Thank You for Your Service

Ronald P. Winter was just finishing his last day at Wilson Industries. He had his coat on, a hat in his hand. He was ready to go.

“Hour long has it been, Ronald?” asked Jeffrey Powers, the man who was talking over as CFO. Actually, had taken over about a month before.

“I’ve worked here all my life,” said Ronald. “I started when I was 22. Now I’m 67.”

Jeffrey was impressed. Somehow, they never had this conversation before. They had only known each other a little over six weeks but all they ever talked about was finance, predictions, margins, and bottom line. Over this last day they strolled into every office and shook every hand. Ronald said all the goodbyes, and Jeffrey smiled all the smiles. Now it was time for the last goodbye and the last smile.

“Do you have what you need, Ronald?”

“Most certainly.”

“Well then,” Jeffrey extended his huge hand, “Don’t be a stranger.”

“I’m tired,” whispered Ronald.

And he was.

He stepped out of the office and walked slowly towards the exit. The doorman, the security guard, a thin blonde with a bunch of binders in her hands, all said goodbye to him, each one in their own special way. Still, Ronald found walking extremely hard. His coat seemed too heavy, his hands tingled, and his fingers were numb.

He finally got outside into the December snow. The street was loud, much louder than he expected. On the other hand, he felt much lighter, warmer, more cheerful even. No smiled and walked towards the limo that was waiting for him.

He was about to get inside, when he saw his own reflection. He was 22 again. He scratched his head, but then he smiled even wider.

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