I received my 30-year anniversary award at work. It came a year late because of Covid.

Bloomberg hands out commemorative Lucite blocks after ten, twenty, 25 and 30 years of tenure.

My father collected ceremonial bowls and clocks after each milestone he spent working 38 years at the power company in New Jersey. He got to pick something from a catalog.

I prefer the Lucite cubes. Most people keep them on their desks and its a nice way to indicate you’ve been around awhile.

The company started awarding people trophies a decade ago. The design was inspired by plastic pylons in the office that designate where departments are located.

Every time you got an additional section it would clamp on top of the previous ones, held in place by magnets.

There is a funny story about the magnets.

A few years ago some of us noticed that the 30-year cubes didn’t have magnets on top.

We wondered about that.

One day we had a meeting with Mike Bloomberg and I pointed out that his 30-year cube had no magnets to accommodate a 35th or 40th anniversary.

He was surprised. He took a closer look and then laughed.

Soon thereafter, we heard that the 30-year cubes that had already been distributed were recalled and replaced with ones with magnets on top.

People ask me why I’m still here after three decades.

One reason is a culture where small things, like magnets, matter.