Sunday, October 11, 2015

15 years ago today

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My BMW motorcycle riding friend Howard Mudd had a bunch of these t-shirts made when he retired from his job as offensive line coach for the Indianapolis Colts.

I swapped him a Goobertown, Arkansas t-shirt for one of them.

I’m wearing it today to mark the 15th anniversary of the day I walked away from a job at The Indianapolis Star that had become intolerable.

The arrogant twits running The Star at the behest of Gannett completed the transformation of a newspaper into a newspaper factory and a modest golden parachute was the only good thing to come out of my mother’s departure from this life.

Fifteen years ago this morning, I was driving to work and talking to Maria on the phone.

“I think I’m going to quit today,” I ventured.

She came back with the perfect reply.

“You don’t have the nerve. I dare you!”

As soon as I reached the Metro North Bureau of The Star in Carmel, I called Human Resources and informed them that I was done, as of today.

I asked if I would suffer any consequences for not giving two weeks’ notice.

“Do ever expect to need a reference from us?”

Laughing, I replied, “No. I think 33 years speaks for itself.”

The HR woman noticed that I turned 55 a few months earlier and offered that I was eligible for early retirement with a reduced pension.

“OK, I’m retiring.”

I cleaned out my desk, reveling in the shock on the faces of my coworkers, and was gone by 11 a.m.

I’m still waiting for the panic attack.