Dreams Really Do Come True

To all my Boeing friends and colleagues,

You might think the title of today’s post is just some sentimental drivel as I say farewell to all of you after twenty years of faithful (mostly) service. This would be incorrect. In 2002 I said these exact words to a man who showed up at my hotel room door, dressed only in a towel. This man, in fact:

Michael and Chris enjoying a pic-a-nic on Lake Washington. I’m sure we were also thinking weighty thoughts about how to increase Boeing’s shareholder value at the time.

I’ll leave that to your lurid imaginations. Or, if you you know Chris, ask him to tell you the story. I count it as one of my signature achievements in this life.

But I digress, as usual.  On May 4th I will spend my last day working at Boeing.  After twenty plus years with the company it is a bittersweet goodbye to so many people who have enriched my life.

One of the best teams at Boeing Capital. Bruce , in the lower right hand corner, is the kind of leader Boeing needs more of. Jon , in the fetching salmon shirt, says we can do laundry at his casita in Loreto ($500 a load). Chris , wearing a tie instead of a bath towel for this photo, is now the lead developer at BCC. Murli, in green, is the only one who understood the math behind the code we created.

It is easy, perhaps even commonplace, to bludgeon huge corporations like Boeing.  I’ve certainly done my fair share of bitching and moaning about the petty bureaucracy, misanthropic executives and other forms of corporate pathology at Boeing and any other large business.

Some of the gang from Boeing Capital at the Whistle Stop in Renton.

But I can tell you that in spite of those frustrations, my time at Boeing has generally been spent in the company of many kind, generous, and smart (really smart) people. Without exception, my managers have been understanding of family commitments and have encouraged my education and professional advancement.  My co-workers have become friends and confidants. When you spend half of your waking hours with the same clowns for a few years, they start to grow on you.

Some of the gang in Structures Instrumentation. The guy with the comely ankles hired me into the company. Clearly his fashion sense wasn’t his only blind spot.

So thank you, Boeing, for twenty good years.  When I consider what I and my family have gained, twenty years of my time seems like a pretty good deal. We have put two children through private school and college debt free. Our medical insurance has covered more than one serious accident and illness. And I actually have a pension and retirement plans upon which to launch this next great adventure.

The IT crew from Auburn’s Emergent Manufacturing Facility.

The Auburn gang thoughtfully decorated my bike for my birthday.

Multitasking during a pressure test sometime around 1998.

 

And thank you to all my friends and colleagues, past and present who have made a giant corporation something much more personal.  Together, in ways large and small, we have created products that have transformed our world. Plus, we had a few laughs along the way. I think that’s something we can all be proud of.

When I was a young geek. Like the pocket protector?

10 thoughts on “Dreams Really Do Come True

  1. Congratulations for your accomplishments, and for your celebration day!

    We often say that we don’t know how we had time to have full-time employment. As you know, I started my official retirement this month also, now I’ll be funded in my “leisure life”. It’s great waking up each morning, knowing the day is mine, you’ll love it too!

    • Thank you Donna and congratulations as well. I recall that you just retired from Alaska Airlines. I’m looking forward to the new normal but I’m not quite there yet. I just took my last train commute from Tukwila. I’ll report back in a few weeks.

    • Thanks Ellen. Bittersweet is exactly how it is. The folks at work were very encouraging though that makes it easier.

      Glad you like Mike the Geek. Melissa does not.

  2. Michael, you are truly one of a kind. I’m personally grateful to you for all your help through the couple years we got to work together and for your biking mentorship! I look forward to following your next adventures here!! Very best wishes!!!

  3. Thank you Keith. Today was the first day and it was feeling pretty good until the meeting notices that I forgot to turn off started coming onto my phone. I guess I’ll be in a transitional period for a while.

  4. Congratlations Mike! To tell you the truth, I am jealous. But I do have my own 5 year plan… maybe I will be able to see an accelerated path as well. I do plan to live vicariously through your future posts, and will keep you updated on my plans. I really do hope to meet up with you two out there, when I am cruising as well!

    • Thank you John. We have talked about our plans together over the years. I think you have a good running start at making your own cunning plan a reality. Hope to see you in June.

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