Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Talk about stick-to-it-ivness

When I was a wee young college grad at the tender age of 21, I entered the world of corporate America. Here I was met with mostly late-middle aged men. My tact for dealing with the age gap was frequently humor, particularly at the requisite 25th Anniversary cake-and-coffee events that would be held. I'd chuckle with the honoree and say 'You know, you've been working here longer than I've been alive'. Then one day I was talking with one of my customers, Ted. He told me he just celebrated his 45th Anniversary. I'll never forget the utter shock I felt. Who in the world can tolerate working THAT long? In what was probably an inappropriate comment, considering he was a client, I said 'Ted, I normaly joke with people that they've been working longer that I've been alive. You, however, have been working nearly as long as my PARENTS have been alive!' (My mum was 47 and dad 46 at the time). He's a very nice man and just chuckled and told me about how his daughter was in med school and someone had to pay the bills :)

Fast forward to yesterday. Ted is still one of my clients, though I support them in a higher capacity now. I called him with some 'good news/bad news' as we've been working on a product problem for MONTHS with still no solution. We had the usual small talk and when his response to 'How are you doing?' was 'Spectacular!', I said 'No one is spectacular on a Monday, what's got you in a good mood?' And he told me he had just left his 50th Anniversary celebration!

Why I feel this is blogworthy, I don't know. The fact that a man has worked for a company long enough to celebrate such a milestone. One few marriages even reach. No one at his company knows of anyone else who has reached it. I think that makes it mentionable (aside from the fact that Ted is one of the most genuine and kind and even tempered people I've ever med). His daughter has graduated, but he and his wife love to travel, and with 6 weeks vacation he goes on 3 big trips a year. He says retirement wouldn't give them the income to continue that, so he'll continue to work. The best part? The guy doesn't look a day over 50 when you meet him!

So Congrats to Ted! I certainly hope I'm as content at his age, though I'm pretty sure my contentment will NOT be in the form of having such longevity with my employer!


JessicaRose said...

wow. considering Justin is working to retire at 38. he is tossing around the idea of working a second job after the navy to retire again. But still 50 years at the same place. that's amazing. Go Ted!

km said...

It's even hard to find a company that will keep you that long. I'm sure that Ted's attitude has taken him far.