Employee Anniversaries

Usually, if you’re lucky enough to spend 25 years with the same company, it’s normally a pretty joyous event!

There may be a small celebration or party. You’ll probably get dozens & dozens, if not hundreds, of congratulatory notes, texts, e-mails, phone calls & hugs/handshakes.

If there’s a newsletter for your area/organization, you’ll normally get a mention while many companies sill distribute a listing of “significant work anniversaries”, e.g., 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc..

Over all my years @ Citi, I ALWAYS, ALWAYS made a special point of writing a personal note of congratulations to every employee I knew who was celebrating a milestone anniversary. Of course, that would be in addition to a warm
hug or handshake if & when I saw them in person.

I always felt very strongly that an employee’s loyalty truly deserved to be recognized.

When my boss (and great friend) Dan Owczar celebrated his 30th anniversary with the bank shortly after we migrated the Retirement Plans business from NY, we had a nice cake & celebration for him at work. And then I held a surprise party for him at our home, inviting lots of people from work, and everyone…including Dan & his wife, Kathleen…had an absolute ball! Laurie did all the cooking & we supplied basically everything, except for all the desserts which different people brought.

In August of 2003, I “celebrated” my 25th anniversary with Citi.

August 23.

The reason for the quotation marks is that there was no celebration.

In its infinite wisdom (?), U.S. Citibanking & the USCC both decided previously to discontinue any sort of newsletter. There was no formal announcement whatsoever (though I honestly believe that our “wonderful” HR organization either knew or could/should have known if they actually cared enough or for once, pulled their heads outta their…).

No one knew.

Not even my boss.

There was no Facebook back then where you could let the world know about your special milestone.

I didn’t dare send out an e-mail, or let anyone know, as I myself would’ve frowned upon such self-promotion.

Or self-pity. (Now I’m older so I don’t give a shit about how anything looks.)

I suffered through it as it was one of the saddest periods of my entire life. I gave my absolute EVERYTHING to Citi for my entire career!

I bled Citi blue from the time I was born!

My Dad was a Citibanker for over 35 years! Both of my sisters worked for Citi. My Godson & nephew, Joe Leto, is currently a VP with Citi down in Tampa. It was even my suggestion (when i was 8) to stop printing “1”, “2” or “3” at the bottom of the Citibank pencils & instead, print it right below the eraser so you’d still know what kind of pencil it was (hard, normal, or soft graphite) when you sharpened it a few times.

Not 1 e-mail, note, phone call, “Congratulations!” or anything from anyone!

But, again, it wasn’t “their” fault.

2 months later, after my boss Ken Olson found out when Citi sent him my 25 year plaque, he had a cake for me after one of his meetings in the Board Room. He called me up & asked me to come over.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know any of the 6 or so people at the meeting.

I left Citi shortly before my 30th anniversary so there was no repeat occurrence.

Yeah, it really sucked, especially since I always felt so damned strongly about the importance of recognizing employee anniversaries.

Oh, well…

As always, thank you so much for listening!

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