When I was a kid, adults were respected for staying with a job more than twenty years....well, the ones that weren't doing just enough above lazy to get a paycheck or couldn't be caught doing something illegal. My grandfather's company not only threw an annual Christmas party where grandkids were invited, he received a gold pin every five years. At one point, those pins started to have a ruby or diamond in them. He received enough pins that Grandma had a nice ring made out of them after he died.
Dad wasn't as fortunate, as his company was bought and sold several times. One acquisition even took away their previous retirement savings! But at least the Bosses were smart enough to give out Atta-Boys to ensure he'd continue to show up. Which he did, in spite of cancer and chemo treatments.
I hit a work milestone Friday in my role as Director of my senior citizen children. The only reason anyone knew was because I made a joke in their monthly newsletter: "The 1st (and only) Director once said I'd never make it to 18 years, like her. She was right. I hit 25 years on Aug. 3rd. And this is your 300th newsletter."
(Actually her REAL statement was that I was too young to understand old people, that I wouldn't last a year and I would be the downfall of the group to the point it would disband.)
Sometimes stubborn can prove a person wrong. :)
I actually reached the 31 year mark with my employer this year, but the work world is a busy place and no one notices employees who show up....just the ones who frequently call in sick. Deep down I know this. I work in an "at will" state, meaning they can fire me if they don't like the color of my outfit...they merely don't need a reason to let me go. Years ago I helped re-write the Employee Handbook. It was re-written a couple of times over the last few years and it at this point, it looks more like a document to legally protect my employer from every possible angle under the sun, with employees resembling annoyances, not the help. Public servants don't get to ask raises and if they had the gall to do so (not me) they're reminded about the "at will" part. Comes with the territory.
And yet on Friday, I felt a huge sense of disappointment as the day came and went without a single mention that I'd given a quarter of a century of my life to one job.
I tried to shake it off. I'm an adult, right? After all, I handle the tasks of what was formerly performed by 2 people. As the Director AND the entire staff, I should be use to it.
But there was a nagging sensation that maybe I'd made a bad choice in staying. When I first began, only 3 of us in my Dept. had college degrees. The pay does not reflect that. (See asking for a raise reference). The seniors of today can be more like spoiled children than the "greatest generation" folks that I started off with. As I started up the driveway Friday afternoon on my way home, I felt like a dark cloud was hanging over my head...one as angry and menacing as the real skies above. Why do I stay? I'm not lazy and would never resort to anything illegal...I have a huge sense of right and wrong with NO poker face.
So as I prepared to sit for 10 minutes trying to turn left into weekend traffic, heart heavy, something across the road caught my eye. Something which hadn't been there that morning. A new billboard.
Okay Guardian Angel.
I get it.
Doing for others, adding to the greater good,
is better than pouting or tweeting.
See you Monday morning.