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Speech at my swan song
Old 10-05-2010, 09:04 AM   #1
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Speech at my swan song

It seems that my soon-to-be-former employer as seen fit to give me a going away party on Nov 2, my last day. I will likely be called upon to make a few comments. I hope to keep it light, humorous, upbeat other than a little touch of gratitude etc.

I thought a good approach might be to play off the "whaddya do all day" theme, so I searched the archives for old threads with minimal success for the kind of remark I'm looking for (many are amusing but too wise-crack-like for this crowd). The setting is mostly middle age and older department chairs, managers, etc. Stodgy but not humorless.

So, what are some good (read funny) FIRE quips, whaddya-do's, and other gems you can share with me to make them laugh and miss me even more ? I'm taking notes...
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:35 AM   #2
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You might start out by telling them you aren't sure you can inject much humor into this gathering but you're going to give it a shot...
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:38 AM   #3
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Retirement is a bit like sex. The longer you do it, the better your performance ...

Those that are not retired are still "virgins in life", IMHO.

They have yet to experience "the bliss" of life's possibilites.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:40 AM   #4
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I don't really know any FIRE jokes.

At my retirement party, I was called upon to give some extemporaneous remarks. Being genuinely surprised, what I said was sincere and came straight from my heart (but the good/nice stuff, only!). I mentioned individuals and also reminisced a little about projects we worked on, and good times we had had, and how proud I was of our accomplishments as a team. That seemed to work quite well.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:41 AM   #5
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I think you have to put yourself in the seat of your audience and stay within your personality.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:45 AM   #6
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Have you looked through the 122 pages of this thread? If you dig around enough you'll probably find a pony or two in there...
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:52 AM   #7
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How about something about it is time to hang up your stethoscope but keeping your scrubs since they are the perfect clothes for retirement . You can sleep in them ,wear them on errands ,great for halloween and useful if you are missing the respect the stethoscope brings.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:03 AM   #8
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I think you should start off with..."Most people would cringe at a 'going away' party with a group of doctors....."

A definition of retirement: You get up in the morning with nothing to do, and go to bed at night having only done half of it.
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:05 PM   #9
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On a serious note, don't forget to acknowledge the support your family and friends have provided throughout your career. Like W2R, I never thought ahead of time that I'd be asked to say something, but at least I had the sense to lead off with family, as my husband was standing right there!
I also talked of the great benefit of being able to work on a flexible part-time schedule with children in school, and about some of the changes in the medical library field over my (many) years. Remember acoustic couplers connected to National Library of Medicine databases??
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:24 PM   #10
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I am sure you'll get some good quotes, here are a few lame ones..........


They changed the name to "residency" because underpaid overworked slave labor sounded too hard.........

I found out that "MD" really stood for "More Debt"

It is much harder to operate on a living person than a dead one (cadaver)

Hypochondriacs do exist, as a matter of fact, they are an important part of your practice's success.......

I got a gold watch from my malpractice insurer yesterday, wonder what that means??
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
It seems that my soon-to-be-former employer as seen fit to give me a going away party on Nov 2, my last day.
It's good that they invited you! Or else this is the followup from the really big pre-game party they had last week without you.

I don't know how old your crowd is, but perhaps the entire demographic bell curve would appreciate a naval medical history review:
Quote:
"I did a little research for tonight's recap of my career, and I'd like to thank everyone who helped me get to this party. If you're here just to make sure that I really am retiring, or if you're betting against me, please remember that it's not too late to buy a few more tickets in the office pool. I'm counting on those winnings to help fill in the missing parts of my wine collection when we drive the RV over to Napa Valley next month.

It's great to be at this point in my career, but it's almost as fun to look at where we've been. Things were a little different back when I finally abandoned a promising jazz career to moonlight in medicine. (Even then I was advised not to give up the day job.) When I first showed up here, [is the word "Sputnik" applicable?], a hamburger cost xx cents at McDonald's, and the hot car was xxx. (Back then, unfortunately, I was driving a xxx.) It was xxx years before we brought our first IBM PC onto the floor with its sexy amber-on-black 13" monitor. It was another xxx years before we brought PDAs onto the floor, and now we're all downloading medication apps onto our iPhones.

During my time with this august group, we've trained xxx doctors (nurses? other fields?). All of our teams have saved xxx lives and developed protocols for conditions that didn't even have names in 195x. When I started, our treatment plans consisted of [try to fit the word "leeches" in here] but now we're using the latest robot-assisted ..."

