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Secretly Retired...almost ready to tell Mega Corp
Old 07-31-2015, 07:44 PM   #1
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Secretly Retired...almost ready to tell Mega Corp

Enough of the OMY syndrone, I am getting ready to pull the plug from my day job. Last spring during a layoff they wanted me to go part time, then they came out with the policy which took away all of my vacation, sick leave and other time off accrued!

But they replaced it with a permissive leave policy. How could I resist staying full time, and taking all the time off I need to "relax and rejuvenate, as often as needed". Seriously, they stated this directly in the policy letter. Now I have been struggling with giving up this paid time off, just to get away from any obligation to do one more project in some remote foreign country.

It would not be too bad, but my options are Egypt, flying coach class for meetings in Italy each month, or Mexico. My spanish is just not that good, and the middle east is just not my favorite hot spot (I do like Italy!). I have enjoyed reading posts these past few months, and just recently posted a few myself. We have been FI for sometime, and being close now to 61, I no longer want to do what I am told to work on, so I guess that sums it up. We still have a small business to keep us entertained in emergent situations, but it is time to rev up the travel and activities while our health is still good to go.

We did a 2 week South America cruise in Jan, and we are hooked once again on cruising. We laid off it for some years, but now appreciate even more the ease of seeing so much with little repacking. Looking forward to a southern Caribbean trip in Nov, followed by a nice week in Orlando for Thanksgiving with the east coast family.

I have all the anxiety anyone might have over social loss, routine, and other aspects of cutting the job loose, but I will not miss the Microsoft beemer traffic from Redmond into Bellevue each day.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:04 PM   #2
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I vote "just go". My last j@b consisted of international travel and it's a nightmare.
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:10 PM   #3
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My NotSoMegaCorp started an unlimited vacation policy last year. So far, the slackers have been abusing it and the hard workers are taking even less time off than the old accrual system awarded them. Aside from that problem, there are a few managers who are getting aggressive about not approving vacations until it is an ideal time in their projects, causing even more problems for the hard workers who usually get assigned to big projects. It also means anyone leaving gets no payout for unused vacation.

Makes me think you have a good idea to retire by just taking big advantage of the unlimited policy until someone forces the issue. At least until the vacation that should have been awarded by the old policy is actually taken.
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Old 08-01-2015, 02:55 AM   #4
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My wife's company also has changed to the unlimited vacation policy and it has actually discouraged people from taking their normal vacations. For a person intending to FIRE soon and not worry about getting (lowercase) fired, it may be a good way to get some (paid) extended vacation time.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:31 AM   #5
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Thanks to all of you for your encouraging replies. I am walking the fine line between not engaged with work, and working too much at home. Yet, it has been great these past few months to travel to horse shows with my wife, and still have something to work on remote when waiting for her to at the show. The idea of working on a new project which typically lasts over 1 to 3 years, just does not feel right anymore, even on a part time basis.

Pulling the plug cold turkey seems like the best method for me, else I might get sucked up into it for OMY. Irishgal is correct, and I will take the next step.

I have been a little greedy, since I negotiated with personnel. They were fairly cold about any sort of RE package during the layoffs in April. Now we are looking at laying off more folks very soon, and I would hope I (once again) could offset one of the good younger folks from that fate. I was just looking for a little pension supplement like was offered to others last year which they refused me (instead they laid off some very good PM's), which made taking the extra time off for me a fair trade.
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Old 08-01-2015, 05:02 PM   #6
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Sounds like you're ready to go and I can understand not wanting to commit to a new long term project in a location that is not convenient or desirable for you. Luckily, you've been planning ahead and can FIRE and enjoy some of those fun travel plans you've made. Congrats
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:25 PM   #7
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Thanks to all of you for your encouraging replies. I am walking the fine line between not engaged with work, and working too much at home. Yet, it has been great these past few months to travel to horse shows with my wife, and still have something to work on remote when waiting for her to at the show. The idea of working on a new project which typically lasts over 1 to 3 years, just does not feel right anymore, even on a part time basis.

Pulling the plug cold turkey seems like the best method for me, else I might get sucked up into it for OMY. Irishgal is correct, and I will take the next step.

