It was bittersweet day in my office. Phil, who you've come to know a little through his Monday cookie reviews, has moved on to bigger and better things - retirement! He has many interests outside of work, so I know he will put his new-found spare time to good use. He'll be fine - it's the rest of us I'm worried about.
Phil insisted that there be no party, no speeches, and we reluctantly complied - so what I couldn't proclaim to a few of my coworkers I will instead proclaim to the world. I know when and if he reads this, he will be squirming uncomfortably in his seat. Sorry Phil - it won't take long, I promise.
Phil is a great guy - I don't know how else to put it. From what I've seen he approaches everything (people, work, and even cookie reviews) in a caring, thoughtful way. In his farewell email to the office he commended everyone for their efforts to "get it right" in spite of the fact that "right" is often hard to pin down. I can't think of anyone who has tried harder in that regard. It was apparent in his work, but it was even noticeable in the reviews he did for my silly little cookie project. I remember him telling me one time that he had put half the cookie in the refrigerator to see what it would be like chilled (!). He generally mulled over his thoughts for several days before emailing me his often amusing and always kind reviews.
There's no doubt that Phil will be missed on the cookie panel, but most of all I will miss seeing him every day in the office. I'm sure we'll see each other from time to time and stay in touch by email, but it's the ordinary, everyday chitchat that will be lost and that I will miss.
OK, I'm going to wrap this up before I get too maudlin and embarrass Phil to death. Just two more things... I keep telling Phil that he needs to start a blog, but I don't think I've persuaded him yet. Feel free to twist his arm a little in the comments. Finally, I have a picture for you. I made cookies twice this week (there are two more of his reviews to look forward to) and asked Phil to pose for a picture with the last cookie. I told him I wanted him to do a thumbs up or thumbs down picture. So he comes in with this big old plastic nose...
Happy trails Phil!