A year ago I blogged about my dad and how he turned 65. At that stage he was so adamant that he wasn’t ready for retirement. He wanted to save a bit more money for projects to do around the house (ie. create mum’s dream kitchen).
Flash forward to 2017 and last Friday he officially retired from Temperzone, his workplace of 37 years!
Throughout the year, dad has sounded different than he usually does. He wasn’t experiencing the same drive to go to work each day. He was getting more excited about spending time with mum and was he also craving a new boat.
He was supposed to officially finish at the end of this year but choose to leave on his 66th birthday. I’m so proud of you dad.
A few weeks before he finished, his colleagues contacted my mum and sister to organise a surprise farewell dinner from his team. My dad wanted to slip out quietly, so this was the only way they could ensure this could happen.
At the dinner, dad was truly humbled to see his team making the effort to have dinner with him. It was even more touching when each of his team members made a speech in turn. Dad’s protege (a young determined man named Vince) shared how inspirational and influential dad had been to him. Vince was at the dinner with his wife and two small children – how amazing must it have been to see my dad with his wife and 3 very adult kids! Yup, dad you truly are a role model.
Again, dad wanted to slip away quietly on his last day, so my sister worked in secret with his manager to have us attend his farewell presentation. This worked out perfectly as during the morning tea break they were acknowledging several staff members for their long service at Temperzone. But little did dad know that they were also acknowledging him in front of everyone, but that his wife and grown kids would be surprise guests!
During the morning presentation, it was utterly priceless when dad saw mum, me and the rest of the family. He had this look of nervousness and disbelief, probably with the realisation that he was leaving his Temperzone family.
When dad addressed his workmates, he spoke clearly and proudly of how he was feeling emotional and that it did indeed feel like a sad day. But he was grateful for the support and friendship of the Temperzone family.
The company founder Eric Kendall passed away many years ago, but his sons have continued to run the business in a family-friendly way. It is no surprise that this alignment of values has allowed my dad to flourish and be so loyal after all these years. I remember the children’s Christmas parties and the financial assistance provided to support my university tuition fees. It is so rare to find companies that still value and support staff in that manner.
A week since leaving work, my mum sent me a text to say that her and dad have already had an argument at home (I couldn’t help but laugh!). My ‘creature of habit’ dad will feel a bit strange and out of place for a while, but I also sense his growing excitement of carving out something new. I’m sure his boat, car and golf clubs are sure to be well utilised in the coming year. Oh, he has all of mum’s jobs to complete too!