Yesterday I received an I/M letting me know one of my first supervisors was retiring and his farewell gathering would be today. I knew I had to go to this one.
When you work in a company with hundreds and hundreds of employees, and when many of those employees have worked in excess of thirty years for the company, when one of them retires, it's a big deal--especially for the retiree. Today was Doug's day. And there were eclairs.
To reach the get-together, I had to take a light rail train to the building where I've worked for fifteen years, a building where, when I received my first promotion after working for six months, I met Doug. He was my immediate boss. Because of the type of work we did, the best way to learn the job was to just do it. And because Doug had been doing that job for more than a decade, I turned to him so many times for advice.
"What would you do, Doug?"
And he would tell me. And I'd make the decision. Such was our working relationship for years. I ended up moving to different departments and different buildings, Doug remained answering thousands upon thousands of questions from co-workers and customers alike.
Beginning in 2017 we'll be Doug-less, all that decades-old experience will no longer be available to the team. I'm glad I went to the retirement party today. I'm glad I got to shake his hand, get a quick picture, and chow down an eclair. But most of all, I'm glad a man who has spent years and years of his life working for one organization can finally be needed in other, more important things.
Thanks, Doug, for answering all those pestering questions and for everything else.