into another reality.


P.S. Further gratitude and love to a fellow blogger-goddess, Go-Go Rach, for whom this post was written.


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