Dave’s Retirement Lunch

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Good afternoon and welcome to the retirement lunch for Dave Martin. I’m Bill Rankin, the Director of Western Operations. Since neither our CEO Chet Weston nor Dave’s boss Steve Lester could be here and because I drew the short straw, I’ll be emceeing today’s festivities. Both Chet and Steve are in an all-day meeting about printer supplies and paper-clip budgeting and send their regrets.

I don’t know Dave personally; I only know him by reputation. But, boy, what a reputation! If all the employees of Candu Consulting had the same attitude as Dave, this would definitely be a different company.

Whereas most of our employees retire once they reach the maximum pensionable service of 35 years, Dave has shown his dedication and loyalty to our business by hanging on well past the maximum to 43 years. Apparently there was little economic advantage for Dave in serving those additional eight years apart from a steadfast and abiding faith in the inevitability of receiving a golden handshake.

Despite countless refusals from senior management, Dave demonstrated the tenacity and can-do attitude of Candu Consulting and refused to take
“no” for an answer. His fighting spirit is an inspiration to us all and I’m sure that you are aware that, thanks to an unfortunate oversight in our employee termination procedure and the undisclosed terms of a court-ordered settlement, Dave recently obtained a severance package that can only be described as generous in the extreme.

As I said, I don’t know Dave personally. But his many accomplishments have been like a shining beacon to the employees working in my division. Who would have thought that you could go on a drunken binge, miss work for four weeks, get fired, file a grievance and still get reinstituted with full pay plus compensatory damages? Probably the same person who assumed that zero productivity over a three-year period would not lead to employment sanctions but rather result in an award of merit in return for a promise never to touch the Dickson Motors file again.

Speaking of productivity, the force of Dave’s personality is so strong that even his leaving will have a dramatic effect on our bottom line. Just to show you how much his absence will be noted, Accounting has estimated that next year Candu Consulting expects a 20 percent increase in revenue which is almost entirely attributable to Dave.

I’m glad so many of you could make it. What with quarterly budgeting and this being a Friday, we didn’t expect such a turnout. However, given that the company decided to pay for the lunch and give each attendee the afternoon off, it is indeed gratifying to note that most of the eight chairs around this table have been filled. That is indeed a testament to the warmth and affection Dave’s co-workers have for him — particularly those who have not yet obtained a restraining order against him.

As with any retirement dinner, it gives us a chance to celebrate the many contributions and accomplishments of the retiree. I took the liberty of conducting a quick online search of several daily newspapers as well as the local court docket.

I think it goes without saying that when an employee’s workplace accomplishments receive recognition even beyond the corridors of Candu Consulting, that is worth noting. To say that Dave is entirely responsible for our current Personal and Sexual Harassment Policy, our state-of-the-art fire alarm and building exit plan and the deadbolt locks on each office door would be an exaggeration. But we definitely can say that Dave’s behavior was the ultimate inspiration for each of these previously unwarranted initiatives.

It is usually at this point in the festivities that we ask the retiree to say a few words and accept a gift as a token of our appreciation for his long service, if not gratitude for his upcoming departure. However, I am told that Dave is not with us today since he is apparently still diligently working at using up his remaining sick days before his official departure next Friday. As for a gift, Dave has asked that we forgo the traditional gold watch and instead, as he so colloquially and humorously put it, “cut me a check” for the purchase price.

On that note, ladies and gentlemen, will you please raise your glasses and toast our departing colleague Dave Martin. I think we can all agree that, given our newly stringent hiring guidelines, we will not see his kind again.

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