Jim The Firefighter

Last Tuesday I came in late to my assembly line job. I was sent to the boxer. That’s where the ranges we make are placed in a box. I enjoy working with their team. The six or seven people on the team are all helpful and friendly. I worked next to Jim. He’s an older guy who stands about 5’9″. One of the things I think is nice about him is his wife regularly makes great tasting cookies for him to share with the rest of the group. He always enjoys chatting with me when I see him.

That day he told me he had 129 days left to work. I couldn’t hear everything he said so I thought he meant we will work 129 days until the end of 2006. Then he told me he would retire in that many days. Jim has worked in our plant for about 3 years. And about 2 1/2 years of that have been in the boxer area. He told me after retirement he might move back to “Wis-caaahhhh-nsin” where he used to live. Then he told me something interesting.
For 25 years Jim had been a firefighter in Wisconsin. Then he retired. He started that job in his thirties without even going to a firefighting school. He said enjoyed it. I told him at least he didn’t have the problem Oklahoma firefighters have when they have to fight fires in 100+ degrees weather in the summer. He said no but he had the opposite problem. He had had to fight fires in 40 degrees below 0 weather!
Jim is a really nice man. He’s quiet but friendly if you talk to him. As he told me a little about his life, I thought I wouldn’t mind working at a reputable dependable company like our manufacturing plant if I was just spending some time working after I’d had an admirable job like a firefighter, waiting to retire again. I’ll miss Jim when he’s gone in about six months. Maybe one of my sons will grow up to become a dedicated firefighter like him.

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