Thirty one years ago today… Driving up that same hill. Trees blasting color. An unexpected forest of maples lining a four lane access road on the way into an industrial research park.
It was my first day of work.
Every October, there’s a flashback. When the morning light is hitting those trees, the anniversary knocks me on the head.
i started as a student lab tech. There was this guy, and we worked together in the laser test cells. He was a long-haired genius, and kinda cool, and offered to give me a ride to work if i ever needed, because he lived near the university apartments.
i went over to have dinner with him in December of that year. i stayed for 25 years. We jokingly referred to me as the “thing that wouldn’t leave”.
Somewhere along the way, we bought a house, got married, had a kid, bought a different house, and then had another kid. Raised those kids, bought a vacation house, separated, divorced, and moved on as those kids went off to university.
Through all of that? i drove up the same hill every October. Catching the incredible color of those maples in the morning light, and remembering the day i started work.
It’s pretty unusual to have such tenure with an employer. The “Thirty Year Company Man” is nearly extinct. It’s been a good ride, that’s for sure. i’ve done nearly every job available…
Go Fer” Student Trainee. Toxic Waste Removal Technician Research Assistant. Junket Queen Research Area Lead. Benevolent Dictator Program Manager. Adult Day Care Manager Supervisor. Referee Tech Advisor. Evangelist and Marketeer Portfolio Manager. Fortune Teller Strategic Planner.
Rather than looking forward to what’s next? i now plan my retirement – five years left if all goes well. Trying to earn the paycheck. Trying to be useful. Trying really hard to still give a shit. Thankful to have it – but frequently spending time in meetings trying to stay awake by calculating the number of days i have left.
But there were those trees this morning, showing off their autumn finest in the bright sunlight. They’re thirty-one years older, too. Like me? They’re a bit thicker around the middle. They’ve weathered some storms and are still standing.
But i’m out in five. They have to stick around…
amazing photo found here…