I love the songs of Leonard Cohen and the title of this piece is one of his most famous songs. A gentle sad song of goodbye. Cohen is generally regarded as the bedsit troubadour, the man who sings sad depressing songs for lonely over-emotional students. In fact, I personally find him uplifting, life-affirming and thought provoking but that’s not the point of this blog.
Today one of our team here at DiscoveringIreland leaves us and it’s fair to say his leaving will create a huge hole in our hearts. The word “unique” is overused, usually when people can’t think of another word for special or unusual but in the case of Yuichi Hashimoto the word is tailor made for him: “existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics ” (definition courtesy of Dictionary.com)
Yuichi came to our company to work for the Japanese market inbound to Ireland having already lived in Cork city for some time. He arrived in Ireland with a sense of adventure, very little money and a patchy knowledge of the English language. By the time he arrived at our offices unannounced and looking for a job, he had developed a strong Cork city accent, a mastery of northside Cork City slang and quite a few shall we say “interesting” phrases in the Irish language. So what did he bring to the company? Boundless enthusiasm, energy, optimism, fun, surprise and the uncanny knack of saying something funny loudly when it was not meant for an audience and sparking a wave of laughter throughout our open plan offices. Yes he worked hard and contributed greatly to our company but he gave us many more intangible things which are harder to decribe.
His unquenchable enthusiasm for eating fish, his developing skills as a soccer player with our company team “Who Are Ye? FC” despite never having played at an organised level before, his contributions (not only monetary!) to our Thursday night poker games, his golfing skills honed on the great pitch and putt course in the sand dunes at Rosscarbery, his ability to strike up a conversation with anyone, of any age, anywhere; how are those attributes measured and weighed in a career resume?
Yuichi is moving to London with his girlfriend, Fabiana – the Japanese speaking Italian girl he met in Cork – and we will miss them both. Okay, so they won’t be so far away and we will see Yuichi again I am sure. It’s just that it is natural for us to get a bit misty eyed. It’s always tempting to think of your loss when someone leaves, what we will miss, how different it will be and that’s where Leonard comes in. You see he is a very wise man and what the song says is “I will miss you when you leave but I celebrate knowing you”. So today let’s celebrate.