RBSG: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

After nine and a half years, it’s nearly over. One more week together, and that’s it. It’s an emotional moment.

I remember how it was in the beginning. After a whirlwind courtship (that aptitude test, the first interview, an overnight at the Apex Hotel in the Grassmarket, so little time to get to know one another!) there I was with pen in hand, signing myself into the relationship. I didn’t know how long it would last, but I went into it thinking of permanence.

I, Abi Sutherland, take thee, The Royal Bank of Scotland…

We’ve been through a lot since then. Better and worse, of course, as always in a job. I’ve wept with the stress of it, thrown a phone headset at the wall, but the Bank also allowed me to do things I did not believe I could.

Sickness and health…we’ve done that too. The Bank put up with me through the worst days of undiagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder, but also benefitted from my manic hyper-efficient summertimes. Supported me during maternity leave, yet took my sleepless nights on projects for granted.

And richer or poorer? Well, it is a bank. We’ve had record profits, and I’ve benefitted from profit share, membership in the pension plan, and fairly good salaries. I can’t really complain.

The Bank’s gained a few pounds since we got together – bought NatWest, growing fivefold in one transaction. But it stayed attractive to me. There are benefits to a big partner. Lately, though, the strains have started to show, in ways I won’t discuss here. Still, something in me keeps thinking if I stuck it out things would get better. It’s what I do.

You see, I’m a permie girl. My contractor friends, who sign up for six-month knee-tremblers or year-long commitments, extol the virtues of their brief liaisons. But I like the stability, the deep familiarity, that comes of long association. That’s great, but now comes the cost: breaking up is so much harder to do.

And we’re almost to it now, to the division of property into mine and thine, to taking off the security pass like a ring no longer needed, to saying goodbye to a building that once was a home. We’re starting to be careful around each other, aware that things started now can’t necessarily be finished.

And I look at the meat market, look at putting myself back out there to see if someone else will want me the way the Bank wanted me, and it’s frightening. I primp and poke at my covering letters and wonder if this CV makes me look unattractive.

If Martin and I weren’t moving to the Netherlands, if this partnership were not about to be geographically impossible, would I be able to break it off? And yet, moving aside, I think that now is a good time to make the move. We were getting stale, and I don’t see things changing.

So goodbye, Royal Bank. I will miss you when I leave, and I hope we can still be friends, but it’s time for me to go.

I think I’m going to need some chocolate.

12 thoughts on “RBSG: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”

  1. It’ll work fine. You’ll find yourself another Significant Other. Until then, yes, have some chocolate. And remember that you have friends out there.

  2. Well, I just moved to Morgan Stanley after nearly seven years with JPMorgan, and it’s like having a whole new life. I thoroughly recommend it!

  3. You’ll do fab Abi, it’s the best thing. Like some men in a in a relationship he won’t remember you after a few months, perhaps even weeks, and he’ll have moved onto someone else!

  4. I’m certain you’ll do well. It’s going to be wrenching, but you’re moving to fresh woods and pastures new and that will take some of the sting. I’m sure you’ll land an excellent job in a short time.

    Chocolate does help, too.

  5. Abi: This is for you. I hope you like it.

    There are no destinations on our trip,
    just stopping points where we may rest
    or find some task at which we do our best,
    before we have to move, or else we slip
    from place to place at a more steady clip
    and, rootless, are devoted to the quest.
    We may abide, but at our own behest,
    and when we are quite ready board the ship.
    To view the different oceans and the isles
    that story tells of, to have got to view
    the places that you dreamt of as a child,
    that’s the reward for the long weary miles.
    Each place we come to teaches something new,
    and facing each departure we just smiled.

  6. Fragano,

    Thank you. That is lovely, both in concept and execution.

    And I am grateful, as well, for your thoughtfulness in writing it today.

  7. Look on the dark side, if ABN AMRO comes true you may yet get sucked back in…


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