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Old 12-02-2014, 06:58 PM   #21
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Thanks for the feedback, everybody.

My wife fully supports my retirement at the end of December.

I agree that I probably am at the top of the RIF list, if there is one.

To clarify for myself, I checked mega corps Termination Allowance Plan – I’d get 40 weeks, $110,000 after tax. All things considered, It’s a drop in a 4 MM$ nest egg. However, it does buy a new car and several nicevacations. However, all those things are already paid for by the nest egg we have. The layoff check would be worth something if I knew for certain that I would get it February 2nd, or some definite time. As it is, it seems like a mirage I’m making up for myself.

Even if I get the check, I would not be happy if I wasted the beautiful Texas January – April months by spending them at a desk under florescent light. I’m in the best health I’ll ever be, and don’t know how long it will last, and as one of you pointed out, I know for certain that one day I will not have good health.

I have lots of interests and can easily fill up my day.

I’m concerned about being bored, but I’m already bored at work now.

When my current assignment ends this month, if they keep me on, I’ll have to move to a new department, and learn a brand new job, likely in something I am not well skilled in. In order to stay in the new assignment, I’ll have to climb up a steep learning curve, work nights and weekends, bone up on new technical subjects, and act enthusiastic. Retiring after I end my current assignment has a sense of completing something, and finishing it well. I don’t know if I can manage to work up the fire in the belly needed to hit the ground running at new job, for a possible $110,000 payoff after a few months. I would certainly not start a new and hard short term job without a good payoff.

And yes, it is painful, and bad for the health to stay in a poor or lukewarm work situation, when I know I don't really have to. Plus it gives me the feeling of being one of the walking dead. It's good to turn toward new things I can be enthusastic about.

I want to be honest about my possible lack of judgement, or not seeing the forest for the trees. The OP who wrote “RetiredToday – Escorted Out with Package!” seemed to have won the retirement game to me when he asked to be laid off, and got his request, with a check handed to him on the way out the door. Frankly, his experience has been coloring my thinking a lot. I’ve been asking myself how I could win just like him, but I need to ask myself what I really want. It is just this : I want to be happy, I think I’ll be happier retired, and I want enough money to support being happy. That doesn’t mean I need to waste several months trying to get a layoff check that might never come to pass.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:22 PM   #22
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Co-worker of mine who was about ti get canned suddenly filed for medical leave if 3-6 months. She totally gamed the system.


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Old 12-02-2014, 07:51 PM   #23
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Ok, 110k at 4% SWR is 4400 a year, less 20% tax is 3600 divided by 52 weeks is oops don't have a calculator, but is that worth it? At 4mm you already have 160k a year - do you need the 3600?
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:37 PM   #24
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Sometimes it's a really tough decision when all you've ever done is work constantly regardless of how much $ you have. It was my wife that talked me into letting it happen when I was let go. I could have stayed, real glad I didn't.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:50 AM   #25
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The severance would be nice, but is a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to your worth. Assuming that you won't spend it all anyway, the only thing that you are accomplishing by staying on is enriching your heirs and making your life miserable.

I think I would stick it out through the end of January to see whether they RIF you once your current assignment is completed and what any new assignment is. Assuming you're still employed at the end of January and are not keen on the new assignment, just stop going to work and see how long it takes them to figure out that you are not coming back.

Seriously though, if at they end of January you don't want to just stop showing up, you could offer to resign in exchange for severance and perhaps you'll get something out of it. It might be that they aren't firing you fearing an age discrimination suit and such an offer would take that possibility off the table.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:20 PM   #26
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You are set. Why risk wasting your time when you don't need the money?
Eventually once you realize this, every day will become more unbearable.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:39 PM   #27
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"To clarify for myself, I checked mega corps Termination Allowance Plan Ė Iíd get 40 weeks, $110,000 after tax"

In your OP , you stated you only have 3 years with the co. Never seen a severance anywhere near that for a non-executive employee. Those deals typically are a week of pay per year of service. Were you an employee of another co. bought out by your current employer ?
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:34 AM   #28
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Easy to make decisions for someone else.

1. You make a plan, then work the plan. Don't wait to see what might happen, and certainly don't get worked up over it.


2. I have seen people decide to retire, and then get the opportunity to take retirement early, and get incentive pay for doing that. That 'extra bonus' is nice, but why waste your time waiting for it. That day may never come. Set a date to be out the door, regardless of whatever else might happen. I have also seen people retire, feel great about it, and drop dead 6 weeks later.


