Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Quitting or retiring?

Wick's World

 

October 4, 2018



I have been writing short stories for the United States Postal Service and small hometown newspapers for the past 30 years. Beginning in the 80s, my columns of “Ask the Postmaster” circulated throughout the northern half of Wisconsin and Minnesota. In 2005, I retired from the Moose Lake Post Office, re-awaking the Wick Fisher I once was. Soon I discovered that the quagmire I was in had evaporated with one small swoop of the ink pen. Only later did I realize that it was me, myself and I who was responsible for getting into the place where I had dug a hole and filled it with intolerance and anger. The once prestigious position I held as Postmaster of Moose Lake, Minnesota was like a small wart that grew into a tumor worthy of National Enquirer size.

For many months, I besieged my tolerant wife with “I can’t stand the thought of going into work today.”

Years earlier, my wife had called me at home and I could tell she was really upset. For some time now, I could read the frown on her face whenever I brought up her job. It had become a job she no longer wanted to talk about. Realizing there were no other positions available in her field that were within driving distance from home, quitting didn’t seem like an option. If she quit the job, we faced a future together that had our family income immediately cut in half.

We both remember quite well the words I spoke to my wife during that phone call. “You can quit if you will get up from your desk and walk directly to your supervisor’s office with a letter of resignation.”

Within the hour she handed in her resignation. Then the doors kept opening widely, culminating with her ‘dream job.’ Remember what they say (whoever they are), that the grass is always greener on the other side. I say you can choose between a jungle and a desert.

My story of ‘quitting’ is that my postal career had nose-dived from one of pride to the intolerable situation I had found myself. I wanted so badly for a change of direction that would allow me to be Wick Fisher once again. I wanted to be that guy who had only friends and no enemies. It took a couple of years before I realized that the battle with my adversaries was the best thing that ever happened to me career-wise. A great favor was bestowed upon me. Although I felt that I was being forced out from a job I once loved, I owe a big thank you to my bosses in Duluth. I owe an even bigger thank you to those I supervised, both behind the counter and to my customers on the other side. I too, had the courage to quit my job even though it meant a huge vacuum had been created in my wallet.

By the Monday following retirement, I had three jobs lined up. One was creating the column you are now reading; “Wick’s World”. It took less than one day after leaving the Postal Service when I was bombarded with questions. I had a standard reply to “How is retirement?” or “What’s it like to no longer be the Postmaster?” The first time I was asked, I involuntarily reacted with the answer I would often use.

I said rather quickly, “It feels like an elephant was lifted from my back.”

After several months of questions about retirement, I felt the need to give a fuller explanation to those who assumed I spent my days on the couch watching soap operas.

I began saying, “I retired from the Postal Service. I didn’t retire from life and I never will”.

“Wick Fisher Books” will keep buying and selling books as long as my health allows me. I will continue to write as long as someone publishes me. Most importantly, I will play with my grandchildren at Coronado Beach in San Diego. I discovered in my lifetime that indeed the grass is always green. Only you can keep it that way.

 
 

Reader Comments
(1)

Wiggi writes:

And I will walk with grandchildren with you.

 
 
 

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