I was watching TV in bed last night and I saw a scene featuring a photocopier that kept jamming. A flood of memories came back to me about the printer in my old office – it would jam up constantly and crinkle pages beyond belief. The thing is… I miss that bloody printer! It got me thinking just how much I miss everything about that office.
Every time I walk past where the Online Learning Centre once was, I am filled with memories of happy times working there. I was an NVQ Assessor, helping people prove their competence in IT, Business Administration and Customer Service. I also taught adult learners basic IT and sometimes helped them with Maths and English. Often these learners were people who had left school early for whatever reason and now wanted to better themselves. It gave me that warm fuzzy feeling inside when I helped them achieve something, even if it was something as simple as scoring 10 out of 10 on a little test.
I miss my students too… people like bubbly Carmel who thrived on learning everything there is to know about Microsoft Office. Sweet Janine who had an ambition to be part of an office team. My lovely Tuesday morning IT-for-the-elderly class students… quiet Christopher, recently widowed, being encouraged to learn how to use the Internet so that he can e-mail his son in Australia. Marlies, a German lady who really just needed some company… we had many a good chat.
I miss my colleagues… we made a brilliant team, all with our individual strengths. I loved dabbling in their Childcare courses, learning interesting things while creating worksheets for them.
I loved running the company’s Twitter account and website single-handedly, and producing all the company marketing material. It tied many of my own interests together.
I loved how I had absolutely everyone’s full support when my mental health relapsed – spreading my caseload out and allowing me to switch from full time hours to as-and-when timesheet based, to reduce the pressure.
I thought it was lovely how the bosses (Steve and Lynn, a married couple) would decorate around people’s desks when it was their birthdays and leave everyone gifts for other events such as Easter and Christmas. Little things like that where they show they value their team members – so important.
I always found it hilarious when my partner Craig would stop by. He’d get bored of waiting for me – so I would give him some colouring pencils and paper, sit him at a colleague’s empty desk and let him draw as if I had brought my son to work.
It’s such a shame that a wonderful little company that had been running for nearly 15 years had to close down. We had helped many people achieve more from their lives over the years… it’s a shame there’ll be no more.