3. Decide what conditions that might happen before that date would cause you to turn in your notice for immediate departure. Or two weeks notice, whatever minimum might be. Don't take a crappy assignment hoping that the incentive RIF might happen within two months. If they offer a crappy assignment, turn in your notice.


4. This depends on how you wish to deal with the boss & HR. If they come out aggressive, I would flip back that 'I understand that you would like me to leave because of my age.' Let them worry about a lawsuit. I would not threaten to retire, they may decide to just give you a crappy assignment or to ride you to 'encourage' you to quit. You could tip your hand to say 'if there was incentive, I would probably retire.' But refer back to Step 1. You need to set your own date.


5. If you don't want to play the game, or try to give them heartburn, then simply wait until your current assignment is complete, and then give your notice.


6. If you are tired now, turn in your notice now. Your finances are in order, life is too short to put up with the BS.

I would only play the psychological games if there were a true horses butt in the system that deserved the heartburn that you might give them. And the only thing that corporate would care about is a possible lawsuit. If toasting somebody is not your style, set a date and get out.

Pb4uski has a decent plan. As soon as they tell you your next assignment, or at review time, tell HR 'why don't you come up with some incentive for me to leave on peaceful terms.' Give them a max of two weeks to come back with an offer, if nothing shows up, then turn in your notice.

Be gone no later than Valentine's day.
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the plan - draft
Old 12-04-2014, 10:05 AM   #29
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the plan - draft

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Originally Posted by Clone View Post
Easy to make decisions for someone else.

1. You make a plan, then work the plan. Don't wait to see what might happen, and certainly don't get worked up over it.


2. I have seen people decide to retire, and then get the opportunity to take retirement early, and get incentive pay for doing that. That 'extra bonus' is nice, but why waste your time waiting for it. That day may never come. Set a date to be out the door, regardless of whatever else might happen. I have also seen people retire, feel great about it, and drop dead 6 weeks later.


3. Decide what conditions that might happen before that date would cause you to turn in your notice for immediate departure. Or two weeks notice, whatever minimum might be. Don't take a crappy assignment hoping that the incentive RIF might happen within two months. If they offer a crappy assignment, turn in your notice.


4. This depends on how you wish to deal with the boss & HR. If they come out aggressive, I would flip back that 'I understand that you would like me to leave because of my age.' Let them worry about a lawsuit. I would not threaten to retire, they may decide to just give you a crappy assignment or to ride you to 'encourage' you to quit. You could tip your hand to say 'if there was incentive, I would probably retire.' But refer back to Step 1. You need to set your own date.


5. If you don't want to play the game, or try to give them heartburn, then simply wait until your current assignment is complete, and then give your notice.


6. If you are tired now, turn in your notice now. Your finances are in order, life is too short to put up with the BS.

I would only play the psychological games if there were a true horses butt in the system that deserved the heartburn that you might give them. And the only thing that corporate would care about is a possible lawsuit. If toasting somebody is not your style, set a date and get out.

Pb4uski has a decent plan. As soon as they tell you your next assignment, or at review time, tell HR 'why don't you come up with some incentive for me to leave on peaceful terms.' Give them a max of two weeks to come back with an offer, if nothing shows up, then turn in your notice.

Be gone no later than Valentine's day.
Great suggestion guys -

I realized you two guys had a key point here. Not having a plan makes me chase my tail around and around. It leaves me worried, anxious, and it's hard to get a good night's sleep trying to figure out what to do. So I'm going to make a plan.

How's this for a plan? Thoughts?

