I know, it's one of the 7. Still, I'll admit I can be envious of others at times.
Attended/participated in a bodacious retirement party yesterday for a woman I've know for almost 20 years. I've known Jane since we first crossed paths back in our previous company. We've worked together on many projects/assignments before we got bought out and the place got closed it down. We both wound up starting with our new company around the same time. She was one of the friendly faces I knew from the old company. A number of us got picked up for our experience/skills (except me - I got picked up for my looks) and, over the years, we tended to stick together. I guess, once you have fought in the trenches with people, you watch each other's backs.
Jane and I started at this place about 10 years ago. While we both worked in different groups, our job requirements had us crossing paths daily. She ran the documentation group, I ran the materials group and the process had us working side-by-side on many projects. Over the years, we've shared a lot of time trying to deal with the current crisis or adjust to the latest change. We've both been through 2-3 reorgs, several product launches, a couple of Lean Six Sigma projects. There were many times in the past that no one could leave until everything was released. I recall more than a few nights of heading home at 4:00 am only because the server went down for its nightly back up. Throughout it all, Jane has kept her cool/sanity. Always willing to lend a hand and help others (even when they really deserved a beating). And always bringing in some dessert or cake for no good reason.
Jane's retiring this week at the ripe young age of 65. This has been coming for a while. Her team organized a secret retirement party for her complete with pot luck lunch. I whipped up a peach cobbler (using my Boy Scout recipe) that was practically inhaled. I got assigned to bring drinks so, I stopped off on my way in to buy a couple of liters of soda. I figured it to be a small party and 3-4 bottles should suffice. Christine informed me that I was the only one who signed up to bring drinks and 3-4 might not be enough for the crowd of 60+ who signed up to attend. 60?? That's not a small gathering, that's a mob. I had to rush off to the store to score another 10 bottles for the throng. Still, turned out great. A lot of people there to see her off. Even the CEO showed up for a few comments. Most everyone pitched in for a gift card, but the company decided that she had done so much over the past 10 years, they bought her a new Dell laptop. I told her it was because they wanted to send her e-mails for her help on urgent documents.
She and her husband are loading up their trailer and heading off to Silverton, CO for the summer. They've got a deal to work/live at an RV park for the entire summer as part time office support and general handyman. They're not planning to be back down here until the temps are back in the 80s (should be around Halloween). With all the projects/reports/reviews ahead of me, I am kinda envious of her change. I am a good 10-12 years out from taking that road.