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Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8, 2015: A Surprising Send-Off

     Those who have followed my blog know that yesterday was my last day of work before retirement, and it seemed like the day was never going to arrive. I talked about it so much that I began to worry that my friends were going to start throwing things at me if I mentioned it again. I couldn't help myself; it was obviously a major event in my life, but I knew that I needed to back off at least a little.
     Everyone wants to believe that they have had a positive influence on others as they went through life, and I am certainly no different. This week, I was made to feel that my absence at the company would most definitely be noticed. On Monday, one of the supervisors asked if I would help train my replacement and said the plant manager wanted to know if I would continue to come in until they were trained. On Tuesday, the other supervisor asked if I would consider coming back part-time to run one of the inserters. Wednesday, when it was originally believed that I would be training a new employee, I was sent to work with a team that I never work with because there were so many absences that they were having trouble filling the crews. Thursday, I was the lead operator for another team that was assigned other duties. Then there was Friday....
     Friday was basically a pretty great day for me. I was the lead again at the machine I worked at on Thursday, and at the first break, one of the employees gave me a gift card to a place I frequent a lot. When we got back from break, we heard that the company was bringing in pizza "in my honor" for lunch. It was pretty good, and they even ordered jalapenos on the side for me, since I like them. They also gave us an hour for lunch, which was twice what we normally get. During lunch, the plant manager came to me and gave me a nice check on behalf of the company and the employees. When I got back from lunch, two other employees came to me with another gift card for a dinner for two to another of my favorite restaurants. Then, we were told we could go home at two instead of four, and several employees wanted to buy me a drink at a nearby restaurant, so we headed over there. I seldom drink, but the occasion was once in a lifetime, so I sipped on half of one that I didn't care for, then drank something more to my tastes. I played some really bad pool, took a couple of photos and went home for a quiet dinner.
     The cards and gifts that I got as well as the personal well wishes from everyone overwhelmed me. I felt like I would slip out of there on my last day and no one would ever notice my leaving, but everyone went out of their way to make me feel that my work and friendship was deeply appreciated. Even the President of the company let me know that I was welcome to come back any time.
     It's really nice to know that all the efforts I made to help others and encourage anyone I came in contact with were noticed and appreciated. Many times in this day and age, a person gives more of himself than is expected and those in charge are just oblivious to it. I've adopted the "bloom where you're planted" philosophy, and don't really look for acknowledgement, so when it occurs, it is uplifting. 

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