Posted by: chlost | April 20, 2012

R E S P E C T – find out what it means to me

How many folks do you know have worked at the same place for 34 years?

As of this past January, my husband has. Merle reached the milestone of thirty-four years of employment at the same department of a public employer. From all that I can gather from my (admittedly limited) knowledge of young workers, the younger generation has absolutely no intention to stay with any employer on a long-term basis. And employers no longer provide much incentive for an employee to remain at a job for the duration of their career.

Merle loved this job. For the most part. Approximately nine years ago, his department was restructured. Although he did not lose his job, his duties were restructured in such a way that he lost about half of the things that he loved most about the job, and received a de facto demotion requiring him to work under the supervision of a person who has a comparable job description.

Sunday will be his last day of work in the position he has held for over thirty years. THIRTY years.

Monday will be his first day of work in a new position. Here is more about that.

It has been hard to see him angry about his job over the past nine years after he had been so happy there for so long. And now this past two weeks has left me not only frustrated with his employers, but downright angry.

Not one of the people he reports to has congratulated him on his promotion to another department.  He sent an email to several people to resign his current position. Not one of them has even emailed a reply to him. Not a “We’re sorry you are leaving” or “Good luck” or “Thanks”-or even a “Don’t let the door hit you on the backside”.

I have been wondering if they are embarrassed. Maybe they are jealous. Maybe they feel guilty. This promotion is a big one. In fact, he has been promoted to a level equal to or above those same people.

In case you are thinking “Well, he must be a bad guy, it’s because no one likes him”, let me point out that he has received many congratulations from people in other departments. He has also been told that people are happy for him to be out of his current department.

There is no going away party-something that is as routine in this situation as a coffee break. It is a public employer, and I know that there cannot be anything fancy. But just a little coffee would be nice.

He is hurt.

I am angry.

I want to call these jerks and figure out a way to make them feel some pain. And not just emotional pain-I want them to feel some very real, very bad physical pain. If there were a true jury of my peers, I would never be convicted.

No one should hurt my guy this way. He has done nothing to justify it.  Nothing unless you feel that working many, many long hours at an intensely physical job for very little pay means that he deserves this “send off”.

I just can’t figure out these people.

I am so happy that he is finally going to be in a job that will value and respect this very hard-working, honorable man.

That’s the least he deserves. That’s the least anyone deserves.




  1. Such jerks. I am happy he is moving on – and sorry that he has been unhappy so long. Hope this new job is a place he can grow and learn and fly – sounds like he’s been held down too long. I know you are angy – but these people just aren’t worth it.

    • Thank you. I am so glad he is moving to a new department as well. Everyone who knows him has seen a big difference in his outlook already.

      • Good. I am sure his new co-workers will appreciate him.

      • I think they will. Thanks!

  2. Been there; done that — not only professionally but personally. It’s awful. That said, the best thing you can do is concentrate on the positive and ignore the no-class slobs.

    • Yes, they are no-class. It is beyond awful, and I am sorry you have had to live through it as well.

  3. That is so awful for him. Who knows their true motivations – it could be jealousy or could be something else. No matter what it is, it’s just rude. It’s just plain courtesy to congratulate someone on a promotion. I’ve swallowed my pride and congratulated people on promotions I sought (and had been more qualified for).

    • That is exactly right, those with class will congratulate someone, no matter what. He doesn’t really want any big deal, but just a reply to his notice of resignation email is not much to expect.

  4. I learned long ago not to have any allegience to one’s work; it is a futile pursuit.

    My (retired) wife recently had lunch with a recenly retired supervisor in the Social Services office they once both worked in. She related this story to my wife over lunch: The Supervisor had been retired for a year when she went into the old office to drop something off for a friend still working in the office. The people at the front desk didn’t know who she was and had her stand in line and take a number like she was any walk-in client.

    Coworkers are just trying to survive like anyone else; in most cases they are focused on their own trials and tribulations.

    Two years after you retire or leave a job, nobody remembers that you were ever there.

    • Robert, that is such a sad story. I read or heard a survey somewhere that the thing that most employees want most from their employers is not more money, but respect and appreciation for the work that they perform. The current mindset of most employers now is that payroll is just another line on the expense side of the balance sheet. There is no sense of the humanity lying behind those numbers. Given the turnover rate for many corporations or public employers, I think that two years is probably too long…..we will be forgotten within a year, most likely. What a sad state of affairs.

  5. I spent 22 years at the same place. There is nothing that will take away that hurt he feels. But time will help. If I was him I’d Definatly embrace the love he s getting from the others tho. Odd how it happens. Tell him congrats on the new gig tho!

    • Thank you! He has only until Sunday to put up with these people. We are counting down the days.

      • He will have a blast doing something new. He will be ready for at least 10 more years. 🙂

      • I hope so. As long as he enjoys it, he’ll stay at it. It’s wonderful to see.

  6. I wouldn’t convict you. But then again it’s likely that they’d have no clue why you’re angry. My guess? The jackasses are glad he’s leaving because Merle makes them look bad and they’re too concerned with their usual shenanigans to even attempt to try on some empathy. It’s good Merle can get out of there and be somewhere he is appreciated.

    • You’re so kind to allow me to avoid a conviction. And you are right-they probably don’t have a clue that they are such jerks.If there is any karma in this world, they will get theirs somewhere along the line. I’m pinning my feelings on that.

  7. I think many people feel threatened when they see others achieving goals that they, themselves, would like to achieve. They feel this way whether their own behavior and/or work ethic is such that they would deserve to reach their goal. In addition, our culture places little value on loyalty and time of service. Sometimes, all we have is our own personal integrity and a satisfaction in a job well done. Many congrats to Merle. May his new position surround him with people who value him.

    • Thank you for your kind support. I agree that loyalty and personal integrity seem to be disappearing in our culture. No wonder our society and economy is struggling.

  8. One of my favorite sayings is “The best revenge is doing well.”
    I went through a restructuring and chose an early out. He did his time the hard way and is now being rewarded with a promotion. In the uncertain work places today, I guess it doesn’t bring out the best in people as they struggle to hang on.
    Big time congrats to your husband for doing things the right way and know he will be somewhere he is appreciated.

    • We certainly considered the early out, but he is a little young, even though he has reached the Rule of 90, and there was no medical component. We could not afford to find and pay for insurance. He is very happy to have a job, and that it is something that he enjoys for the most part. Thanks for your kind words!

  9. Tell your husband we are all celebrating his promotion and send big congratulations!

    • Thank you!

  10. In two months I’ll be observing 25 years with same company. Good news I’ve done a lot of different things there, but I do wonder about what could have been.

    BTW if and when I depart there will be no party, just a quiet wisp as my fat ass leaves out the front (or back) door.

    • You know, my husband didn’t really want a party. But it would’ve been nice if someone had asked…or just said “Goodbye”. The people who are there now don’t have a clue about the things he did…like consulting on a major building. So, on to new and better! Congratulations on 25 years!

  11. Jealousy? Insecurity? Apathy? There’s so many reasons why people might behave badly in this situation. It’s a shame. But congratulations to him – I hope he enjoys the new job.

  12. After 27 years at the same job, I found the atmosphere had changed so much that all I could think of was getting away. I dithered for a long time but finally bit the bullet and left in December. It hurt to have something that had once meant a lot to me end badly, but from the moment I was out of there I have felt so much better about myself and been so much happier. May your husband have the same experience.

    • Workplaces have become much more negative recently. I think it is good that you were able to move on. You have to take care of yourself.

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