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Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 01:48 AM   #1
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Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?


Oh hell, what do I do now I had this experience what seems like a lifetime ago at a London penthouse party. I was invited by British friend and this was a party out of my class/comfort zone (I was working for the US Navy in London). These were the really rich (my friend was a financial advisor to the Rothchild family) & the beautiful, a party like you see in movies. There was one stunningly beautiful gal wearing a plunging, black velvet long dress, looked right out of the Black Velvet liquor ads if anyone recalls those ads. I talked to her a little and was smitten. I had to leave the party with my friend who had invited me, I didn't get to talk to Sandra much. A day or two later I asked my friend about how I could contact or find out more about Sandra.and he asked if I were "serious" (I have no idea what the Brits mean by that term in that context. ) Anyway a week or two later he passes me her phone number. I was more than pleasantly surprised. So I called her, perfectly well prepared to be declined, scorned or worse. And then I asked her out and she said----yes. Then it hit me, holy s&%t, now what do I do?

There is more to the story, but the relevant part here is getting a yes to something that was just about unimaginable.


I am in similar quandary in relation to retirement. I have been counting down for some time for a Nov 7, 2007 retirement date, its 319 days away and I started a formal countdown at 540 days, watching the days, weeks and months trickle by. The date is not etched in stone but it is an optimal date in relation to the pension structure I work under. I will have my "high three" in my civil service grade, so the pension builds up nicely to that point but there are decreasing percentage returns for working after that date. I could technically have gone out about a year ago and although there are decreasing rewards for continuing to work there still is some positive gain. So I focused on that date and maybe a few months after that.

Well, I get an email that buyouts will be offered to at least some employees with the target of being gone by March 31, 2007. There is no guarantee that it will be offered to me, that last time my manager said I could forget it as my position is not "excess" but this offer is not constrained by technical requirements, only by numbers. A bit earlier that my target but not too far from it. The buyout amount is not large by corporate standards, the federal govt is generally limited to $25K but is is an inducement. So that is the positive part, and if I don't take it I will be working in a place that will probably be less enjoyable as cutbacks tend to have a negative atmosphere. And I would probably lose my assistant who I hired a couple years ago and groomed to take my place. So the inducement is more psychologically that financially compelling.

But it brings me face to face with an event that I thought I had control over because I had a "plan". I am suddenly offered what I lusted after, what the hell do I do now? What if they say "yes"?
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 04:41 AM   #2
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

I think you know the answer to this question. There comes a time when all the "all the "i" have been dotted; and the "T"s have been crossed; all risks and opportunities have been identified; all the plans have been made and they must be implimented or shelved. Your signature states "A slave is someone who waits for someone to free them." We can also be a slave to the process, planning, our fears and other things.

If they say yes you will find out alot about yourself

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took blossom.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 05:58 AM   #3
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Take the 25k. Now, let's hear the rest of the story with Sandra.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 06:46 AM   #4
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

yea what happened??
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 07:27 AM   #5
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

yakers,
- Well, as you've spelled it out, it sure sounds like taking the money early is a good deal. If it were me, I think i would do one final pre-jump check of your 'chute and gear (something you'd probably do before the November date, anyway), then put in the paperwork.
- As yours is a govt job, woulf they have to hold a formal interview for your replacement? If so, is it possible you'd be selected to sit on the board or otherwise give input to someone on the board during the selection process? This might be an argument for giving your notice as early as possible so you canply a part in the selection process.

- If you don't take the early out, which number will be greater:
-- The number of times you think: Man, this is a lot of fun at work, I'm glad I stayed!
-- The number of times you think: Ughh, this (meeting, writing an evaluation, petty interpersonal issue, etc) is a drag! I wish I could be doing something of my choosing right now!
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 08:17 AM   #6
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Apply.
Accept.
Depart in peace.
Live long and prosper.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 08:45 AM   #7
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Yeah, take the gimme.

Now, quit teasing, You picked Sandra up and. . . . . what??

We could make up our own ending to this story, ya know. We've got all day and lots of creative retirees.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 09:12 AM   #8
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
Apply.
Accept.
Depart in peace.
Live long and prosper.
Superb advice!

