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Old 02-18-2015, 02:50 PM   #21
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I have a very colorful set of ribbons from 21 years in the military, many with bits of metal attached. Intrinsically worthless, but great sentimental value.

A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.

-- Napoleon Bonaparte

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Old 02-18-2015, 03:52 PM   #22
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I guess I'm of two minds on "trinkets" for milestones or retirement. (I've told the story of my 25 year pocket watch here I think.)

It's sort of like the old joke about the guy who was tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. He said "If it weren't for the honor of it all, I'd just as soon have walked."

If you can get "into it", it's kind of nice to go through the transitional presentation. If you hate everyone in the room, it takes some of the joy out of it. For me, there were plenty of people I didn't particularly like or respect, but in 36 years I didn't need a full hand of fingers to count the folks I hated. On the other hand, of the literally thousands of folks I interacted with, I keep track of exactly two from my time at Megacorp. I guess I have to count myself as lucky in all respects. YMMV

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Old 02-18-2015, 04:29 PM   #23
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Funny thinking about how the whole milestone anniversary gift thing gyrated as time marched on, as in the "great motivation idea" was subject to cost reductions, just like anything else. Best one I received was, I think at the 25 year mark. At that time we could choose from a printed catalog, and even from the tiny images I spotted some wildlife artwork I recognized, and knew the value was far above the other baubles offered. Snatched up a framed, signed, and numbered Redlin print (And Crown Thy Good with Brotherhood) that time. Interesting story to go with that - when DW and I were married I gave her a different Redlin print (Evening Solitude) as a gift - and she had bought the exact same print for me (we kept both of them)

Getting back on topic, and the retirement gift thing; after 38 years I got a t-shirt emblazoned with the company logo, and a $75 gas card. Still wondering whether to use the card now, or after gas prices climb back up. Not so much of a quandary over wearing that t-shirt...
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:06 PM   #24
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My megacorp gave 5 year anniversary gifts as well. You got to pick from a book, that got more extravagant as you had more years. Over the years I elected a nice clock, a nice watch, a barometer (why?) And a few others. At 25 years I selected a knife set (only because I would never really pay $300 for knives). You should have seen the look I got from the nice HR lady! I was told to immediately put them in my car!! After 25 years do they think I would wait for free knives before going off the deep end?
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:10 PM   #25
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We used to have a little catalog we could choose from for the various levels of longevity. It was a tradition in my part of Megacorp to choose the pewter bud vase at the 5 year level. We called it the Megacorp shot glass, and they got a lot of use at Christmas.

When I retired at 25 years I chose a nice little telescope. I use it to look in the windows of the hotels across the bay in Ocean City. Not really, but that's what I told DW I wanted it for.

I never really wanted any of these little items of appreciation. A little real appreciation would have been cheaper and more valuable.
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." - Will Rogers
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:15 AM   #26
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My former mega was quite generous. Quinquennial anniversaries were celebrated with selections from a catalogue and were generally nice quality items and better/more expensive for more tenure.

Retirement parties for retiring partners or departing long-term staff were typical. Today's retiring partner or departing staff could become tomorrow's client or someone in a position of influence at a potential client.

Non-partner retirements were rare.... but when I retired (technically resigned) after 13 years they gave me a nice retirement party at a local pub with appetizers, finger food and open bar and a lot of colleagues from my time stopped by to say goodbye. They also paid for my and DW travel expenses and put us up at the Waldorf.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:41 AM   #27
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For those of you where retirement was initiated with some acknowledgement of the milestone (for instance, a party, with or without a parting gift), that would serve to force society to "acknowledge the transformed you", at least to your "work society". The ritual of having a gift that you can talk about with your non-work peers can serve to cement your new role (at least that's what I might infer from the article).
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:42 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I have a very colorful set of ribbons from 21 years in the military, many with bits of metal attached. Intrinsically worthless, but great sentimental value.
Thank you for your service.

If you have other memorabilia from your military career it makes a great shadow box presentation. I have done this with my dad's service ribbons, dog tags, dog eared paper military ID, black and white military ID photo. I used his DD 214 as a back ground. Vintage, original, sentimental, patriotic.......what a wonderful way to use/preserve these items that often get lost.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:09 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I have a very colorful set of ribbons from 21 years in the military, many with bits of metal attached. Intrinsically worthless, but great sentimental value.
I loved the quote from Napoleon in your Sig line! Some things don't change; I sent my son to NY Military Academy for HS and one of the staff mentioned that they had to make sure not to run out of medals and ribbons because the students really wanted to display them when they earned them. (DS and I joked about how the public school would feel about a system where each student's accomplishments- or lack thereof- was displayed on their clothing every day, but it sure worked for DS.)

But, closer to the OT- I once started a discussion on a LinkedIn group for alumni of a megacorp and asked what paraphernalia everyone had from the company. It got more responses than anything I ever posted on LinkedIn. People who had fond memories of the company (and most did) enjoyed having the logo items around.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:26 AM   #30
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Megacorp gave me a gold watch (at least gold colored) at 25 years of service.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:17 AM   #31
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Our megacorp also offers catalog purchases every 5 years of service.
I let family members choose. For 10 years DW got nice food processor,
for 15 years my kids got binoculars.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:12 AM   #32
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They gave me a cheapo watch after 32+ years of employment. I don't wear a watch. Never took it out of the box, and have no clue where it is. I would have much preferred a gift certificate at my neighborhood butchershop!

I didn't need anything to help me transition into retirement. I was already living my life my way, and the j*b was merely a daily distraction from that, as well as a funding source for that. Once I fire'd, the only change in my living life, was that I no longer had to deal with that daily distraction. All of my friends and family adjusted to my retirement just as quickly and easily.....even without any 'transition gift'.

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