Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
The Invisible Man
Old 02-08-2007, 11:03 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
The Invisible Man

In December I posted about a possible buyout where I work and pondered that if it materialized, would I take it. Well it looks now like it will not, I should have heard by now according to the original plan. And I am not too concerned as I like work and I had planned to work later into the year as my youngest son is finishing high school right now.

But here is the interesting thing. Since I actually stepped forward and formally signed that I was interested in the buyout I have become invisible. All informal discussions with friends and even management didn't mean anything. But signing that paper suddenly focused people that I was no longer part of our joint future or more accurately their future. Everyone is still quite nice to me, I think I can honestly say I am well regarded by coworkers and when I told my manager I was applying for the buyout he said I was not the one he was hoping would apply.

But things have changed. I come into work and there are NO messages on my answering machine. That never happened before. At our senior staff meeting I do not volunteer for projects and no one tries to assign one to me. Fortunately there is still email, since I am still CC'd on lots of them I get to participate and make nice, considered contributions without anyone having to figure where I fit.

The funny thing is that it looks like the buyout will not come through. Since I am not concerned with future promotions I don't have much to worry about. But I suppose I will get 'reintegrated" into the workflow at the office.I wonder how long I will remain invisible. I kind of feel like the guy with the Red Stapler in Office Space.

Anyone else been "invisible" near the end of their career?

__________________

__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-08-2007, 11:43 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Brat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 5,913
Re: The Invisible Man

My question is do you really want to take off your invisible cloak?

If you do tell your manager that you are ready and willing to work on projects, ask where you could help the most. Remind him or her that none of us knows the future, that you applied for the buy-out because it worked for you and thought it could save another colleague's job.

If you don't do this you will be considered expendable and your retirement situation may not be one of your own choosing.
__________________

__________________
Duck bjorn.
Brat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-08-2007, 11:50 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Los Angeles area
Posts: 1,432
Re: The Invisible Man

Sounds like my dream scenario for the last 20 years of my career. My perfect day was
getting into my office at 530am without seeing anyone else, working on my current
piece of software and relaxing all day alone, then leaving at 130pm and bicycling
home. I hit this about 75% off the time until the last few months before I retired.
__________________
learn, work, save, invest, fire
CyclingInvestor is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-08-2007, 11:57 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: The Invisible Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
Anyone else been "invisible" near the end of their career?
Heck, yeah-- every time I go on a military base, too.

Is there a specific problem that you feel is associated with this invisibility? Because it only happens at work, which helps you tell the difference between "coworkers" and "real friends"...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-09-2007, 12:04 AM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
Re: The Invisible Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
Anyone else been "invisible" near the end of their career?
I've been invisible for at least 2 or 3 months!!! I love it!!! The boss NEVER checks to see what I'm doing or where I'm at!!! I get to choose my daily activities.....Let's see...will it be w*rk or play today

When they're brainstorming (which is normally just a brief passing shower ) and I offer my 2 cents, someone always pipes up with...."What do you care? You're not even here anymore!!!" With that, I stand up...grin ear-to-ear...and go find some worthless, time wasting thing to do.....and crank up Radio Margaritaville!!!

I about fell off my chair laughing today.....the 'warm body' that was supposed to be hired before my departure, won't be there until at LEAST a month AFTER I leave!!!! Seems they gave the public test, and NOBODY even passed it!!! They have to regroup, re-advertise, retest, and wait for the results...AGAIN!!!

The boss wasn't a bit pleased with my laughing out loud....but couldn't say a thing, since I'd told him last year that they needed to start the testing LAST Fall...not wait until the end of January!!! Dolts!!!
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-09-2007, 12:04 AM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
wabmester's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,459
Re: The Invisible Man

It could be worse. When I gave notice, I joked with my boss that I was retiring. I was originally only thinking of a 6-12 month break.

Joker that he was, he sent out a company-wide email announcing my retirement. I got a lot of evil eyes. Invisibility would have been better.

