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Old 12-04-2014, 02:24 PM   #41
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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.
I don't know very many people that haven't sufferred through the various "oil wars." I'm on my 10th employer. Big Oil is still just another group of Mega Corps although it's probably more cyclical. It also pays better than most. After battling with operating companies for decades, I've ended up in the E&C end of things. No pension but now no stress. I'm also paid better than when I was at the operating companies. But don't forget, we're all special even if we aren't treated that way.

You've got enough money to do whatever you want. Go or stay. It's all up to you. In a few months you won't even remember all the angst.
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Old 12-04-2014, 05:00 PM   #42
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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.
OK, good to know...

I am one that would game the company if they had gamed me over the years... but if they had treated me well, I would not....

Going one more month to get a few weeks of vacation time OK... but waiting up to a year to find out if you will get a severance package seems like another year wasted... you are way over 100%... now it is just a number....


BTW, if you really want to game the company.... and you have a health spending account.... you can use that money in Jan for something that you have been putting off... they only take out 1/12th of the full amount if you leave at the end of Jan... that is if you have something you need done AND are not going for the severance....
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:53 PM   #43
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Early 50s, not yet retired but hoping to get out by 55. One thing to keep in mind and this is a reality check and kind of a Debbie Downer. You are 59 and wife is 60. Just how many years do you think you have left to travel, sleep in late, check out some new hobbies, etc.? You have a seriously large nest egg, some of it relatively "guaranteed". What are you really waiting for? I am in medicine and practically what I see are some really good years for you, maybe 15 years, followed by significant likelihood of arthritis and limited mobility, hearing loss, cancer and other nice things of aging. It happens to us all, no escaping. It's something I think about a lot and I see so many of my colleagues sticking it out into their 70s so they can have the "good" retirement. Not going to happen for them. But it can happen for you, why not enjoy the fruits of your discipline and sacrifices. Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:36 PM   #44
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Early 50s, not yet retired but hoping to get out by 55. One thing to keep in mind and this is a reality check and kind of a Debbie Downer. You are 59 and wife is 60. Just how many years do you think you have left to travel, sleep in late, check out some new hobbies, etc.? You have a seriously large nest egg, some of it relatively "guaranteed". What are you really waiting for? I am in medicine and practically what I see are some really good years for you, maybe 15 years, followed by significant likelihood of arthritis and limited mobility, hearing loss, cancer and other nice things of aging. It happens to us all, no escaping. It's something I think about a lot and I see so many of my colleagues sticking it out into their 70s so they can have the "good" retirement. Not going to happen for them. But it can happen for you, why not enjoy the fruits of your discipline and sacrifices. Good luck!
Thanks BigE. I appreciate your thoughts and knowledge.

I know you're right, and we might not even have those 10 or 15 years. Just this past month or so, my wife has seen new health problems - needing to go to a cardiologist within two weeks for a stress test because calcification was seen on her aorta during a chest x ray, and starting to have a lot of hip pain, and needing to go to the doctor soon on that. I'm not feeling nearly as well as I did at 45 or 50, either - lots of aches and pains already !

I sincerely wish I could go back and save save save to get out by 55, as you are doing. That is very wise on your part.

I probably just need to go into the bosses office and quit within two weeks. I've never quit a career before. It's so final. Even though quitting is a good thing, I'm feeling scared of what I'm going to say to the boss, and how it will feel to leave work.
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:03 AM   #45
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I probably just need to go into the bosses office and quit within two weeks. I've never quit a career before. It's so final. Even though quitting is a good thing, I'm feeling scared of what I'm going to say to the boss, and how it will feel to leave work.
I am having similar feelings but I like my boss. I have had good performance reviews. He hasn't tried to fire me. And, you're worried about what you're going to say to your boss? It sounds like no matter how your phrase it you'll make his day.

I'll recap. This started as you wanting to get a little going away present from your employer since you suspect layoffs and you will get a tidy little severance. You were thinking of giving it a couple of weeks to see what pans out in January. You have plenty of money to retire now.

I throw out another scenario. Do you have any vacation time? If so, take it between now and the end of the year. If you get more after Jan 1, schedule to take it ASAP. When that's all over, see if layoffs are imminent and/or underway. If not, quit. Of course, you can certainly quit now with no meaningful loss to your retirement. Congratulations to you either way you go.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:34 AM   #46
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Thanks BigE. I appreciate your thoughts and knowledge.

