I remember when I visited Älmhult on our look-and-see trip, a woman on the train asked us why we were going to Älmhult. I told her I had a job interview at IKEA Communications. Her face lit up. Her husband had worked there for many years, and so had she. "It's a very special place," she said, as she jumped off in Malmö and wished me luck.
I've been thinking about her words a lot these past few weeks.
It's not often – or ever – that you care so much about the people you work with that you could tell them you love them. But that's exactly how I feel, and that's exactly what I said to them (and they to me).
This week has been one of fun, memorable, heartwrenching goodbyes. First a dinner Monday night, then lunch on Tuesday, then dinner again on Tuesday night, then lunch on Thursday, and then fika today. It has been so emotionally overwhelming that I just didn't think I could take it anymore.
Who gets this sad to leave a job?
I sit here managing a dichotomy of emotions... because when I am able to shake this feeling of deep sadness, I feel like my whole inside is smiling. Just to feel all this love this week, and to feel so lucky to have had this experience. It is incredible.
A special place? Damn right. But if I ever run into a nervous and enthusiastic IKEA applicant on a train, I'll be even more specific... it's the special people.
Next chapter in life, you have some very big shoes to fill.