I’m Going to Miss Them

I work with the best group of people you could ever imagine.  Rarely does a day go by without some kind of prank, good-natured teasing, or witty repartee occurring.  When we hire new people, we take great care to make sure they have a good sense of humor and can function in an occasionally raucous environment.  We are so serious and committed to this criterion that we’ve given it a separate designation:  The Duck Factor.  Since our organizational acronym is ESSDACK, occasionally mispronounced, ESSDUCK, our office mascot is a duck so duck factor seems appropriate.  We have several people retiring from our office this year so it’s going to be very difficult to replace them and maintain the same level of camaraderie and esprit de corps we have had the last few years.  I am sad to see Jerry, Pat, Bonnie, Rick, and Gretchen leave, but retirements are inevitable, even if we don’t like it, and I wish them well as they each start a new chapter in their lives.

Unfortunately, we found out last week that the five retirees are not the only ones that will be missing from the office soon.  John, the leader of our New Media Team, well, he is the leader for another week, has accepted a new position, and we all hate to see him go as well.  He’s not MY John, but my life seems to have more than its share of men with that appellation.  John is one of the ring leaders in our office’s band of merry men and women, and he has more than his share of the duck factor.  We are sad to see him go for more reasons than his sense of humor, but that is a big part of what I will miss.

I could write a blog post about what I will miss about each of the six people who are leaving, but I have a recent e-mail exchange with John that illustrates the kind of office culture we have that makes ESSDACK such an incredible place.  Keep in mind that his original e-mail went to everyone in the office, but I was the one that decided it needed a response.  We both made sure to include everyone in the office on the ensuing e-mails so they could share the fun.

“I was thinking about working in town today, but the flat tire I got last night sealed the deal. I picked up a nail — the car isn’t even a month old.

They grow up so fast these days…….in MY day you could have a new car for months or even a year before she brought home her first nail. And no matter how many times you tell her that the nail isn’t good for her, doesn’t have her best interests in mind….they never listen, and all you can do is be there to hold her hand, slap on a spare, and take her in to the shop in the morning. I guess…… I guess I had just hoped that I would have more time before she started having grown-up car problems. I guess you’re never ready, though…..”


“Wait until your tires indiscriminately pick up multiple nails…sometimes two in one week.  Then you will start to lie awake at night worrying about where your car has been.  You will start to blame yourself wondering if there was a better, nail-free path you could have taken her on.  Some of the responsibility must lie with our roads.  We don’t have the same high standards for paving material that we used to have, and that can cause even a good tire to go bad.  You just have to understand your car and appreciate the fact that the tires don’t go flat immediately because the only thing worse than a flat in the driveway is one on the road!”


“It does, of course, shed a bright, harsh light on the ineffectiveness of teaching your car to wait before trying nails.  I mean, you can teach nail abstinence in the garage, you can teach it to her on the road, you can teach it to her in parking lots, but when the time comes, you can’t be there between her and the nail — she’s going to have to make her own decisions.

I dunno. Maybe all that forbidding made the nail seem more seductive and interesting.  Maybe I should have tried a different approach, letting her meet nails in a safer environment.  Let her try something that might scratch the same itch without running her flat, like thumbtacks and staples.

There just aren’t any easy, right answers anymore.”


“And not everyone supports Roe v Firestone which makes free flat repair warranties available when you purchase new tires.”


“All right, I’ll stop, but for the record it’s TOTALLY not because Terri wins and I can’t come up with something funnier than “Roe v. Firestone”.  I mean, I totally could.  I know I could. I snorted coffee all over Panera about something else entirely.  I hadn’t even read Terri’s post yet. I was laughing at something else. Probably a funny cat picture or something.

So, like, R v F totally doesn’t win.  I mean, I suppose it’s kinda funny.  If you’re into that sort of thing.  Maybe I was laughing at a picture of someone’s dog or something when everyone around here was staring at me like I’m a crazy person.  I don’t remember.  But it totally wasn’t Terri.  So, like, we’ll call it a draw.”


“You’re welcome!”


Yep, I’m going to miss them!

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