Thursday, June 9, 2016

Retirement Lunch

With a few pension cheques under my belt from my former job, I’m starting to settle in. I’ve been nervous about one thing and that is my speech for our June luncheon. Every month, for the time period that Bill and I have been working, we have paid $1 towards the gift fund. It was a choice when we were hired and since you don’t miss such a small amount, we both signed up individually.

The gift fund provides either flowers, gift cards or a monetary gift towards our wedding, birth, death of family member or retirement throughout our career. Each June a lovely retirement luncheon is hosted by said Gift Fund and members can attend for $3.50. I have gone to every one since it started and loved reuniting with co-workers from other departments as well as congratulating those who have retired.

This year it is our turn, Bills and mine. I could just go, accept the lovely lunch, the introduction, my gift, say thank you and sit down BUT…………I have things I want to say and even though putting the words on paper is simple for me, getting those same words out of my mouth to a roomful of people is a whole other story! Why do I put myself in this position? Well, I am proud of what I’ve accomplished in my career with the Board and want to share my humble beginnings with the many newer staff who have no idea of the changes over 33 years.

We arrive, all gussied up with 9 other retirees for our social including lemonade, fruit and pictures. Corsages/boutonnieres are pinned on and we get photos taken individually and as a group. Very nicely done although a little confusion due to the cooler weather. Inside or outside?

After lunch, a cheese stuffed chicken, green beans, carrots and salad topped off with strawberry shortcake and whipped cream, speeches begin. Obviously with our last name beginning with an  ”R” I know we are near the end……….so even though I enjoy the other speeches, the nerves are settling in with each retiree’s intro. Breathe Pat breathe.

Our supervisor, Deb, rises and introduces us both together at our request. Mine, especially, feeling that I need Bill’s closeness for support. My speech is about 6 minutes long, when practiced at home here but I probably ran through it in 4 min. tops. Lucky for the audience, no doubt!  At least I remembered to pause and look at people once in a while even though I read from my notes verbatim.


Bill stepped up after me with no paperwork and although he surprisingly sounded a bit nervous too, he spoke off the cuff! He is so good at that and he got a few chuckles as he’d hoped. We were done. I folded my papers and we sat………. then I relaxed. I wish I didn’t get that way but I think I have actually improved over the years, if you can believe it!

The gift cards were in a denomination much higher than either of us expected and for the venue of our own choosing. Nice, we can eat and drink on the ‘house’ for a while!

Our pictures were ready before we left which was nice and didn’t turn out too badly. Who really likes having their photo taken? We will have to get a frame so it can be hung in our home.

With that business out of the way I have no other reason to worry and stew about anything. The rest of the week is slipping by.

Thank you for stopping in! Comments are welcome.

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