I did it. It's so cliché, but I couldn't help it. I wrote a sentimental goodbye email to my general listserv. It's a subscription list, and is usually full of people asking for plumber recommendations and emails about estate sales.

This coming Tuesday will be my last day at [Univerity Name]. I rarely see people say their goodbyes on [listserv], so please forgive the intrusion. There are just so many people I am going to miss when I move that this seems like the best place to start.

I have worked here for 11 years. Before that, I was an undergraduate and graduate student. Before that, I was the child and grandchild of faculty members. I have been a [School Mascot] since before my memories began forming. This week has been especially hard because I am realizing that many of my tasks will be my final ones at [University Name]. My last biweekly time sheet. My last monthly detail report. My last walk through the rain to the post office.

I will cherish the time I have spent here, but I beg you to cherish each day at [University Name] as you live it. It is amazing what we get to be a part of. All of our everyday tasks and "job duties" come together to shape the lives of tens of thousands of students each year. As faculty and staff, every job is vital to the success of the students and the institution. Do you feel that when you come to work each morning? I admit, on some days, like the hottest or rainiest of the year, it does not always feel like that. When the person on the other end of the phone is crabby or the student in front of you does not seem interested, it is hard to keep that optimism. Those are the days you need to stop and remember how we are all so lucky to be a part of the bigger picture at [University Name]. That is when you need to hold on to the idea that this job is not just for a paycheck, but also for the difference you are making in people's lives.

I am going to ask some favors from you all now, if you will indulge me. It is my hope that if you participate, you will feel the sense of community I feel a part of.

I challenge you to:


* Find one person a week on campus (colleague or student) to compliment.

* Attend at least one women's basketball game this fall. The women really feel the energy from the crowd, and the devoted fans that attend every game are a hoot.

* Eat lunch outside one day. Watch the students walk by and remember when you were their age.

* Go out of your way to help at least one person each semester. It might get contagious.

* Find one part of campus that speaks to you and donate one hour of your salary each month to the Foundation for that area. Do it by payroll deduct, you won't miss it.

When I settle in Texas, I will end up in another job, maybe at another university, but I will always be a [School Mascot]. I cannot imagine my life being spent without the knowledge, friends, and family I have acquired during my time here.

If any of you would like to reach me after next week, my outside email address is ______

I've gotten 27 replies now, each better than one before it. I never would have thought that so many people felt the same way about their jobs. Working at a public university, you make less money, the health benefits are now no better than the private sector, and the job stability goes up and down with the legislature.

I guess it figures that it would be full of idealists like me. I just wish I would have said something sooner.