I hate saying goodbye, I really do. I was never good at it and probably never will. I just don’t like the idea of “parting ways” because why should you ever part ways with someone or something that you love? It is one of the ironies of life that I’ll probably never understand. Goodbyes are inevitable at some point, however, and as much as I would like to stubbornly hold on, I know I would need to bid adieu to the people and things I love because that’s just how life is, I guess.
Smart Traffic has been my home for the last four years. I remember being a newbie introducing herself nervously in one of those Monday talks and having to sing in front of the crowd because every newcomer had to give a sample. I still couldn’t believe that happened four years ago. Oh how time flies when you’re having fun. Today, I will go to work in Metrobank Jones for one last time before I finally say goodbye to my family in Smart Traffic. It is bittersweet, for sure, but I know that Smart Traffic will always have my heart because:
1. It was where one of my biggest dreams came true.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I was passionate about many things but my love for writing never faltered over the years. When I submitted my application online, I never really expected anything because I wasn’t even an English or Mass Communications graduate. I was a nurse and I had zero knowledge about SEO. But Smart Traffic took a chance on me and I will always be grateful for it.
2. It helped me grow as a writer.
Throughout my career in Smart Traffic, I was given the opportunity to work on several projects, most of which I never had any prior experiences with. I took on these challenges, nevertheless, because I knew that it’s the only way I would grow in my craft. Today, I could gladly say that I am a lot better than when I started.
3. It made me enjoy work.
To get paid to do what you love, it really is a huge privilege. No matter how bad my day was or how miserable life got, I always looked forward to go to work every day because it didn’t even feel like work. I had so much fun writing that I didn’t even feel four years passing by.
4. It helped me boost my confidence.
A lot of people would think that I am confident because I’m talkative. Truth is, I’m not. I was always afraid to be on the limelight, to be given huge responsibilities and to be considered as a leader because I didn’t want to fail. Smart Traffic gave me so many opportunities to build my confidence and I’ll always be thankful. Although I never really believed in myself, the trust given to me was enough to push me outside my comfort zone and do what I needed to do.
5. It gave me the recognition that I never got.
I admit, I was never the best in a lot of situations and perhaps, I’ve gotten used to it. But working in Smart Traffic, I finally felt that I was good at something. I’ve been given several recognitions throughout the years, most of which I feel I didn’t really deserve. But to be recognised for your body of work, it really means a lot to me.
6. It paved the way for me to play music again.
2014 has got to be one of my biggest years, especially because I finally had the chance to play in a band. Traffic Jam came to be because of some colleagues who share my passion for music. We went on to play at Soul Jam 2014, which is a gathering of Cebu’s best musicians, had a guesting for Magic 92.3 and played at several gigs. Although the band is on a hiatus today, I’ll always cherish those moments we had on stage together. Bon, Tille, Ace, Emil and my Bestie Ernie, I miss you guys.
7. It made me fat.
I never weighed more than 65kgs my entire life, but not when I started working in Smart Traffic. I gained a lot of weight when I became a writer because food was basically not a problem in the office. As long as you go to work every day, your tummy will never be empty. Oh, how I’ll miss filling out the food survey every Friday and wondering if they’ll serve my favourite Sinigang na Baboy or Mango Float.
8. It stood by me during the tough times.
I’ve had a lot of rough times in the four years that I was in Smart Traffic but the company stood by me through all of it. My bosses were very understanding of the times I had to be absent because of sickness or family emergencies. They were even the first ones to offer me help when I needed it the most and gave me all the support that they can give. I will never forget those gestures of love forever.
9. It taught me a lot of life lessons.
My career in Smart Traffic was not without bumps and glitches but I am thankful for each challenge thrown at me. I learned to be more patient and tolerant, to be more understanding and caring, to be wiser and smarter. I know I will never be able to please some people in my workplace, but I will always be grateful to them for teaching me how to value what I have and to grow more as a person of character.
10. It gave me people I will always love forever.
Drafting that resignation letter was, without a doubt, one of the toughest things that I had to do because I felt like I wasn’t just leaving my job-I was leaving my family. Like I said, some people may not like me in the office but my love for each one of them was always constant. To Sir Cid, you know how much I look up to you not only as a boss but also as a father, mentor and good friend. To Miss Enn, thank you for feeding me breakfast and for helping me so many times. To Dannea, thank you for taking a chance on a neophyte writer like me. To Ganda, thank you for being my big sister, voice of reason, mentor, shoulder to cry on, good friend and everything else in between. To Julie, Jona and Arcel, thank you for being my awesome teammates and for all the good times we spent together. To Ivy, thank you for being brutally honest with me at all times and for having my back. To Jake, thank you for being my once noisy seatmate who always makes me laugh and for being my forever loader. To all the newbies, thank you for trusting me as your mentor. To the other members of the team: Miss Hannah, Sir Lanz, Julievive, Kristina, Vangie, Miss Liamar, Miss Ching, Ate Marilyn, Warren, Arfel, Miss Odez, Sir Geo and Ate Che, thank you for everything.
I never really imagined this day because if I had my way, I will stay here for as long as I can. But like what Bubby said as I tearfully drafted my resignation letter at home, life consists of seasons and my season in Smart Traffic has come to an end. Today, I will sign out for one last time, surrender my ID and go home as a better person because four years ago, Smart Traffic changed my life.
This is Dora Lou Jane L. Serenuela, RN, your writer-company nurse-first aider-safety officer now signing off.