I’ve been carefully cultivating an attitude of benevolent curmudgeonliness at work for the last two years. My goal is to hit the sweet spot where people aren’t afraid to work with me or ask me for help, but nobody feels inclined to chat with me about the season finale of Downton Abbey or whose dress at the Oscar’s “violated cultural norms, but not in a good way” (what does that even mean?).
I bring this up because my arch-nemesis, the incessantly cheerful old lady over in contracting, is retiring next month. I don’t even think she knows my name, but instead just calls me The Grumpy Major in a way that I assume is supposed to be affectionate. Her favorite trick is to bring in homemade baked goods and then personally deliver the first slice to my office at 0630 just as I go to sit down. Goddammit.
So what does one get for their arch-nemesis upon retirement? Do you think Robert E. Lee gave a tchotchke to Ulysses Grant at Appomattox? I have no idea.