Last night, I, along with a whole bunch of other people attend a retirement dinner for my coworker, Bob. Officially, his last day is on the 29th but that’s a Saturday and who wants to come into work on Saturday? We teased him about that and he told us where to go. Bob has been looking forward to this day since the day he started working here. I hear about it every day too but I guess after working here for 42 years, you’d want to get out of here too.
I can remember Bob talking about retirement since the first day I started working. He told me the importance of saving up now because you don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. The government will give you so much but they can’t be counted on. You have to put a little away now because pretty soon, “the light at the end of the tunnel will be right in your face.”
The days leading up to Bob’s retirement, my coworker and I decide to play little tricks on him. My coworker would run a little program on Bob’s computer that would white out his screen. When Bob starts to complain about his screen going white, my coworker would kill the program and it’ll go back to normal. He’ll call us over and we see nothing on the screen. What’s funny is that Bob would try to get an eye witness but when anyone comes over to his desk, everything appears to be fine. I think people were starting to think he’s crazy.
I on the other hand would start ejecting his CD drive every so often. Once he closes it, I would eject it again. And again he’ll try to find some eye witnesses but nothing would ever happen when they’re around. We started saying that he was going crazy or that he was trying to stir things up before he goes. Fun was had my all.
For two months, we made sure that something went awry on his computer and for two months he would complain that his computer was acting up. We didn’t tell him that we were the ones behind it until the dinner. By then, he was relieved to find out that he wasn’t going mad. He knew that somebody was up to no good but we couldn’t put his finger on who the culprit was.
I had to get him back for something. During my first week at work, he would walk over to my desk with a cup of water in his hand and asked if I knew John. I knew a lot of Johns so I asked him, “John who?” Then he’ll dip his finger into his cup and say “John the Baptist” and flick water at me as if he was baptizing me. Every month or so he would come up and ask me if I knew John but I knew better.
After today, there will be no more jokes played on his machine. There will be no two o’clock apples. No more Jean the Baptist. I think it’s going to get a little quieter around here without Bob. He’s usually the guy that causes the most around of noise around here.
Luckily, I turned into the parking lot as he was driving out and asked him where he thought he was going (just to be a smart alec). Bob was done for the day but I told him that I’d carry on the legacy of make sure that people know of John the Baptist. To that he replied, “Make sure you stir things up a little on the floor. Don’t let those people go crazy. You need to keep the laughter alive.” I’ll have to try my best to keep things going up here because I don’t think it’ll be the same without him.
It’s always sad to see someone leave the company because it’s almost like they’re leaving your life. Everyone is in your life for a reason and they add that much value to your life by being in it. From day one Bob has given me advice on life and retirement, cracked a few pun jokes and slap me upside the head a few times. He’s been working at this company for 42 years. 42 year! You don’t see that anymore. People are coming and going but he stuck around for that long. I can’t even see myself working at a company for anything longer than five years let alone forty two years. But now that Bob is retired, he’ll be join the other retirees at Tim Horton’s for their monthly coffee meeting. They’ve been calling him to join them for a long time and now he’s finally going to do it. They even bought him a Tim Horton’s coffee mug and you know what? The first coffee is free!