Saturday, March 31, 2012

Remember Me

Two ladies from my work retired yesterday. One has been with the company for over 30 years, and the other for over 10. In 10 or 30 years of working with the same people every day, you begin to learn a lot about them.

Sometimes I really like my coworkers, sometimes I loathe them, and other times I am indifferent. I've said it before though - these are the people with whom you spend the majority of your days, weeks, months, and years, so maybe you should try and get along. You drive to the same place and work and breathe the same thing; you're bound to have a thing or two in common. Being part of a family business even further instills this in me and each time someone is let go, retires, quits or gets fired, it feels like a personal loss to me. (Is it a coincidence that hire, retire and fire all rhyme?)

As part of the retirement gifts, a few of us put together a scrapbook for each of the ladies, complete with memories written by other coworkers. One of the ladies was easier to write about than the other. She was here longer, she reached out to more people, and she had more bounce in her step. This got me thinking. How do I want to be remembered? I think about how I want to be remembered by my family, friends and people I knew through school, but I never really think about how I want my coworkers to remember me once I retire. Probably because I am one billion years away from that part of my life. (This brings up both feelings of "Oh God!" and "Thank God!")

I see my coworkers stressed out (aren't we all?), huffing and puffing and sighing at every turn. It's understandable to feel overwhelmed and despise your day, but all of the time? C'mon. I see others not wanting to talk to their coworkers, scowling at people and inanimate objects. I see the ones who come to work to get their tasks done and nothing more. And frankly, it's draining to be around these people.

And then I see the ones who smile at everyone. The ones who are helpful, even when they have a mountain of crap on their desk. The ones who will go out of their way to solve a problem, without expecting extra praise or reward. The ones who do their job well and aren't devils in the process. (Side note: devils are like people of evil / people d'evil! This is not real etymology, I just like to pretend to speak French). Anyway...

There is such a thing as being happy at work. I am going to try and find that place every day and be positive. When it comes time to remember me, I don't want people (even me) struggling to remember something good.

How do you want to be remembered?

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