Retiring After 19 Years’ Service.

I’m retiring today!

I’m 65 and I thought I’d had enough but I’m feeling a bit teary, sitting at my desk for the last time. I hope they don’t have a presentation for me or anything like that. I’d hate to blub.
I joined the firm 19 years ago as a purchase ledger clerk and through luck and persistence, became head bookkeeper.

A lot has happened to me in those 19 years: I met my second wife; became a grandfather; had my first big health scare.
And I’ve lived through 4 recessions, dozens of wars, loads of changes of government. The lot, really!

The two years before I joined the company were a terrible time. I lost my first wife to illness and then I found it difficult to hold down my old job so they let me go. I was a bit lost and a friend took me in hand and said I needed to pull myself together. He recommended I take some Pitman Training bookkeeping courses as he though t a job in that field wouldn’t be too taxing.

I had nothing to lose, so like a lamb to the slaughter, I did as I was told and enrolled at the school in Russell Square.
I was a lot older than everyone else so I felt a bit isolated but I pressed on. I think I took 3 bookkeeping courses at various levels and then got a job right away! It was easier back then. Plenty of jobs and no computers.

Never mind the book keeping training, the people at the firm were really kind, welcomed me in to their group and gradually my emotional fog began to clear.
I found I liked working here and even more surprisingly, I enjoyed the work. You were pretty much left to get on with it although my boss used to give me such a rocket if he found I had made any mistakes with the figures!

When he retired, I took over his role and they put young Sarah to work with me in my old job. She was new to purchase ledger so we sent her to Pitman Training for some bookkeeping courses too. By then Pitman had moved to Holborn and it was all computerised and modern.
After that, I had to go there for some Sage training, which was a bit of a stretch for me!

My wife, June, was one of the secretaries at the firm and of course it all started at the Christmas party one year. We tried to keep it hush hush but everyone soon found out we were seeing each other.

Back then, you weren’t really allowed to see anyone from within the firm so June moved to a different company. She’s still working so I’ll be on my own quite a bit after today, which makes me a bit apprehensive.

Anyway, even though I don’t want any fuss, I have written a bit of a speech in my head. I’m not very good at public speaking so I hope I don’t have to use it.
So now I’m to be replaced by a young man called James, who is a part-qualified accountant.

Apparently Sarah wasn’t quite ready to step into my shoes but even before starting, James has said she needs to go back to Pitman Training and take a some more modern bookkeeping courses to keep her skills right up to date.

Although I’ve done the best job I can, I hope they’ll need to call me from time to time after I’ve gone when they can’t work out what I’ve done.
It would be nice to be a little bit involved.
I’ll sign off now as I can see a group of people behind a big cake coming in my direction.
Better grab my speech and a box of tissues!

Pitman Training has schools for bookkeeping in:

London Holborn – 02 07025 4700
London Notting Hill – 020 779 5214
Central Manchester – 0161 923 6814

Or visit their web site at

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