Willfred Mont expresses concern for the future and looks for a chance to “opt out”…
From what I’ve learned in nearly 60 years of thankless labor and tedious repetition is that it’s best to let your company decide whether you should retire or quit.
I have been fortunate enough to be selected for “retirement” by two separate companies. The first, Templeton Box and Glove, made several moves, including the hiring of several people related to the supervisors, to make my position extraneous and thus, easily eliminated.
I fought them every step of the way, using my years of work experience and H.R. loopholes to keep my position. I also fought them the old-fashioned way, turning my staplers and No. 2 pencils into a makeshift weapon and fashioning chainmail out of discarded paperclips.
My last week at Templeton was quite the experience. Besides the skirmishes with mystified supervisors (who seemed ill-prepared to handle a man armed with a stapler and dressed in paperclip-mail), there were also long battles with H.R. representatives, who seemed stymied when presented with large, randomly chosen paragraphs from the 485-page employee manual.
It was all for naught. Shortly after the security guards were summoned, I was forced to declare a truce. If I had had the foresight to swing by the supply closet before cloistering myself in the crawlspace, I would have had enough staples to hold them off for at least another 8 hours.
Still, there were no hard feelings. They threw a retirement party in my honor, according to the photos they mailed me. I was also served with a 500-foot restraining order and must clear any office supply purchase with the local sheriff’s office.
The other retirement went much easier. I arrived as usual at 8 am to find a retirement party in full swing. When I inquired who it was for, a cheerily overweight coworker informed me that “It’s for you, ya old coot!” As he laughed in amusement, I punched him right in the throat.
Lucky for him, I had not yet had my morning coffee, which was usually sprinkled heavily with much-needed cane sugar and PCP. With a full cup, I might have severed his head.
Two hours later, I was back in my Oldsmobile, being waved goodbye to by a set of burly security guards and a bleeding CEO.
So in my estimation: let the retirement time find you. It always has for me.
Clifton L. Tanager