User-agent: * Allow: / Trenton Butcher Block: Going Past My Expiration Date

"Our Liberties We Prize, Our Rights We Will Defend."

Commentary on national and local events from the standpoint of a Trenton city resident and state worker.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Going Past My Expiration Date

My wife was going to retire effective June 1, but I talked her out of it.  I believe she won't be able to deal with being alone each day with nothing to do.  So I advised her to keep working and we'd eventually retire together.

She works at the Labor Department as a clerk and has been there for almost 39 years. She believes that she put in her time and wants out.  Sounds reasonable, since she started the job back in 1976.  That may seem like a long time to you, and I guess it is, until you look at my secretary.  She started with the department back in 1969, when I was dealing with my 6th grade teacher. Mrs Griswold at Kuser School in Hamilton.

Although my wife didn't leave this time, her coworkers arranged an in-office party for her over the lunch hour.  I saved a copy of the flyer advertising the event, which was sitting on the library table in my living room.  Over last weekend I picked it up and put it in an old dresser which is in the attic where I put keepsakes.

Inside the dresser I found a wooden box which says Euphoria Chocolate Company on the lid.  It came from a gift I got from my sister in the early 1980s when she lived in Eugene Oregon which is where the chocolate company is still located.  (The advertising on the box worked, I ordered 4 pounds of chocolate yesterday.)

Inside the box was a bunch of junk dating from the 1980s including a Holland for Mayor button (Trenton's mayor at the time) as well as a union button from American Standard.  They were represented by the Glass, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers union.  Lastly, there was a work ID from the Mercer County Board of Social Services.  It was dated May 13, 1983 and listed my job title as IMT.  I was an Income Maintenance Technician at the county welfare office and took applications from potential clients and either approved or denied benefits based on the information I obtained.

Looking at the young man on the ID, I suddenly realized that the picture was shot 32 years ago and that my career in government service is drawing to a close.  It is not a question of if I will retire, but when, and that the time remaining on the job will probably be measured in months, not years.

By the way I went to a retirement party last week which was for my former supervisor when I worked as a field analyst.  Another analyst, who assigned NAICS codes to companies announced last Tuesday that he would be gone on Friday.  Since he went to my old supervisor's party, that party was for him too.

Yes, they are falling out all around me, and soon I will be gone as well.  I can only hope that the state supreme court rules that Christie  has to obey his own pension reform law and fully fund the pension.  Then maybe it will still be around to support me in retirement.

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