It’s time gentlemen please… an old British phrase called out at closing time in pubs in England, also became the title of the closing theme song for a once popular variety show “The Pig and Whistle” (1967 – 1977). The show was produced in Canada and hosted by Englishmen. The theme song was performed by The Carlton Show band. Glen would have been a child at the time, but the music and the lyrics stayed with him, and it has been playing it in his head for some time now – he knew it was time for him to retire and pass the baton to his successor, Wesley Baert.
After graduating high school in Westlock Glen went to work at a local grocery store, Lindell’s. He then went to college where he studied business management with a designate in accounting, while at the same time, keeping the books for a family member’s business. When he applied for the administrative position at WIN (then known as WADAAD), he was eager to impress, and showed up for his interview dressed in a suit and tie. It was disconcerting to find his interviewers casually dressed.
He remembers playing cards after the interview with his interviewers, and jokingly tells me he recognized right away that his potential new boss had a competitive streak. We won’t ever know 100% if it’s true or not, but in this article the rumor will be started – Glen let Greg win that card game to secure his success in being hired. Some insiders say it may well have been a deciding factor.
On February 1, 1991 Glen assumed his role at WIN, then known as Westlock and District Association of Advocates for the Disabled, as the single administration staff person responsible for all office operations from answering phones and filing to keeping the books and doing payroll. The office was located in what had been a funeral home, and most recently is the Outriders restaurant and pub. He recalls that the floor was slanted, and everyone worked from one room. His desk was in the middle of that room. The four people in the office (Greg, Glen, Darlene and June) shared one computer.
Sharing a computer wasn’t much of an issue at the time, as most operations were done manually. Glen did payroll each month for about 10 staff, compared to the now approximately 80. Handwritten cheques, and in person banking was the way finances were managed. Glen had to learn and grow with the times and he became the office’s technical support in addition to his other duties. He had a 5 year plan when he assumed his position – in 5 years he intended to continue his formal education. That was not to be as Glen pursued a learn on the fly education and was an important part of the growth of the agency. That 5 year commitment turned into 31.5 years of dedicated service.
It is difficult to summarize a career that spans 3 decades in a short article. The work Glen was paid to perform at WIN was almost secondary to the lives his presence touched. Many individuals we serve would make a point to stop in and visit with him and when he was away for vacations, he was well missed! There were some rituals developed between Glen and some of the individuals we serve. The most widely known and treasured one being a young man who started his day in Glen’s office with a greeting that ended with his headphones being placed on sideways and a hand in hand walk down the hall to meet his staff for the day.
That is just one example of a special relationship that developed. There are countless others, that include individuals we serve and the numerous staff that have come, some who have stayed, and others who have left over the years.
July 29, 2022 was Glen’s final official day of work at WIN. The shy introverted young man who took a very different position than the one he left, has blossomed into a fun-loving extrovert. His dedication and service has been appreciated and his daily presence will be missed. We do look forward to his visits and ongoing relationships with one of our longest standing work family members.
Congratulations on your retirement Glen!