Happy birthday and retirement, Dad!

Out of all things what I can get for my dad’s birthday and his retirement, I think the best gift I can get for him is this, other than a plane ticket to surprise him at home.

My dad turns 57 years old today; we’re 30 years apart so that makes it easy to remember. This one is probably his best one ’cause he gets to retire! he worked for 31 years at the United States Postal Service. He was a mail handler and for the last five or six years, he worked the forklift. To be frank, I was a little depressed to hear what did he get out of this. All he got was a plaque that’s made of paper and a cake to go with it. That’s it. Not even an ounce of cheese, summer sausage, celery, carrot or a single cracker. Zilch. Just a cake for my dad. He had a clean record—no suspensions or late warnings—and had more than 500 sick hours to spare.

It was only two weeks ago that my team and I had a nice team outing. We went to this cool indoor go-kart racing where we put on racing uniforms and helmets, then had some pizza and soda for lunch. What a contrast. The speaker box blasted on after a half hour of celebration, telling everyone to go back to work. So, after working for more than thirty years for P.O, ensuring that every box goes to your door on time, my dad’s retirement party was over in less than a half hour.

I’d like to share a story about how my dad wound up at the P.O. He used to work as a printer, along with his good friend who was also deaf. They were good workers who do their jobs well and would know exactly if something went wrong. It could be as obvious as ink running out or as small as a nut getting loose. My dad would see that easily and go to fix it. keeping the whole facility equipment running, which kept the business going and ultimately, for managers to be happy.

For some time, I wonder why did my dad decide to make a jump to work at the P.O. I found out it was because of me. When it came to a time for my parents to have a child, they already knew they couldn’t have a child so they wanted to adopt. After they’ve found a child to adopt and that, of course, came with a cost. My dad knew they couldn’t afford the adoption, had he stayed at the printing so he applied and got the job. His math skill helped him out. He had to work on weekends, had Wed., and Thurs. off and worked overnight because it paid more than the daytime. He thought he would eventually work in the daytime but he never did, though he did have better days off – on Fri and Sat. and he was the last employee to have those such days off.

For the first year or two, my parents didn’t see each other much but that didn’t bother them, they had the same goal, which was to save up money to afford the adoption. At that time in 1984, the cost was eight grand (18k in today’s value). They were able to save 6 grand, two thousand dollars short but when the agency found out that I was deaf, they slashed it by half, to four thousands. Ha, I’m a bargain child, so to speak.

With those said, I’m ecstatic to see my dad retired and I hope he’ll enjoy his retirement and do whatever he wants. Happy birthday and retirement, Dad. This is yours.