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After RE, do you keep in touch with former coworkers?
Old 04-09-2008, 12:26 AM   #1
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After RE, do you keep in touch with former coworkers?

Maybe this has been brought up before. If so, I apologize.

The reason I'm asking is because a supervisor of mine retired at the end of 2007, and I am contemplating asking him out for coffee, just to see how he's doing. I only worked for him for 6 months out of his 30+ year career at my agency, in other words, I'm definitely not his closest employee, but he was probably the best boss I've worked for.

My selfish side also wants to live vicariously through his transition into retirement, since mine is still decades away. Of course he has no idea.

If you have retired, do you keep in touch with former coworkers? Do you like it or is it more like a chore? Do their gossips/complaints sound interesting, or simply trivial and meaningless? Would it bother you if they whine a lot about the work environment and do nothing about it (most likely in my case)?

Of course I am probably thinking too much.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:40 AM   #2
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Yes. I worked with a great team of people and I enjoy occassionally meeting with both folks still actively employed and fellow retirees. There's only a handful I'd bother to see one on one. But there's a bunch I get a kick out of seeing at parties, dinners, professional sport outings and that sort of thing. Of course, I also still get together with undergrad and grad school buddies and my best friend goes all the way back to kindergarten! My philosophy has been to just keep adding friends, not trading them out as I go through life. YMMV.
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Old 04-09-2008, 06:16 AM   #3
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I'll be "retiring" from our town library after 10yrs fulltime, 1yr parttime. At first I thought Id never step foot back in there again! (personality conflict w/immediate boss). The more I thought about it though - why shouldnt I use the closest library? why go out of my way?
I'll return and stick mostly to the adult section - hopefully I wont run into her too much.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:11 AM   #4
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I still keep in touch with a fellow I worked for at Worthington Service Corp. in Houston during the 70s. Dave is such unique person I'm don't know quite how to describe him......a normal everyday kind of guy who happened to be the most brilliant person I've ever met. I'm better for having known him....
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:32 AM   #5
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I drop in at the old joint every once in a while to visit with some of the guys....even join them for lunch occasionally. A few of us have similar interests, and enjoy jawing about those. They seldom, if ever, whine or complain when I'm there......of course there's only one or two whiners, and I normally avoid contact with them....same as when I worked there.

In fact, I dropped in yesterday while I was out running some errands. It was a rainy day, and I didn't feel like working in the garden, so I stopped by the maintenance shop for about a half hour.

As for fellow retirees......I see a few of them here and there in my day-to-day travels and make small talk, but I don't really keep in touch with them. There is one guy that I worked with for about 20 years, that I have coffee with a couple times a week. I had known him before we ever started working together, so it's not really keeping in touch with a fellow retiree, as much as keeping in touch with an old friend.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:43 AM   #6
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I am friends with a few ex cow-orkers, and will undoubtedly remain friends. As for the rest, pfffft....
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:51 AM   #7
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Yes, definitely. You always have a few people you get closer to, and remain friends. I still talk to people who worked for me, and I've been gone 5 years now from the area.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:00 AM   #8
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One of the main reasons I retired was to get away from the people at work therefore I would strongly say NO! I actually make it a point not to answer the phone when they call since I know for a fact that they want my help in resolving work issues and not to socialize. I've recently turned off the answering machine but didn't realize that after about 30 rings it turns back on.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GoodSense View Post
My selfish side also wants to live vicariously through his transition into retirement, since mine is still decades away. Of course he has no idea.
Gosh, that's like asking us on the board how we feel about discussing retirement topics.

You could tell him you want to treat him to a cup of coffee so that you could hear about any surprises or issues with the retirement transition, just like you used to learn from his experience in the workplace. You could always send the request via e-mail or voicemail-- something that doesn't require an on-the-spot response.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:04 PM   #10
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I've socialized with a number of former co-workers who were retired, and that I had a good working relationship with in the workplace. They've all seemed to be delighted that I wanted to get together with them.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:23 PM   #11
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I've socialized with a number of former co-workers who were retired, and that I had a good working relationship with in the workplace. They've all seemed to be delighted that I wanted to get together with them.
I'm still working and I actually avoid a few former co-workers who have retired. Generally they seem to think that since they have ALL this free time now, that suddenly I'd be glad to get together with them now, even though neither of us had time for that when they were working. NO WAY!!! Another thing is that somehow they get the idea that since we had a good working relationship, that meant more than it did. I can work in a friendly and pleasant way with co-workers that I would never want to befriend in a social setting. I'm not a snob (really, I'm not!). Just choosy about how I spend my free time.

