Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Deadwood Society

I work for W.C. Wood Corporation, Ltd. (known as "Wood's" for short). Some years ago, a small group of Wood's employees decided to gather at a local pub after work for a beer or two, as co-workers sometimes do. As these particular co-workers happened to enjoy each others' company, perhaps more than most, they started to make a habit of meeting after hours every so often for fellowship and libations.

After a time, certain members of the group left Wood's; some to pursue other opportunities, some less voluntarily. Even after leaving Wood's, however, some of these people continued to meet with their former co-workers after hours, because it's much harder to turn one's back on friends and booze than it is to walk away from work. And then, one fateful evening, the group met as usual, and someone noticed that the majority of those present no longer worked for Wood's. In a strangely ironic turn of events, the group whose commonality consisted of working for the same employer, suddenly shared the trait of mostly not working for that same employer. And so it was that the Deadwood Society was born. According to my records, the group currently consists of roughly 20 members. It's hard to get an exact count since the faces are never the same from one gathering to the next. We do, however, have a handful of what I would call "core" members that show up fairly consistently.

Wood's is a manufacturing enterprise and, in today's economy, being a manufacturing enterprise sucks, not to put too fine a point on it. Consequently, the company has seen its share of cutbacks and downsizing over the past few years, and this has contributed to a parallel growth of the Deadwood society. Those members who indulge in darker, gallows-type humour (he said, raising his hand) have been heard to speculate that the Society's membership may soon surpass the company's remaining workforce in size.

As you can see from some the accompanying pictures, DWS alumni tend to let their hair down when they meet (well, those that have hair,at least). Conversation generally consists of gossip about Wood's and those that remain employed there, helpful tips concerning useful information such as what constitutes a "full package", and the occasional exchange of recipes for exotic culinary delights such as the infamous soup sandwich.

There are fewer more effective balms to soothe a spirit, trampled by the drudgeries and misfortunes of the workaday world, than the fellowship of good friends who accept us as we are.

I'd like to make special, if delicate, mention of Bruce and Sig; two former members of the DWS who have since taken the group's moniker just a bit more seriously than the rest of us would have liked, and now gather at that Great Pub in the Sky. They have now become Members Emeritus and are remembered fondly, if somewhat sadly, by those of us who remain.

Oh, and one last thing. The astute reader may recall that I started this post with the declaration that "I work for W.C. Wood Corporation, Ltd.", noticed the usage of the present, rather than the past, tense and wondered how I qualify for membership in the Deadwood Society. In fact, this is my second tour of duty at Wood's. I first joined the company in 1987, then, after a short tenure of about three years, left for about nine years and returned again in 1999, so I guess that makes me an honorary member, or the Lazarus of the group, if you will. Except that, unlike Lazarus, one might say that I've returned to the dead.


L. said...

I am VERY proud to be a member of this Society. Better friends could not be found.

Tubes said...

In true Society fashion, I secind that motion.

Tubes said...

OK, that was one beer to many, I spurred my sleach, I meant to say , I Second that motion!