Most of you know that Linda retired last year, after 36 years with the City. CUPE Local 38 puts on an annual dinner for the people that retire each year, and last night was it. Let me just say the Winter Club puts on a good spread.
We invited our friends Gord and Gail (Gord worked with me when I was at the City, and he was there almost 30 years), and Linda's cousin Terry and his wife Donna, (with Donna working at the City for 33 years, I think.)
We did that so we'd have someone to talk to, just in case, but it didn't turn out that way. A buddy of Gord's showed up and joined us. I had seen the name of a person I knew of, who was a mutual buddy of someone else I know, and with whom I had corresponded several times trying to arrange a video swim. I texted my photo to my buddy, who texted it to her, which confused the heck out of her for a few minutes. Anyway, she came looking for me, and it turns out that she knows Donna. Small world some days.
The last time I went to one of these I ended up seeing people I had worked with, oh so many years ago, but no such magic this time. A few faces might have looked a bit familiar, but it's hard to tell. The one that looked most familiar was not in fact the person I thought it was. Oops.
They called up the retirees one at a time to celebrate them and their accomplishments. Survival being the main thing, to my way of thinking. Several people had retired after 40 years of service, which just amazes me.
It used to be that if you wanted to make more money and risk periods of unemployment, you went with the private sector. For even more money and more risk, you went into the oil patch. For less money, and virtually no risk of unemployment, you worked for the City.
Well, all that is changing. There have been massive layoffs at the City. If Linda had not retired, she certainly would have been let go, probably late 2017 at latest. Lots of her colleagues are being let go, and it's a very traumatic time for them.
In a couple weeks we do it again, this time at Heritage Park, for the City's version of feting the retirees. That will be all City people, so I might see someone I know. I'll have to keep a sharp eye out, mentally recalibrating for their age. I, of course, look the same, just with shorter hair, and a nicer tie.