Today is a very sad day at work as my Deputy, Kirsty Taylor, is leaving to return to the Other Place to become a college librarian. Kirsty has been a colleague of mine off and on since 2000 (although the poor girl did have a break from me for a few years when she worked at Nuffield College, Oxford and the New Zealand parliament – don’t feel too sorry for her!) and, as a result, we work together very well, having a natural shorthand with each other as evidenced by this typical exchange – Andy: Can you do this? Kirsty: No.
Sarcasm and directness are both part of our working relationship and as I said in my leaving speech for her earlier today it’s sometimes very useful to have people around you who will say “No”, especially when the person doing the asking is someone as pushy as me. I am genuinely grateful to her for helping me to steer our service in the right direction over the last 4 years and I recognise and appreciate that she’s often picked up unglamorous process and procedure while I’ve been blithely forging ahead. She’s also instituted hugely important changes that have stuck, for instance, holding weekly team meetings which now happen, without fail, every Tuesday at 10am. That’s going to be one of her legacies.
Worth mentioning as well that she’s a grafter, quietly and without any fuss – unless it’s a SDC Platinum problem (which have been known to turn the air a vivid shade of blue) – she get’s stuff done. Even now, on her last day, she’s set her mind to sort out installation of a Bloomberg outpost at the Economics library. You spend a helluva lot of your life at work so I’m also grateful that she’s been so damn easy to get along with. It’s going to be very weird that she won’t be here next week but I’m very pleased for her that she has a new challenge ahead of her in a new environment. I think we’re both agreed that change is good and it’s high time she was making all the decisions.
Kirsty recently relented a little in respect of a debate that has raged between us ever since we first met. I consider myself to be a Northerner having been brought up from 3 to 16 in Newcastle and Northumberland and having a Geordie mother, but Kirsty – a Geordie born and bred – has never accepted my claim (typically greeting my assertion with scorn). Recently she admitted for the first time that at least ‘I behave like a Northerner’. I think I’ll take that (it’s all I’m gonna get).
One final memory is of a party thrown by Kirsty at which, needless to say, the drink flowed well, so well in fact that afterwards, in the early hours of the morning, the wife and I were briefly apprehended by the police while playing shoot-em-ups in the street. Perhaps the fact that we were dressed as Lara Croft and Superman respectively persuaded the officers to let us go after just a few words of caution?
Until the next time our paths cross…