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Really Good Day Today

It seems weird that I would have had a great day today. One of my favorite coworkers retired today. She wasn’t my direct boss, but she was one of the people responsible for creating my department and for hiring me. She served as a bit of a mentor, too. I will miss her so much. She was always so happy and enthusiastic about her job, which energized everyone around her and brought out their best work. I have no idea what morale is going to be like on Monday when she isn’t there with her hilarious stories of everything she did over the weekend and how happy she is to start her work week.

But the reason why it was such a good day was because we threw her a little retirement party at the office today. She knew it was coming even though we didn’t tell her outright – when you work somewhere for 30 years, you probably hope they do something – and she was delighted to see so many of us show up to the conference room to see her off. She is going to move north to spend more time with her daughter and grandkids. Again, I know this all sounds more sad (for me anyway, not her, I think spending time with family is a great way to occupy your retirement) than anything. I’ll just get to the good part. She gave a little speech. While I wish I could remember it word for word, I was able to remember most of the point of it (I need to ask for a copy):

“This company has been smart in who they hired and how they did things. It’s been an honor to be one of the people who have helped it grow into what it is today. You all should celebrate that. The path you travel from here forward is one that you will have to forge for yourself. There will be no signs, and nobody ahead of you has blazed a trail. It will probably be hard, because nobody is doing what you’re doing and there is nobody to guide you but yourselves. Rely on one another, on the standards and morals you’ve brought with you to this place. Lean on your work family and you’ll never be alone in that wilderness, and you’ll find a way.  Encourage one another to be responsible and forthright, to treat everyone fairly and with respect, and do business like you’re working with your best friend. Following these guidelines will not only ensure that you’ll be proud of the work that you do and the person you become, but it will help this company stay at the top of its game. Our reputation is already good. You all will make it great.”

Hearing that made me so happy. I try to make a difference every day, even if it is something little. It felt like she was acknowledging every one of us and all the small ways we are working towards a great thing. I will miss her but doing a great job will help me remember all the good times we had. I will keep moving this company forward and reward the faith she had in me!