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How do you survive the last year before ER?
Old 04-02-2013, 06:36 PM   #1
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How do you survive the last year before ER?

Mine is a bit more than a year - 14 months, but mentally I am already gone. I *could* retire at the end of the year but if I was a smart cookie I would wait until the 14 months are up. How does one survive a j*b that they are bored with, sick of the people they w*rk with, tired of all the b.s.? There is much I need to get done here but I have no enthusiasm left - and I'm the manager of a department...
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
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Career development for the subordinates! Delegate like a madman. Schedule lots of one to one meetings and keep it light, discuss what others want to discuss. Come in late. Leave early. Find humor at the office in the oddest things. Begin to post a quote of the day.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:50 PM   #3
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Well, especially if I were the manager, I'd make sure to have my "game face" on every day, no matter how I felt. You don't want people picking up on your negativity.

Having said that, though, I sympathize. I'm in a similar position (though not a manager), with 17 months to go.

Focusing on what to do after retirement has helped me a lot. I've got a lot to figure out, prior to retirement, and so I focus on that.

I try to enjoy the day as best I can. No matter how miserable the work situation there is usually something good to focus on -- a supportive coworker, sharing a good laugh, the enjoyable bits of your work, etc.

I've also found it helpful to stop focusing on how much time I have left to go. The more I watch the clock or calendar, the slower time seems to pass. It's better for me to just put it out of my mind, best I can, and just go about my business.

Staying busy has helped me, too. No doubt you've got a lot of things that require your attention. Just focus on getting the work done.

It also helps me to remember that in a year or so, none of this will matter to me anymore. Sometimes I get caught up in the workplace drama or negativity, and it helps to remind myself that, not long from now, all of this will be just a fading memory.

And then, there is just acceptance. It helps for me to stop internally resisting the fact that I'm stuck here for 17 months. That's the reality. There is no escaping it, and so I'd better just accept that's how it's going to be.

In general, I just try to do the work, enjoy whatever aspects I can, try not to let my feelings show too much.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:52 PM   #4
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If I was in your shoes, I'd continue to be nice to the people who deserve your time. To the rest, if they piss you off, tell em to shove it where the sun don't shine. Do what needs to be done but on your terms.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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Oh, Jags - if I only could!
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #6
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You are right - acceptance is key. I feel like a child, stamping my feet. 14 months is 14 months. And in the scheme of things, not a huge amount of time - lots of holidays in there! I am a BIG clock watcher - have a countdown on my iPhone that I look at it all the time. Big problem with me - living in the future.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:18 PM   #7
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I like the quote of the day idea!
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:38 PM   #8
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I was in your boat, emotionally, last year. One of the fine people here suggested I start compiling a list of things I planned to do once ER came for me. Doing that helped me considerably. I tried to come up with one new item for that list every day I showed up at work. I also had a coded countdown on my office wall - *I* knew what the numbers meant but I highly doubt anyone else could have figured it out. 14 months will go by quicker than you think - hang in there.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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I was SO burned out, by my last year before retirement! I had to work two years past FI in order to qualify for federal retirement and the retiree medical that goes with it.

So, since I had more than enough to retire, I decided to do something different. I saved up all the vacation time allowable, but instead of selling it back I used it during my last six months. Any longer vacation than two weeks required upper management approval, so I worked one week, vacationed two weeks, worked another week, vacationed two more weeks, and so on.

That worked out beautifully for me and actually was great for my replacement. She was a little timid, but this gave her a chance to "spread her wings" and try to do everything without interference for two weeks at a time, knowing that I would be back soon to show her how to deal with any unexpected problems that came up.

Don't know if this would work for you, since you are a manager, but then one of my supervisors telecommuted for a couple of years at one point. So, in her case she could probably have done this and nobody would have cared.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:59 PM   #10
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I can save my vacation and use it all through the year but I'm saving it because they will convert it to cash to put in my 457. It would be around $12k. I'm a city employee with paid medical in retirement so at least that is not an expense I will have to worry about. Luckily I get Administrative Leave being a manager and I'll use that for my vacations or three day weekends.

I love the idea of coming up with a new thing everyday. What I need to do is write that down, put it aside and then work my job. The day drags if all I'm ever doing is looking at this forum!!
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:48 PM   #11
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I was working part-time (20 hours per week) but I had become so burnt out just from that and the awful commute in my 3-day week that I had to switch to working 12 hours per week and reduce the commute to 2 slightly shorter days (6 hours each). My ER plan was taking shape so I knew this arrangement would probably not be long-term. It (and I) lasted another 17 months before I ERed.

