Behind Those Doors – #ThursdayDoors

For the last 15 years, I’ve started my day going though those doors. Half the time, I turned those lights on.

Keys gave way to keypads, key cards, proximity fobs and smart phones.

But the doors always opened.

Files moved from file cabinets, to fax machines, to email attachments to the Cloud.

But information was always available.

Typewriters and (some, but not all) adding machines were replaced by mini-computers, desktop computers, laptops, tablets and phones.

But work could always be performed.

A man pushing a mail cart gave way to thousands of feet of CAT-5 cable, then WiFi and cellular devices.

But we could always share what we knew.

Desk phones remain, but are gradually being replaced by text messages, webinars, video conferences and a pervasive electronic presence that some will never welcome.

But we remained connected.

Hand-written ledgers were replaced by files-on-floppies, shared folders and database servers.

But our collective work product remains available for audit, inspection and most importantly, continuing use by those who conduct the important work behind those doors.

Offices gave way to cubicles which returned to offices for some and remote workspaces in homes, hotels, airports, coffee shops and perhaps beaches for others.

But we still had work to do and places to do it.

What remains behind those doors is a constantly varying subset of roughly thirty remarkable people. Some were there when I started 31 years ago. Some have only recently joined the crew. Some are almost always there. Some drift in and out between assigments. Some visit on occasion, but all of them make their real presence known through the tasks they perform, the knowledge, experience and insight they share and the human qualities they bring with them.

Some have closed those doors behind them for the last time. I have memories of well over 100 people who moved through this entrance and those in other buildings.

It was always my pleasure to work with them.

I will maintain contact with many. I will visit when I can. I will think of them often, and I will cling to the memories of those who are gone forever – especially Tom, Mike, and Jerre.


These reflections are offered as part of Norm Frampton’s wonderfully fun blog hop known as Thursday Doors. Some of my friends from behind these doors, contributed the European doors I shared recently. Many of the doors I have shared in this space were gathered while traveling for this company and often in the company of these wonderful people. If you want to participate in Thursday Doors, visit Norm’s site and click in the many links to doors from around the world.

94 thoughts on “Behind Those Doors – #ThursdayDoors

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  1. An end, but also a new beginning. I feel like these days, too many people view retirement as something bad instead of what it actually is: Literally the thing they’ve worked their entire lives for. It’s sad in the moment to leave, I can well imagine, but just think of the adventure that now awaits you, Dan. Seize the moment and enjoy the start of the rest of your life! :)

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are correct, Wendy, and I am on board with those thoughts. Five years of college and 42 years of working for a living was enough. It worked, and now it’s time to relax. Of course, I’m the kind of guy who thinks repalcing a set of steps is relaxing, but…

      Thanks for your warm wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw the office doors in Reader’s list of posts and felt a pang of sorrow. A pang, I’m sure, that is several degrees more potent in your experience of events.

    This is a lovely tribute to your work life, Dan.

    Yes, we are all connected and always will be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Maggie. Implementing those changes was my work life. It was a good ride, but it’s someone else’s turn. The weird thing about working with technology is that it’s always changing. I replaced things, and then I came back and replaced the stuff I put in place. That trend will continue, but it was always new and always challenging to me. I am a little sad, but a much bigger part of me is looking forward. But I wanted to highlight the people I worked with. When everything else is said and done, they made the difference.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Aww…I teared up. You’ve stated so well what it feels like to work for a company for a long time, long enough to get to the stage where a goodbye is bittersweet. That’s a gift, longevity in the workplace isn’t easy to come by these days. I hope you’re enjoying a fresh cup of coffee and dreaming about what you’ll do for fun this day (and days to come!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This home will remain dumb, GP. I’ve seen things that are interesting, but I’ve also read some horror stories. Getting up and walking to the light switch just isn’t that hard. AND, I don’t want more things that have to be upgraded and protected from hackers – that’s what I just retired from :-)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful, Dan. I agree with Wendy. This ending is but a new beginning. You’ll discover resources and dreams you haven’t thought about and we will walk with you! All the best to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pam. I ushered in most of those changes, even the ones that were not universally well received. It’s funny, I think about how my work will eventually be replaced, but I replaced my earlier work, several times. That’s the nature of technology. It was a good run, and while the accomplishments will be replaced, the memories of the people will remain.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I celebrated 25 years at my company this month, and there are only 2 people there longer than me. Everyone else has either moved onto other jobs or retired. I can’t keep up with the changing faces. Keeping up with the new computer systems is hard enough. Memories are great, though. Enjoy making new ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lois. When I celebrated 20 years, there were 17 people who had been there longer than me. Today, there are 3, and one of them is retiring the same day as me (officially tomorrow). All of the new technology will be replaced by newer technology at some point, but the people were more or less constant.

      Like

  6. Aw, that was a lovely tribute to your office, colleagues, and your life’s work. This door is closing, but the windows are open and there are all sorts of adventures, and projects to do. These are those Golden Years we always heard about. I hope yours are paved in making fabulous memories of this new phase of your life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deborah. When you put it in perspective, it comes down to people. I’m proud of the work I did, but technology is fleeting at best. New people will continue to find new and better ways to get the job done – that’s as it should be. I am happy to be where I am today.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Touching tribute to your former co-workers. No matter the technology, human contact is a driving force in any business. As much as you miss your work friends, I have no doubt they are missing you more. Not just for your expertise, but because of the caring, considerate gentleman you are. You made a mark on everyone. I hope they pay it forward.

