What is the most decorous way to leave a company where you have worked happily for years? I had always thought there were three things well-behaved people never did. They did not poach colleagues. They did not hang around but made a clean break. And they did not get embarrassingly emotional. Each of these rules makes sense. But now I am finally leaving the Financial Times after 32 years, I find myself in flagrant breach of all three. I have spent much of the past year coaxing older colleagues (and ageing professionals of all sorts) to quit and join me as teachers in inner London schools. As for a clean break, when the FT suggested I go on writing a dozen articles a year, I grabbed it. The extra cash will come in handy and I want to write about teaching. But the third rule I am breaking unexpectedly and unwillingly. As I sit down to write this last column, I feel so wobbly I can hardly put one word in front of another. This has taken me quite by surprise. I announced I was leaving so...

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