Thursday was my 30th anniversary at work. I was given a nice celebration. I was asked to detail the various positions I'd held over the years, so I didn't give this speech I had written, so I'm posting it here:
This is the best restaurant I've ever eaten at. That was a line from MASH That was a popular TV show back when I started here (just kidding). Thanks for putting up with me all these years, and the jokes I keep telling over and over again.
I'm not sure that I set out to work 30 years for the same company. Perhaps I made it in spite of myself. You'd think at some point I's learn what the fastpath is for that aluminum tread plate stuff EZGo orders three times a year. Now whenever I stick my head around the corner everyone in 01 sales says what, Ashley? 3003TP.
I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Please don't call me the Work Order Guru. You can call me Mister Work Order Guru. I think finally I have figured out who I am. I try to be myself, no matter how many times people try to change me.
It's interesting that when a long-timer's anniversary is celebrated, the poor person giving the introduction usually hasn't been around long enough to really do justice to all the great things the employee has done in their career. Eric did a good job letting me do that. We really don't have the time. I know you'd rather hear this hilarious speech instead. Besides, many of my accomplishments are listed in plain view all around the office. They've been there so long that people don't look at them anymore. Like the magnets all lined up neatly in a row on the bulletin boards.
In my mind I don't talk that much. That's why I wrote this speech in advance. I can't come up with such flowery nonsense off the top of my head. That's why I'm not in outside sales. Still I enjoy being around good people. It's fun to listen, but the older I get the harder it is for me to hear.
When I first started here people would celebrate their anniversaries and I'd think how they had started working here when I was in high school. Like Tarquinio. And we graduated the same year. These days with all you young people around I'm afraid to ask when you graduated. When I started working here Paul McCartney was still in a band. It was called Wings.
I remember when Eric was a young outside sales stud, jumping in frozen lakes in January every time he got a big order. Some people haven't changed much. In my mind Garrett hasn't changed a bit. Fifteen years ago I was teaching Danny and Melanie about Work Orders. Now they're teaching everyone else. Shane always worked somewhere else. Fortunately I keep getting transferred out of Born's department. Eric, you know Sandra has a nickname. If you don't know Sandra, well, good for you. Chris O'Leary…no, I better not read that.
All those "special guests" Eric brings in to the sales meetings? I've known them for years. Grogan and Nicol and I were in a fantasy football league before the internet. Before excel. We had to crunch the numbers on an abacus. My quarterback was Archie Manning.
For so many years my coworkers never seemed to change. Every year one or two would retire. For years we had the same hard-working bunch, slaving away. We'd come across a problem, then put our heads together to figure out a solution. I try hard to not talk about the good old days and the way things used to be. So many people have helped me along the way. Then new people would come in to replace the beloved old-timer, and we'd think they'd never be able to do as good a job. But almost always the new person would do even better. So many good employees that I look at and think: I need to be more like them. I need to work harder just to keep up.
So much has changed for the better. For years the Gold Building would only ship on one shift and receive on another. We finally figured out that things had if we wanted to grow. I know that I need to keep changing and growing to keep up. I think one of the secrets is to not worry about screwing something up. If there is a work order problem I just roll up my sleeves and try to fix it. Hopefully I've been able to help you guys out.
My advice? Listen. Stay safe. Save for retirement. Listen. Remember who the customer is, and treat them accordingly. Did I say listen?
This company has been very good to me, and I am thankful. Thanks for putting up with me all these years.