The funny thing is, even though this was a HUGE accomplishment for me, at my company, 20 years is literally no big deal. It’s almost “new kid on the block” territory, so it was very odd for me.
(You notice I don’t mention where I work, and that’s just a nod to my on-line privacy – it’s a big company, everyone is familiar with it, and I don’t particularly want to be on their radar. They are a very well-respected company and I really like working for them, but I just don’t necessarily disclose that info on-line for the whole world to know.)
There are several people in my department who have 30 to 35 years and most of them are between 15 and 20 years, so it was just very odd for me. I kind of wanted to make a big deal about it, but everyone was just kind of blah about it.
I got an congratulatory Email from my boss of the last ten years (she is in another state), an auto-signed, pre-printed card from the head of my division – I thought that was honestly a little insulting for a 20 year anniversary and then I got a certificate, a lapel pin, and a lucite cube with the company logo and 20 years on it. I don’t know what I was expecting – a ticker tape parade or something? But it just seemed a little underwhelming to me. I was like, “Wow, that really makes me want to work another 20 years for these people”.
The odd thing is that it really is more like my 35th anniversary of working in general. Even though I’ve been with this place for 20 years, I probably had worked a total of 15 years for a bunch of other companies before that, an average of 2 to 3 years at each one, but they don’t count them when you work like that. It’s like I tell my husband – he tries to lump me and his first wife together so he can say he’s been married for a total of 35 years – hey bud, it’s not cumulative. You don’t get to add two marriages together for an aggregate total!
I know in Utah, I seem like a really odd duck amid all the stay-at-home mommies. I do know a lot of working Mom’s, but most of them stayed home when their kids were younger. I just never felt like that was an option for me because my family really counted on my income. And I come from a family of working women, so it never seemed like legitimate possibility for me to not work. My grandmother owned her own business, my mother worked my whole life, my sister is a complete workaholic and all my nieces and cousins worked also, so I don’t know if I ever had a role model of that when I was growing up. I wish at other times, I’d made other choices, but the proof is in the pudding. I have 3 amazing boys who are doing wonderfully well, so I guess I must have done something right.
I think I just need to disregard all the blah people and just celebrate myself for what I’ve accomplished. Maybe after the holidays, I’ll go out and get a little something special for myself to celebrate my anniversary and if I want to call it my 35th anniversary, I will! But I’m still not gonna let my husband add me together with his ex-wife!