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Old 03-04-2011, 11:37 AM   #41
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I'm surprised everyone sees the CEO's "please, please, please" in such a negative light. They are not threatening MP with firing. Far from it. And they don't appear to think of him as "out to screw the company." It sounds like they see his departure as a significant loss and are afraid others will assume the worst since he is leaving early. I suppose that fear may arise from a company that has driven out good folks in the past and is worried that MP's departure may reinforce accurate employee perceptions. But it could just be a reaction to the surprise engendered by MP's (quite reasonable) decision to keep his ER aspirations to himself. Keep in mind, we often talk around here about how bosses and co-workers "just don't get it" about ER. They often are shocked when someone voluntarily jumps ship in the 50s or worse, in their 40s and assume "something must be wrong." That is why I asked MP if there is a history here that led him to react negatively to the CEO's request..
You have hit the nail right on the head. The CEO should be able to handle losing a key employee to retirement. But he may not be able to handle the reaction of the remaining employees who suspect something is amuck.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:33 PM   #42
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I'm surprised everyone sees the CEO's "please, please, please" in such a negative light. They are not threatening MP with firing. Far from it. And they don't appear to think of him as "out to screw the company." It sounds like they see his departure as a significant loss and are afraid others will assume the worst since he is leaving early. I suppose that fear may arise from a company that has driven out good folks in the past and is worried that MP's departure may reinforce accurate employee perceptions. But it could just be a reaction to the surprise engendered by MP's (quite reasonable) decision to keep his ER aspirations to himself. Keep in mind, we often talk around here about how bosses and co-workers "just don't get it" about ER. They often are shocked when someone voluntarily jumps ship in the 50s or worse, in their 40s and assume "something must be wrong." That is why I asked MP if there is a history here that led him to react negatively to the CEO's request..
Thanks donheff. All your assumptions are correct. I gave my boss all the notice he asked for, 4 months more than I intended. And I agree with letting my successor know 3 months in advance, I've known him and groomed him for this for 18 years. But I would like to restrict letting everyone know to about 3 weeks in advance, to avoid lame duck issues (I am the site manager, so there will be some) and to spare myself questions from disinterested parties. 3 weeks of questions is one thing, 3 months is another.

I'll be fine either way, just sad IMO that there are senior execs that think it's more important to have me around to quell unfounded rumors vs letting my unit of 80 and myself part as productively as possible. Seems catering to the lowest common denominator to me. I would certainly stand up for my employees if that happened to one of them, and actively squash rumors on their behalf myself.

As for others who suggest why not quit/severance. While it would be more money, I've had a great career and I'm not interested in trashing my reputation for more $ or 'showing them' after all these years - even though none of that will matter when I'm gone. I'm taking the high road no matter what...a few months is only a moment in a lifetime.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:37 PM   #43
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As for others who suggest why not quit/severance. While it would be more money, I've had a great career and I'm not interested in trashing my reputation for more $ or 'showing them' after all these years - even though none of that will matter when I'm gone. I'm taking the high road no matter what...a few months is only a moment in a lifetime.
I can see why you are such a valuable asset and I bet they hate to lose you. You have a great attitude about it all under the circustances.
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Old 03-04-2011, 02:09 PM   #44
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...I'll be fine either way, just sad IMO that there are senior execs that think it's more important to have me around to quell unfounded rumors vs letting my unit of 80 and myself part as productively as possible. Seems catering to the lowest common denominator to me. I would certainly stand up for my employees if that happened to one of them, and actively squash rumors on their behalf myself.

...I'm taking the high road no matter what...a few months is only a moment in a lifetime.
Trying to control "unfounded rumors"...like herding cats. Even the biggest can of tuna fish in the universe, placed in the middle of the room, can't stop that.

In my own experience, I kept rumors to a minimum by simply letting co-w*rkers know that "It was a good time for me to leave". I explained I had achieved financial indepependence and did not want to wait around for an early out offer that may never materialize. Many wished me luck. Some were downright confused. Oh well.

In spite of my devilish April 1st exit date choice, I kept it as positive as I could, in spite of my immediate management doing everything they could to color things toward the negative realm.