On the other hand, if I happen to run across them in a non-work setting, I'm always polite and say "hi" and ask how they are doing. I just don't commit myself to spending time with them.
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:45 PM   #12
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I still have some good friends that I worked with in fact some of my friends are from jobs that I had twenty years ago . We get together and chuckle and gossip about old times .
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:57 PM   #13
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I can work in a friendly and pleasant way with co-workers that I would never want to befriend in a social setting. I'm not a snob (really, I'm not!). Just choosy about how I spend my free time.
Same here. There are some that I enjoyed working with, but we never did (or will) socialize outside of the job. If I bump into them, I always speak and chit-chat for a moment or two, but we don't go for coffee or lunch or anything like that. On the other hand, there are a few that I'll join for coffee or a bite to eat once in a great while. And other than the one fellow retiree that I have coffee with a couple times a week, I don't really socialize with any of the old crew.....and then again, I never really did.

I always tried not to let my social life interfere or intertwine with my work life. And I tried not to let my work life interfere or intertwine with my social life. I was fairly successful with that for many years, and don't see any need to change now that I'm ER'd. They were mostly friendly co-workers, and not really what I'd term or consider actual friends.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:04 PM   #14
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Same here. There are some that I enjoyed working with, but we never did (or will) socialize outside of the job. If I bump into them, I always speak and chit-chat for a moment or two, but we don't go for coffee or lunch or anything like that. On the other hand, there are a few that I'll join for coffee or a bite to eat once in a great while. And other than the one fellow retiree that I have coffee with a couple times a week, I don't really socialize with any of the old crew.....and then again, I never really did.

I always tried not to let my social life interfere or intertwine with my work life. And I tried not to let my work life interfere or intertwine with my social life. I was fairly successful with that for many years, and don't see any need to change now that I'm ER'd. They were mostly friendly co-workers, and not really what I'd term or consider actual friends.
Well said!!! Me too.
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Old 04-09-2008, 03:28 PM   #15
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I still get together with friends from work. There is a monthly breakfast meeting that I'd like to get to more often but it requires arising at 0400, which doesn't happen often here. There's an alumni association that has an annual dinner that I have never missed. But where I worked our lives depended on each other and that creates some strong bonds.
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:42 PM   #16
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It depends on the person - I have some colleagues who are friends as well as colleagues and some who are just co-workers. The friends, I keep in touch with. The co-workers, no. I like Nords approach - sort of a 'retirement transition' information 'interview.' From there it could develop into a different type of relationship or friendship. Be prepared, however, that he/she may not want to engage - based on the replies here, there are all types of people and reasons for interacting/not interacting. I wouldn't take it personally if he/she didn't want to meet with you.
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Old 04-09-2008, 07:12 PM   #17
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I'm married to one of my former coworkers, so yes!

I moved to this country in my mid-twenties, so a large chunk of my friends are ex & current coworkers.

And my philosophy is - the more friends, the better.

I think your supervisor would be happy to see you especially if you let him/her know how you felt about their work. In any case, what's the worst that can happen?
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:18 PM   #18
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I've only been retired 6 months and have lunches with a few friends every few weeks and have gone to a few retirement parties. I have to say that even after such a short time it's interesting how quickly the social ties fall apart when the common thread of work is no longer there.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:55 PM   #19
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I like the email idea. If he ignores, then I get the message. No hard feelings.

I, too, think that without the common thread of slaving working together, he may be kind of bored by work-related topics. Maybe I should ask him about IRAs and RVs instead. I am fascinated by these subjects, anyway.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:40 AM   #20
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Nope. I worked for a megacorp and telecommuted, as did most of my coworkers. We met in person at most once per year, so I wasn't really friends with anyone. Also, I'm so happy to finally have gotten away from the corporate environment that I prefer to have zero ties.
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