Friday, July 31, 2009

The End Of An Era

Today was my last official work day for my place of employment. As of tomorrow, August 1st (which will be today by the time I get this posted) I will be officially retired. I've already applied for Social Security and all my retirement papers are being processed according to an angel named Helena that I spoke to today. I'm done. And I'm lucky.

I walk twice a day every single day. And I walk fast. I'm 63 years old and I can't believe how fortunate I am. I'm retired and I'm healthy enough to stay active.

But I'm bitter. I started this job only 14 years ago with stars in my eyes. It was my dream job and I was ready to give it my all...which I did. But this job wanted more from me. This job wanted my self respect and my dignity.

The powers that be in this failing enterprise seem to believe that the only way to salvage this organization is to beat up the very people that keep them going. They pile on more and more and appreciate less and less. It's a very, very physically demanding job especially if your part of it involves only walking all day every day. And it's not just strolling along the sidewalk. You're required to take every shortcut possible and the steps you go up and down are killers. They wear on your joints and your stamina.

And the working conditions? Believe it or not, it's a dangerous job. There's ice hidden in places you can't anticipate and you're down before you know it's there. There are hidden obstacles seemingly designed for trips while you're attending to your job as you walk (as required). And if you have an accident in the worst winter on record or worse yet, two of them, you will be treated like the lowest of the low. You'll be told that it's a shame that this organization lets you work for them with your accident record. But wait, I'm the first person they've said this to in my work unit. Is it because I'm 63? Surely not.

Don't get the wrong idea. I slipped on hidden ice and my head hit a planter. The ensuing cuts required 5 stitches and I was back at work the next day. I'm not a slacker. I'm a hard, conscientious worker and I was treated like dog****.

When my daughter called me with the most devastating news any mother could ever hear - that the identical twin boys she was carrying had both died, my employer told me that if I went to her, I would be fired for abandoning my route. And the thing I'll NEVER forgive myself for is that I didn't walk away that day.

I'm leaving this dream job because it turned into a nightmare. And I'm not walking away with pride in a job well done (although it was), I'm leaving an embittered, battered, beaten down ex-employee who is relieved that for the rest of her life she never has to walk into that place again.


  1. Your retirement is certainly their loss and your gain, whether they realize that yet or not. I'm sure they will very soon. You can be proud that you did a good job in a difficult situation and tried to make the best of it. How wonderful that you can now have time for yourself and Mr. Right to do things that you want to do. I'm so happy for you as you enter this new phase of your life. And don't beat yourself up over the day the boys died. You are a wonderful mother and second guessing yourself can't change the past. Happy Retirement, my friend!!

  2. I keep thinking that when I think of you, I feel a massive sense of relief knowing that you won't be going back to that place again.

    And then I think "if I feel this way...what must you feel."

    This post was so good and you can feel the emotion behind it.

    And Oh my gosh, this is such a loss for them (and their customers) but I feel like celebrating knowing that WE have YOU like we've never had before.

  3. Well said, Mom. And like Beth said, you could really feel the emotion, when I finished I just said, "wow". It's all so so true. I think hearing that you're finally retired is truly one of the happiest days for me. I'm so happy for you. You deserve it SO MUCH.

    Love, Amy


Gentle, strong, kind or true, I'd love to hear what you have to say.
Short or long, it's up to you, your comments and thoughts really make my day!