1. December 5th - Finish company proved reserves at end of work day.
2. December 8th – 12th
a. Give two weeks notice, if I decide I have no more stomach for being here. I’m close to this !
b. Ask boss about my status, if I decide to stick it out. : “What is my next assignment?”
i. If he offers a new assignment, give two weeks notice. I can' think of any new assignment I want to take on, considering the stress and aggravation of a a new job, and just wanting out of here.
ii. If he doesn’t know, or has nothing to say, tell him I will resign if he will offer me a severance package, and tell him I volunteer to be on any layoff list. Wait two weeks for the company to react. If nothing happens, give two weeks notice, by December 31st.
3. December 12th – Completed the required Employee Online Performance Management process. Do a half ass-ed job and press “submit”, as I don’t want anything except for a severance check.
4. December 19th – Finish company unproved reserves. This is likely the last work in this assignment, as it is the end of the annual reserves process.
5. December 15th – January 31st – Watch for announcements of cuts to the company budget for 2015 due to lower oil prices to confirm likelihood of layoff. If no layoffs are announced, I’m not willing to wait around after January 31st, wasting months of my life, to see if the company will decide to make layoffs sometime in 2015.
6. January, 2015. I am vested in 6 weeks vacation that they have to pay me for, if I don’t use it. First week of January, take the 5 holiday / flex days I have to use or lose, and won’t get paid for. After first week, take at least 1 to 2 days vacation every week. I likely would not be able to do this in a new assignment as I would need to be “hitting the ground running” and “proving myself” in the new job, therefore, accepting a new assignment does not seem to be a good idea, unless I have a very understanding boss. I could always ask the new boss, however. Try to be out of the office, and consider myself working part time!
7. I don’t want to fight the company, try to do a lawsuit, get revenge, or wack anyone, even if they deserve it. I just want out with the least stress. I want to get a decent reference if possible, and leave on the best terms I can. I can never say never about future work possibilities.
8. January 1st – 31st – have 1 to 1 Annual Review with supervisor. Ask boss about my status. If he says anything else except for a date that I will be laid off, resign immediately. If he has a layoff day by Febrary 28th, and he thinks I'll get it, stay for it. Otherwise, resign.
9. If nothing has happened, give two weeks notice on January 31, 2015. Take two weeks vacation until my exit interview.
10. Be home for Valentine’s Day, Feb 15th !
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:06 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
"To clarify for myself, I checked mega corps Termination Allowance Plan – I’d get 40 weeks, $110,000 after tax"

In your OP , you stated you only have 3 years with the co. Never seen a severance anywhere near that for a non-executive employee. Those deals typically are a week of pay per year of service. Were you an employee of another co. bought out by your current employer ?

Yep - it's the way the HR document reads. The company could always do something different in the even of a mass layoff.

“Termination Allowance Plan” –
“the amount of termination allowance shall be the greater of (1), (2), or (3):
1. Two weeks of pay per year of service.
2. One (1) or two (2) weeks of pay per $10,000 of annual base pay as determined below:
a. For employees with less than two (2) years ….
b. For employees with two (2) or more years of service two (2) weeks of pay per each $10,000 of annual base pay rounded to the nearest $10,000.
3. Eight (8) weeks of pay.
I have a $200,000 annual base pay. Option 2. B. gives 40 weeks, or $153,000 gross termination allowance. At estimated 27% Federal + Medicare + Social Security taxes, net termination allowance is $112,000. A safe withdrawal on this is 3.3% less 15% tax * $112,000 = $3100 per year. By the same calculation, safe withdrawal on nest egg of 4 MM$ is $112,000 per year. Thus, the termination allowance increases safe withdrawal by 2.8%. I don’t think I would even notice it.
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Performance at work
Old 12-04-2014, 10:09 AM   #31
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Performance at work

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I was in a similar situation (with less savings - but still plenty enough to pull the plug).

I'd been under layoff threat for several years. My boss and I had issues which made us both miserable. I kept hoping for a layoff for the severance.

In June I decided to just go ahead and quit. Best decision I ever made. The threatened layoff still hasn't happened. I quit right before they were going to start making me babysit a customer site on and off through the summer... Not my idea of fun (or productive) work. I like travel on my terms... not going to crappy podunk towns having little choice of what/where to eat and no stove to cook, and being away from my DH and kids.

If you're unhappy... and the numbers work... go for it.
As a fortunate and hard working oil company petroleum reservoir engineer, sometimes my performance was rated outstanding by other bosses, even at this company, just not by the current boss. Some of that is the boss, and some of it is me. I have felt loyalty and commitment to other bosses, and will do about anything for someone who offers some respect, but this boss Iíve had for less than a year offers nothing except silence and a few demands, and Iím at a stage where I donít care much about cultivating a superior anymore. His criticism of my performance in June had little concrete to back it up other than he thought I needed to be more in touch with the business development opportunities being pursued by the Oklahoma City office, and I had some un-accounted for time when I should have been inside the card reader ďgatesĒ at the office so that the electronic time records would show I was working, and giving the company the time they paid for. I have since altered my routine by stopping my walks around the block, and joining the others who go to the company gym in the afternoon for hour long workouts, all permissible since they are inside the ďgatesĒ. By the way, I was offered a lateral transfer, doing my same job, in Oklahoma City, in September, to get communication going better between the reserves group and the asset team, but I turned it down for my unspoken reasons that I thought I was about ready to pull the plug on the job, and was told someone else would be found to fill my job in Oklahoma City, with timing being the last quarter of 2014 to early 2015. I havenít heard that anyone had applied for, or accepted this job. The boss offered me a job doing reservoir simulation, but I told him heíd have to retrain me to that as it is highly specialized and I would be better doing general reservoir engineering. He said heíd turn my name over to the guy who matches internal candidates to technical job slots, but thatís the last Iíve heard. I have found that the longer I am FI, which is two or three years now, the lower my tolerance is to jobs and tasks I donít really want to do, and the more I have this unbearable urge to go in there and tell them to ďTake this job and shove it! I ainít working here no moreĒ.
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:19 AM   #32
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How long would you keep postponing it? I read a few of the OP's posts--he started with a 10/2013 plan, pushed it to this past summer, then to 12/2014 (Did you preplan your retirement day?), now to some vague time beyond that because there might be layofds and there might be severance and a package.... He's been financially set from the original date according to his posts. Nothing better to do now with those 8 hours a day than sit in an office job he doesn't enjoy with a boss who is watching him for mistakes when he is FI?

