I hear the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently threw a going-away party for an advertising salesman who had been with the paper 30 years. I’m also told that this long-time employee was held in such high esteem and appreciation that the newspaper’s publisher and ad director didn’t bother to show up for the send off.
And if that didn’t send a message of gratitude for a lifetime of service and devotion and undercompensation, then the lovely parting gifts showered on him at his parting surely did — two promotional golf shirts bearing the R-J logo, left over from some long-forgotten golf tourney and probably fished out of a cardboard box in a dusty closet at the last minute.
His fellow employees reportedly took up a collection to buy him something a bit more on the order of a gold watch or that ilk.
The flintheartedness at a once collegial newspaper knows no depths, when nothing says a fond fare-the-well like tchotchkes.
Oh, and I don’t think the gentleman plays golf. (See comment from Mike Dayley below.)
Excerpt from “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens:
Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas.
External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often “came down” handsomely, and Scrooge never did.
Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, “My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?” No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blind men’s dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as though they said, “No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!”