Yesterday was R's last day at my company. When she privately told me of her intention to resign, I realized how reliant on her I've become.
I've been lazy, using her checklists and always asking her, "Now who do I submit that to?"
I've been lazy, letting R take the lead in delineating tasks and assigning them.
I've been lazy, proofreading her certification test application and taking physical and mental notes for mine.
I've been lazy, using R's files instead of setting up my own.
R is the one that I go to when I need to find an old project, know who to talk to in the office, or get the latest gossip. She is the one I told first about my date with G, rationalizing it to myself that she is just over the wall and would know soon enough anyway. R knows who everyone in the office is, sits on every committee, and has a trick or shortcut to get every task done. When the weather is bad, we pore over the online radar together, and when we need private time to conference, we walk around the building together.
I hope I've been a good friend to her--listening when she separated from her husband, being in on the secret when she started dating her current boyfriend. We are the two who take a long lunch to get free Slurpees or to buy graham crackers to eat with our chocolate ganache.
Today is the first day of my new professional life and I know it is a great opportunity for me, but I look at her empty desk and wish she was back and I could go back to being lazy.