24 years and 10 months

I went back to work today. I’m not well yet, and there were moments at the office when my brain refused to function because a bit of fever and a bit of nausea reappeared. I haven’t drunk any coffee for several days, either. Didn’t dare. The chili ayurvedic tea went down well, though.

It was nice to be back, because I really needed the break from going stir-crazy at home. I spent the day trying to catch up on business cards. I’m the one responsible for making the business cards for all my co-workers (fortunately, not all of them at once). I also discovered that the fly in January was an illusion. When the outdoor blind rolled down and I saw the fly again, I made a closer inspection and discovered that it was quite dead – mummified, actually – and, perhaps caught by surprise, had become flattened and embedded in the rolling blind.

Waiting for me when I got back was a buff-colored envelope, nearly square in shape and about six inches wide, with my name in full typed somewhere in the upper left-hand side of the envelope. The disharmonious and rule-breaking placement bothered the ex-secretary in me. Inside was a buff-colored card with our CEO’s name pre-printed on it, and a short, typed greeting wishing me a happy 25th anniversary. The CEO’s name was also typed, not signed or even rubber-stamped. Huh, I thought. Two months early and she couldn’t be bothered to sign it. I know, it’s just a formality. I’m not sure what to do with the card. I’m thinking of tacking it up on my cork board.

Yes, on April 1 I will have been at this company for 25 years. I feel too young to hold such a record. Everyone else around me who has been here this long are showing far more gray than I am (I’m doing nicely with my eight single strands of silver, thank you). I didn’t think I’d still be here. Over the years, restlessness and dissatisfaction have taken turns with enthusiasm and gratitude. But here I am, still am, and am currently in a gratitude phase (which beats the dissatisfaction phase of late last year).

My boss is responsible for organizing the anniversary party. I am allowed to have to up to 25 guests (myself included), on the company. My boss called me in to his office about two weeks ago and asked me about the party. I told him that half of me wanted to ignore the whole thing, while the other half knew better than to cheat her co-workers out of a fun time. He nodded in strong agreement at that one. After all, we do party well together. So I had to start thinking about who to invite, with a few extra names in case of cancellations, and a date for the shin-dig.

We ended up with March 28. That’s the Friday that suits everyone in my department. I have to get that list of names to my boss, and drop hints about what gift I’d like to get if they collect enough money (there will be a collection; there always is). The last time somebody threw a big party for me, I was 9, it was my birthday, and I swore never again. At least this time there will be booze.

By Keera Ann Fox

I am a bi-lingual American who has lived most of my life in Norway.
Jeg er en tospråklig amerikaner som har bodd mesteparten av mitt liv i Norge.

5 replies on “24 years and 10 months”

I\’ve never hosted a party, Sravana. Can\’t stand the thought. Do like to attend, though, but I\’ve never been the guest of honor as an adult. At least I know what sort of party it will be, having attended quite a few already.Thanks for the congratulations, Mitch. If we do want video, we\’ll hire somebody local. We don\’t have the budget for an intercontinental flight. 🙂


Congratulations! I\’ve been working with the same organization for 11 years, which is a record for me. Before that, I changed jobs a lot, so it says a lot that I consider my present position so interesting that I can\’t imagine doing anything else. Well, I can but I rather not leave the \’best job in the world.\’


Thanks, Chanpheng! I kept switching departments, max. 2 years here then there. Then I found work that I loved and still love. I\’m still a bit awed by that, but it made me stay put. I guess that\’s exactly what happened to you, too.


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