I shall hang you on doodads no longer: this is an outline sketch of the salient events of Mary's last day in work.
The staff had organised a pot-luck brunch for Mary (which gave the caretaking and cleaning staff the opportunity to join in) and a lot of goodies were provided. People popped in from all over the place, including escapees like Jimmy Huddersfield, Tilly Floss and Onabushkan Flo. It was all very warm and convivial and pleasant. Warner Baxter popped in to say cheerio to Mary. And he waited, and everyone else waited, and Mary waited...
T.Aldous made a big fuss and got everybody into the staff room who wasn't needed to cover the front line in the library. Everybody got in, awaiting the presentation of gifts and card. T.Aldous returned, said thank you, took a photo and disappeared.
Eventually it started to dawn on people that that was that and they slowly drifted away.
Just after lunch T.Aldous made it known that everybody was to go upstairs to the Lending Library as he wanted to present Mary with the thanks of the Library Service and a parting gift. Now, this was well meant but... It would have been OK in a branch library, where the customers know the individual staff very well and are grateful for the opportunity to say thank you and good luck to departing people. But not often in our biggest library, where service tends to be a bit more of the production line methodology. And especially not as it's been a quarter of a century since Mary worked on the front line. The customers looked on bemused as T.Aldous did his spiel and Mary tried not to be embarassed.
The gift was a nice bouquet of flowers in a box. Which isn't the gift we've all chipped in for. And Mary's not had her card yet. We're hoping that both are being saved for the evening meal that's been organised for next week.
As I said the other day: well-meaning, but really not quite right.
Then Mary attended her last Policy Team Meeting, where they discussed the latest budget cuts.