Retirement. I don’t miss the money. I miss the connections.

I miss the need to get up at a certain time each morning. The wake-up shower, the first cup of coffee, the rush out the door.

Of course, one could still do those things. But, why ? No one requires that early frenzy of activity.

And I guess that’s the point.

In my late 40’s, I went back to work. This time, to a job. Not a career, not a source of fulfillment, not to prove a point, not even for the money.

We were facing 2 kids about to enter college, but we could have managed the financial burden.

I wanted a schedule, another place to belong, to be part of a work community.

I had a 6 month gig in customer service at a local utility. It was not for me. When the power went out, and the complaint calls came in, I found myself making up stories just to get them off the phone. The calls were monitored, my efforts were lauded by a young supervising staff who just wanted those hundreds of calls in queue answered.

So I respectfully resigned, taking my resume to a local job fair. Prospects there were disappointing. I left, treating myself to a nice lunch.

Grand Budapest Hotel

From “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

That’s where I saw the newspaper ad.

Hotel front desk jobs…will train.

Why not ?

I went unannounced, still in business attire, and was approached by the manager while I was filling out the application.

I had the interview on the spot, was offered the job, asked for part time hours.

One month later, after a sophisticated Hilton training program, I was working 40-45 hours a week. I loved it.

That part time job became a career that led to sales management and ultimate retirement.

Sometimes, you just end up where you were meant to be.

No regrets.

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71 Responses to Work

  1. Erika Kind says:

    I can only agree! We need to take steps and when we are aware we only need to follow the signs and things will work out. Sometimes we need to take detours in order to reach the right exit!

  2. Maria says:

    My story about becoming a teacher is so similar, never pursued it, but just ended up in the field where I finally saw my own talent come to use 👍🏻☺️

  3. Great story. Some of my favorite work stories revolve around being led to the right places in unexpected ways.

  4. All things walk together for good. Sometimes we have no idea where our steps will take us to, but they lead us to the place where we should be. Great

  5. Great story, funny how things work out…

  6. Jim says:

    wonderful post.

  7. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Yes for sure, you never know what the future holds. I never thought getting laid off from my “high-paying” management position would lead me to a career that I absolutely love.

  8. Nothing is coincidence! Sometimes we just have to become better at saying yes. Beautiful story!

  9. Lovely post! I completely agree with you, Van. Often, things just workout the way they’re meant to workout. I’ve observed this many times in my life, too. It’s all about following your instinct and having a little faith. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 💛

  10. Marta Frant says:

    The movie is great btw 🙂

  11. I agree about those connections, Van. I remember the days when work seemed relaxing compared to the busy chaos at home 🙂 Great story about finding the perfect job…by chance.

  12. Well hi there, VBTR! Isn’t it true that there are LOTS of things that happen in “retirement” that you just didn’t expect? I’ve decided you never really “retire,” you just switch things up a bit. Or in your case, it sounds like you’ve done a lot of switching things up! Glad I found you! Your blog will be fun to read!

  13. I’ve only been fired once, and it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. The prior job was absolute hell, but after a short period of unemployment, I found a better job, which then led to the one I have now (and where I’ve been for 17 years). Sometimes things work out.

  14. nancyruth says:

    Recognizing that the connections are a big part of working is important. In retirement those have to be found elsewhere. That worries me a bit in thinking about when I will retire. But I have a few years to prepare. Congrats on retirement.

  15. Among the turns we take and how they work out!

  16. Great story, often the best and most suitable job knocks at the door in a most striking way. One of my friends, she was accompanying her cousin for a modeling screen test, just out of curiosity. She appeared for the test in a most casual way, but got selected out of 300 candidates! That was the turning point of her life… 🙂

  17. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Congrats on retiring, Van. Time to focus on you. It’s a huge life change and I so encourage you to keep reaching out so you always have something on your agenda. All the very best, my friend!

  18. TanGental says:

    Bet there is a lot of material from front desk life when it comes to writing… Maybe I should think this through…

  19. George says:

    Great story. I guess sometimes, life chooses you.

  20. Wow. That is a great story. It’s not often a job you love falls in your lap like that. You must have given a great interview.

    • I sat on the other side of that interview desk quite a bit, John. I know the importance of self-confidence in an interview, even if you don’t exactly know what you’re talking about. ☺

  21. Incredible story and example of serendipity.

  22. Sometimes things just work out. I’m so glad they did for you. 🙂

  23. joey says:

    I agree, often things are serendipitous this way.
    I got a few jobs just by being there in person — Sadly, I don’t think this happens much anymore! People are fed to machines and subjected to algorithms and get to Skype interview with a pre-recorded entity, then maybe with a person there, or on the phone and then finally, in person. It seems to take much, much longer now as well.
    And I must laugh, because those things you miss, in your first few lines, are the things that give me tremendous anxiety. Here it is, 6am and I am dreading the rush out the door at 7!

  24. You have done so many interesting things Van!

  25. lbeth1950 says:

    You really have done a lot of things.

  26. I hope this story comes true for me as well as I try to grow up.

  27. Nurse Kelly says:

    Sounds exciting! Your lucky day! I love what I do, but struggle terribly with balance… just can’t do it all. But when I retire someday, I will probably be one of those people who misses work and goes back… I can just see myself doing that! I guess I need to learn to be at peace with how things are. 🙂

  28. roweeee says:

    Thanks for this , Van. I am going for the flow at the moment, probably for the first time in my life. I’ve always been very goal focused but seem to need a breather and my kids are going through a lot of transition at school and I just felt in my gut that they needed my 100% focus. Being a writer, that is probably more like 50% but at least my heart is in the right place. I am supposed to be writing a motivational memoir about living with adversity and am slowly getting on with it but I’ve really needed to find and develop my voice and the blogging has been really good for that. I have this faith that things will work out and I’m right where I am supposed to be but it’s certainly on the road less travelled. xx Rowena

    • Given the choice, I’d always opt for that less congested road, Rowena. It’s important to pay attention to those instincts, they are usually so right. A time for all seasons….💖

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