I had been preparing, anticipating, planning, plotting, and analyzing for years to make early retirement happen. Despite all this, it was still a "shock" to everyone (me included) when I finally sat down with my bosses and told them "I am going to retire now."

Let's see was it Sandra Bullock........no Sandra Locke..........no
Maybe we should see who can write the best ending.................
Since you were the one there to see how truly beautiful Sandra was, then you are the best qualified to write the story ending. The same is true with your retirement.



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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 09:21 AM   #9
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

"So I put on my cleanest dirty underwear, splashed on some Old Spice, and grabbed my oldest bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill..."
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 09:33 AM   #10
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Take the $25,000 and spend it on a date with Sandra. Problems solved.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 09:38 AM   #11
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

I had been planning on a FIRE date of April 2012. This past spring, my employer (municipal gov't) offered an early retirement incentive from June 30, 2006 to June 30, 2007. You must be at least 50yo, and have at least 20 yrs of service. DING! DING! DING!

I hit 50 in April '07, with ~32 years service......I'M OUTTA HERE!!!

Yeah, I could've stayed longer, collected more pay checks, put up with more b*llsh*t.....but, nah....that didn't sound like much fun. I had been counting down to the 2012 date since January of this year.....the early out incentive INSTANTLY knocked 1827 days off my countdown calendar!!!

My pension will be about $20/mo less by leaving in '07, rather than waiting 'til '12. WHOOPY!!! I'll go out and sell pop cans for scrap if I really miss that $20!

I was in the mayor's office the morning I first heard the rumor.....they said I HAD to wait for the formal announcement a couple weeks later. I got formal notice, and IMMEDIATELY handed them my letter of intent.....I sent my intent letter to the pension fund the day I heard the rumor!!! I was still strapping my parachute on after I jumped out!!! (I packed my own chute so I know I'm good to go!) 8)
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 09:44 AM   #12
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Plan ahead

Don't take the pension, not yet anyway. Wait till things develope with Sandra. If you take the pension and then get married later, she won't get a thing if you croak on your honeymoon.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 10:37 AM   #13
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

I love this quote so much I'm stealing it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie
I was still strapping my parachute on after I jumped out!!!
Yakkers - From everything you wrote, it sounds like you see mostly good things if you get the early out. While staying, will, at best, be more of what you were getting ready to leave (if not some outright unpleasant experiences ala unhappy coworkers). Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it seems like you've already decided at some level that you would like to make the early move.

I was like Goonie, still playing with the parachute straps on the way out the hatch. In 24 hours I went from "I'm leaving sometime in the next 12 months" to "Hello, HR? When can I come in and sign the papers to bail out? It was all a matter of suddenly realizing that moment of opportunity was there and it needed to be taken advantage of.

If the only change to your plan is just accelerating it by a few months, I say do it.

And if they say yes? You can't unwind the clock or tape pages back onto the calendar. Take those 8 months of your life back if they offer them to you.

Oh, and I think it should be clear by now that you are mandated to tell the rest of the story about Sandra. We wants a story we does. And if the truth is not incredibly interesting, please lie and conjure up a good tale.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 10:49 AM   #14
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

The rest of the story:

OK, since some have asked I will finish reporting about my time with Sandra. It is probably not what you expect and maybe a bit mystical. I still remember the first dinner with Sandra, where we went and what we said. In that first date exchange she asked basically what I want in life. I remember my answer very clearly because it was a surprise to watch the words come out of my mouth. I said that I want a sense of peace. She asked what I meant, I said well someone could come in her with a 45 and rob me and maybe shoot me but I would not be unnerved or overwhelmed. As I said that I couldnít believe what I was saying as I had never said things like that on a date or pretty much to anyone, it was like watching myself speak in a foreign language I didnít recognize. But she must have liked what I said as we had a good time and went on many more dates over the next several months. She was an internally driven person, doing *exactly* what she wanted to. She was managing a (horse) riding academy which was pretty classy and was quitting to become a stewardess (or in flight attendant?) much lower on the social & financial scale, and she hung out with me when she had the Rolls Royce set if she wanted. I still remember how attractive she was, one time we went to a fancy dress (costume) party and she dressed as a mouse which was tights and a Playboy bunny type sort of black velvet swim suit type thing. Guys were bumping into things watching her. Now there was one frustrating thing about hanging out with someone more attractive than Catherine Zeta Jones (wrong type-Sandra was a blonde, but with that impact) who genuinely delighted in each others presence except----- for not having sex. After a while I thought well, I really think she likes me so I will just not see her for a while until she Ďcomes aroundí. And she left for her flying job, she was multilingual but couldnít wait for Air France so went with Air Lingus (sp?) as they were hiring immediately. I soon found a very nice girl who was pretty good in the missing department. I didnít pine over Sandra, we never really had a commitment, but I thought of her frequently enough, sometimes thinking myself a dolt for stopping seeing her.

