B-17E in flight

B-17E in flight

We’ve all seen something like this in the adverts for retirement planning on TV. A guy calls time on his career, is given the golden handshake and with a little bit of help from Cialis, departs to sail around the world or swans off to some swinging retirement community where most of the residents seem to be 50 years old at the most. My own vision is somewhat different. For the past six or seven years, I’ve pictured myself and my career as a B-17 Flying Fortress returning from a mission over Germany. The tail looks like a giant piece of Swiss Cheese. The controls are sluggish. The crew is still alive, but only just. Two engines are dead. The third one coughs, sputters and threatens to pack up half-way across the English Channel. There’s only one engine left to carry the plane and its crew to land in that hay field just past Dover’s white cliffs and even that engine is starting to act a mite peaky. It looks like I’m going to fall far short of that hay field.

The above imagery is more than enough to peg me as a ‘Boomer.

My unemployment benefits ran out at the end of August and I had planned to file for Social Security when I returned from our annual week at Virginia Beach. There had been a few interviews over the summer but all but one were nothing to write home about. Despite all the sincere promises to contact me no matter what decision was made, the phone had not exactly been ringing off the hook. Time for me to call it a career and devote myself writing novels.

A funny thing happened whilst on holiday. Judi & I had just returned from dinner at our favourite Virginia Beach restaurant and I fired up the iPad to check e-mail before parking myself on our balcony with a wee dram of single malt. It was the usual stuff; adverts, Twitter & Goodreads notices and a message from someone who had been trying to contact me about a job I’d applied for. I replied to said e-mail advising them of my present availability – or lack thereof – and repaired to the aforementioned balcony. I didn’t even mention this to Judi until around noon the following day.

For once, the cavalry was indeed just on the other side of the hill. On Monday, a company called Dematic offered me a position as a software engineer at a very comfortable rate of compensation. The only – minor – drawback was that the position was not in Charlottesville. It was to be on the south side of Richmond, VA and so I will come full circle and return to where I began my career in Information Technology as a computer operator back when 256 K was a heck of a lot of memory.

After a whirlwind week of form-filling, background checks and drugs tests – I correctly identified Viagra, Abilify and Enzite – I depart for Hopewell, VA tomorrow evening to return to my boyhood home and ancestral estate. I’ll be spending four or five nights a week there and returning to Charlottesville on Friday evenings. It’s not an ideal situation but the security is worth it. I look on this as a Win-Win-Win situation. I have money coming in once again, the historic family home is occupied once again – more or less – full time and Judi gets me out from being under foot.

As for my clients, I will still be available on weekends and on weekday evenings. The sequel to Urban Mermaid will continue to be developed and if my own cooking doesn’t kill me, I may even loose a few pounds. My reviews of Heather Rigney’s Waking the Merrow and Emm Cole’s The Short Life of Sparrows will be finished and published. Responses to e-mail, tweets and Facebook postings will continue albeit during a restricted time-frame.

I would like to thank my lovely wife for letting me off the leash, my father for finally caving into Mom and buying the house on Oakwood Ave. 56 years ago and my mother for carrying on the tradition amongst Tench women whereby their home is their castle and not to be sold for a quick buck or two.

You know, I just MIGHT make it to that hay field after all.

One Response to Once more, in to the breach

  • Loren Wilson says:

    Good luck to you Howard!! Great news, the tech world is not done with you yet, man, you’ve got more good code to write, a few hundred more app’s. Why not?

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