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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    March 23, 2006

    What do you make of this chap?

    Hundred year old Arthur Winston retired yesterday from his role as a supervisor of bus maintenance workers at Los Angeles' Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

    He'd worked in that organization [and previous forms of the organization] for 72 continuous years, 76 in all. The only time he took a day off from work was when his wife passed away in 1988.

    So what do you actually make of him? Is he unambitious, content to keep plugging away at his work? Is he boring, working in the same place for seventy odd years?

    To me he is inspirational. Given we're in an era when people switch jobs faster than it takes to deliver an appointment letter by post, he is perhaps an anachronism. I've seen several candidates resumes indicate that they've been in their present job for a month and when I ask about why they want to change jobs, they mention that they don't find it challenging enough. I do find it really difficult to understand that it is possible to, in one month, figure out

    • that the job is not challenging enough,
    • there're no other opportunities within that organization,
    • and this isn't the right organization to be in
    If he's been in the same organization for so long, I assume he must have kept discovering something or the other challenging and interesting in it. He was clearly competent, else they wouldn't have let him stay on after his normal retirement age (60?). He was over 80 when his wife died. He had to create some meaning out of the last 20 years of his life. He certainly has, in my opinion.

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