Friday, February 7, 2014

25 Year Veteran!

I woke up early again on Thursday, but I didn’t like it! I got dressed in a suit and tie on Thursday (first time since Joe and Jerica’s wedding). Why? I have to attend a “Service Award Luncheon” today to receive my 25 year plaque.

I also left for work early again. The roads still weren’t great, but I needed gas in the truck (as you may recall). I got a bit of sticker shock at the gas station. Now, I can use just regular gas in the truck, so that was nice. But, the Volvo had an 11 gallon gas tank. The truck has a 21 gallon one! So, I put $60.00 worth of gas in it and it still wasn’t “full.”

So, I left for the luncheon with a pocket full of Kleenex tissues and a roll of cough drops. I did use the navigator App on the cell phone again, but I didn’t really need it. I drove there five years ago and still remembered it.  BTW, the choices for my luncheon Entrée selection were as follows:

  • White Wine-Braised Airline Chicken Breast (Quinoa-fresh herb pilaf, grilled squash stack, charred tomato cream sauce)
  • Petit Filet of Beef (Fresh herb-potato roasti, grilled asparagus, roasted red pepper, port wine syrup)
  • Phyllo-Panko Crusted Michigan Lakes Whitefish (Fresh tossed spinach, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, shaved red onions, lemon-caper vinaigrette)
  • Grilled Portobella-Vegetable Stack (Marinated portobella, roasted red pepper, eggplant, squash, polenta, balsamic glaze)

All entrees were served with bread rolls, mixed greens salad and dessert.

It had been five years since I went, but it was at the same place and I think I had the Whitefish last time. So, this time I picked the Petit Filet of Beef.

BTW, this is one of those restaurants where the portions are small, but fantastic-tasting. So, when they called it “Petit” I tended to believe them!

As I said, the luncheon was at the same place as five years ago, The Inn at St. Johns, on Five Mile in Plymouth. It is a very classy-looking place and we were in the glass-roofed atrium. I spent some time working the room when I arrived, saying hello to people I had either worked with or just know, but then I realized I didn’t have a seat yet. So, I went to a table that was almost deserted except for our building manager, Paul, and two of his employees. At their urging, I set down my name plate and my award (both of which were handed to you when you came in). That’s when I looked at the other nameplates and realized I was sitting at the table with Jack, the majority owner, Evan, the CEO, Doug, the COO and Bob, another owner. They were all up and mingling. Damn! No wonder nobody was sitting there!

Then it was time for pictures. You were called up by table and stood with the aforementioned individuals and had a group picture taken. They process them immediately and, at the end of the luncheon, you go and pick them up.

Next, we took our seats. Evan went up and gave an inspiring speech on how diversified we have become and that we had the best year ever in sales in 2013 (both true) and how much opportunity lay ahead. Then he showed a video they made to prove his point. Finally, it was time to eat.

Sidebar: I thought it was weird to get a nameplate and then to set it in front of you (since you could sit wherever you wanted), but then somebody pointed out they were different colors. The colors corresponded to the entrée you ordered and suddenly, I realized it was quite clever.

I found that one of the nice things about sitting at the head table was that they served us first! And, as I said, the entrees were small, but exquisite and delicious. Mine certainly was!

Table talk included the difficulties in driving to work in this weather, the traffic nightmare to come when they close down I-96, changes in NASCAR racing this year and Jake (they want him back).

Dessert was an individual bumpy cake, covered in ice-cold chocolate with a smear of strawberry jam next to it. It, too, was small, but excellent.

Finally, Jack gave his speech, we all clapped and then it was time to pick up our pictures and leave.

The rest of the day was rather anti-climactic. I did ask Vicky to take a picture of me in my suit for you. I told her this would be the last time she saw me in one until Yanessa’s wedding or my funereal.

It was snowing slightly on the way home, but no real problem. I got my title in the mail but still no license plate.

I was tired to eating tacos, so I turned all the fixing into a taco salad. Not too much of a difference, but a little easier to eat.

I watched some of the Olympic trials but fell asleep, of course. I have got to get my sleep pattern back to normal!

But, what was nice is that I woke back up and watched the last Tonight show starring Jay Leno. It was quite the tear-jerker at the end…

Then I went to bed for real.


  1. Congratulations!! Great Picture!

  2. Thanks, I think. The picture's cool (thanks to the photographer, I'm sure). But in today's job market, 25 years with the same company only means nobody else thought enough of you to make you an offer!