What a drag it is getting old

Author Michael Deren
January 30, 2019 - 09:30am

As I write my January column, it is a few days before Thanksgiving, and I am getting ready to go back to work. You see, somehow I managed to injure myself back at the end of June. Don’t ask me how; I woke up on a Saturday morning with severe pain in my left shoulder. I know that my wife had nothing to do with it, as she claims, but … just kidding, dear.

It turns out I had a torn rotator cuff, a torn bicep and arthritis. The doctor told me that wear and tear over the years did it. Hidden meaning: I got old. Nonetheless, surgery, physical therapy and exercising the shoulder from three to four hours or more per day are taking care of the situation. My wife has been a tremendous help in getting me back to my former self. I couldn’t have done it without her.

Being home all this time has been great, but dare I say it: I miss my job. I miss getting up at 5 a.m. and heading to the office. Well, maybe not the early rising part so much. But this is what I know. I’ve been in manufacturing since 1977 and writing for Cutting Tool Engineering for 19 years. Boy, does time fly.

I look forward to getting back and working with the rest of the management team to decide what we need to do to meet our quality and delivery goals. I am eager to attend the daily management meetings to monitor how we are meeting our goals. During the early part of my medical leave, I couldn’t resist going online and checking how things were going. Believe it or not, the management team survived without my input.

I also look forward to working with my team on the shop floor again. They are over two dozen of the best machinists and operators a manager can have—a knowledgeable group committed to making the best product possible. They work well together and exchange ideas frequently. Several of them are taking college courses, which will further their careers. I miss the feedback and discussions on new processes we try. We all enjoy new challenges.

I’ve had a taste of retirement, so to speak, these past several months. Other than the doctors’ appointments, the physical therapy sessions and my daily exercise routines, I could probably get used to not having to get up early to go to work. My wife and I could travel and do what we want when we want, not being on a schedule all the time. But for now, it’s still too soon. I am quite content to go back to the office and make my contribution to the company, knowing that it appreciates what I do and offer.

By the time you read this column, it will be a new year. I hope you had a great holiday season, and I hope you look forward to my future columns. See you in March.   



Machinist's Corner Columnist

Michael Deren is a manufacturing engineer/project manager and a regular CTE contributor. He can be reached via e-mail at mderen1@wi.rr.com.