Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Seven More Working Days Until I Get Pfired!
Background: I worked for Pharmacia for 17 years. Pharmacia was acquired by Pfizer. Thousands of us in Kalamazoo are being severed. We call it being "Pfired".

Tomorrow I have a three o'clock meeting at Panera Bread, a bakery/cafe on a busy corner in Portage. The people I'm meeting with have been my workmates for many years. For the past five years we've been the EDI people at Pharmacia and had monthly meetings in a Pharmacia conference room. Now that Pharmacia EDI has been transitioned over to Pfizer EDI, we have nothing to meet about. So we're going to meet anyway in a location of our choice, drink coffee, and chat for one last time before we get Pfired.

Pfizer isn't funding any good-by lunches or retirement coffees. That hasn't been a disappointment to me. There have been many informal get togethers and reminiscing with various people I've worked with over the years. Unplanned chats where we stop what we're doing and sit and talk about the things we've seen and the projects we've done in the course of our careers. It's been much nicer than a formal party ever could have been.

Next Monday my IT workgroup is meeting for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Former members of our group who have been Pfired are coming and we're all going to celebrate the fact that it's my turn. That will be nice. I hope I don't cry.

On the 30th, which is my last day to work, the EDI group that's meeting at Panera tomorrow is having a PYOB (Pay Your Own Bill) lunch at Bravo. Bravo had been our favorite place for project completion celebrations, so now we're going to use it for Pharmacia career completion celebrations. If I remember the guest list accurately, everyone who is going to be there is scheduled to be Pfired sometime in first quarter 2004.

I'm thinking it's a good thing I wrote this to prepare myself for what's coming. The good-bys are not going to be easy. I've enjoyed my job and the friendly, interesting, intelligent people I've work with. We're all moving into a new phase of our life, and most of us don't know what we're going to be doing next. Historically I haven't been very good about keeping in touch with old friends. This time I really am going to try and do better.