Log in

Been at your job too long?


Without much fanfare (okay, I did write and voice a radio commercial noting the milestone), I recently marked 25 years of my “day job” working for a farmers cooperative.
I realize lots of other people have spent at least 25 years with a single employer; but given the impact of mergers, layoffs, obsolete professions, mandatory drug tests, anger management issues and online job listings, our accomplishment is nothing to sneeze at, either.
I appreciate the stability and family atmosphere at the cooperative. I have built a quarter-century worth of memories rather than spending 25 years dwelling on “the road not taken.” (“Tyree, somewhere out there in the multiverse, there’s a you who backpacks through Europe with Stephen Hawking! Aren’t you jealous???” “Does Other Me get an employee discount on cat de-wormer? Hmmm?”)
I know not everyone shares my philosophy. Whether seeking freedom, novelty or Big Bucks, countless workers admire the greener grass on the other side of the fence.
My late friend “R.L.” fit squarely into the freedom camp. I swear this happy-go-lucky fellow must have held down 400 different jobs over the years. And by “held down,” I mean “let them float away and trigger a ‘99 Luftballons’ scenario.”
Major police departments have determined that wearing Kevlar body armor runs a distant second to carrying a copy of R.L.’s resume in your shirt.
R.L. once acquired a coveted position at the highest-paying factory in town and merrily quit a week later to pursue a freelance job prospecting for Styrofoam or something.
I can sort of understand the wayfaring approach to employment, although the value of a benefits package is not to be lightly dismissed. A defiant “I don’t want anybody telling me what to do” often gives way to “Turn your head and cough – and then tell me how you plan to pay for medical services rendered, Mr. No Strings on Me!”
Side note: if you’re looking for a side gig, you should operate a year-round haunted house catering to fly-by-night laborers. Imagine holding a flashlight pointed up at your face in a pitch-black room as you whisper, “And the next morning, next to the bloody hook on the car door handle was …a fully vested 401(k) account! Woooooo…”
Some people are always chasing a bright, shiny object. Of course, they can become ensnared if the employment agency lands them a job on the laser pointer assembly line. (“Darn! Now I’ve fulfilled my probationary period! I’m mad enough to cough up a hairball!”)
Not everyone is so footloose about a steady income. Some ambitious people are always networking and watching for the chance to get in on the ground floor of a lucrative enterprise. They feel obligated to realize their God-given talents to the fullest and create a world in which little children of all colors and nationalities can join hands and announce, “Wow! Did you see the trophy wife that Mikey’s dad can afford?”
All kidding aside, you do you.
As long as you don’t fall into the extremes of hopeless underachiever or family-neglecting workaholic, decide what’s the proper length of time to stay with one employer.
And, employers, measure twice and cut once when trying to scrimp on your human resources.
This public service announcement has been brought to you by Convert Your Cubicle Into A Pinata, a subsidiary of There’s Packing Materials in Them Thar Hills, Incorporated.

Copyright 2024 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.