The Last Day – 30th March 2012

Today marks the end of my employment with Reach, something which began way back in November 1995, ahead of an upcoming move to Vodafone.

I had to complete a report before coming into work for the final time and arriving soon after 11am.  I was greeted by the sight of my already messy desk looking even less tidy than usual!

Tidy desk for the final day

The day began well, with the receipt of a number of cupcakes from good friend Suzie.

Later, I had my final ‘circuit’ around Woking with Sam and Tiff before heading back to continue working.

The afternoon celebrations were marked in the Boardroom with a presentation of various gifts both for my boss, Ben and for myself.

Crowds gathering in the Boardroom

Farewell to Ben

Colin with a big screen

Part of the presentation

Thanking Colin for his presentation

Making my leaving speech

Finishing the speech with a rousing rendition of 'Bring me sunshine'

The big finish!

One of my presents was a toy elephant!?

You can read a copy of my speech here.

After my speech and the unveiling of various gifts it was time to get back to work ahead of my biggest surprise of the day.

I was ushered into one of the meeting rooms where small array of chairs had been set up in front of a projector and screen. 

Sam Underhill appeared to be the Master of Ceremonies and he explained that he had put together a video to mark my passing.  After a couple of minor teething issues, it was on with the show.  You can watch it in all its glory below:

I’m immensely grateful to all those who took the time and trouble to take part in such a unique present and particularly to Stuart and Sam who risked life and limb for me.

After work, I invited a few close chums out to join me for a meal at a nearby Little Chef.  I made the mistake of giving Stuart a lift and his directions left something to be desired.  Fortunately they were better than Colin’s – he managed to drive straight past the Little Chef the first time!

While we were waiting for him to arrive, we took a few photos outside by the Little Chef sign and beside a smelly bin!

One man and a sign

With Stuart and Tiff

Some of the gang kind enough to join me for dinner

Eventually the stragglers turned up and we hastened inside and made ourselves an L-shaped table in a corner of the restaurant.

Being a lifelong fan of Little Chef, I was keen to show my friends that they had indeed turned the corner and were on the road to recovery.


Tiff, Laura, Emma and Laura

Sam and Tiff



Laura and Ben



Best mates

Unfortunately, and perhaps I was setting my expectations too high, the experience wasn’t all that I’d hoped for.  Little things including the heat of the restaurant, the waiter not realising that they did a rosé wine, the over-familiarity of the staff (‘what can I get you, mate?’) and the fact that there was only a handful of people in the restaurant and at least two of the desserts were unavailable, all combined to tarnish the evening a little.  I still believe that Little Chef are a great company – someone just needs to remind the staff of that!

Minor gripes aside, the food was delicious!

I had one final present – a book full of greetings and photos.  Thanks guys!

My final present - a book of photos and messages

Arrival of fish and chips

Delicious fish and chips

Enjoying a small tipple

Before we left, we asked one of a staff to take a group photo.  This was the best of his three efforts!

Farewell all and thanks for the memories...

I’ll remember my last day at Reach as being manic – so manic that I ran out of time to even clear my desk!

I’ve left behind some very good mates and I’m so grateful for all their friendship over my sixteen years with the company.  They’ve made every day enjoyable and who could ask for more than that?

This entry was posted by philhbray.

3 thoughts on “The Last Day – 30th March 2012

  1. Philly, as the person who interviewed u and bought u into Aspen all those years ago! I feel I should say good luck to you.

    You were then and still are now the funniest most earnest colleague I have ever had. You made my job 100% bearable, and everyday no matter what we giggled!

    My children are now learning “Fuzzy Wuzzy” etc and I still laugh as much at those memories.

    Thanks for the laughs Jichard, good luck in your new job.


  2. Pingback: A brief catch up – 27th April 2012 | A Few Ramblings…

  3. Pingback: A Review of 2012 – 1st January 2013 | A Few Ramblings...

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