I have been a little greedy, since I negotiated with personnel. They were fairly cold about any sort of RE package during the layoffs in April. Now we are looking at laying off more folks very soon, and I would hope I (once again) could offset one of the good younger folks from that fate. I was just looking for a little pension supplement like was offered to others last year which they refused me (instead they laid off some very good PM's), which made taking the extra time off for me a fair trade.
It sounds like you're a good employee they don't want to get rid of... If there are some pending layoffs, it might make sense to "abuse" that vacation policy, hoping it get's you onto the naughty lay-off list. Perhaps this could lead to some sort of a "going away" present?
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:45 PM   #8
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I would not mind working part time and have the ability to take off when I wanted... kinda easy to dial in what you want out of a job and what you want out of ER....

However, I would not want to move to Mexico or Egypt.... I would not mind Europe if I could take time off and go traveling..


My last 'job' is some consulting and that has been very sporadic... do not know if I will get any this year... the ones offered were way too far commute time.... and they got rid of all the mgrs in my city.... oh well, working on the deck right now
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:50 AM   #9
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Good luck Happyras, but my question is. "What is unlimited vacation?" You can take as much as you want when you want?
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:51 AM   #10
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Good luck Happyras, but my question is. "What is unlimited vacation?" You can take as much as you want when you want?
That's what they want you to think. In reality, as many have already posted, a lot of people don't even take advantage of it.

Plus, there's a bigger advantage to the company that many people don't realize at first. When there's no accrued vacation, there's nothing they have to cash out when you leave, at least in states that force companies to do that.

At my last two jobs, I left with almost a full six weeks of PTO, and they had to cash me out. That's like getting three full paychecks when you leave.

At a place that doesn't accrue vacation, there's nothing they have to cash out and pay you when you leave. That's the REAL benefit to the company. They want you to think it's for employee happiness, but that's BS. It's so they don't have to track that liability on their books.
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Old 08-02-2015, 07:38 AM   #11
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Coach class to Italy... that would be the deal breaker for me. Sounds like it is time to leave and the company needs to reduce headcount so the stars have aligned.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:14 AM   #12
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My vote: If that next round of layoffs seems to be in the very near future, I'd vote for you to hang around a TAD longer and use that vacation policy to the max. If no further inkling about layoffs in, say, 2 months, then pull the plug.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:57 AM   #13
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Stay on paid vacation until they FIRE you!

I got 6 weeks paid vacation at my company, but rarely took any. You would fall to far behind and be guilted to boot
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Happyras View Post
Enough of the OMY syndrone, I am getting ready to pull the plug from my day job. Last spring during a layoff they wanted me to go part time, then they came out with the policy which took away all of my vacation, sick leave and other time off accrued!

But they replaced it with a permissive leave policy. How could I resist staying full time, and taking all the time off I need to "relax and rejuvenate, as often as needed". Seriously, they stated this directly in the policy letter. Now I have been struggling with giving up this paid time off, just to get away from any obligation to do one more project in some remote foreign country.

It would not be too bad, but my options are Egypt, flying coach class for meetings in Italy each month, or Mexico. My spanish is just not that good, and the middle east is just not my favorite hot spot (I do like Italy!). I have enjoyed reading posts these past few months, and just recently posted a few myself. We have been FI for sometime, and being close now to 61, I no longer want to do what I am told to work on, so I guess that sums it up. We still have a small business to keep us entertained in emergent situations, but it is time to rev up the travel and activities while our health is still good to go.

We did a 2 week South America cruise in Jan, and we are hooked once again on cruising. We laid off it for some years, but now appreciate even more the ease of seeing so much with little repacking. Looking forward to a southern Caribbean trip in Nov, followed by a nice week in Orlando for Thanksgiving with the east coast family.

I have all the anxiety anyone might have over social loss, routine, and other aspects of cutting the job loose, but I will not miss the Microsoft beemer traffic from Redmond into Bellevue each day.
Congrats! Sounds like you are more than ready.

Just curious (if you had to pick one) was it the foreign business travel that beat you down or the day to day grind of eastside traffic? I keep saying "if my commute was easier maybe it would "ease" the daily grind?". I currently don't have Intl business travel but a challenging commute to the eastside M-F pretty much.
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:19 PM   #15
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Congrats! Sounds like you are more than ready.

