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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Congratulations to myself on 10 years served

Can you imagine working for the same place for 10 years and still moving up barely one notch on the totem pole? Well, that's exactly where I stand right now after 10 years working at the Shoreline RT Cave: 2nd to the bottom on the totem poll.

Yet here I am, still working the same night shift hours, at the same hospital, with the same boss, and relatively all the same RT co-workers. I can honestly tell you that this here RT Cave has the lowest turnover rate of any department at Shoreline, if not any department in the country.

It is so that I have been next in line for a day job for eight years now. And, likewise, it was eight years ago that I managed to move up a notch on the poll. Yet, since five of my co-workers are either 60 now or closing in, I imagine when one domino falls, there will be several.

It is such that I might go from 2nd to the bottom on the poll to 2nd to the top in a span of five years or less.

Yet, my boss, I think, is only 52, so that means that I will have no chance to take up his job for another eigtht years. I'm not saying I'd want his job or anything like that, I'm just saying.

I approached the Country Club yesterday for the awards banquet not dressed in a suit, and not wearing a tie. In fact, I never even tucked in my shirt. I mean, why should I if my wife doesn't make me.

This is normally my weekend to work, so while I worked Thursday night, I had to take Friday off to attend this event. Despite getting a whole four hours sleep, I was quite exhausted and not necessarily in a social mood.

Thus, in the parking lot, as we were approaching the door, I said to my wife, "I pray I can get inside, get to the bar, get a drink, and to my table without anyone talking to me. I don't want to talk to any dragons."

My plan, however, did not work.

I got inside, went to the bar, got a drink, got my picture taken for posterity purposes, and then attempted to sneak past the dragons to my table. Yet I was waylaid by a swarm of dragons with their prettiest and most political smiles on, all dressed in their best suits. To run would be unacceptable, a cowardly move. I had no choice but to communicate.

I survived. In fact, I came out of the ordeal with one extra drink, as the RT Cave dragon promised to buy my second whisky and Coke. I managed my way through the crowd of familiar and unfamiliar bees (bees are co-workers and dragons, if you haven't guessed, are bosses) and found a spot way in the back.

It is a major side effect of working nights to be out of the social loop. It's not just that we are working while every one else is socializing, but when we are not working we are usually trying to recuperate from working the nocturnal shift.

So I sat there, drinking my whisky and cokes. Hoping to be buzzed just enough before that moment approached when I'd have to walk up through the swath of bees to the swarm of dragons up on the stage to collect my reward for years served at Shoreline.

The food was excellent as usual, and unfortunately it shaved off some of my buzz, so I had to order another one. I didn't want to be drunk per se, but just buzzed enough.

And, finally, after waiting for all the five year awards to be handed out, my turn arrived -- three whisky and cokes later.

Once again I survived.

Back at home after socializing for a while, I looked over my package. Inside was a plaque with my name on it that states "10 years of Service at Shoreline." I cannot wait to hang that up on the wall over my TV for all my household visitors to see.

Well, actually I don't know what the hell I'll do with it. I don't know what they expect us to do with it. It seems it's something more to hang on the wall of the RT Cave than on a wall in my home. But either way, it was a nice gesture.

The other thing we got was a booklet to choose any gift we wanted. My wife googled the gifts and learned they priced between $100 and $200 a piece. Needless to say, this worker bee is going to pick something of the higher price range, as I don't want them getting off on the cheap.

Well, congratulations to myself on ten years served at Shoreline. And here's to another ten, at which time I will have an opportunity to choose a nice TV as my prize.

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