    And now you get to enter and exit all kinds of new doors and experience new adventures. I have no doubt you will embrace your retirement with the same zest you embraced your work. Your main problem will be finding the time to do everything you want!!

    Happy retirement. You worked long and hard for it. Enjoy every minute of it.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ginger. Sorry to write about this transition two days in a row, but I wanted to recognize the people. I’m already forgetting the job ;-)

      This company has a way of hooking people in for the long haul. It was rare to see someone leave. Unfortunately, the company downsized a few times, but the core group that we ended up with was very close and comprised of some wonderful people.

      It looks like it’s going to be raining here all day. That’s OK.

      I hope you’re having a great week.

      Like

  8. Beautiful post Dan. Though the work and the company can be great, it’s really the people that make the difference.
    On that front it sounds like you have been very fortunate.
    Enjoy whatever comes next. Something tells me you’ll have no shortage of things to keep you busy :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It must have felt really weird, Dan, to pack up your stuff and leave the office as an employee for the last time. When you’ve been in one place for a long time, it becomes your second home and the people become more than just people.

    Here’s to a lovely, relaxing, happy, retired life.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I got a little misty reading this post, Dan, because I could relate to so much of it. The evolutionary changes in business throughout the years are amazing to reflect on but the people are what I miss the most. Great post. I wish you the very best for well deserved retirement! Next leg of the journey coming up,

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Loved both the tone and content of the post, Dan. I suspect that you will find yourself surprisingly busy now that you are retired, though it may take some time to establish new routines. I have gotten used to a certain pattern of photos that were based on your commuting habits–we may have to adjust too now that you won’t be commuting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike. There certainly won’t be as many pictures from Great River Park. I will miss that, and I will visit when I can, but it’s almost as long a ride as I had going to work, and there’s no way to avoid traffic. I wish it was closer.

      My routine for the next month or so is going to involve finishing some projects around here and staging for one that I might get to work on in the winter. I think I’ll stay busy, but I don’t know what activities will fill the week.

      Like

  12. Well done, Dan. Well done indeed. This is a perfect, heartfelt way to commemorate your retirement. Also, “At least I worked for a company that uses words” was terrific. I’ve had enough acronyms to last a hundred lifetimes.
    Congrats and happy Halloween hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Teagan. I didn’t like every aspect of my job, but throughout the years, I did like the people. I will miss the personal interaction.

      Acronyms as company names is crazy, in my opinion, unless they stand for something. The trend around here seems to be to drop the subject and just use the name. The worst offender, as I see it, is Connecticut Public Television (our local PBS affiliate) – It’s now just “Connecticut Public.” I hear that and I want to scream “public what?” “Connecticut Children’s Medical Center” is now just “Connecticut Children’s” – it’s mind numbing.

      Like

  13. Great way to feel connected this way! Had to smile, because for the past two weeks I’ve experience the opposite – that when the electricity is not on, many things do not work! Phone and camera, only when it’s charged. Ipad, only when you don’t go over the limit. No wifi for computer, and had to travel for a city that was not effected, to get on my blog. The biggest of all, only darkness in rooms without a window, so can’t work there either. It slows life down tremendously:)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You hit it right on the nose. I was frustrated, but did not realize it, till I was suddenly aware, I was working on art scratchboard, and thought, this little detailed stuff is not what you like to do, why are you doing this??

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Happy retirement, Dan. Your post reminded me of when I retired from teaching. A lot had changed, especially technology-wise during my tenure, but the relationships I built with students and colleagues did not change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Cheryl. Not the most significant work doors, but the last ones in use. Through it all, it comes down to people. I’ve left jobs because of people and I stayed here because of people.

      Like

  15. I left in February of 2013. Last October I was down in San Diego and scheduled lunch with a number of my former employees. It was so weird to go into the old office suite (which had a number of my B&W “San Diego Themed” pictures throughout the suite… my boss liked my photography work and asked me to do a shoot of San Diego landmarks for the office three years prior to my leaving). May you be blessed in the next phase of your life (and you will be).

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You’ll probably feel weird at first, not having the morning routine taking you out into the cold morning air and fighting with the traffic. But knowing you, you’ll probably adjust quickly and your routine will take you to new heights. Welcome to retirement. <3

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Glynis. It’s going to be weird starting in the winter, but I think I will get used to this. I have worked since I was 13, so it’s quite a change. The only long periods where I didn’t have a job were during undergraduate school. I worked summers and most every break, but not during the semesters.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. So many thoughts and feelings. You must be reeling, but with time to reel :) I would very much like to work at my job FOREVER and I have never felt that way, so it’s nice to know you were there so long, maybe I will be too. For now, I keep thinking these are the good old days.
    Your thoughts on changes in technology are seriously accurate, same behavior, same expectation, but different means. And the people, people who are a pleasure to work with — that’s the stuff. You can leave the work and keep the people and what a blessing that is. Congratulations again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I hope you continue to like your job. If you like your job, it feels less like work. If you like the people you work with, work is easy.

      I ushered in most of those changes – that was my job. They weren’t all welcomed by everyone, but they all got done.

      Liked by 1 person

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