Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Forty Years at One Place

The husband/lover/faithful provider just came home from work yesterday with the official "You Have Worked Here For 40 Years" packet.  This August, he will have worked that many years at Conagra Foods, formerly American Home Foods, and originally before that Chef Boyardee's.

Yes, 40 years, and that's a long time.  Even if you liked your job, that's a very long haul.

In this very official looking packet, there is a certificate thanking him for his many years of service, helping to make the company what it is today, and blah, blah, blah.

Along with that fancy frameable certificate came a folder in which are shown a selection of gifts.  He is to pick one item, send in his official choice, and they will send him his 40 year gift.

True to his generous nature, he asked me what I would like.  Upon perusing the choices, I noticed that the gift options were a bit more extravagant than the ones were back ten years ago in the "You Have Worked Here For 30 Years" packet.

Of course, I was drawn to considering any of the travel related items.  His retirement won't come soon enough, and we are dreaming of being able to travel more extensively than we have been up until now.

I considered picking the camera.  Nah, it doesn't even have the capabilities that my own simple little camera has.

Perhaps the bike.  What do I want with 21 gears though?  I have a decent bike, although it is currently on loan to my daughter, as I am unable to even think of taking a bike ride until fully healed from my heel surgery.

Maybe the luggage set.  It appears to come with quite a few pieces, and it is the Samsonite brand, which has a fairly good reputation.  I don't think I'll select that option though, as we already have good luggage (Samsonite), and if I were to replace ours I'd pick the lightweight hard sided type.  I've seen how those airport luggage folks toss around the bags.

Hmmm.  Maybe someone in our family would like the large 9 person tent (but you're not fooling me, it probably only realistically fits 4 small children) for some fun camping adventures.  I'm too pampered; tent camping isn't for me.  That's roughing it, and things are plenty rough enough back in town.

I also see an attractive two piece set of leather travel bags.  However, the fine print says the colors may not come  like what the picture shows, due to "variations."  Hmmmm, sounds like they probably have some orange or green leather bags back in their supply.  Nope, don't think so.

I don't really need or want any of those things, so the hubby gets to pick.  It's his anniversary anyway.

As the story goes, my husband followed his family to Las Vegas, Nevada to live, right after he graduated in Pennsylvania from high school.  With all the booming growth of hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, he figured it would be easy to find a job there.  It didn't exactly happen as he dreamed.

Not only that, after only a few weeks there he began missing his girlfriend back east.  (Not me.  I wasn't in the picture then yet.)

So, he and his brother Rick moved back east, stayed with a relative for a bit, then found jobs at the same place that August of 1973, at Chef Hector Boyardee's place in Milton, Pennsylvania.  Back then he and his brother were laborers, working on the food lines.

Many things have changed in the factory since then, along with their job titles and responsibilities.  Bob is now the Focused Improvement Coordinator, and his brother (still there also) is the person in charge of safety.

Bob's job has provided a decent living for us and our four children, and he has been a faithful and hard working husband, father, and employee.  For all of that, I'm extremely grateful.

Again, I gotta say that 40 years is a long time.

I was wondering what the national average is, and so I looked up a few facts and figures.

According to the United States Department of Labor (the Bureau of Labor Statistics), in a report issued September of 2012, the average number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.6.  This figure had increased from 4.4 in January of 2010.

Furthermore, the average employee tenure varied by age.  For example, the average tenure for employees of age 65 and over was 10.3 years in January 2012, over 3 times the tenure for workers age 25 to 34 (3.2 years).  More than half of all workers age 55 and older were employed for at least 10 years with their current employer in January 2012, compared with 13% of workers age 30 to 34.

So yeah, any way you look at it, 40 years is a lot.

Let the countdown to retirement begin.

Please.  Now.


  1. Dad is one dedicated and committed guy! We are so lucky to have had him stick it out there for 40 years, but I'm looking forward to his retirement for his sake. He deserves it more than anyone I know. Now, as for the gift... you might not be getting that bike back, so why don't you go ahead and order the bike. :) Just kidding... thanks for letting me use it!

  2. Congratulations Robert. That is a long time to work anywhere!

  3. Congratulations to your husband for his longevity in the work place. He has my husband beat. He was a Greyhound Driver for 32 years, retired for 8 then went back to work driving for a nice Retirement Village. He I on his 2nd year there. Be sure to let us know what gift he chose.

  4. I made it 34 years and said enough. So congrats to your wonderful hubbie on staying with it. But retirement is high on your life I'm sure.

  5. 10, 9, 8, 7. . . . OK, I am letting the count down begin. I was self employed for many years and finally just had to tell my clients I quite. I was 70 when I did that. Yep that was early this year. In fact we were in our motor-home enjoying the Davis Mountains when I got a call from my last client. I made it clear that I was retired.

  6. That is something to be incredibly proud of Jill. WONDERFUL.

    Our father's both were in the service for 20 years and then in then one went private [mine] for the next 20 while my beloved FIL stayed in the Secret Service. They both retired after their 40 years and reaped the benefits of extended tenure in both.

    Pooldad works in a business that has a small community, so he has only worked at two companies in 35 years [he has 6 years until retirement]. The first for 26 and the last for 9. I am insanely proud of him too, knowing that he could have his pick of any pool company in our state [on his reputation] but he is a loyal company guy and will continue until her retires from where he is.

    And it can't come soon enough. I will count with you for yours. [first] YAY!

    [And those 9 person tents fit more than you think, believe it not. Although I am sure our idea of tent camping at this point is Motel 6. giggle]

    Congrats again to hubs!