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The Working for the Man-iversary

Time Keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’, into the future….
“Fly Like an Eagle” – Steve Miller Band

This month, I didn’t celebrate my thirtieth. In fact, I almost didn’t think about it.  I’m not talking about my marriage anniversary. That 3-0 comes next year. I’m talking about a different milestone – my working for the man-iversary. It is hard for me to accept, but thirty years ago this month, I graduated from college and started my career in Information Technology at NCR Corporation in Dayton, OH. I think my title was Telecommunications Systems Analyst.

An Early Paystub

An Early Paystub

Back then, ties were required Monday through Thursday, but Casual Friday had started to be a thing. So, Fridays we could wear jeans and a shirt with a collar. Cell phones weren’t mainstream yet and no one had a personal email address. In fact, very few people had a work email address. My new Ohio friends thought I talked funny, and I thought it was odd they owned bowling shoes.

Photo Credit: Jenn Durfey Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Jenn Durfey Flickr via Compfight cc

These days, I only wear ties for funerals and job interviews. Shirts with collars are quite formal in my office and not even required. For some reason, I’m still in IT, and now no one can do without a cell phone. The monthly company cell phone bills I authorize are more than my yearly salary back in 1990. To say the world has changed is an understatement. However, I still talk funny, but I’ve never owned a pair of bowling shoes.

Five years ago, on my 25th working for the man-iversary, on my dormant KeyOfGF.com blog site, I wrote a post called “Dear 22-Year-Old Self”, where I gave some advice to myself right out of school. Since time travel hasn’t been invented yet, this message hasn’t made it back to 1990. However, you can read it here: http://keyofgf.com/2015/06/15/dear-twenty-two-year-old-self/.

This year, in honor of a new momentous occasion, I felt a new letter was in order, albeit much shorter. This one has a chance of being delivered:

Dear 52-year-old self,

Well, well, well.  Congratulations??? You have made it 30 years in the workplace unless you subtract the two unemployment stints, then it is more like 28 1/2. Along the way, you’ve survived six employers (barely on a couple of these), a dot-com crash, a great recession, and  COVID-19 (so far, anyway). However, I have some good news for you and some bad news.

You like to start with bad news, so here it is: may not feel it, but you’re old (that hair color is not bad lighting in the bathroom, like you think). I know you do feel your age some days, though, because I saw you sneak an ibuprofen one evening last week. Don’t make it a habit. Listen to your body.

Here’s the good news: you are at least two-thirds done working for the man. Maybe more, if you work your butt off the next couple of years. The other good news is that you can still out-work most people. So keep putting one word in front of the other and keep trying to figure out how to stick it to the man. You still have time, but please don’t waste what you have left.

Stay strong,
52-year-old self

PS – Don’t reveal your crazy writing goal just yet. Finish that second book first, then let it out of the bag.

Thanks for reading,

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PS – This week’s writing stats:

Current writing streak: 31 days

Fiction words this week: ~4,600. Inconsistent on daily word counts. A couple of smaller days due to some travel, but also had my biggest day so far of the streak with a 1,531-word effort.

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