My Work Anniversary: I Just Can't Say Little Enough About It

You know how every wedding anniversary seems like a milestone? "3 years! We've made it to 3 years!" And yet, for most of us, work anniversaries give us a totally different reaction: "3 years? Oh, geez. Has it been 3 years? Well there's 3 years of my life I'll never have back." And from there we do the worst possible thing. We think. "Wasn't I just taking this job until I found something better?"

How many people go out to celebrate their work anniversary with coworkers?.. Unless the "celebration" involves a lot of liquor and a whole bunch of sarcasm.

Most places of business don't celebrate your work anniversary. Well, there's always that one older lady who puts a calendar on the wall somewhere to celebrate. She doesn't understand that to everyone else it's the monthly "Mourning Chart". It's like checking the obituaries. "Hmmm let's see whose hopes and dreams died this month. Cassandra's been here 12 years? Really? I don't get it. How did it happen? She's so smart and went to a really good school. What a waste."

Next we assure ourselves there's a bright side so we can go on with our day instead of fixing ourselves a cup of arsenic and leaving our fingernail marks on the anniversary calendar as we slump to the floor. "Cassandra started here when she was 28. Now she's 40 and has been doing the same job for 12 years. Wow, I've been here 11 1/2 years and I thought that was way too long. At least I know I'm not going to still be here in 6 months."

Years ago, I attended a party at my job for a woman who was celebrating her 25th work anniversary. Her coworkers planned the party not the company. Her coworkers made all the arrangements, provided all the food and paid for all the decorations, not the company. At the big event, the head honcho (I think that was his official title) made an appearance. It walked in the door like it was Kim Kardashian (they're about the same height), made a beeline for the "woman-of-honor", grabbed her hand to shake it and expressed his sincere, profound, heartfelt gratitude for her years of dedication and loyal service to which the woman replied: "I'm not Maureen. I'm Joan, her sister. Maureen's over there." So I'm thinking. Okay, sisters can look very much alike. So clearly, this man's not had the opportunity to actually visit Maureen in person in the past several years but he did, however, have the opportunity to get a glimpse of the picture of her on the company email for the event an hour ago when somebody advised him that it would look bad if he didn't make an appearance. Schmuck.

And when you have these big sentimental events when someone has been at the job for 20 years or more, it really brings all the employees together in mind and spirit when we all band together, bow our heads, and mutter that sacred prayer to ourselves: "Oh GD, don't let this be me. Please don't let this be me."

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