Just curious (if you had to pick one) was it the foreign business travel that beat you down or the day to day grind of eastside traffic? I keep saying "if my commute was easier maybe it would "ease" the daily grind?". I currently don't have Intl business travel but a challenging commute to the eastside M-F pretty much.
Even after retiring, travelling on the eastside can be a grind (if you use the freeways).

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Old 08-02-2015, 12:35 PM   #16
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Congrats! Sounds like you are more than ready.

Just curious (if you had to pick one) was it the foreign business travel that beat you down or the day to day grind of eastside traffic? I keep saying "if my commute was easier maybe it would "ease" the daily grind?". I currently don't have Intl business travel but a challenging commute to the eastside M-F pretty much.
We used to fly business class >10 hours. They stopped this, and made exceptions only for very tall people or those the company doctor made exception, like Immelt, who is just 3 months younger. At our age, my wife and I very rarely fly coach, why should we, if we don't our kids will. So...I refused a few projects in the middle east, Russia, Korea, and China, whereas I did travel there prior for projects. I would say the change in travel policy was a game changer, as I have really enjoyed traveling, but even business class for 36 hours from South Africa is a butt buster. We all get a little arthritis at this age don't we?

As for the commute, we moved from up north 8 years ago (cutting my commute in less than half) to do a series of OMY, I then started collecting my first pension from Scott Paper at age 55. I thought I could deal with a 20 minute drive each way from east Redmond to Bellevue, but as you seem to know, there are too many BMW's that can't drive in the snow and they block the roads in the winter, or drive like crazy aggressive people in the spring, humanity! I just go in to the office occasionally now, after traffic clears!
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:46 PM   #17
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My vote: If that next round of layoffs seems to be in the very near future, I'd vote for you to hang around a TAD longer and use that vacation policy to the max. If no further inkling about layoffs in, say, 2 months, then pull the plug.
Your vote is the same as mine, what I did not detail was the company had a package that was offered twice in the last few years. They allowed anyone with 10 years and age 60 to retire with improved pension, and a nice 6 month pay package. It really surprised me in the spring that they could not pull that one off for me, but instead laid off some really good PM's and Engineers in the prime of their careers (age 40-45), keeping me, and old phart that they felt would just retire and go away. Surprise!!!! I am a Klingon
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:54 PM   #18
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Old 08-02-2015, 12:58 PM   #19
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We used to fly business class >10 hours. They stopped this, and made exceptions only for very tall people or those the company doctor made exception, like Immelt, who is just 3 months younger. At our age, my wife and I very rarely fly coach, why should we, if we don't our kids will. So...I refused a few projects in the middle east, Russia, Korea, and China, whereas I did travel there prior for projects. I would say the change in travel policy was a game changer, as I have really enjoyed traveling, but even business class for 36 hours from South Africa is a butt buster. We all get a little arthritis at this age don't we?

As for the commute, we moved from up north 8 years ago (cutting my commute in less than half) to do a series of OMY, I then started collecting my first pension from Scott Paper at age 55. I thought I could deal with a 20 minute drive each way from east Redmond to Bellevue, but as you seem to know, there are too many BMW's that can't drive in the snow and they block the roads in the winter, or drive like crazy aggressive people in the spring, humanity! I just go in to the office occasionally now, after traffic clears!
Thanks for the feedback. Interesting changes in regards to business class and "who" gets it.

At my megacorp all Intl travel is business regardless of level or size? so even a non-exec travels business class (that surprised me as a non- exec). It was really cool since in my past role I supported Australia so sitting in seat 1K on a 747-400 was a new experience for me.

Now it's commuting West SEA to Eastlake each day so two bridges to navigate. My option to telecommute essentially went away 6 months ago---lots of emphasis on collaboration in the office (centers of excellence in IT).

Even though Australia was a great place to support I really don't miss the travel. Our pension will freeze on 12/31/2015 and we are being told our retiree medical will go up (unless we retiree by 12/31/2015). I have some decisions to make. Early out is 55 and that is end of Oct for me. Decisions, decisions...
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:22 PM   #20
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I used to volunteer for a NGO that involved travel. The rule was that if any single flight in your journey was longer than three hours, you could book business class. That really helped when flying to the Middle East. Following a strategic review cost cutting blitz it was decided that everyone must fly in economy. My reaction: buh-bye!
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