A poetic take on retirement

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Scholefield Law former cleaner Ruth McIntosh accepts a gift of a poem at her retirement surprise party from law partners Fergus More (left) and Tony Irvine.

IT was a novel way of resigning but for 85-year-old Ruth McIntosh, it just seemed perfect.

The former cleaner of the Scholefield Law offices for the past 30 years, she took a bit of poetic licence and handed in her resignation via a poem.

Mrs McIntosh, who turns 86 on Monday, confessed this week she’d actually started writing the poem about 10 years ago.

“I thought I’ll just keep that until I retire.”

However, she never imagined she’d still be working a decade later, only just handing it in now.

In the six-verse rhyme, she talked about her job and how times had changed throughout the years but also her need to slow down a bit.

“I feel my standards are slipping,

“As happens with onset of age,

“You need someone younger and fitter,

“Mind you, I will miss my wage.”

In a delightful postscript, she outlined how the job would be her last.

“PS I was going to ask for a reference,

“Stating all the good work I’ve done.

“But on thinking it over,

“I WON’T BE NEEDING ONE.”

Mrs McIntosh said the original poem was a lot longer but she condensed it to fit on one page.

When asked why she had worked so long, she replied she was a “late starter”.

“I only started working in my 50s so it’s not really a great achievement.

“Well, you know what they say, use it or lose it.”

The first few weeks of retirement took a bit of getting used to, she said.

“I’m feeling a bit lost now.”

At Scholefield Law, staff weren’t going to let Mrs McIntosh swan off without a glowing account of her time working for the business. It only seemed fair they replied in a like format.

“She was our regular handy andy,

“With considerable amount of polish,

“Not a speck of dust would survive,

“In any room or office.”

Then as a final hurrah;

“How will we ever replace her,

“Good folk like her are hard to find,

“We will have to approach some cleaning agent

“Yet there is no-one left, of her kind.”

Scholefield Law partner Fergus More said in celebration of Mrs McIntosh’s time working for the company, a surprise meal was held in her honour.

“She came with her sister and cousin and it was a complete surprise to her.

“Apparently if she had known in advance, she would not have wanted the fuss and it may have been an effort to get her to turn up.”

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