Thanks for looking at my previous posts.
One reason I have been OMY for over two years is 1) that Iím newly married, in 2011, and 2) wife was against me FIREíing because she didnít think we had enough. I wanted a little more time to feel safe about the marriage lasting. There are no guarantees, but we have a pretty good history now with a 10 year relationship, and I just need to go for FIRE at some point as I can never get completely safe from zombies and black swan events. And I had to convince her. It took a lot of pushing, and explaining on my part, doing LBMY, letting the nest egg crank up higher, and pretty much losing it in June this year with a day of anger and depression and shouting at her about how I needed out of this place until she felt perfectly safe, even though she retired in 2009. She did pay off the townhouse, and our nest egg of 4 MM$ includes 1.5 MM$ of her money, so I might not even be at the FIRE stage now, if not for her, because I got a slow start, and did not start saving for retirement until 21 years ago, after I came across Your Money or Your Life by Dominguez and Robins. We agreed to a December 31st, 2014 exit date for me. Sheís been firm on this, and has been telling everyone Iím going out on this date.
The only thing that changed since my earlier posts was the lower oil price.

And my emotions about this big change, the fear, excitement, happiness, and just generally feeling freaked out that I really am going to be out of here after working for it, for so many years. All the emotions around this feel like a tidal wave.
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On the high diving board.
Old 12-04-2014, 10:49 AM   #33
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On the high diving board.

Iím scared of the change. I think of Brooks in ďShawshank RedemptionĒ. Inside prison, he knew who he was, and everything made sense. He was someone respected. Leaving prison was a big shock. He was ďinstitutionalizedĒ, and could not survive without prison.

I doní t think Iím like Brooks, but sometimes Iím afraid I am. I have plenty of interests and things to do outside the office. Ernie Zelenskiís books are helping me get a post retirement vision. But Iím still leaving a paycheck, a familiar daily routine, a job I love to despise, people I see every day. Iíll have to replace all that.
I think my wife and I will be OK together. Probably even better. We are both at our best in the morning, and w*rk denies that to us, Monday - Friday.

Iím just a little afraid something bad will happen, even though it is irrational, and there is no evidence at all for it. I feel like Iím on the high diving board for the first time, looking way down there at the water. Tell me, retirees, that the water is good down there.

Iíll have to spend my money, rather than keep adding to the pile. That feels strange after trying to save and cut down any spending that didnít contribute anything worthwhile to my life.

Iíve got family and people all around me who see w*rk and making money as the ultimate goal, and the only thing, and I keep my retirement plans away from many of them. Fortunately, Iíve got a spiritual director I got see who retired at 47, from an oil engineering job, and is a great example of how someone can blossom after early retirement.

I am tired too. I am in good health for 59, but I have less energy. I used to have energy for more activities i liked outside of work, but now Iím too tired to do them. It's been pretty much work, exercise a little, and sleep.

Iíve had two long sabbaticals due to unemployment. I saw interests and activities start to emerge before I went back to work. I started to feel like a totally different person with different activities and interests, but I had to halt the process, to go back to the desk. I hope retirement could take me on to the person I could be without work interfering.

To console myself, if things got bad, and I needed to get back behind prison walls, I could get a consulting j*b, or apply at Barnes & Nobles, etc.

Iím excited too. Iíve been working for this day for 21 years. How long did it take Andy to tunnel through the walls of Shawshank and crawl out to freedom through a river of ****. Iím really proud of my accomplishment, and happy to being close.

Thank you for reading all this stuff. Lots of words. Lots of thoughts and feeling around this. Just trying to process it all.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:03 AM   #34
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Isn't going to work while you are being watched and on bad terms with your boss quite stressful? I know it would be if I were in your shoes.

The point is that if there is added stress due to this, it could manifest in really serious health problems for you.

Are you sure you want to shoulder the risk given your financial situation?

