Today I have to say goodbye to my secretary and I don't know what to say. If I thought it would make any difference, I'd say, "Don't go! Stay here! Forget about your own life and keep taking care of our needs!"
But no: she's moving to a wonderful job in a city closer to family, and she's making the transition easier by leaving at a time when there's practically nothing going on in our department. The going-away party starts in a few minutes and I'm a bit nervous about it. In the past when I've needed to organize any kind of food-related function, I've always counted on my secretary to take care of all the finer details. But I couldn't very well ask the secretary to plan her own going-away party, could I? I want my secretary's party to be as perfect as all the parties she's planned in the past, but how can it be without her magic touch?
She has also taken care of details related to job searches, but now I have to search to find an adequate replacement for her and I'm a bit befuddled. The job ad doesn't even list some of the things I appreciate the most about my secretary: the way she anticipates my needs, asks about my children, puts up with my cranky demands without complaint. Now I'll have to hire and train a whole new secretary, something I'd rather let the old secretary stay and do--but if she would stay, then there would be no need to hire a new one.
Now she's back from lunch and the food has arrived and soon the place will be buzzing with well-wishers. If I had my way, I'd tell her to stay, but under the circumstances maybe the best thing to say is "Thanks...and goodbye."