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Do we have any competitive runners out there? Marathoners? 10Kers? 5Kers? (God bless you, fun-runners, but you and your dog are going to have to sit this one out.)

If you’re a “yes” and you’re a bit older, you’ll understand what follows. When you hit 40, you are dominating. That’s because you’re in the 40 to 49 age bracket. You’re competing against runners up to nine years older. They’re ancient compared to you! It wasn’t that long ago you were still trying out different careers, marriages, etc. You can dispatch runners in their mid-to-late 40s like a housefly on your hot dog.

Yeah, 40 is pretty great.

You know what’s not so great? Years ending in nine: 39, 49, 59, 69, etc. When there’s a nine at the end of your age, you’re competing against younger runners, many of whom can still get out of a chair without wincing. You do not like these people. At all.

Everybody get the premise? Great: Now flip it on its head, and transfer it over to the AZCentral program, Top Companies to Work for in Arizona.


Let us explain:

This year, Ashton Tiffany was named a Top Company under the aforementioned program for the sixth year running. We’d be very excited about that under any circumstances. This year, though, for the first time, we were in the 100-999 employees category. Do you know what it’s like being a 100-person company competing against a 999-person company? It’s not easy, brother.

We say, “We bring in someone to give chair massages once a quarter.” They say, “We have a masseur and masseuse on staff. Icelanders. Their androgynous beauty is haunting…yet somehow unthreatening.”

We say, “We have an incredibly generous 401(k) match.” They say, “We purchase a Bahamian retirement villa for anyone who works here more than a week.”

We say, “On your 10-year work anniversary with us, the owners take you on a private trip. Mexico, Germany, wine country…these are all past destinations.” They say, “On your 10-year work anniversary with us, the owners give you the company.”

So, you see what we’re up against. Still, through determination, a can-do attitude, and getting our stuff in on time, we earned a place among the big boys and girls in this category.

We’re proud to be here and grateful for the honor. And yes, we plan to hang around until we’re 999, (graciously) sharing the medal stand with 100.

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