Today was my final day as an employee of Tim Hortons. Although there were many frustrations within the job over the years, this job was like a secondary family and I enjoyed doing what I did. My biggest issues had little to do with my bosses, franchise owner, and so much more to do with the corporation and the direction it has been taking the company. I understand the concept of a business striving to make profit and grow business. I just have different values and priorities in my life and how I view our customers. This is why, after 11 years of working at this job, I jumped at the opportunity to seek employment at Starbucks.
Everything I see and hear and experience at Starbucks, even before I have worked a shift there, leads me to believe that this job will align more closely with my values. Perfectly? Probably not. However, as a frequent customer at Starbucks, I have already experienced the value this company places on building connections with their guests. I love that! Will the new job be perfect? I know it won’t be, because there will always be difficult customers and pressure to meet performance expectations. What I can say is that there will be a difference between working at Starbucks and working at Tim Hortons, and I find that exciting. My first shift isn’t until Tuesday, so I have the next six days to decompress and relax and simply exist in a temporary job-free existence.
As excited as I am for my new job and as easy as it is to say good-bye to Tim Hortons the company, saying good-bye to my co-workers was not so easy. I have worked with some of these people for my entire 11 years there. While some co-workers have been there for a much shorter period of time, in many ways we are like a family. It was the saying good-bye that was the hardest thing. I won’t miss a great deal of things about the job itself, but I will miss the daily interaction with these people. And the regular customers, too! I was given a lot of hugs today. I also received flowers, balloons, a ceramic travel coffee mug, and a beautifully handmade Wonder Woman card. I cried many tears.
Then I came home, took off my uniform for the final time and had a hot bath. The tears have dried up, I think, and I am good. It feels slightly strange to know that I do not work at Tim Hortons anymore, but I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life. Change, although often uncomfortable, can produce amazingly beautiful results. In the half-proud, half-mocking words of my youngest son, “Aw! Little Angela is all grown up!”