The Mother of All Retirement Receptions

Last Sunday’s post was about retiring and I originally had planned to include the retirement reception hosted by my office.  But it was such an “over the top” extravaganza that I decided it needed its own post for me to do it justice.  As I told them, I’m not easily impressed but I was impressively overwhelmed by their send off.

Since Vegas is my second home, that was the reception theme.  The room and tables were appropriately decorated.  (And of course I took a few props as…  “sue-bee-neers.”

Check out those poker glasses

Check out those poker card shades…

Debbie, the Most Exalted Coordinator of the event, is a good baker.  She baked a special Philippine treat for me and also one of my favorites: peanut brittle.  And she also presented me with another favorite: a homemade fruitcake.

Debbie making sure everything's in place

Debbie making sure everything’s in place

During the reception, a “Life of Steve’ slide show ran continuously.  Even the slide show had a Vegas theme.

Opening slide

Opening slide

Normally, these retirement slide shows focus on work life.  But I had shown some co-workers a webpage from my high school alumni website which included a photo from my “big hair” college days and that website page was passed on to the slide show creator to harvest.  So I was as surprised as everyone else that the slide show included the photo as well as other photos from my “youth.”

My "big hair" college days

My “big hair” college days

Then, it was time for the “war stories.”  Co-workers, former co-workers and consultants (some of whom had e-mailed the stories since they could not attend) regaled the audience with tales going back as far as when I started in 1993.  At least twice, I provided an illuminating “prequel” to the story.

After the stories, it was time for presentations.  My boss presented me an impressive “30 years service” plaque.  It’s going up at the entrance to my computer room so I’ll see it every day.


What really surprised me were a T-shirt and beer mug emblazoned with a “Know Your Rights” poster that is on all our infrastructure project sites. Our federally funded projects require construction contractors to pay their workers “prevailing wages” determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.  The poster summarizes that requirement.

For the 20 years I was in the program, I trained all the new project managers in the “prevailing wages” requirements.  So the poster was modified to identify me as the “Most Exalted High Potentate” of this program component.  I’ve already worn that T-shirt! (My name and exalted status are centered in black below all the blue text.)

T-shirt (remember those poker shades?)

T-shirt  (remember those poker shades?)

There were lots of other goodies, including an M & M dispenser that a co-worker “retired” with me.


Perfect for my morning coffee

Perfect for my morning coffee

My alter ego and "mini-me"

My alter ego and “mini-me” for my mask collection

I also received all sorts of mementos of the reception.  The slide show presentation (electronic and “hard” copy of each slide printed out and placed in a photo album) as well as dozens of reception photos.  So I can relive the day whenever my memory needs a little help.

I wondered if my retirement would sink in during the reception but it didn’t happen.  It did seem a bit surreal though because I’d attended many other retirement receptions but this one was mine.  Even walking out the door the last day, knowing I’d never return as an employee,  didn’t have any particular effect.

Maybe it was because I had already retired “psychologically” and this was just the “formality.”  Even after 30 years, I’ll miss the “action” even if I don’t miss the job.  And I’ll miss the camaraderie, although I do plan on lunch with my cohorts when possible.


After 30 years, it was time to say goodbye…Vegas- style!


6 responses to “The Mother of All Retirement Receptions

  1. Wow, that IS impressive! So personalized to you with the Philippine and Vegas connections. A lot of thought went into this and it’s obvious you are very well-liked. Of course, who wouldn’t like you? (Don’t answer that lol.) Now that you are free as a bird, you will have time to have lunch with me too. A long lunch, even! And maybe with pt also if he has time. Football season starts in September!
    Having had lunch with pt twice now, I can tell you he is the perfect lunch companion. Totally a gentleman with impeccable manners and very knowledgeable about food. And we didn’t discuss politics at all 🙂
    Wait, this is supposed to be about you, not pt! I’m just trying to entice you is all, because I know you have a million plans and will be very busy. Congratulations to you!

    • I’ll put you (and PT, when he’s in town) on my lunch list. But not Bahn Thai…

      There’s an Indian buffet where the Catfish pad on Lafayette used to be. Got good review from a former co-worker. And as long as El Patron continues it’s “all lunch specials $5” policy, that’s good too.

      • I don’t know why you say “not Bahn Thai” but I’ve become disillusioned with them myself. Where is El Patron?

        • If you recall, we went to Bahn Thai lunch one day and I did not care for it.

          El Patron is on the Parkway, next to Patients First. They stared a $5 “any entree on the lunch menu” war. El Jalisco matched them for awhile but then gave up and now has only 1 or 2 $5 lunches each day, with dishes rotating.

  2. That’s very cool stuff man. Good times and good memories. Happy for you and glad that the politics of Tallahassee seemed to be absent.

    FN you are to kind 🙂 I am unsure what this fall will bring personally, things have changed a bit and I am even more committed to family, tailgate and grand children. But if I can find time I will try to match dance cards with you guys.

  3. What a great send-off! After all of your years of dedication, it was well-deserved!

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