Thursday – A little Personal

Office party

 

I had the occasion yesterday to attend a Christmas party at my old company. (Yes I was invited) Well, it’s not my old company it is the company from which I retired, and it was nice to return. I remember when we threw a Christmas party, and some of the retirees would show up. I wondered at the time why they came. I thought when I saw them at the event, once retired who would want to return to the thousand points of pain ever again? At the time, I couldn’t imagine being in the same position yet here I was accepting an invitation to attend a Christmas party. The party was at the same company in which I had invested, sweat, nerves, and what I thought was sure to be years off my life.

Driving the two and one-half hours to San Antonio, (A crazy stunt in itself) I figured it out. I wanted to see the lovely people who were still there. It was those people who made the workday bearable and in some cases fun. In spite of the deadlines and boss craziness, these folks managed to keep a bright outlook and positive attitude. They were the ones to give a cheery “good morning” and take the time to ask how things were going. They were also the ones who could tell you had spent an all-nighter or were on the cusp of going postal. They seemed to know that your trials were in some ways also their trials since we all worked for the same company. A quick story or joke would lift some of the tension and make the day go better. They were the ones who brought donuts of breakfast tacos and the ones who were first in line to donate to remember a lost family member.

It came to me that those retirees of the past attended the party to touch briefly those who had shown kindness and charity when they needed it most. It could be they needed it then as well, and I hope each received what they were seeking. Me? I wanted to thank some of the folks for being so darned nice. I did just that and came away with the feeling that I would like to attend another one again sometime.

26 comments

  1. Nice. Who says nostalgia isn’t what it used to be?

    1. Seems the same to me.

  2. Interesting how perspective changes over the years.

    1. One person commented that I looked younger and then immediately said, “I guess being away from the stress is the reason.” I had to agree.

  3. The core group of people I have worked with for almost 28 years are beginning to retire. It’s sad, because I realize, like you say here John, that they are the reason this job has been bearable. I miss them (well, most of them) and I am sure that I will miss the ones I leave behind when I retire.

    1. So true Dan. It was nice catching up.

  4. That’s why my dad went to a recent party at his old workplace. He wanted to see who was still around and there was a curiosity about where the company was going. Kind of like returning to a high school or college I guess.

    1. It was very much like that only more of a shared experience.

  5. I think I will wait a couple more years…. 🙂

  6. That’s awesome. Always good to see friends again. I hope you had some punch.

  7. This was so nice, John. I hope your old coworkers follow your blog.
    We spend so much time with our co-workers, they almost feel like family.

    1. True Jill. Thanks.

  8. This speaks highly of your former office mates, John. Much much better than high school class reunions! Co-workers share so much of our lives, our ups and downs, and they’re the very ones who make work bearable in many cases. I suppose that’s what’s challenging about working for yourself — the lack of camaraderie (unless you’re a writer, of course, and have LOTS of voices in your head!!)

    1. Nice comments Debbie. I think working alone with all those voices is a fine thing.

  9. I wouldn’t mind visiting some of my old work haunts, but they aren’t there anymore. It’s kind of a way to visit your younger self, I guess, isn’t it.

    Really nice piece, John.

    1. It is a way to visit your younger self with a bunch of people who knew you when. Thanks, Kevin.

  10. A positive experience, then. Hmm. Maybe I should go the next time I’m invited. Some old friends from work one doesn’t bump into otherwise. Glad you had a great time. 🙂

  11. I’ve done that with old schools–going back and finding that so-and-so is no longer around. But schools are a bit different, considering the rotation lasts about four or so years.

    I have a way to go before I reach retirement, but those nostalgic moments hit me all the time. Thanks for relating your story. It was awesome!

  12. I’m so glad you went. I’ve often thought that when I leave my current job, I won’t look back, I’ll cut the ties. But, you’re right, at the least there will be people I’ll want to see because they made some gesture, some comment of kindness. They did or said something that made my working day more tolerable.

    1. Those kinds of gestures is what makes humans human. Thanks Marie.

  13. Retirement can be a welcome escape but then one can find that they miss part of it. You must have done a good job and made some friends for you to be invited back. Funny how we remember the small gestures of kindness and friendships over the glory. But I don’t miss the stress of a job!

    1. So true. It was a great day. Thanks

  14. I love a happy holiday story filled with nostalgia and seasonal goodness.
    Well done, John!

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