A Farewell Fete

It’s Wednesday already, a week since Terry & Peter hosted my “Retirement” party. I struggle with that word, I’m far from retired. Only from IBM and the only difference is that I get a little health coverage provided for a few years. The real difference is that I have time now and no shortage of things to fill it with. I spent part of yesterday just adding things to lists… how time flies!

Back to the topic of the party though; March 23rd, 2011 was not a very productive work day for me. In fact, I think I may have written all of one email that day. What I did was head out for a late lunch with the architects, our usual “last Thursday of the month Architects lunch” held at a different day & time to line up with the party. The date was picked about a month earlier when I had confirmation of my leaving and I announced it at that previous lunch. The 23rd was also the day our Ottawa office (Jackie) would be in town. Terry & Peter had even reserved the back room that day.

As luck  would have it, the day started with quite a snowstorm and it kept snowing all day. I had some people tease me about my control over the weather (reminding me about the volcano last year that kept us stranded in Belgium for an extra week) and there was some question about people being able to make it. Darryl took this shot on the drive in…

Lunch was pretty relaxed, everyone was in a good mood and hungry (since it was a late lunch most of us hadn’t eaten). Here’s a shot of Jackie and me, with Mike  & JC.

Terry spent a little time in the back room putting up some photos and trying to get the projector to work (he gave up on it, I’m glad : ) and as a few people started to arrive we all move to the back.

The first thing everyone noticed was the collection of photos he’d put up. I knew he was collecting photos from wherever he could get them. And he had a posted printed up of many of them, including baby and childhood photos he downloaded from Picasa.

As the afternoon wore on people kept pouring in, including a few surprises. One was Ralph Jones who had retired from SIS last year with over 40 years @ IBM. He had just gotten in from Florida and made a point of coming. Another was Doug Clark, who was my first boss. I was also pleased that many of the management team made it, including Pat, Greg and Tony. There have been other parties like this where none of the sr. managers showed up.

By the time Terry got everyone’s attention to make a short speech Nada had made a quick count and thought there were over 70 people there. It sank in that I guess I did have a little bit of an impact on the place after all. And of course it felt really good that so many people would come out on a day like that.

It was also great that Andrea, Kayla, Steffan & his girlfriend Catherine came. The didn’t know many people there, they came to be a part of the event though. And I got to thank the two people who are “responsible” for my working at IBM. Doug (who hired me) and Steffan. He was the reason I was looking for a steady job, which lead me to take the job at IBM (Steffan will turn 30 this year).

The owner of the bar also wanted to do something special, and stocked the bar with an extra bottle of single malt for the occasion. I really enjoyed the Oban later in the evening. Thanks Billy.

And thanks Terry & Peter… that was a great party. If you want to see the full set of photos, Terry has them up on his Picasa site.

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