Thursday, March 15, 2007

Lunch by Invitation Only

I just can’t resist passing on a conversation I had with one of the group I so unaffectionately think of as "The Gang of Four", those people who have made my life so miserable over the past 4 months. This one is a GUY, not one of the 2 B___s.
GUY was sitting in my office telling me how I should be doing yet another part of my job.
ME: Well, I won’t be around to implement this, so I guess someone else will just have to deal with it.
GUY: What? Are you leaving?
ME: Yeah, I’m retiring.
GUY: When?
ME: May 3.
GUY: Congratulations. Are you going to have a lunch?
ME: Yeah, for some people.
GUY: Who is going to be invited?
ME: Those people who have been nice to me.
I resisted the temptation to say "and that does not include you".
So here is where I am with planning my getaway. I decided to have a series of small brown-bag lunches with various groups of people with whom I’ve enjoyed working over the past 35 years. The deal will be that I will bring the salad and they can bring whatever else they want to eat. It’s not really about the food, but about reminiscing, so I can leave here with a bunch of pleasant memories.
I’m also going to have a really nice dinner party at my house that will include three of my former bosses, the best secretary in the world (Rosa – are you reading this?), some of my closest friends, and of course my husband. Although this started out a little rocky because of the issue of cost (I won’t say any more), I’ve now decided to make all the food and hire people to tend bar, serve, and clean up. It will be a delicious evening.
As GUY walked out, he couldn’t wait to tell me how I could buy SAS for my home computer so I could prepare for my work life after retirement. I responded that I planned to NEVER write another computer program after I retire, that I was actually intending to GET A LIFE!
A number of things this week have confirmed that I am definitely making the right decision. Meanwhile I’m looking forward to sharing coffee or whatever with one of my favorite Bloggers, a party planning lunch with my best friend on Saturday, and a future that is looking very bright. As someone I know always says, ONWARD and UPWARD!


Blogger steve said...

Love your reply to Guy...i remember a time when I was like him and actually pitied anyone that 'had a life" as though there was nothing worth doing that wasn't work. Someone made the comment that the retirement Seminars are all about finding another job-that where "Guy" will end up...
With spring in the air I'll bet there are some Chocolate Festivals somewhere... and the Perigord and Normandy Regions of France are nice this time of year... just Sayin'...

4:05 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

How delicious that you got to have that talk with the GUY. Heheheheh!!

BTW I WILL talk you out of doing all the cooking yourself. You don't want your back to ache and your feet hurting and your kitchen a bloody mess for your party. Catering, catering, catering.

We will tawk!

6:19 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

It made me happy to see you write, I responded that I planned to NEVER write another computer program after I retire, that I was actually intending to GET A LIFE! .

You have an opportunity few have - freedom from the bonds of servility. Of course, in our society, many need to work to live and some confuse this to mean that we live to work.

Hoping that you will have a long and productive requirement free of idleness.

BTW, what happened to April 13 as the retirement date?

6:41 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- You wouldn't believe how many Federal workers retire, wait their mandatory 90 days, and then come back as contractors. I'm never quite sure if they want more money or they just can't figure what else to do with themselves.

Reya -- Party planning on Saturday. I have some good ideas. I'm definitely in favor of buying some things, but you know I love to cook!

Richard -- I don't think idleness will be a problem for me. Not if my husband is any example. As for April 13, there is some screwy rule in the Federal Government that if you retire before the 3rd of the month, you don't get paid for the time in between -- i.e., your annuity doesn't kick in until the next month. So I figured why give up over 2 weeks of income?

9:58 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Here's 1 retired Fed who definitely did not come back as a contractor. I wanted to get as far away from the government as possible.

P.S. Suggest you listen to Reya re the party.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

David -- You will be my retirement role model!

As for the party, we'll see. You started me down this road and I'm not quite ready to do a 360.

8:20 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

It occurred to me that you could still invite those whom you are ... erm ... less than fond of. Just make sure you give them the potato salad that has been sitting out in the sun.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Richard -- There was a time in this process when I would have done exactly as you suggested. However, I am currently working hard to shed my temptation to be vindictive. Believe me, they will be punished enough when the things they were relying on me to do are no longer done.

9:53 AM  
Blogger steve said...

No way you should consider doin' the cooking...altough if you must prepare something... I would allow for 1 item and 1 item only... your business needs to be sloshing about the dance floor!

4:27 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya, David, Steve -- My first inclination was to find a caterer I trusted, albeit spending $$$. Someone else's original response to the $$$ made me say Hell's bells, I can make better food than any caterer I know and I started thinking about menus. That's always a mistake if you really shouldn't be contemplating cooking. I was planning to buy a shitload of sushi made by a Japanese guy who creates designer sushi at the #1 sushi restaurant in DC. I was also going to buy a to-die-for chocolate royale cake from a place called Bistro-Bistro at a cost of $50 (now $55, but I am a returning customer). The rest was going to be things I could make ahead and just get the hired hands to heat up and serve, like:

Tiny baked Chilean empanadas
Rumaki (chicken livers/mussels/scallops)

Salad with mixed greens, mushrooms, avocado, pears, and walnuts

Ground lamb with rice, peppers, and tomatoes (casserole) topped with feta

Quinoa with raisins and chopped almonds

Crusty French bread

Sliced strawberries

NONE of that is hard and believe me, it will be a lot cheaper than getting it catered from anyone else.

So I can spend my $$$ on really good wine and liquor for mixed drinks and hired help so I can spend my time on the dance floor and getting stinking drunk.

Please, guys, just let me cook!

5:33 PM  
Anonymous David said...

You convinced me - I hear you're a very good cook and the menu sounds yummy. The main thing is that you don't have to do anything during the party except enjoy yourself and your guests. Oh, and I wonder where the dance floor is?

6:20 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Oh, I'm so glad you have decided to retire and definitely have the date! Now you can just fix your eyes on that day! Your plan to cater some and make what you want sounds perfect! So does the dance floor! I bet you and David will be one happy couple once this all happens! Congrats and relax!

6:54 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

David -- Your job is to be the "DJ" and to figure out the dance floor. If we can hold a concert for 40 in our family room, we must be able to find space for dancing, don't you think?

MOI -- Yes, Yes, Yes!

7:03 PM  

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