Monday, August 31, 2020

The last day.

 I'm 79. I've told you that plenty of times before, but today is a different kind of ageing for me. It's my last day as a youthful man of 79. Tomorrow, I will wake up (I hope) as an old man of 80 years. That's simply amazing to me. To most others, it's no big deal. All over the globe people are doing the very same thing. Not as many as the number entering the world 80 years ago. Some have dropped out early while others more recently  

How could I have attained such an age? I can't remember making it to an age and then telling myself " I sure hope I can make to 80". And today, my son announced that the State Disability Insurance people have ok'd his  surgery. He has had a tear in the muscle caused by a bone spur. This will be the second surgery for the problem. He works for the State and when he reported the continuing pain despite physical therapy. That was close to 3 years ago and they (the State) have sent him to a multitude of orthopods. Some of them were close to 200 miles away. My son had suggested some that were close to 10 miles away and others as far as 75 miles. They rejected all. of those. As the years went by, without a decision the condition of his shoulder deteriorated.

My son had another bit of news for us. He said that he would retire sometime during his recuperation. He wouldn't have to go back to the prison...oops, the correctional center. At the age of 51 with a full retirement, he will be looking into pursuing a new career. That bad shoulder will still belong to the state.

He will be glad to get away from the seniority system, as that never made sense to him and he refused to participate. He stayed a Corrections Officer for the duration. He had been urged by the Warden to take the Sergeant's exam and he took it to see if he could pass it. He did. Then stayed where he was. If he had become a Sergeant, he would lose his seniority and the shifts he needed. As a single dad, he needed to be home for the kids. Later he was asked to move up to Lieutenant, even Assistant Warden. The answer was always no and he doesn't regret it. In my career, I saw some seniority problems handled handled the right way. I was given a second check on payday, as the fact that I was an apprentice and being paid foreman's wages, made some of the journeyman angry. So my boss arranged for my payroll check to be reduced and I was sent the second check to cover the difference. The tension was reduced. 

In another case, one of the journeyman hadn't put in quite enough hours for a decent pension. He was very old and didn't always make good decisions. Yet we all enjoyed his company and when working, he tried as hard as the others. We were all working piecework And when we could, we hired him put all the screws in the board and to install all of the metal trim. Or ha could install all of the board in the closets. His was just  the first of this kind of behavior that I saw. Certainly not the last. 

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