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Retirement Observation re: former Co-Workers
Old 12-03-2012, 12:14 PM   #1
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Retirement Observation re: former Co-Workers

Now that I've been retired almost 1˝ years, I think I can conclude something that's come as a surprise.

I wouldn't allow myself to become close friends with any of my co-workers, but like everyone I certainly had real "work friends" over the years. People who voluntarily shared intimate financial, marital, family and other problems with me (and few others at work) seeking advice, a sounding board or just someone to listen - in addition to professional issues.

Didn't really have any expectations on keeping in touch, and the last thing I want to talk about these days is the details of everyday life at former Megacorp. But how some have/not kept in touch has been partly a surprise. Some of the people I assumed might keep in touch, did not, that I knew was inevitable from many prior relocations. More surprising are the people I was not as close with, who I never expected to hear from again, who have actively kept in touch. I realize some of them are just networking, but some have been surprisingly genuine. Just never occured to me how different work relationships would grow or die off after I retired.

Not a big deal either way, just a curiousity and another of life's interesting mysteries.

Wondered if others have been surprised in this respect? Maybe it's just me...
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Now that I've been retired almost 1˝ years, I think I can conclude something that's come as a surprise.

I wouldn't allow myself to become close friends with any of my co-workers, but like everyone I certainly had real "work friends" over the years. People who voluntarily shared intimate financial, marital, family and other problems with me (and few others at work) seeking advice, a sounding board or just someone to listen - in addition to professional issues.

Didn't really have any expectations on keeping in touch, and the last thing I want to talk about these days is the details of everyday life at former Megacorp. But how some have/not kept in touch has been partly a surprise. Some of the people I assumed might keep in touch, did not, that I knew was inevitable from many prior relocations. More surprising are the people I was not as close with, who I never expected to hear from again, who have actively kept in touch. I realize some of them are just networking, but some have been surprisingly genuine. Just never occured to me how different work relationships would grow or die off after I retired.

Not a big deal either way, just a curiousity and another of life's interesting mysteries.

Wondered if others have been surprised in this respect? Maybe it's just me...
I left the State the day after I retired and didn't make much of an effort to keep in touch with former co-workers who were now a 5 hour drive away. However a couple of them have made the effort to keep in touch via e-mail and Facebook and I've been happy to continue the friendship. We've actually met up with one of the couples while on vacation in England last year.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:20 PM   #3
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In my working years before I retired 4 years ago, I had only 2 people I was friends with. That is, coworkers I frequently had lunch with, went to each other's places during nonwork hours, knew a lot about their personal lives. Of those 2, only 1 of them I have stayed in touch with consistently and have met outside of work. The other I hear from once in a while but that's all. There are two other coworkers I stay in touch with, one is not a big surprise but the other has been a bit of a surprise. She emails me now and then and we write each other once or twice a year. But others I initially stayed in touch with more, including some who retired shortly before I did, have fallen by the wayside. Not a big surprise.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:52 PM   #4
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I had a similar experience. One person I like but would not have expected to keep in touch, did. Now we have lunch a few times a year. It is fun to hear about the trials and tribulations at work that have no impact on me. Another person I didn't really want to keep in touch with pestered me to get together multiple times. I had lunch with him once and was able to extricate myself from further activities without causing any hard feelings.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:32 PM   #5
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i have"kinda" kept in LOOSE touch with a core of folks who still work at my former place.

I **DO** keep in touch with three from our old department - all retired. We gather for lunch about once a quarter.

In addition, the guys from the another department (still w*rking) have lunch every Friday and I SOMETIMES go into town for that (I live 25 miles +/- out from where I used to w*tk).

I also stop by the old office when I am in the area and think of it just to say Howdy. The security has changed and NOW I am supposed to be accompanied by an employee... but I still know the security weaknesses and just cruise in on my own. hahaha.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
Now that I've been retired almost 1˝ years, I think I can conclude something that's come as a surprise.
Not a big deal either way, just a curiousity and another of life's interesting mysteries.
Wondered if others have been surprised in this respect? Maybe it's just me...
I'm impressed with how much easier it's become to track down old shipmates. Between Facebook and TogetherWeServed.com I've connected with classmates and people I haven't seen for over 25 years.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:30 PM   #7
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Similar experience. RE'd seven years ago TODAY (!) and still keep in touch with a lot of folks around the world.

Those I thought I'd never hear from again call me every few weeks...those I thought we're 'friends' I never heard from again.

Even seven years later, I get a call/Skype from someone, somewhere just about every other day.

A few are still hoping that I'll go 'do' something and hire them back.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:34 AM   #8
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There is a survivors club alumni association for the department I worked for that has monthly breakfast meetings that I don't go to, a weekly E-mailed newsletter, and an annual dinner that we do go to.

When I finally quit working altogether I'll probably make the effort for at least some of the monthly meetings even though it requires departure from here before dawn. Having common near-death experiences do create a bond.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:21 AM   #9
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I keep in touch with one person from work. I don't see her often, but we do e-mail each other regularly. Hope to see her more frequently when she retires next year.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:52 AM   #10
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To the broader subject of contacts, an observation. Until the past 5 or 6 years, a very big part of our lives involved many, many friends and contacts through letters, email, phone, meetings, going out to eat, visiting,
reunions for college, work, etc, etc...

Beginning around age 70, this "involvement" gradually died off. The parties we used to host, we sometimes don't even attend. Phone calls, emails, and touching base with old friends... slowed and in many cases, stopped.

Some of our 'same age' friends, are still in the social whirl, but most are like us...picking and choosing the parts of life that we enjoy, and letting others go by the wayside.