About a year later my friend Peter asked me if I had heard about Sandra. I said no. She had died of stomach cancer. It all just sort of fit better. She had been given a year to live when she met me and was living the way she wanted. You can have your own psychological/spiritual explanation but I am convinced that she heard from me what she needed to hear and whatever it is I said I felt more like a spectator that the speaker but that was fine with me then and is still OK by me now.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 11:01 AM   #15
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

MJ/Vagabond's not in yet, but you've described exactly his situation-- on the track to FIRE, making careful departure plans, only to have everything disrupted by a layoff/buyout.

He never looked back.

Dogs chase cars, but people reach their goals. Unlike a dog you actually have a plan for what to do when you catch yours.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 12:16 PM   #16
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Wow, what an interesting story, Yakers! Like a movie plot.

And don't forget: She had only a year to live, and she chose to spend some of it with you.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-19-2006, 01:10 PM   #17
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

A story sprinkled with happiness and sorrow. Just what this board needs occasionally to keep all of us grounded and focused on LIFE not W*RK.

My advice, for what it's worth, is to take whatever buyout you're offered and never look back. It's your life. Live it the way you want.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-21-2006, 01:00 AM   #18
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Well, I did it. I made an appointment with our manager and said I am interested in the buyout if it is available. I mentioned that it did not specifically address "excess positions" but just getting the numbers down. He said he is a bit pained as I was not one of the people he was hoping would take the offer. I mentioned that the target departure date was 30 March but I would prefer to stay to 30 Sept and the office really needed me at least until 30 June to cover three critical meetings. He said he would inform HQ that they had someone interested in the buyout and he would request the time extension. I know there are a lot of variables in how many are interested and how many are critical employees but this initial meeting could not have gone better. I still remember the day I started, July 30, 1973, its just beyond my imagination that I signed the retirement request today. Its going to be really interesting to see how my approach to finances and other things changes after retirement. Up until now I could just absorb home repairs, teenage son's car damages and the like as I still have a job and things will be covered in time. My knees are a bit weak. I feel like the coyote in the Road Runner cartoons who is treading air but hasn't looked down yet.
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-21-2006, 09:41 AM   #19
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
My knees are a bit weak. I feel like the coyote in the Road Runner cartoons who is treading air but hasn't looked down yet.
Since I enjoy riding motorcycles, I can make an analogy. If you look down at the ground (or your bike) when entering a turn, you stand an enormous chance of misjudging the turn and causing a crash. If you look straight ahead and up at the horizon level, the bike will go where you want it to go. AKA "Look where you are going!" It feels awkward the first time; but it works. It becomes comfortable.

In my meeting with the bosses I had worked with for 27 years, my heart fluttered, and my knees got weak. However, I knew I was doing the right thng for ME. That uneasy feeling didn't last long!

I really like the comparison to Wiley Coyote! The looks on that critter's face are hilarious!!
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?
Old 12-21-2006, 09:50 AM   #20
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Re: Oh Hell, What Do I Do If The Answer Is "Yes"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
I feel like the coyote in the Road Runner cartoons who is treading air but hasn't looked down yet.
I follow your analogy to Wiley Coyote to a point, but your situation is much different, because unlike Wiley, you are 'strapping on your parachute on the way out of the hatch'! (Credit to Goonie for this one).

Your landing is going to be a soft one, so try to enjoy the ride!


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