Thursday, October 16, 2008


“It is with a heavy heart . . .” No, scratch that. “I would like to respectfully inform you that I will be . . .” No, too weird. “I have very much enjoyed the past 32 years . . .” W-e-l-l, there have been days.

“Pursuant to Article 351 in the master contract, I am hereby officially informing you of my impending retirement . . .”
Whoa, Nelly! Sounds like I’m writing a Congressional bill.

“I regretfully tender my resignation to pursue a life of leisure . . . No, that makes me sound lazy. Besides, I’ve been putting off doing projects at home for so long that my list is now approximately eighty miles long. Life of leisure? It will probably be awhile before Tom and I are regulars at the dances down at the Senior Center.

Who would have ever thought that writing a retirement letter would be such a challenge. I thought it would kind of write itself.

“Working here for the past 32 years has been the most rewarding experience of my life . . .”
Well, not exactly. It actually was my life, in a sense. Think of the hours I’ve spent in the classroom or the time in my office frantically preparing for classes or the weekends correcting papers on the kitchen table. Think of the sleepless nights I’ve had, worrying about students (for example, this past Tuesday night). Most of the stressful times I’ve experienced were directly job related. Virtually every single gray hair on my head was bought and paid for by those students.

“I quit! Take this job and shove it! . . .”
But to be fair, most of the recognition I've received and satisfaction I’ve felt in my life was because of that job.

Just keep it simple: “I would like to inform you that I am retiring from my teaching job effective January 31, 2009 . . .” It seems like a life-changing event of this type should have a more dramatic ending--a clap of thunder, a flash of lightning, and a voice from heaven saying, "Well done, oh good and faithful servant." Or am I getting retirement mixed up with a Cecil B. DeMille movie?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about "I have a new job; it starts with a 'G', ends with 'randma', starts in December, and won't pay a single bill. I'm outta here!"