Here's a humorous retirement speech I helped a friend write. It's posted here with his permission.
The setting was his company staffroom. The staff were all invited to a special afternoon tea to honor him.
He deviated slightly from our original text when he gave the speech but was happy with the all the positive feedback he got.
'Thank-you for coming. I'm glad you're all here because there's something I want to put straight.
There's a particularly nasty rumor going around - running rampant. Geraldine heard it from Simon in Accounts. And he apparantly got it from Cynthia in Product Development. Where it had been before that nobody knows.
Now it seems to me that many of you have forgotten your child hood training. Perhaps you didn't have the Public Health nurse visit your school for demonstration hand washing lessons and the like. If you had you'd remember. Never put something in your mouth if you don't know where it's come from. Not even a rumor. You might catch something contagious.
I can see a few of you look puzzled. You've obviously missed it. The juicy bit of gossip everybody's been mouthing is that I'm going to retire.
Let me tell all of you the truth, right here and now. I am not. I am never going to retire.
Don't look so alarmed. I am not going to arrive in the office on Monday morning at 8 o'clock expecting my desk to still be my desk and everything as it was for the last fifteen years.
That will not happen. For a start, my wife wouldn't let it. I've promised her a holiday and she has a certain way of making sure what I promise her materialises.
What I mean is something different.
The word retirment is repugnant. It's ugly. It conjures up images of shuffling in slippers, padding quietly through my days waiting for the end. You and I know I'm not quiet. Neither do I shuffle. I never have and I refuse to start now.
What is true is that I'm retiring from work as I've known it - the regular round of 8am to 5pm, 5 days a week and beyond. I am retiring from that but not life. I fully intend to go on living.
So from Monday next when you head into the office - catching the train, the bus, I'll be starting a new chapter.
It will be different but there'll be much of this one that I'll carry forward with me. The people I've met, the experiences we've shared - these are things I'll remember and cherish.
How could I possibly forget the team work, the ups and downs of a decade and a half?
I thank-you for your support and understanding over the years but more than this your courage to give new initiatives the green light.
When I began here the Marketing Department hadn't really thought too much about the impact the internet. E mail was OK for quick catch ups with friends but only if they had computers and were hooked up. Websites were bookmarks, little more than static flyers. Sure, everybody sort of knew they had to have one but very few companies actually worked them.
As the count down towards my exit become more widely known, I began to hear other rumors besides the one about retiring. These were about the things I had achieved in my time here.
Apparantly I had switched the business on - taken it from stone age into the brave new world of global multi-media real time interaction.
Flattering though it is to be seen as the hero, it's not true. It's another of those stories. I did not do it by myself.What we did, we did together. Without our collective energies, enthusiasm, and will to find new and better solutions none of the innovations we now take forgranted could have happened.
To my immediate team: Mark, Sonia, Raj and Karen - thank-you. I wish you all well. I've enjoyed being with you and I'm proud of what we've done.I know you'll go on creating, moving, experimenting and you can be sure I'll be checking in from time to time to see what's new.
To the company, thank-you again for the opportunities you provided. I can look back, on establishing email marketing via newsletters, creating interactive feedback loops on our site, getting the blog up and running, growing a forum that now has active members from all over the world...Our list of 'been there done that' is extensive.
Not all of our ideas worked. Some of them flopped and had to be put out their misery. But without trial and error there is no learning, no success. There's truth in the old cliche, 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' and we've proved it - together.
And I repeat, I am not retiring. I'll be working with just as much energy as ever but on the things I've put on hold over the years. There'll be time for family, my wife, travel...I call that living.'
Click to find out more about writing a retirement speech.You'll find full easily followed guidelines and another example speech to read.