ONE casualty of working from home has been the loss of the office leaving do and its traditions. The jokey/resentful speech from the boss, a giant card full of scribbled best wishes, an envelope of cash, maybe some flowers for the lady, then it’s off to the pub where past grievances are diluted by booze and a punch-up narrowly avoided. Maybe that’s just journalism.

In newspapers, the dearly departing are given their own front page filled with affectionate stories from colleagues. Here's hoping no one on Nicola Sturgeon’s staff decides to borrow the idea, as they would have a heck of a job finding anything good to say about her last days in office.

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Can it only have been five weeks since Scotland’s First Minister stood at her podium and said part of serving well was knowing “almost instinctively” when the time was right to make way for someone else? Surveying the carnage that followed, I think we can say with some certainty her timing has been spectacularly off on this one. This cannot be the season finale she had in mind.

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We know it is not by looking at what has happened in the last few days. This week has been some time in the planning. Ms Sturgeon said as much in her letter to the Scottish Affairs Committee turning down their invitation to chew the fat about her years as First Minister. “My diary is full over my final weeks in office as I focus on ensuring a smooth transition to my successor,” she wrote. I'd like to think she was smiling as she did so.

She left out the part about preferring to spend the time flitting from studio to studio in London giving farewell interviews.

Few leaders get to leave office on their own terms and in their own time. They usually go after an election defeat and then it’s the bum’s rush out the door as though their continued presence is an embarrassment to all.

Ms Sturgeon was determined not to follow that pattern. As she saw it, and never tired of saying, she was leaving on a high, trailing nothing but electoral success behind her.

This was a chance to rewrite the rule book on how to leave office well, and in doing so lay the groundwork for her future.

It was worth a try. Political leaders in this country are generally terrible at the move to civvy street. There is no manual to follow, no guide to the right or wrong ways to start again. Time was when infirmity and the grave took care of things naturally, but now departing leaders can have decades ahead of them still. All that time to fill.

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Look at the line-up of past Prime Ministers at the Queen’s funeral, still a hale and hearty lot. Once the memoirs are written what is there to do next that won’t get a body into trouble? It ended badly for David Cameron when he flogged his services to business. The hired gun who shot himself in the foot. Tony Blair keeps plugging away with his foundation, hoping for forgiveness from the public and getting none.

Gordon Brown’s efforts to stay busy are exhausting to watch. Boris Johnson, through no planning on his part, has had a full diary since being booted out of office, including his marathon appearance before the Commons Privileges Committee today. Somehow, I don’t think fighting to keep his job as an MP and launch yet another comeback at the age of 58 were on his wish list as a young Bullingdon Club member. As for Alex Salmond, he truly could write the book on how not to start a new life after leaving office.

The ones who seem happiest are content with a quiet, relatively modest life that allows them to indulge their passions and get paid at the same time.

In Theresa May’s case that meant haunting Boris Johnson at every opportunity. William Hague scribbles away on his columns.

The key seems to be making it look as though one is relaxed about the whole thing. Add a few lucrative speaking engagements, charity work and a consultancy or two and a pretty good life is there for the taking.

It does make one wonder about Ms Sturgeon’s plans. Bear in mind that these would have taken shape in more optimistic times, when anything seemed possible.

There are hints of what she was thinking in this week’s itinerary. Why not drop in on Loose Women, have a laugh, show a lighter side? She would not have expected to be clearing up after a weekend of mayhem that had seen her husband quitting and her party’s president calling the whole shebang a “tremendous mess”.

On Sky News, Ms Sturgeon had a lot to say about the need for more civility in politics, telling Beth Rigby that she had more “toxic abuse” on gender recognition reform than any other issue. “All of us need to take a step back and reflect on that,” she said. “We need to relearn how to disagree in a way that is civilised and respectful and brings a bit of good faith back into some of these debates.” That would impress any future employer until they watched a few First Minister’s Questions.

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We already know she is a cert to write her memoirs, and maybe she would like to try a novel, something in crime perhaps. Both offer satisfying ways to settle scores.

She should at least be commended for not doing a Matt Hancock and ruling out anything in reality television. I don’t expect she will be taking up Gloria Hunniford’s offer to become a regular guest on Loose Women. Too canny for that. A chat show, something on radio? She has given enough interviews to know the form.

What any careers consultant would advise is to have a good departure from your current job. That, alas, is another thing that has not worked out for Ms Sturgeon. She thought she could rely on a smooth transition to a continuity candidate who would take advice from certain figures on the backbenches. That may yet turn out to be the case, but there will be no peace to be had, not after this leadership contest.

As the week progresses, Scotland’s first woman First Minister is having a lot of lasts. Last cabinet, last First Minister’s Questions, last staff meeting and then …. what? I expect she has had enough of Scottish politics for a while and will be glad of a break.

Trouble is, I don’t think Scottish politics has quite done with her.