I know you're right, and we might not even have those 10 or 15 years. Just this past month or so, my wife has seen new health problems - needing to go to a cardiologist within two weeks for a stress test because calcification was seen on her aorta during a chest x ray, and starting to have a lot of hip pain, and needing to go to the doctor soon on that. I'm not feeling nearly as well as I did at 45 or 50, either - lots of aches and pains already !

I sincerely wish I could go back and save save save to get out by 55, as you are doing. That is very wise on your part.

I probably just need to go into the bosses office and quit within two weeks. I've never quit a career before. It's so final. Even though quitting is a good thing, I'm feeling scared of what I'm going to say to the boss, and how it will feel to leave work.

I understand the angst you feel right now. Retiring from medicine at 55 as I am doing is uncommon. Yet the reaction from my partners was a very positive envy. During the months before my planned last date, I had moments of self doubt, like my contribution to medicine was too short at 30 years, that I hadn't pursued prestigious positions enough. I felt very weird the last day at my old job. But afterward each day off has felt like a perpetual weekend. It's been great.

My situation is that I was pulled into emergency coverage at a nearby hospital in September, when I was supposed to retire, but the physical demands are much less. My aches and pains have diminished significantly since I am not standing 10 hrs a day as I was. My feet have gone from calloused and cracked to normal, doing nothing special.

I think once you make the leap you will wonder what you waited for. I had that "Is that all there is?" feeling last August but it's already gone.

You'll be fine.


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Old 12-07-2014, 08:03 AM   #47
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....I throw out another scenario. Do you have any vacation time? If so, take it between now and the end of the year. If you get more after Jan 1, schedule to take it ASAP. When that's all over, see if layoffs are imminent and/or underway. If not, quit. Of course, you can certainly quit now with no meaningful loss to your retirement. Congratulations to you either way you go.
I like this idea in that your current assignment is ending and the company is vacillating on what your new assignment is so it seems like an ideal time to take some time off while they sort out your new assignment. You can milk it for all it is worth. Who knows, they may figure out that they don't have a spot for you and offer you severance.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:10 AM   #48
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Thanks for the further feedback.

1. I'm going to stay in j*b until at least January 1st, without saying a word to anyone at the company about wanting to resign. I'll let the company come to me if they have new information they want to share.

The reason : If I give notice now with my final day in January, based on what I've seen at other companies, it's possible they could terminate me and send me home that same day. I would not be employed December 31st, and therefore would not vest in 6 weeks vacation for 2015. I would not be employed the first week of January, and therefore, could not use 5 days or annual and monthly flex time that I have to use of lose. I'll have 11 days in the office, and for 6 of those no one will be here so I can do about anything I want.

2. I've scheduled vacation out to January 23rd, so I can be home. It's not retired, but it's still out of the office. I'll just wait and see if I hear anything from the company.
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:56 AM   #49
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2. I've scheduled vacation out to January 23rd, so I can be home. It's not retired, but it's still out of the office. I'll just wait and see if I hear anything from the company.
Bravo! You have a great plan.
  1. You spend minimal time with the j*b and boss you hate.
  2. You get your 2015 vacation time.
  3. Plus, you give the company a chance to fire your "worthless" butt and send you off with a nice severance?
  4. You can resign when you finally report back and it's obvious you aren't going to get a severance. The key to that decision is whether you get a real assignment or not.
I've got 7 more "in-office" days before resigning/retiring on 5 Jan 2015.

I'll stay for a bit to transfer any project work so we're in a race to see who really gets out first.
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:06 AM   #50
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I saw this comment on Bloomberg this morning:

@AJInsight: US oil shale breakevens (including amortized drilling costs) Eagle Ford high 50s, Bakken low 60s, others 70-80 per Strategas/Rystad. WTI $64

Adam is a good guy to follow on Twitter
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:44 AM   #51
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Bravo! You have a great plan.
+1. Good luck, and keep us posted!