-gauss

p.s. I had one of my best friends at work die suddenly after the new (inexperienced) manager starting jacking him around for several years. My friend was also FI at the time. The new manager has since been demoted out of management for unrelated performance issues of his own
(basically too much up-managing while not running his own business)
It would only matter if he really cared. If the OP can just smile on the inside, this won't be an issue. The boss may want to hassle him to make him quit. Most companies would try to avoid major layoffs over Thanksgiving and Christmas. I think it's worth staying into January. The time is short. I wouldn't recommend the OP stay more than into February.

If his job is going away, that makes it more likely he'll get a package. In his situation he doesn't need the money. If I was him, I'd just like to be able to thank my boss for enriching me on the way out the door.

I think the OP should set a firm end to this. Drilling is really down particuarly in the shale plays. Companies big in that business will soon start shedding people.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:17 AM   #35
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Grigori -

We may have run across each other in the past. I was a reservoir engineer back in the old days.

You and I both have "enough." We can walk out of where we trade time for money and not miss it. It sounds like you have a good plan. Execute it.

I'd say you should resign today but I'd personally get a kick out of smiling at my ex-boss and telling him how much fun I'm going to have with all the money the company gave me in severance. It really doesn't make a financial difference to you which is like my mega-income tax hit I'd take if I leave before 1 Jan. The ~$60k extra tax wouldn't be terribly missed but I'd hate to actually pay it.

I get to resign on 5 Jan 2015. I only have 8 more "in office" days before then.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:29 AM   #36
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To the OP - if your boss has already told you your a a poor performer, and you are also being investigated, it is unlikely you will get severance, they can just fire you. Remember that severance is *not* guaranteed unless you have a signed employment contract stating that. I have seen this happen at my Megacorp - poor performers hoping to stick it out to gain severance instead were fired months before layoffs with severance occurred.

Just got into this thread.... surprised that not more people have said this....


When it comes time to get rid of people, you just might get fired for poor performance with NO severance and NO unemployment....

I saw this happen at one of my companies... guy knew he was going to be in the pool and his bad performance went worse.... they called him in and just let him go.....
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:39 AM   #37
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Grigori,

Why do you want to game the company

You say you can get 6 weeks for vacation and some holidays if you stay to a certain point... this is chump change to you... you have not said that the company has treated you badly, so why treat them badly


The only thing that I would stay around for is an annual bonus which I think is related to your prior years work and not gaming the company...

Just me I guess since a lot of posters seem to be on your side....
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:41 AM   #38
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Resign on Jan 1, take your 2015 vacation time, and move on.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:46 AM   #39
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Resign on Jan 1, take your 2015 vacation time, and move on.
He'll have to do it no sooner than Jan 5 (Monday) just like me.

I think he has a well thought out plan. He isn't planning to drag things out very long. I kind of like sticking it to the company but like sticking it to his boss even more.
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Old 12-04-2014, 02:10 PM   #40
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Grigori,

Why do you want to game the company

You say you can get 6 weeks for vacation and some holidays if you stay to a certain point... this is chump change to you... you have not said that the company has treated you badly, so why treat them badly


The only thing that I would stay around for is an annual bonus which I think is related to your prior years work and not gaming the company...

Just me I guess since a lot of posters seem to be on your side....
Thanks for pointing this out Texas Proud,

I think I am angry and have some rage about how I could have been treated better by the oil companies. Like I'm someone special. I don't own up to that very often. And I seldom have someone honest enough to call me on it.

Sometimes it's felt like a war zone, with decades of layoffs, pensions being taken away, high pressure to get results now or get shoved out the door, high competition, watching some guys spend 30 years at one company and walk off with the nice pension I never had, and having lots of jerky bosses. It's felt like dog eat dog, and I want to get my bite out of them just like they bit me a time or two.

At the same time, it's been high pay, I have been treated well at this company, I've had a steady career, and it's gotten me to FIRE. And I'm not any more special than the next guy. I will move on.


From a business side only, you are right again. It IS a game. I and everyone is gaming It's the game of maximizing value to the shareholder. For the corporation, they do whatever it takes, drilling more wells, or cutting costs (people) that gives the most value that year. Since I am the chief shareholder in a sense of my own one person company, I try to do the same thing : maximize value to myself. And if I'm going to liquidate my one person company by retiring, I try to get the most value in my exit, even if that means picking up easy money that might be lying on the ground as a layoff check. Even if I might not "deserve" it. I've seen companies big and small do the same thing. From my perspective, it all seems like pretty ruthless, bottomline stuff, at whatever level. I ain't no saint, and neither are they. But I don't want to actually hurt anyone.
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