No Retirement Needed Here

My dad is 74. And he just officially retired after 46 years with the same company. Quite an accomplishment. My dad was a valuable employee, working ten to twelve hour days Monday through Friday. He was on the phone and computer a lot – counseling clients about how to wisely manage their money while always keeping a watchful eye on the ups and downs of the market.

His office was really nice. It was a quiet corner office with floor to ceiling windows affording him a tree top panoramic view. There was a large L-shaped mahogany desk housing not one but two computer monitors and a small television tucked just to the side. Two leather chairs flanked his desk where clients could sit and discuss important financial matters. And there were all kinds of plaques adorning the walls highlighting his professional achievements.

That office was an important place to him. So when he told me two days ago that a new hire moved into his space – I was upset. I was sad until I realized that the best work my dad did was not about his office. His finest work was about how he impacted the people that rolled into his office all those years at Merrill Lynch.

See, my dad takes a special interest in every person he meets. It doesn’t matter if that person is a millionaire or the custodian emptying trash cans – my dad makes everyone feel equally important, equally valued. It’s something I’ve always known about my dad – he cares about others and it shows. And it makes me realize although my dad has retired from his office job, he is no where near retirement. That office was just a short-term location for my dad’s most important job: Loving and caring for people … and showing them God’s love.

An Office

An office is just a place
For a man to make some calls.
It doesn’t speak of who he is
Or tell you much at all.
Oh, there may be some plaques
Tucked here and there to see.
But they’ll not mention important things
Like who is he to me.
They’ll speak of money made
And years spent in the race
Of gathering the green stuff
Of keeping corporate pace.
But the vital things in life
They won’t be found in there
They just don’t give out prizes
To show how people care.
See, office walls aren’t lined
With stories rich to tell
From people who felt special
Regardless – buy or sell.
But that’s the man I know
And many more would say
That office walls don’t speak
Of love and care his way.

Susie Davis © 2007