On a more serious note, many of you are wondering what I'll be doing all day. My wife has promised to help me with that list, but let me put it this way: remember when you had a weekend that you weren't on call? (Bear with me here.) Remember what you did on Friday night, and remember how you spent that Saturday? From now on I'm living every day as if it was that weekend. I realize that you're skeptical of my creativity, I mean my ability to keep things stimulating and challenging without rusting in my rocking chair, so feel free to subscribe to my blog and to read my posts at Early-Retirement.org. The website addresses are on my new cards over there, and you can even sign up to get a text whenever our RV crosses a new state line. But you'll probably want to use a large monitor to fully appreciate the pictures that I'll post during our travels.

So finally, as they say in the music business, 'Thank you everyone, and good night!!' I won't be doing an encore, but we'll be hanging around here for a few more hours to see who has to get up early tomorrow..."
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:42 PM   #12
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Nice speech Nords. I'm betting Rich will make arrangements for his DW to read it on his behalf since he'll have slid out of his chair under the table long before the roast gets to that point...
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nords View Post
It's good that they invited you! Or else this is the followup from the really big pre-game party they had last week without you.

I don't know how old your crowd is, but perhaps the entire demographic bell curve would appreciate a naval medical history review:

That's great Nords! I was trying to think of something to suggest, but couldn't come up with anything. Like many accounting types, I'm humor impaired.
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
It's good that they invited you! Or else this is the followup from the really big pre-game party they had last week without you.

I don't know how old your crowd is, but perhaps the entire demographic bell curve would appreciate a naval medical history review:
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:22 AM   #15
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Bunch of them here FWIW..

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Old 10-06-2010, 10:45 AM   #16
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It's normal to thank the spouse and kids for helping make one's career possible, but I came to think that the sentiment was a little misplaced. After all, in today's world it's entirely possible to have a successful career in nearly any field without a spouse. In fact--it's often easier (you can put in as many hours at work as you "want" without feeling like you are neglecting anyone). So, in my little speech I made sure to thank them for the making the other part of my life complete, and for all the things they did to allow us to have a normal family life despite the job.

Knock 'em dead, Rich!
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:17 PM   #17
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So, in my little speech I made sure to thank them for the making the other part of my life complete, and for all the things they did to allow us to have a normal family life despite the job.
Sam brings up a good point.

Despite the offline kudos I've been getting the last few hours, I should point out that I didn't have a retirement ceremony. (The farewell BBQ blowout didn't count.) In early 2002 the submarine force had gone through a huge wave of retirements, so everyone was pretty burned out on that military pomp & circumstance protocol and was secretly hoping that I wouldn't add to it.

Another reason was the CO of our command at that time-- a very difficult individual who I'd had prior dealings with and did not care to have associated with any ceremony that I wanted to enjoy, let alone fondly remember. The only way to keep him out of it was to repeat "Thanks, no ceremony" loudly and firmly and often.

But the main reason I didn't want a ceremony was because I'd already seen far too many steely-eyed killers of the deep get about halfway into their retirement speech, realize what it meant, and start blubbering behind the podium. This was especially alarming considering that our command included some of the nation's best military instructors, who hypothetically had the chops to keep their emotions in check.

I swore to myself that I wasn't going to be the next guy to pause in the speech, gulp heavily, and break down in front of the crowd-- scaring my shipmates even more than I'd be scaring my kid.

So, um, Rich-- now you know what to watch out for...
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:45 PM   #18
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I swore to myself that I wasn't going to be the next guy to pause in the speech, gulp heavily, and break down in front of the crowd--
Heh, I did have a retirement 'ceremony' when I left mini-megacorp. During my farewell remarks the only folks who broke down were a few in the audience who were overcome with sadness because they weren't retiring too!
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:36 AM   #19
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I am hoping to avoid a retirement party. I am going to arrange my own lunch with a small group of people who won't expect me to give a speech.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:07 AM   #20
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I know I had retirement party, and I know I gave a speech. I am actually a pretty decent public speaker, so I am sure I had few laugh lines in it. But I just realized something 10 years later not only can't I remember a single retirement speech that anyone else ever gave, I can't remember anything I said at my own.

This leads me to a couple of possibilities, either retirement speeches aren't important, or FIRE leads to Alzheimers
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