Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Retirement has finally arrived!

Today was my last day and tomorrow the paperwork, then I’m history and a name plaque on the retirement wall.

In the past 29 years with the BOP, I have been blessed with many good coworkers and a few good supervisors -- People whom I knew I could trust to have my back and friends who gave me support in the tough times.

It’s been a long climb since starting out as a GS-1, and worked my way through every step to finally retire as a GS-9. Several times the ladder rungs took a beating, but I just hung on for dear life and kept inching my way forward. It’s said that good things come to those who wait, so I did my share of waiting. My words of wisdom are to put God and family before your job, keep your values and integrity out in front and put more effort into keeping friends instead of making enemies.

USP Leavenworth has definitely been an experience, from cats falling through the ceiling to the ceiling falling in over my desk and the unforgettable day the ceiling fell out of the entire kitchen. I’ve had to dumpster-dive for office furniture and drive the old delivery truck that has no windows, no door handle and only one side mirror which makes backing up an adventure. At Springfield I saw things no one can believe, especially back when I worked in the Operating Room and the Psychiatric Unit. Believe me when I say they can put a tattoo absolutely anywhere. I can definitely say my least favorite job of all was notifying the family after an inmate died and how could I ever forget when a doctor at Springfield told me I sounded a lot better over the phone than I looked!!

I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, some good and some not so good. If you stick around long enough, you see the changes that didn’t work in the past tried all over again. The good thing about working for the Bureau of Prisons is it paid well, I’ll have a retirement check every month, I can keep my health insurance, and I had plenty of vacation time, so it was worth it. One thing I always say is where else can you work and have so much entertainment.

Now I start a new chapter in my life, one that will enable me to enjoy my family more, put my creative abilities in action, and do a lot of things I have put off and put on hold simply because there just was never enough time.

There will be some things I’ll miss, but a lot I definitely will not; getting up at 4:30 in the morning, standing on the dock with the wind blowing snow and ice in my face, and I’m definitely not going to miss coming home very day smelling like what we cooked for lunch. One of the big things I won’t miss is sitting in my office above the kitchen knowing that if anything happened the only thing I could do would be barricade myself in my office and hope there wasn’t a fire.

Now all that is behind me and I have so many plans and new adventures a head of me!

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