My dad got word this week that he will once again be retired. He had retired once before, but it didn’t take. The full story there is that the factory he worked for laid everyone off, with the work all being sent to Mexico and, since he was 63 years old at the time, he was effectively retired. But then they called everyone back to work, as the factory in Mexico wasn’t working out so well. That was sometime in the spring and he’s been working again since then. But now there isn’t enough work again, so the layoffs are back. And so my dad is retired again. But he told me that he could still get called back and he’s not 65 years old until next June, so he’s not throwing his work T-shirts out just yet. My dad is practical like that.
My Dad spent the lion’s share of his career building Mack Trucks. I have many a fond memory of the Christmas parties that Mack Truck used to throw for employees’ children. One of my uncles also worked there, so me, my sister and my cousin would all go for a great party, a visit with Santa and a present labeled with your age and gender! And then we’d all go to Swiss Chalet1. My dad worked at Mack Truck for, if I’m not mistaken, 22 years and in that 22 years he can tell you the 12 or so days that he missed work. He missed a day when my sister was born and another when I was born. He took a day for my grandmother’s funeral and another for my grandfather’s and another for one of his best friends’ funeral. One time he had pneumonia and so he was off sick for a few days. If there’s anything I’ve learned from my father, it’s how to do an honest day’s work.
When Mack Truck closed down, my dad went to work at a factory that makes Brake Parts where he’s been ever since2 – I believe it’s been about 15 years. And in that time, he has had perfect attendance. And I mean *perfect*. Never missed a day and never been late. If you ask him, he’ll tell you, “I’ve just been lucky. Sometimes people get sick and people get injured – I’m just lucky to have been healthy.” But, for the record, the man showed up to work when he had shingles! I think it’s something more than just luck. 3)
This reminds me that I never wrote a blog posting about my mom retiring! My mom retired in the spring, around the time that my dad un-retired. She had worked for the Royal Bank for 45 years. FORTY-FIVE YEARS!! That just doesn’t happen in today’s world! Like my father, my mother is not quite 65 yet, but when all the work from her department was sent to India, due to her age and her many, many, many years of service, she was offered a retirement package. Funnily enough, just like my dad’s work, a number of people have been called back to their jobs but, unlike my dad, she had officially retired (as opposed to having been laid off) and so did not have to return to work. She’s been enjoying her retirement quite a bit and now my dad will get to join her!
Another thing I’ve just realized: I don’t have very many photos of my Mom & Dad! I need to rectify that next time I visit!
Happy retirements, Mom & Dad!
- that was back when I ate meat. And when I considered eating at Swiss Chalet to be exciting :S [↩]
- and where I worked for one summer during university. By far the hardest job I’ve ever had! [↩]
- He also missed my high school graduation because it conflicted with his work schedule. Not that I’m holding a grudge or anything ;- [↩]