Oil prices are still dropping like a rock:
Energy & Oil Prices: Natural Gas, Gasoline and Crude Oil - Bloomberg
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:16 AM   #52
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I saw this comment on Bloomberg this morning:

@AJInsight: US oil shale breakevens (including amortized drilling costs) Eagle Ford high 50s, Bakken low 60s, others 70-80 per Strategas/Rystad. WTI $64

Adam is a good guy to follow on Twitter
I'd have to see the details of his numbers but there are certain things to keep in mind about crude pricing. The first is that the price of a specific crude depends on it assay - how much boils at each temperature cut point. Next, the shale oil is not WTI. It typically has more low boiling point material than WTI but they are different. Most shale oil wells do not have access to the major pipeline networks. That means that production has to be trucked either to a terminal or to the actual refinery. This really depresses the wellhead price.

I suspect drilling will continue to fall until more stability returns to the market. It's really looking to find its level. In the face of massive uncertainty, most businesses will do nothing.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:41 PM   #53
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I've scheduled vacation out to January 23rd, so I can be home. It's not retired, but it's still out of the office. I'll just wait and see if I hear anything from the company.
I have often found in the past that taking significant time off (3-4 weeks), typically around holidays, has resulted in me separating from the employment mentally. This would often result in it being very hard to go back after the break. Perhaps you can use this psychological trick to your advantage.

In my case, after I had taken ~ 14 months of unpaid leave to care for my mother, it became crystal clear to me that I would not be returning when the leave finally expired.

-gauss
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Old 12-10-2014, 10:38 AM   #54
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I actually think that the mass layoff scenario you outline may take longer than you think.

Christmas / New Year - most companies would not embark on a layoff in this period unless things were truly desperate. Big Oil may be damaged, but hardly desperate.

Drilling will continue just based on momentum, existing contracts, committed materials, ect for three to six months. All of the recent shock has happened suddenly, most of the oil companies want to take three months at to evaluate without jumping into a major pull back plan which is going to be A. Expensive and B. Difficult to reverse once implemented.

So from your standpoint, it seems unrealistic to depend on a golden handshake suddenly appearing from HR in the near term.


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Retired Today !
Old 12-10-2014, 11:49 AM   #55
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Retired Today !

Today, I am Retired Early !

NO KIDDING - I can't believe it myself that I'm home now.

Thanks to all of you ... you helped me hang in there another week or so.

I went into the office at 6:30 am, expecting a hard day on some year end reserves stuff, and the boss came by and escorted me to the conference room and the HR rep with the waiting package. The boss told me my performance had improved for a while, but had gone back down, and they were letting me go. I was not expecting this, and had no clue it was coming. I'm so glad I didn't quit early this week even though I felt that I almost couldn't stand it anymore !

I didn't have to go through that probably long shot plan I had thought out to get into mass layoffs.

It's not very dignified to not have a going away lunch, and a speech about my great accomplishments, but I'm going to get a $157,000 gross severance check ! Their estimated net assuming 25% Federal tax is $117,700, They did not include FICA and perhaps other taxes. Seems like it's pretty much of a home run scenario. I'll have COBRA, and some other benefits. When I calm down, I'll look at the package more closely. Our net base expenses average $67,000 per year, and medical, tax, post retirement add to that number. Less than $100,000 I'm sure.

When the boss was leaving he offered his hand. I shook it, but did not stand. And I just couldn't find it in me to jump up, hug him, and give him the big wet kiss he deserved, and I wish I had given him. Merry Christmas !!

I had bags in my office, and was able to pack and bug out in less than 10 minutes with all my personal things.

I feel shocked, but happy !
I feel like I've been beat up in a boxing match, and won the lottery at the same time. Practically hyperventilating here, but I'm going to be fine. I'm pretty much going to try to chill now. Get outside and get the adrenaline out of my body. Talk to my wife. Do some yoga.
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Old 12-10-2014, 11:54 AM   #56
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Congratulations!

Even though this isn't exactly how you saw yourself leaving, you are receiving the severance you wanted. I hope once the dust settles you can relax and enjoy your freedom.
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:24 PM   #57
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Well that was a timely exit. Congrats on your retirement.


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Old 12-10-2014, 12:50 PM   #58
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Four stars, kid!

As I read the tea leaves, you should be able to pick up work in your field in about 12 months more or less. If you want. On your terms.

Today, you are a free man.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:02 PM   #59
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Congratulations! I am so happy for you. Merry Christmas!

I will look forward to your future posts to see how you are doing.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:16 PM   #60
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Wow, good job! it's making me rethink my exit strategy...
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