Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dad's Retirement Speech

Here was a quick closing speech I made for my dad's retirement celebration, after 30+ years as a petroleum/chemical engineer.  Came off a redeye at 8am and got told I should have a speech ready, almost feels like one of those 24hr adventure races I do, although the rifles and maps have been replaced with retirees and Chinese food.  Seriously though, it's probably one of the last times you'll see that most of the 80 people there have worked together for probably at least 20 years.

Here goes:
I come after Ambert (brother), pretty funny guy and hard act to follow, but I'll try to keep it short.  I don't get many opportunities to address people I consider my superiors both in intellect and experience.  That being said, we've heard a lot about Dad, the family, so I'm going to change it up a bit and spend some time talking about you, professionals who have made names for yourselves. And this is while me and my peers are just starting to build a reputation for ourselves.  I'll explain what I've seen from you, and then an opposing set of views.

You don't believe you're special, because of that, you make up what you don't know with straight up hard work, rather than complaining about the situation.

People that you work with in your immediate business units impact your day to day experience, and you've treated them well.  I think you've been pretty decent about that and have seen many of you over for dinner.

I've seen you be present in what you do right now, and not it being just another stepping stone.  Getting the job done right.

Because of you we were able to be the last generation that has experienced the following:

We had access to fairly dangerous items early on, fireworks, bows, guns, but we still had the sense to not shoot each other or blow each other up.  In defense of my generation, we may be the last exemplars of common sense.

Getting in trouble with the police was purely an academic concept, but getting in trouble with parents was a real threat.  

I've seen dad work very hard, survive multiple layoff rounds, but he still kept being our dad.  He didn't give up like a chump.  

He was really weird at times around friends I brought home, and I avoided him like the plague.  But he didn't ignore us in return, but rather drove us around, and take a genuine interest in what we did.  

It's been interesting to get to meet you all.  Coming from technology, its refreshing to talk to people outside of tech who build physical items, keep our country moving, actually create physical value.  

Thanks for the support you've all provided us!