You do indeed have a wonderful attitude. Get as much done as you can to facilitate the transition to your successor, and exit with dignity and grace.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:50 PM   #45
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I've had a great career and I'm not interested in trashing my reputation for more $ or 'showing them' after all these years - even though none of that will matter when I'm gone. I'm taking the high road no matter what...a few months is only a moment in a lifetime.
Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:19 PM   #46
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And what are the consequences if you fail to give them the 90 days notice?
Professional censure....and as I am not REing I cannot afford that.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:48 PM   #47
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I gave 2 weeks' notice. I didn't discuss it. Just said I decided to retire, July 2 will be my last day.
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:51 PM   #48
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Some of the things my boss said in writing yesterday:
  • "I know that you wish that you not have to announce until the very end [Blackberrry grammar], but you must realize the shock factor this will cause." [here I think he means, wow someone retiring before they're 65 or older - how is that even possible]
  • "as much as you don't want any fanfare, you will be surprised as to the effect your leaving will have on this Company. The first rumor is your exit is just another John Doe [name changed, a peer who did quit about a year ago] exit of a rat fleeing what you believe is a sinking ship [the company is fine, recession was rough for us like most everyone]."
  • "Of course most rumors are utter nonsense...but that is why its best to have the person [me] around to set them straight [we're talking about gossip among "the suits" here mostly for pete's sake!]. If we announce you are retiring and then 3 weeks later you leave, it will be that either I fired you or that you quit. Surely you see this."
Impressive huh?
Why do you talk to this moron?
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:14 AM   #49
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Having trouble understanding the "lame duck" thing. If you are leaving, why do you care?
I have been places that blame everything that ever went wrong on the person who most recently left.

Edit to add: Two weeks notice is customary.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:51 AM   #50
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My situation was much the same - when I retired from DoD, I had to put in for retirement about 7 months prior to leaving, as they were running a VERA/VESA - early out/buy out - and you had to apply with no guarantee of acceptance. About 6 of us in my organization applied in September (several years ago), were notified of acceptance into the program about Thanksgiving and told our departure date would be March 31 of the next year. No questions by anyone as we were considered the lucky ones - they were staying on a sinking ship and everyone wanted out.

The really funny thing was that my office moved to a different location on Jan 1 of my retirement year and did not (didn't want to waste the space) have room for me. So I spent the next 3 months as the only occupant of an empty office suite - just me, my computer and the coffee machine. It really was a fun time - lots of socializing with all my old friends in the building. Funny thing was that most of us had asked if we could leave on Dec 31 to maximize cash leave payments, but were turned down because personnel was too overburdened .
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:50 PM   #51
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Don't count on it. It will be like a "hole in water".

Life will go on without you (yeah, been there, done that )...
Oh I have no doubt that life would go on fine without me--eventually- but in the short run it would create a painfully overworked situation for my partners whom I still like and respect. Even when a couple of us go out of town it creates an unpleasant burden of cross-coverage. So when I go...it will be painful if they don't have time to hire some help.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:45 AM   #52
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<snip>
As for others who suggest why not quit/severance. While it would be more money, I've had a great career and I'm not interested in trashing my reputation for more $ or 'showing them' after all these years - even though none of that will matter when I'm gone. I'm taking the high road no matter what...a few months is only a moment in a lifetime.
Is it feasible for you to "retire" with a few weeks notice and then stay on part-time in a consulting capacity for a couple months to assist in the transition? That would allow you to dial it down sooner rather than later, part on good terms and still be around now and again to dispel skuttlebutt that you are jumping ship, assist your successor, limit lame duck, etc.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:02 PM   #53
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Update: from bad to worse. My VP boss calls me today and says he's announcing (against my recommendation) to the top Corp suits (CEO, COO, CFO) on Friday, about 2 months earlier than I'd like. Says I'd better tell my local site folks on Friday too, because he's also announcing to all Corp Managers on Mon and putting out the general email announcement company wide.