As for the reduced amount of work I was assigned, it was basically a single project I had been working on for more than a year at the time. That and doing some transition work in preparation for my ER, some of it behind the scenes because I did not want to tip anyone off I was planning to leave.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:11 PM   #12
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Per Anna Quindlen (A Short Guide to a Happy Life): "I show up. I listen. I try to laugh."

Hang in there!
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:33 AM   #13
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To answer your question, I travel more and volunteer more. I also like beer sometimes at home to help decompress.
Quote:
Originally Posted by linny727 View Post
How does one survive a j*b that they are bored with, sick of the people they w*rk with, tired of all the b.s.? There is much I need to get done here but I have no enthusiasm left - and I'm the manager of a department...
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:21 AM   #14
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I'm trying to make it through another 5 years. This is what I do everyday to get by:

1.) Log into my 401k and see how much it's work
2.) Log into see how much I would receive in Pension if I stick around for another year
3.) Look at my paycheck and see if that I stick around for another day, that's another $400 gross a day...then consider what would happen if I quit now(working at Wal mart for $10??).
4.) Consider what would happen if I quit(family would think I'm crazy to give up a $100k job and wife would think I'm crazy at tire at 40).
5.) Try to laugh at everything at laugh...you know.. the idiots and the dummies that have too much free time and make you write a report to upper management for some screw up someone else did.

Anyway...that's the only way I can bear the grind at work the past year. I 'm completely detached and just trying to make it one day at a time.
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:18 AM   #15
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With six months to go to my ER, I struggle with this too. As a manager, I put on my professional front and keep performing in the same way that has allowed me to ER in the first place but I find my tolerance for fools (and there are plenty of them out there) is getting severely tested. Anyway, as Dory would say "just keep swimming"!
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:25 AM   #16
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I'm planning to go in about 3 months. For the last year my attitude has been that I no longer care what they ask me to do. They pay me well and I'll do my best at my job, even if it's a totally BS exercise for management, but when 5:00 pm hits I quit every day. I don't stress about work anymore, ever.
My wife always reminds me, "that's why they call it work, not play". But someday soon....
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:33 AM   #17
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I am also so burnt out and yet I have to work 2-3 more years to meet the goals we have for a healthy financial retirement, with funds to travel as we want. I am the director of a large nonprofit and I have to deal with so many difficult people and situations that I am always stressed out. I am also counting the days!
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:45 AM   #18
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I don't have a magic answer to this, as I am also targeting FIRE for 14-15 months from now. It is different for me since I like my job content and duties, its it just the volume of work (due to workforce reductions) and the associated travel that can get to me.

My basic philosophy is "don't burn bridges". I keep working to ensure I do not impact other folks work or deadlines, and I keep my management informed and carry out their assignments faithfully. I look on it as part of my retirement planning - I may choose not to work, but I like having the option of working on a part-time project that is more like a hobby and getting paid for it.

I also focus more on using my nights/weekends for the stuff I want to do. For example, shutting down the work email evenings on weekends.

I take the "long-term view" in knowing that if something comes up that I do no like, it won't matter 15+ months from now. In other words, "this too shall pass".
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_S View Post
I'm planning to go in about 3 months. For the last year my attitude has been that I no longer care what they ask me to do. They pay me well and I'll do my best at my job, even if it's a totally BS exercise for management, but when 5:00 pm hits I quit every day. I don't stress about work anymore, ever.
My wife always reminds me, "that's why they call it work, not play". But someday soon....
That also describes how I dealt with it at the end, but for considerably longer than 3 months. As long as they're paying me, I did the job as best I was able, though nearing the end some of the absurdities crystalized. But it's a great feeling knowing that light at the end of the tunnel is no longer an oncoming train. And, as ObGyn notes, the amber beverage at the end of the day tastes even better because of it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:56 AM   #20
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I was burned out in a different way - I liked the people and the general work (tech) but was done with my primary responsibilities (senior management). When I gave notice (4 months before leaving) that equation changed. I no longer felt responsible for the long term aspects of management; my subordinates rightly saw that shifting over to them. And I felt fine with overseeing the day do day issues around the actual work we did. I thoroughly enjoyed that final period.

Does your office know you are leaving? If not, when can you safely tell them?
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