Yesterday, I attend another fortieth anniversary party from work. This was the second one that month. John chose to have his party at the Ferguson Brewery, a micro-brew pub located near work. The similar proximity of beer dictated that this would be an afterhour’s event. The company covered the happy hour hor dourves, but would not cover the bar tab. John picked that up. Choosing this venue, he also got to invite his entire family. It was a grand affair, much better than the usual cake and coffee in the cafeteria.
After a mixer period, the food was served and after everyone had eaten the speeches began. Usually, in these anniversary events the speeches precede the food and if you show up a little late one can skip them entirely and go straight to cake. I’m glad though that I didn’t miss any of these. Pro forma, Bob, John’s current boss got the speeches rolling. Bob must either be a gifted speaker or has given hundreds of these anniversary speeches. Bob illustrated three attributes that made John the great teammate that he is. I’ll just concentrate on one of them, persistence. Over his career, John has had only one task, the development of a world-class software product, one of the company’s crown jewels and a national asset. Bob used the analogy of the battle between rock and water. Water always wins, because it is persistent.
The other great speech was Jim’s. His speech like all of the others was full of praise, but was most memorable for the anecdote he closed with. It was drawn from a business trip in the eighties, a time when the words business and casual were not yet conjoined. John, Jim and a couple of others, who I shall mercifully omit naming, took a business trip to Vancouver. Being landlocked Midwesterners; their first order of business was to head to the beach. They trooped down to the beach in full suit and tie, only to discover that this beach was a nude beach. It wasn’t even the kind of nude beach that one would want to visit, I mean the cliental… Faced with the choice of either retreat or stripping they withdrew quickly.
I like many others owe a great debt to John. I believe that I would not still be employed there if not for his help. So, I hardily congratulate John on his fortieth anniversary. Happy anniversary, John!