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  • These two days in Dallas have kind of been a trip down memory lane for me. I’ve run into a couple of people that I used to work with many years ago when I worked in the northeast region. We are all young then. They both looked old, now. They must think the same thing when they look at me.

    When we worked together we were in our early to mid 30’s, back in the 80’s – I haven’t seen either of them in at least 22 years. Where did all that time go?

    Then there’s the guy who worked in the regional office with me when I first started. He now works in an office right across the hall from me in DC. This is his organization’s meeting that I’m attending. We went out to eat after today’s meeting with a crew of about ten others, and wound up talking about the old days, and all the people we used to work with, all the crazy dramas that played out back in the day, the many people that came and went, and here we are, still doing our bit, both still here.

    I was remembering the other day, talking with someone about how I felt when I first started working in that office, in Philadelphia. That’s when I was coming off my run of having worked in 17 different jobs over the previous 4 years. There were some people in that office who had worked for the agency for over 10 years, then. I was astounded by that. I'd had a hard time imagining working anywhere for 10 years. That seemed like forever!

    And here it is, 32 years later, and I’m still doing this. It’s a strange feeling. I still feel like the guy who came to work here, way back then, just hoping I could stick with this job for at least a year or two. I didn’t dare hope for a longer run than that! Sure enough, six months in, the folks in the H.R. department had wanted to fire me. I’d forgotten to mention a few things on my application, that came out in the background investigation they conducted after I’d been there for a few months. My supervisor and his supervisor went to bat for me, and not only wouldn’t they let them fire me, they insisted I fight the proposed suspension, which I did - and won!

    There’s nobody left who even knows any of that happened. The Letter of Reprimand I wound up receiving was expunged from my personnel file after two years. The HR office that wanted to fire me, now reports to me, along with several other offices. A part of me wonders when I’ll wake up from this unlikely dream.

    Did this all really happen? It’s just a strange feeling. Yet, I feel like I could go another 10 years or so. By then, there probably won’t be any of the old ones I knew from way back then, left. They’re all talking about getting out in a few years, or less. I’m still just learning as I go. There’s always new things to learn, and new people to meet. Some of them even enjoy the stories about the good old days. I usually don’t go there, unless someone asks. Those days are more fun to remember than they were to live through.

    These days are much better. That’s why I feel like I might be good for another ten. Why not? As long as I’m having fun, I might as well keep going. There’s still a lot of new stories to be told. If I’m not here, I might miss them!
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