Even the Water Guy Is Leaving

Even the Water Guy Is Leaving

Stock Photo–not our water guy!

As the months wind down I see portents of my retirement in just about everything I do, just about everywhere I look.

That giant box of 100 individually wrapped English Breakfast Tea Bags I placed in the break room cabinet last week? That’s the last box I will ever place in that room; those 100 tea bags pretty closely match the number of days remaining in my tenure.

I’m starting to put together the statistics for the online Lab-Clinician Triannual Quality Assurance Meeting. This is the last one I will be leading, the last time I will present data for 45 minutes while 3 or 4 clinicians pretend to listen. (I don’t blame them, I would be bored too.)

The lab has completed preparation for the College of American Pathologists inspection, the one that will grant us accreditation for another two years. Two years? Within about two months of the inspection, I plan to be strolling the beaches of Florida or maybe whacking tennis balls at an Arizona resort.

Only a handful of monthly invoices to prepare, less than a dozen payrolls to sign off on. One more Thanksgiving, one more Christmas.

And today’s reminder of what’s ahead was the deionized water guy. He’s the dude who has been coming to the lab every two or three months for the last 17 years, delivering the cartridges that create the pure H2O we need to ensure the accuracy of many of our tests.

He is a shy guy who doesn’t say much. He comes into the lab, replaces the old cartridge with the new, and then timidly enters my office to ask me to sign the job order. I doubt he has spoken more than 10 words to anyone else in the lab in his 17 years of servicing us.

Only when I mentioned to him that I hadn’t seen him for a while, did he let me know that I wouldn’t be seeing him ever again–his way of telling me he was retiring. No more lugging cartridges around, no more getting a water spritz when fittings spring a leak.

So the water guy is leaving, and like sand through an hourglass, the days of my career are running out as well. But I am sure that for both me and the water guy, new adventures lie ahead.

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lesraff

Hi! I am Les, a practicing pathologist living in the North Suburbs and commuting every day to the Western ones. I have lived my entire life in the Chicago area, and have a pretty good feel for the place, its attractions, culture, restaurants, and teams. My wife and I are empty-nesters with two adult children and four grandchildren.

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