A Pinch of Salt: Figuring out how to make a transition

So how is this going to work?

After all, I haven’t started a new job for 31 years. The last time I started over, the word “onboarding” didn’t even exist.

There was some email, but no cell phones. The very idea of online forms was scary — who in their right mind would put their Social Security number on a computer form? Where would it go, and who could see it?

I’m scared to death that transferring health insurance from one employer to another is going to malfunction, and I won’t have coverage when I’m, well, scared to death. I’ve been reassured, and the new outfit has an option that will let us stay with my current health care provider, but what about visual? Dental?

My anemic 401K is literally a smaller issue, and the rollover shouldn’t be a hassle. But I would like to keep that health care savings account thing, and I’ll have to figure that out.

I, like so many others, have been working from home for the last three years or so. The new gig means working in the office, and that means my tennies and sweat pants will retreat to the weekend. Maria took me shopping last weekend for “office clothes.” Wow. Just wow.

Somehow, I actually fit into my suit coats now better than I did before the pandemic, although no one will ever call me beanpole. And last year brother-in-law Jim added significantly to my already robust collection of Jerry Garcia ties, so I’m good there.

The dress shoes will stop squeaking soon, right?

I suppose the dogs will get used to me being gone during the day, and we walk so early that won’t be impacted by the changing routine. But the shared dinner cooking might see some changes, thanks to the commute.

But hey, you’re not worried about my adjustments. Let’s talk a bit about your adjustments.

Yes, there will be some changes. I’m not going to be answering Grunion email anymore. For my regular correspondents, that’s going to be a pretty big change.

The editor@gazettes.com email will still work — it will just go to a different person. And it’s still where you need to send news items, story tips, letters to the editor and general newspaper questions.

A bigger change, or actually change back, will impact folks who send in items for the calendar or the For A Good Cause column. When Kurt A. Eichsteadt was around, we used the calendar@gazettes.com email address for those things. Well, it’s back, even if Kurt isn’t. Starting next week, the quickest, most reliable way to get an item in the calendar is to, well, send it to the calendar. Makes sense, right?

I’ve really tried to stress over these last couple of weeks that I’ll still be around, and the conversation by column will continue to take place. I’ll likely write it on the weekend, or late in the evening — can’t take time away from the new boss, you know.

Hopefully, it will continue to evolve, as I think it has over the last 30+ years. But one focus — getting the message out about Long Beach’s myriad nonprofits — will not change. You can expect to hear why you should help the helpers fairly frequently.

It will be hard for me to avoid writing about my faith, my wife, my dogs, my grandchildren (not necessarily in that order), so I’ll probably still do that occasionally. The same goes for our fair city and the people who are making the decisions. It wouldn’t be the Pinch without the occasional rant, now would it?

And I still want to hear from you. Is there something you want me to write about? Is there something you disagree with? Can we talk?

And, as it has been for the last decade or more, the best way to do that is by email. The address is writerman47@yahoo.com. Here’s a little secret you can share. The last time I changed that address, I was 47. Seriously.

Things are changing a lot faster these days, at least for me. But one thing will never change.

I’m thankful for you, gentle reader. See you next week.