So there I was a couple weeks ago, when my boss Jenny sent me a message.
“Happy 30th anniversary at the Mighty P!!
Well you can imagine my reaction!
Has it Really been that long…….
Sure enough, I turned to Michelle, we looked at the date and it hit. February 11. 1991. Our young stud marched into the halls of the Mighty P. Four others and I were just hired as claims adjusters. I, of course, was both suave and debonaire on my first day.
26 years old, NO idea about anything insurance, and had borrowed his buddy Dave’s suit for the interview, had no idea what he was walking into, nor how long he would be there….
Look at me now!
So for the last couple weeks, I have been thinking about all he changes have happened both to me, and the company in this time.. I will apologize up front if this is boring… But I kept thinking of stuff. So what better way to get my thoughts in than a blog post.
So lets just talk dress code. When I started guys had to wear ties and have a jacket or suit coat handy, no beards were allowed and denim was the devil’s fabric. Women had to where skirts of slacks. If skirts were the choice, nylons were required. Many of the lady supervisors had extra pairs of brand new ones in their desks in case someone got a run.
Back then, the claims department was on the 6th floor. I could walk from one end to the other and speak with anyone I needed to in person. No email, no google, HELL we had to handwrite all of our file notes. My penmanship sucked!
So what about me? I had never climbed a mountain, or run a 5 K. I had a bike gathering dust with flat tires, and had never ridden more than 10 miles. Shoot I have never been an REI!! No kids, didn’t own a house, married to someone else, and drove a Ford Festiva!
I loved that car I could park it anywhere!
As time went on the Mighty P and I changed.
Both the Manchild and the Mathmajor were born. I became a boss (no really, me in charge of people! I even did interviews and hired people!)
I will never forget my fist interview I conducted. I was supposed to be with a more experienced supervisor (I’d only had the gig for a few months) but she was out and there was no one else. The person was here. HR took me aside and said, “Do NOT ask her how old she is, if she has kids, or what religion she is!”
So in my introduction I said, “HI! I am Tony, you are my first interview ever! I just need to make sure not to you how old you are, if you have kids, or what religion are!” We both laughed and it was a great interview.
I was already to hire her, until the incident…. She wanted to see where she would be working. It was one flight down, so we took the stairs. She caught a heal, snapped that sucker off, and I had to catch her before she tumbled down a flight of stairs! We never heard from her again…
The area around The Mighty P, Southlake Union in Seattle got better. When I started there was the testosterone lot for parking (OK officially it was men only, because it wasn’t safe for ladies to walk in the alley. )
But the the REI flagship store was built (I was one of he first 100 peopler to climb their climbing wall, and yes in a suit!) Later Amazon grew and turned Southlake Union into the happening part of town!
I was a homeowner and I learned how much free time you DONT have if you buy a older home that needs work. Took a LONG time until I liked owning a home….
But I also started getting outside and exercising more.
The boys of course were speed skaters, I had to keep up with them.
so I started dreaming of climbing a mountain!
Yeah the kids had MUCH more success than I did!! Never did make it to the top of Rainier
Though I did make it to the top of St Helens!
Once bitten though, I never looked back on taking every opportunity to get outside and move.
Running (which I have since changed to walking)
Shoot even skydiving!
At the Mighty P I started making a difference as well. I helped found the Customer Service Department (which is where I met met future bride Michelle (Yep for while I was her boss!))
I moved to the training department and molded the youth of PEMCO in my own image. Many of those who are there today I trained back in the early 2000s!
And of course, in 2008, our hero started riding a bike, becoming a cyclist, and discovering his true talent and passion!
I rode everywhere I could as often as I could, and that same year, rode the Oregon Coast fo the first time.
2008 was over 30000 bike mikes ago…. wow…
In 2010, 2 ok 3 big things happened. My ex wife and I had split early in 2009. And in April 2010. Michelle and I were married!
With our buddy Stu officiating!
This will always be one of my favorite days ever!
A few weeks later I was laid off from the Mighty P!!
Yes, yes, I know. I said it was my 30 years anniversary! Well, we call this the 3 years I was voted off the island! It was in the middle of the great recession. No one was hiring, and you aren’t hiring, you don’t need a new hire trainer…
I spent April to September looking for a new job (funny thing, the year I did not have a job is also the year of my lowest number of overall bike miles…. )
In September, the 3rd big thing happened, I was hired on at the Holy P! Yep, back in the training mode again!
The Mathmajor graduated and went to Western in 2012 I was SO glad he did NOT go to UW!
I wasn’t really looking for new job when 2013 came around. But I had stopped at the mighty P on my way home to pick up Michelle, and ran into one of the head honchos. She saw me, ran over and said, “WE NEED A TRAINER! WE NEED YOU! GO HOME AND APPLY!!”
“Well”, said I, “I have a job, so I am not really looking…”
“NO! YOU are going to go home, apply and sat I referred you! Now shoo!”
And I did.
I am so glad I did!
I was back where I belonged. Molding PEMCOs youth, and now able to bike to and from work!
I was training people right and left. There was a time when I could walk the halls (and notice I said halls, we now had three offices, Seattle, Spokane and Lynnwood) and 60% of the people in claims were ones I had trained!
The mighty P now allowed kilts! And when not in a kilt, denim was allowed!
The Manchild graduated high school and community college and went on to western in 2016. The Mathmajor graduated and went to UW for Grad School studying Genetics.
Life was busy and good, but then in 2018, it got better.
The mighty P, as a reward for all our hard work, let us move to the Oregon Coast, where we bought our new house.
And we could walk the beach any time.
In 2019, Mathmajor married our new daughter Bree
And in Devember of 2020! The Manchild started at PEMCO in Customer Service and he is rocking it! Starting the 2nd generation, we are so proud!
There is no way 30 years ago I woulda thought I would still be here, (shoot I never thought I’d be back when I was laid off) For sure I never woulda guessed I would be working at the Oregon Coast. Nor could I have known how many people I have impacted as a coworker, supervisor and trainer…
I was a journey both work and personal, but I wouldn’t trade it, It got me Michelle and she got me to the coast. The boys are happy and healthy, and we are so proud of them!
I am a happy man!
Happy anniversary to me!