11 December 2008


Well, today is my last day here at Microsoft. I am now officially retiring! I look forward to staying in bed after Robin leaves for work, watching my soaps, and qualifying for the PGA Tour. But Microsoft, I will say that I'll miss this: all the free soda, juice, and chocolate milk you can drink! (And the paychecks.)

To show you how I reached the end of my career, here's some of my work history over the years.

Everything Yogurt, 1994-1995. I don't think this place even exists anymore. This was my first job besides mowing lawns and I worked there my entire Junior year of high school. I was amazing at pouring that yogurt into a cone. Even now when I eat at crappy buffet places with self-serve frozen yogurt, I wow the patrons around me. The job ended when I showed up for work one day during the summer before my Senior year and the doors were boarded up. Apparently there was a health code violation and they closed us down. This was no surprise to me (there was a huge family of roaches in the grease trap in the back and plus the yogurt was moldy sometimes.) But anyway, it taught me some great lessons on leadership (I was an assistant manager at age 16.)

The only picture I have of me working at EY is this one from my high
school yearbook. I love the caption they wrote: "Anyone who worked
learned that giving correct change is important." So true, so true.

Next was Best Buy, 1995-1996. My friend Ben and I worked here during my Senior year. Basically we were in charge of the music, movies, and video game section and the managers loved us. To put things in perspective, back then you could still buy cassette tapes, DVDs didn't exist, and the first Playstation wasn't out yet (but we had a sweet demo kiosk of the Super Nintendo.) This job was okay, but all my paychecks went to buying stuff with my employee discount. Ben and I worked in the warehouse a lot, especially when getting ready for New Release Tuesdays. We heard stories and learned words we never knew existed from those warehouse guys. One of my favorite Best Buy stories happened one night when Ben was in the warehouse waiting for me to return from stocking the shelves with CDs. He got up on a big shelf above the swinging warehouse entrance doors. He was going to drop an opened refrigerator box on me as I walked in to trap me inside, but the manager Steve walked in instead. He looked up and caught Ben red-handed. On a side note, apparently one of our co-workers is still there. Ben noticed him there over Thanksgiving.

Best Buy #297 in Reston, VA, 12 years after I worked there.

Mail Boxes Etc. was my next job, 1996-1997. I really hated this place. I dreaded going to work every day. Basically we weren't very busy and I only made $6-something an hour. And I wasn't even allowed to do crossword puzzles to pass the time. What a joke. Plus I had to wear a goofy uniform and stand on my feet the whole time. The assistant manager was this 50-year-old chain smoking hick named Rose. Her boyfriend didn't pay her enough attention so she started sending herself flowers and stuff from a "secret admirer" to make him jealous. So one day I sent a fax from the office computer with a love note from her "secret admirer." She flipped out and thought someone was stalking her. Sucker.

Here's a MBE I found in Teramo, Italy. I wonder if the employees
were allowed to do crossword puzzles when things were slow there.

Then after my mission to Italy I had a couple of jobs in college. My favorite was teaching Italian at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, 2000-2002. One of my favorite stories at the MTC happened when we would take walks around the campus during a break from class. We would usually pass 10 or 20 other classes doing the same thing, all learning different languages. The MTC is big on practicing your language wherever you go, so I'd have the class say, "Ciao brutti" and wave to the other classes as we walked by. We were saying, "Hello, uglies" but of course they thought we were just being friendly. They would smile and wave back every time. The other great part was eating in the cafeteria after class. $3 for all you can eat. What a deal.

I guess I was really tired this day.

One of our break walks. "Carry your King, minions!" Those
missionaries will do anything you tell them.

I don't know why I jumped in these leaves during a walk but the class loved it.

Here I am in action. As you can see, I was an
amazing teacher. But do I have a big head?

My other college job was serving at Tony Roma's Restaurant, 2000-2003. In case you don't know, it's a place for ribs. This was an okay job--I made good money and it was pretty fun, except for the times you got cussed out by drunk people (in Provo???) because you wouldn't bring them any more beer or when you got a table of "tithing tippers" (people who left only 10%). One of my favorites stories centered around an appetizer called "Potato Skins." As you can guess from its name, these were baked potatoes, scooped-out so all that remained were the skins, which were then stuffed with cheese, bacon, and chives. Well, one night this lady wanted some Potato Skins, only without the skins. I explained to her that without the skins, there would only be cheese, bacon, and chives but she just didn't understand. She must have gone to UVSC or the U. Some of our more famous patrons while I was there: Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Elder David A. Bednar, and a number of BYU football players.

Here is the very last table I served. I have no idea who they are but they were
excited to pose in this picture with me. You can also see me demonstrating one
of the first rules of serving: Always pour drinks over the floor, never over the table.

Bring on the golden parachute!


Ben said...

You forgot to mention that sometimes we'd stay late after work to play NCAA Football 1995 (or was it 96?) and that I'd crush you every time!!!

Oh, and what was the name of the girl with the low scratchy voice at Best Buy you worked it with.

two forks said...

is it too late to get a rebate on my retired lawyer husband???

Sara G said...

Haha, sorry Robin, but having an unemployed husband isn't all bad. My husband has been out of a job since early October and I think having a job is WAY overrated! It's been fun, going on little outings with the girls and staying in our PJ's all day, but I guess the fun will wear out eventually when the bills start piling up.

So were you working at the MTC while Robyn and I were there in May of 2000? Enjoy catching up on your soaps!

Yaj said...

I don't do Best Buy for any reason.

To answer the question under the green board photo, yes, certainly, yes.

Retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be - go back to work...

REEDF said...

I wish you would have mentioned Nate, J and Reed as "famous patrons." You could have at least mentioned the epic 100 race Mario Kart battle that happened after a long night of rib feasting courtesy of senior Von.

Well, Congrats on your retirement. It's been a long time coming and we all know that you've worked hard. I can't wait to see if A) you pull an MJ and come out of retirement and B) what would pull you away from a life of soaps and golf.

Cheers Vonny!

n i c k said...

Ciao Fratello,

Man, those brutti didn't even see it coming! I'm happy that I could be part of your work experience. You'll be proud to know that to this day I can still say all (or most) the words you taught me.

Con affetto,

Mary said...

so what were you doing between 2004-2005? Oh yeah, your "ski-bum" job. any money in that? Seth is thinking of doing a little switch-a-roo on the job scene. Just considering ALL options....