In the end, I figured as long as everyone's expectations had already been set, I might as well retire.
__________________
wabmester is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-09-2007, 01:46 AM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
lazygood4nothinbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,895
Re: The Invisible Man

i became invisible, well, not totally invisible because i've got a pretty strong personality, but i thought i noticed a difference in either how i was treated or in my own initiative & interactions with work after i put my hand down for a promotion which would have required moving out of state. i interviewed and even worked in the new office for a week. but my mom was just getting into alzheimer's, the ol'man had already died, she had my brother here but mom's & my relationship was always much closer and so i didn't want to leave her.

we discussed it all with our family friend and counselor (a brilliant, wonderful & much missed man who spoke five languages, had four successful careers & even used to teach at menninger's). it was decided then that i didn't need to climb the corporate ladder, at least not for financial reasons; a natural momma's boy, i preferred staying home anyway and mom needed my help to live well throughout this disease.

so for about 10 years, while still well respected, i went from being a top award winner to working pretty much invisibly from my house. instead of getting kudos from work, i got very much more satisfaction from the good work i did for my family which will last me well into my retirement.

invisible inschmisible. just something else that doesn't matter.
__________________
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-09-2007, 09:47 AM   #8
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,851
Re: The Invisible Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
Anyone else been "invisible" near the end of their career?
And exactly how is this a problem?

At this point, most people might assume that your mind is on your retirement plans, and that cutting back on your workload gradually is a favor, not a burden.

I have about 3 years before retirement, so I haven't experienced the invisibility of which you speak. However, I just got an unexpected, substantial promotion with accompanying substantial pay increase. Now that I've got it, I'd like to be a little more invisible, please! All these high profile assignments are wearing me out. I'd rather be in your shoes, frankly.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-09-2007, 09:59 AM   #9
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 987
Re: The Invisible Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazygood4nothinbum
iinstead of getting kudos from work, i got very much more satisfaction from the good work i did for my family which will last me well into my retirement.
Good 4 U. You finally "got it" that wo*k is just a job...

- Ron
__________________
rs0460a is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-09-2007, 10:01 AM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
Sandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 855
Re: The Invisible Man

I find the general tenor of these responses interesting and actually unexpected from a group that likes to control the outcomes of their situations. Even if I RE, while I am here, I would like to know that my efforts are appreciated. Ego, maybe. But, if I am here, it might as well be worth it.

I too tend to feel invisible at times. Some is due to the nature of my work, some to my unwillingness to play the game to the fullest. I dislike the feeling because I think it holds me back financially (which would speed FIRE) and keeps me from having the most interesting activities to do while I am here. Also, being invisible puts you at greater risk to be shown the door should the company decide to reorg or whatever. Then you are not in control, not leaving on your terms, and maybe disrupting FIRE plans.

I guess you need to assess whether your concern is ego or legit concern about getting other plans dispruted. Brat's suggestion if you want to remove the cloak is probably the best.
__________________
I would not have anyone adopt my mode of living...but I would have each one be very careful to find out and pursue his own way, and not his father's or his mother's or his neighbor's instead. Thoreau, Walden
Sandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-09-2007, 12:42 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: The Invisible Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy
I find the general tenor of these responses interesting and actually unexpected from a group that likes to control the outcomes of their situations. Even if I RE, while I am here, I would like to know that my efforts are appreciated. Ego, maybe. But, if I am here, it might as well be worth it.
If you appreciate your efforts and feel rewarded by the results, should it matter what anyone else thinks?

One of my old COs, CAPT Neil Byrne, summed the situation up nicely. "Every night in America some retired four-star flag officers are crying themselves to sleep because they only made it as high as Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff instead of getting the big brass ring. I can't remember who they are or what they did, but they must have done something right to make it to that rank, and somebody must be thankful for their efforts. So why should they beat themselves up for not making it to the tip of the pyramid?"

