Tonight at the office pantry, I got a text message while I was eating take-out dinner with Ron and Blair from this year's Batch 7, the second batch I handled as a training assistant at the bank where I work. "Sir Johann," the text message said, "hanggang sa muli. Salamat sa pagsagot sa mga katanungan ko. (Until next time. Thanks for helping me when I had questions.)" Affixed to the end of the message was the name of the sender, and he was also from Batch 7.
I wish I could say their class
was the most insufferable group
of miscreants I've ever handled and that now they've
transformed into officers of the bank I can truly be proud of. There
17 of them—few, compared to the batch before them which was composed of
30 trainees, the biggest batch in the department's history thus far—and they were almost my age, but
though Batch 7 is rowdier, they're far from being miscreants and even
farther from being insufferable. I've seen them grow in terms of
knowledge from the time they walked in the office on their first day, and I'm proud of them. But more than that, they're the first
class to whom I became truly attached.
"What do you mean?" I replied. "Hindi ka na ba papasok? (Aren't you coming back to work anymore?)"
"Resigned na ako, sir (I already quit)," was the confirmatory response. He added that the job might not be for him anyway, and that he wanted to rest first before looking for another job.
I thought he was actually doing well despite remarks from others on the contrary because I never heard him complain about the job and he rarely turned to me for assistance. He isn't the first from his batch to quit so I'm not entirely sure why at the moment the thought of his saying goodbye is weighing heavily on me. Maybe it's because he thanked me despite me feeling like I haven't really helped him much. Which in turn makes me actually want to do something huge for him, like point him toward the direction he should be taking in life if he's certain he doesn't want to stay anymore, even if it's for the sake of his newfound friends at work.
But then it hit me: not everyone from his batch would care deeply that he's gone. For a time there will be this pinching sadness inside our chests but then we would have to eventually move on. Because that's one of the harsh realities of life, and it's one that I should already become used to if I want to pursue a career in training. A class arrives and for a time you enjoy it, frustrations, headaches and all. But then they graduate and another batch comes along.
People come and people go. It is the vicious yet simple cycle of life.