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When I announce my retirement at the end of some future season, I expect to be treated to a farewell tour along the lines of Big Papi’s. All my opponents at work will be forced to have special ceremonies honoring me, making light of our fierce battles. They’ll show a cell-phone video of me tearing up an expense voucher in the heat of the moment, and then will present me with the voucher taped back together, signed on the back by all the team members from the opposing department, embossed with some clever phrase like “Don’t go to pieces when you retire!”
Some other department will give me a life-size Lego sculpture of myself sitting at my workstation, poised to tap out subtly biting emails for which I developed a well-known reputation. Donations will be made to my very own charity (to hell with yours and all the other charities out there!). It’s like I died or something. Look, I’m just retiring, OK?
Here’s the sad part: I won’t be able to walk away at the top of my game like Big Papi is doing. I’ll always want to work another year, mainly because I’m getting paid a little less than Papi’s $16 million per year, so even if my feet hurt and I can’t sprint to meetings, I can’t just stop working.
The end is always ugly, unless you’re Papi.