Invisibility cuts both ways. Several times I was given personal awards that were really "earned" for me by the efforts of my shipmates who were more deserving of the recognition. (It would've done a lot more for their careers, too!) It was up to me to make sure that I did what I could with comp time, discretionary funding, recommendations for advancement, and higher peer rankings. When I'd bitch about it provide feedback up the chain of command I'd be told "Well, it's easier to get the admiral to approve one personal award than it is to get 25 letters of commendation. Try to smile at the awards ceremony this time, OK?" Gosh, excuse me for asking you folks to work as hard as your troops did...

So I'd rather be invisible and pass the recognition on to not only where it was due all along, but also to where it can do the most good.

Five years into ER, I take far more pleasure from the old shipmates who still call me up to say thanks than I do from the former size of my responsibilities or my budget or my material accomplishments. Nobody cares about the latter crap anymore, but my old shipmates still remember what I was able to do for them-- and they're paying forward the benefits of my wisdom & experience to the next generation of their shipmates.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-09-2007, 03:39 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 987
Re: The Invisible Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Nobody cares about the latter crap anymore, but my old shipmates still remember what I was able to do for them--
Exactly! I guess that what you have is a bit of "maturity" (old age ) in your thinking, which is how I feel these days.

When my career meant something to me (along with the perks) what I did was as important as who I "was".

Today, only 80 days away from RE, I can appreciate that my actions in my "younger life" got me to FI at an early age, but after you've achieved that "personal goal" you understand that the shadow you left behind (in the organization) has more substance, than when you were actually there and "casting it".

- Ron
__________________
rs0460a is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: The Invisible Man
Old 02-09-2007, 04:28 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
lazygood4nothinbum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,895
Re: The Invisible Man

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy
I find the general tenor of these responses interesting and actually unexpected from a group that likes to control the outcomes of their situations. Even if I RE, while I am here, I would like to know that my efforts are appreciated. Ego, maybe. But, if I am here, it might as well be worth it.
you must have us confused with never-retirement.org/forums

this might sound a little convoluted but what matters most to me is that which i am least unsure of its own impermanence. in other words, most things in life can be taken away in the blink of an eye & i have proof of that. a job, a career, an ability, a leg, a house, a fortune, a lover. other things like satisfaction, challenge, security, love, learning, growth might be taken away in the blink of an eye, but i don't have the proof. i don't know if those things are impermanent so if anything matters then i chose to concentrate on what i can't count on. indeed, you might say, on what is invisible. yes, i know, it's probably a bad investment policy but i'm betting there's some kind of reverse relationship at w*rk.

i don't mean to say that what people do at work doesn't matter at all and certainly i recognize that the world would stop if everyone was as lazy as me (well, unless we had robots doing all the actual w*rk). also i know lots of people who love w*rking and get great satisfaction from that. my own mother would never have retired hadn't we dragged her away from her desk. and that day was a lot sadder for me than my own day of quitting was happy for me. so i would echo nords' sentiment that you can't go by what someone else thinks.

"believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it - even if i have said it - unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." ~~ buddha

"embrace your invisibility"~~me~~"ok, now let it go."
__________________

__________________
"off with their heads"~~dr. joseph-ignace guillotin

"life should begin with age and its privileges and accumulations, and end with youth and its capacity to splendidly enjoy such advantages."~~mark twain - letter to edward kimmitt 1901
lazygood4nothinbum is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crazy Old Man slepyhed Health and Early Retirement 74 05-22-2010 08:07 AM
Man Wins $3 million Home but can't afford it justin Other topics 16 09-13-2006 09:06 PM
The Blog of a Man Who Plans to Retire at 37 Jack Key Hi, I am... 76 01-14-2006 03:57 AM
Any ideas for a military man aimhigh Hi, I am... 13 11-28-2005 12:50 AM
Invisible Inflation cute fuzzy bunny FIRE and Money 6 05-24-2004 10:04 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:10 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.