Then he tells me, please send me what you'd like to see mentioned in the announcement "I write" (I being him/boss of course). The site I lead has been the top performing site (of 6) in North Amer every single year...I might have thought he could come up with something.

Again, the reason he wants to announce to everyone 3 months before I leave is so I have plenty of time to explain to company gossips that I am leaving for no reason, and to let people know we're the greatest company on earth. I pointed out to him last week that the bad actors will spin it regardless of what I say, so what's the point?

It was a great career 98.6% of the time...guess I'm a whiner.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:00 PM   #54
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Well you won't have to put up with it too much longer.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:02 PM   #55
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Don't worry about it. Just be happy you will be out of there in a few months. It's your boss' prerogative to do the communication as he/she wishes.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:05 PM   #56
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Why do you talk to this moron?
+1. Sounds like your boss is a control freak.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:15 PM   #57
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Update: from bad to worse.
...I pointed out to him last week that the bad actors will spin it regardless of what I say, so what's the point?

It was a great career 98.6% of the time...guess I'm a whiner.
Nah, not a whiner.

How could a retirement be interpreted as a blemish on the company? A resignation, yes. But a retirement?
This is too weird. These mgmt people are waaaay out there.

Just keep smiling and waving. Perhaps a little chuckle might even slip out occasionally.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:40 PM   #58
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I agree with Freebird...you're not a whiner.

I can see how your CEO feels though. You are a highly valued leader in your company, and at your relative youth, "retirement" with a short notice (to the team) could mean you threw up your arms in disgust, left a sinking ship, or worse, that you are teminally ill.

My boss knew of my intentions over 2 years ago...then the boss changed, new boss was told about those intentions by HR, new boss has similar fears. In my case its not necessarily the rumour mill issue, but that the business I run will struggle without me (FWIW, I think the business will do fine as I've been grooming my replacement for a while). About the time that he got that idea, I began getting the butterflies about "whaddya do all day". I've mentioned it before, but new boss wants me to stay even if it means a reduction in time and attention. For me, I view it as a great opportunity to transition, both the business and myself.

In your case, due to the lame duck issue that is of concern to you, would it make sense to pass the baton on the same day as the announcement (Friday) but stay on for 3 months as an advisor? Or, how about this: You stay on for the next three months as already agreed (same title and responsibilities) but you simply let the new guy take the steering wheel (with you at his back, just to show the rest of the team that he can do it, and you are supporting him)? This will be similar to what I am doing: I will pass one of my hats (the smaller of my two roles) next year to the replacement I am grooming, but I will remain based in my current location, and will support him in his new role, like a pair of training wheels on a kid's bike. The following year, I keep the same more senior of my two roles, but I go home...essentially taking the training wheels off...and work more remotely and less hands on.

Just some thoughts. Hope they help.

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Old 04-04-2011, 11:56 PM   #59
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It doesn't matter how much notice you give, you are a "lame duck" for that period. WTFC. I gave my boss 30 days notice. He talked me into another 60 so I could "train my replacement". I agreed.

During that 60 days:
- I got another batch of stock options (never thought they'd be worth squat so it wasn't part of the plan)
- I helped pick my replacement. He was hired 2 weeks before I left and immediately took 2 weeks vacation.
- A lot of old colleagues came to ask "how can you afford it?". Wanted to claim a terminal illness but didn't
- Everybody ignored me

During the next year:
- My replacement (also my recommendation) called for a bit of advice. I was generous.
- Stock options became worth more than 1 years salary.
- learned to walk like a man, not wobble like a lame duck (actually, I never learned to wobble).

Since then:
- Drop in at the 4:30 meeting (beer time) with my old colleagues every 6 months or so.
- Gloat a bit about retirement.
- Watch the reaction of those who spend it all
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:55 AM   #60
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It was a great career 98.6% of the time...guess I'm a whiner.
Midpack, I think you are seeing the glass half empty instead of half full. You had a great career. Your bosses don't want to see you depart. That is good news. So they take an announcement tack that may be a bit dumb. Why not just humor them and use this extended notice period to insure your team that you like the joint and are leaving for entirely positive reasons - ER. Then sit back and enjoy the retirement party.
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