The volunteer stuff that used to take up 30-40 hours a week, no more. It wasn't a planned change, it just naturally happened. Probably part of an unconscious plan to simplify and mold a framework for the coming 5 years as we drift into pleasant senility.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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I've actually had very little contact with people from where I used to work, but not surprising since I know how busy their lives are.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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This has all gotten me very curious. I've just completed a series of meetings including a farewell for yours truly at one of my subsidiary companies outside of Japan. I've invited those who I have work with closely to come visit our home for a few days whenever they have a chance to be in SFO...offering even to drive the 2.5 hours each way to pick them up and deliver them to/from the airport. Some have aske for for my personal contact details, including email, home phone, cell phone and Skype addresses (no Facebook here...you know where I am today). I am expecting maybe 5 out of the hundred or so people to whom I have made this offer to actually take me up on it. And, I would be happy to host them. But for all the requests for contact details, I wonder who will actually contact me. I guess it goes both ways, of course, and I do intend to stay in contact with some close friends with whom I have created some great successes, but honestly, trying to stay in contact with a hundred people via email sounds a lot like work to me. We'll see how it works out.

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Old 12-04-2012, 09:24 AM   #13
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I have a couple of buddies I stay in contact with. One was a high school/college friend and it just so happened we ended up at the same company. The other one I knew my entire 27 years at work. He also lived in my old neighborhood. I meet these guys at least once a week for a cold one. The other people I knew at work, never hear from them. Of course they don't hear from me either.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:32 AM   #14
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After I retired I moved 500 miles down the road to be close to the grandkids. I have had a number of former co-workers come to visit and I still keep in touch with quite a few of the people I worked with via email and linkedin.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:34 AM   #15
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I've been ER'd for two years now. I have 26 Facebook friends from work but I only see about 10 of them regularly. I go out to lunch with them every month or so. I feel like things are beginning to taper off. I guess I'll see how 2013 goes.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:49 AM   #16
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As most of my former colleagues are considerably younger than me, I wasn't expecting much in the way of interaction post-retirement, but I do get occasional emails from one who keeps me posted on workplace happenings. You know, the kind of emails that reinforce the prudence of the decision to retire.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:08 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
To the broader subject of contacts, an observation. Until the past 5 or 6 years, a very big part of our lives involved many, many friends and contacts through letters, email, phone, meetings, going out to eat, visiting,
reunions for college, work, etc, etc...

Beginning around age 70, this "involvement" gradually died off. The parties we used to host, we sometimes don't even attend. Phone calls, emails, and touching base with old friends... slowed and in many cases, stopped.

Some of our 'same age' friends, are still in the social whirl, but most are like us...picking and choosing the parts of life that we enjoy, and letting others go by the wayside.

The volunteer stuff that used to take up 30-40 hours a week, no more. It wasn't a planned change, it just naturally happened. Probably part of an unconscious plan to simplify and mold a framework for the coming 5 years as we drift into pleasant senility.

OMG I have got to hurry the f up and have some more fun...NOW! If that isn't a wake up call, I don't know what is. Eeeek! I mean, it is working for you and all, but that is def not what I want to have happen to us! Do not go gently into that good night, and all that. What you described is how my parents are now, and they used to be a lot of fun. Now they sit around at home and do nothing, unless we invite them, or it involves their grandchildren.

My second wake-up call in a few days courtesy of the forum--the other being the old man in Walmart line from Lazarus. I feel time is a'wastin' already!
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:13 AM   #18
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After I retired from mega corp back in 2003, I have dinner with 3 other former colleagues every three months or so. I don't miss mega corp after it merged with another company, but I do miss a lot of the people I worked with in my pre-merger company. What a great company (family) we had.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:13 PM   #19
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OMG I have got to hurry the f up and have some more fun...NOW! If that isn't a wake up call, I don't know what is. Eeeek! I mean, it is working for you and all, but that is def not what I want to have happen to us! Do not go gently into that good night, and all that. What you described is how my parents are now, and they used to be a lot of fun. Now they sit around at home and do nothing, unless we invite them, or it involves their grandchildren.

My second wake-up call in a few days courtesy of the forum--the other being the old man in Walmart line from Lazarus. I feel time is a'wastin' already!
I agree with Sarah, but I know not everyone does. Even though we're not trying to tell others what to do (can't be done anyway) by sharing a POV - I've been lambasted here before.

I won't slow down until I have no choice, until then I want to see & do everything I can. If I don't like it, fine, now I know. But if I'm not out there trying new things, how do I know what I'm missing?

FWIW, from (the book) What's Worth Knowing by Wendy Lustbader.

"Make your days worth remembering

There’s two kinds of people – the ones who live hard and the ones who take it easy. The hard livers are rough on themselves. They take chances. They never stay comfortable for too long. The easy livers play it safe. They never push themselves. One year runs into the next, because the years are all basically the same.

To youngsters, I say, live hard. This is your one and only life, the only show in town. You can’t get any of your days back. Live as if you’re going to be old someday, looking back on everything you did. It’s everything you didn’t do that will bug the heck out of you."
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:21 PM   #20
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I had expected more of my former colleagues to stay in touch. I'm in touch with quite a few on Facebook or LinkedIn, but have only seen a few since I ER'd (including one in Hong Kong that I had lunch with when I visited DS there last fall). This doesn't count the ladies in my yoga class - I still go into the office once a week for that but I really didn't work directly with any of them.

That said, we recently got an invitation to a birthday party for a former colleague that we never would have expected to hear from. Unfortunately, we weren't able to attend so I don't know who else we would have run into there.

I used to be a little sad about this but am too busy to worry about it now.
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