Five years ago I gave my notice and no one took me seriously. It's hard to believe it’s finally here. I have now been jobless for a week and I love it!
After feeling like it was a normal boat-work weekend, on Monday I got to sleep in ‘til 8am, yeah, that’s right… and we went to a matinee movie, I repeat… on a Monday. I then proceeded to go grocery shopping on a Tuesday at 2pm. Blasphemy. I feel like I’m playing hooky, not jobless.
Initially hired in 1997, it’s been 17 long years. It is incredible to me that almost half my lifetime has been in this one place. Through all the triumphs and heartaches and changes, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn so many different aspects of a business.
But most importantly, I have had the honor of working with some of the smartest, capable, most genuine people. I will never forget their role in such a significant part of my life.
I'd like to thank first and foremost, Cindy and Jerry Troyer who started it all. Cindy actually created a job for me the second time I was hired and was (still is) always there with a listening ear and good advice. We love you guys!
To Bob Walker, my first supervisor… For 17 years you brainwashed work ethic, perseverance and a bizarre sense of humor into my cheese gum brain. You tackled everything they threw at you and then some. Your perseverance under impossible circumstances is inspiring. You deserved that parking spot and a gigantic share of the credit for the company's success.
To George Bosson, my boss and mentor for 11 years... We had such a great partnership didn't we? . Through success and severe stress, through laughter and tears, through fake-arguing just for fun and real arguments, was it all worth it? Well, it sure didn't end how we envisioned, how it should have. But despite everything, yes. We built a successful company, dammit George ;), and what I gained is to have had the honor of 11 years worth of learning from you... that is priceless and worth all the lumps. Your depth of caring for both your people and your product is unsurpassed. Thank you for instilling that into my psyche. And thank you for putting up with me all those years.
To Sherrie, Luis, Johnny, Daisy and Marissa... for what it's worth, I appreciate you and your efforts... your support and friendship over the years kept me going.
To Molly for being my sounding board and friend and for regaling me daily with your wacky stories. I will miss you the most.
To Tammy and Tom for keeping me sane. To Gabe for throwing me an awesome good-bye party. To Justin for making me laugh and being my substitute wordsmither. To Ron for giving me perspective, being bad cop to my good cop, and letting me keep my job for one more year.
To Jennifer, Pizzo, Shannon, Jason, Wayne, Meghna, Rick, Debbie, Denise, Leslie, Alice, Armando, Fran, Rob, loud Dave, irritable Dave, Daniel, Angella, Ed, Doris, Jackie, Jeff, Lauren, Janet, Tony, Tom, Brian, Mike, and so many others...wherever you are now…thanks for being awesome co-workers.
But my most gratifying accomplishment was hiring Steve. My diabolically evil plan from the beginning was for him to take over my job as marketing manager. Turns out, he's a graphics genius and I could not have gotten through these last years without his help. His balancing presence and willingness to dive in when I was ready to throw down was a lifesaver. I fully expect Steve to someday start his own company and I've already threatened him into hiring me when I can't stand living on a boat any longer. Truly, I owe you (and Celia) way more than I can put into words.
Throughout the years, the company has saved my bacon multiple times. I was granted a lot of leeway: I was officially hired a total of 3 different times, learned 5 decidedly different jobs, and even got to work from home for several, wonderful, drama-free years when we moved across country. So it is highly appropriate that my "golden parachute" is a lifeboat. Yes, my going away gift after 17 years, is not a Swiss watch (thank goodness), it is an inflatable Viking life raft (a thousand times more useful than a stupid watch). This is a very expensive piece of cruising equipment mind you, and, as such, its purchase would have been a very difficult decision for a jobless couple. I guess it’s my last get out of jail free card, courtesy of the board of directors. Thank you. I hope to never have to use it.... but for those worry warts out there (mom), now you can relax a bit.
So my exodus, while prolonged, (remember-5 year notice), was not very emotional, as I have had years to process. I am more than ready. There have been bets placed against me as to when I will ask for my job back. I assure you all... I will win that bet. :) While I am sad to leave behind years of hard work and my peeps, I am ready to move on. It’s time for Brian and I to finally live what we have been planning for so long.