Friday, September 13, 2013

When Can I Retire? (But, Why Digress?)

(Meet guest blogger, Mr. Hampton Perry)

Well, let me get right down to it. I'm in my mid-to-late fifties and looking forward to retirement. I do
have some prior military service which counts toward my retirement. I supervise a staff of four and have a manager that I report to on a monthly basis. After retirement, I want to operate a food vending cart on a busy corner in the financial district and take a few trips around the country. During lunch time, those food vendors make pretty good money selling hot dogs, chips and drinks. That money will be enough to support me along with my retirement and social security checks.

Also, I want to lose a few pounds - especially around my gut. One day, I got on a crowded elevator with Sir Charles and some other co-workers. After several seconds, the elevator door would not close. So, Sir Charles states, "Hampton, if you would suck in your stomach, the door will close." I wanted to turn around to say something to him (I was told not to use profanity on this blog. I can cuss if I want to. I'm a grown man.), but there were some ladies on the elevator. But, why digress?

Anyway, after a stressful day at work and dealing with a "know-it-all" manager, disobedient staff members and snotty co-workers; I decided to free myself from all of this foolishness and visit the retirement office at the very bottom of the hill. I became excited at the thought of leaving these crazy people, operating my food vending cart, and taking some trips as I trotted down the hill. It seemed as though I was twenty-five years old again. There was jubilance, a pep in my step and a song in my heart as I glided down the hill to the retirement office. Life will be so much better when I leave this place.

The retirement office was very quiet and well-decorated. Soft music played in the background as the receptionist noticed my arrival.
The receptionist whispered, "Hello, how may I help you?"
Whispering in return, I replied, "I would like to talk to someone about retiring?"
"Please, have a seat," she requested. The receptionist made a quick call and announced, "Someone will be with you, shortly."

After a couple of minutes, a young looking retirement counselor escorted me to her tastefully decorated office. We exchanged some pleasantries and then talked about my plans to retire within a few months. She turned toward her desktop computer and entered my most important information into the system. She stared at the screen and then looked at me.
"What seems to be the problem?" I asked. "When can I retire?"
"Well, Mister Perry - it looks like you will be eligible to retire in eight years. That includes your prior military service," the counselor announced. I had thought about asking her out on a date.
"What?!? I can't retire, now?!?" I shouted within the quiet office.
"Yes, you can..."
Interrupting with a sigh of relief, I stated, "Oh, good. Thank God..."
"Hold on, Mister Perry. If you retire now, you will only receive about five-hundred dollars a month - before taxes."
"Oh, hell naw! I can't live off of that! F*#k No! (Oops, I used some profanity. Sorry, Sir Charles.)

So, I had to return to the office with a heavy heart and a big gut - up the hill. The jubilance, pep in my step and the song in my heart had vanished. The hill looked so steep from this direction, that I could not see the office building. Each step became more painful at the thought of another eight years until retirement. My breathing became hard and heavy as disappointment and sadness enveloped my body. I leaned against one of the parking meters that lined the hill and cried like a baby...

Yours truly,
Hampton Perry

"Some take a smoke break, I take a 'Smile Network' break.  It’s healthier!"
 ~ Patricia Lewis Mills, Author of Caught Up and More Than A Dream
Behind Every Dark Cloud       In The Black

      Preacher Man


Behind Every Dark Cloud - The Critically Acclaimed Novel 
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Available at - Charles Carroll Lee. Soft cover and ebook.

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