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Alumni gatherings - do you go and what to expect?
Old 10-13-2010, 10:13 AM   #1
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Alumni gatherings - do you go and what to expect?

Do you still go to alumni gatherings organised by your previous firms? This is my first year in my retirement and I've received 2 invitations - from previous firms - both large and international firms. One of them is the firm I ER from. I have been to alumni gatherings before but that was when I was still employed and had a business card to give away. Now that I ER, I wonder whether I will feel odd. Well, at least the firm I ER from knows that I left them for early retirement as it was announced in a farewell party. So, anyone still go to alumni gatherings and how do you find them?
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:14 AM   #2
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Nope, gave it up years ago. Just didn't want to hang out with all those old people.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:27 AM   #3
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Twice a year: Christmas and at the anniversary of the ER. Pretty boring.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:11 AM   #4
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I think alumni gatherings organized by your previous firms (not organized by the people who used to work at those firms) are an indirect way of looking for people who want to come back to work there in some capacity. They're probably keeping in touch with you in case you change your mind.
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:14 AM   #5
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Dang, I was hoping this was about high school alumni get-togethers!

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Old 10-13-2010, 11:27 AM   #6
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I went to the retirees luncheon earlier this year for the first time and even won one of the door prizes. It wasn't interesting enough for me to want to go again though.

Recently I went back to my office to visit and go to lunch with my former co-workers. This was pretty much at the 6-7 month mark after retirement. I really enjoyed the lunch together. I think that a couple times a year will be enough for me though.
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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Do you still go to alumni gatherings organised by your previous firms?
As Sarah says, that is so high school.

My high school hasn't put together a reunion since the 10th, so I'd go to one just out of morbid (literally) curiosity. I doubt I'd feel that way if they'd been doing them every five years. Of course back in 1988 the cheerleaders just got hotter, the jerks just got louder, and the drunks just got drunker-- but I can probably predict a different observation about the 40th.

I won't go to USNA reunions because Annapolis is just too damn many people squeezed into too small a space. I'd rather do it someplace else-- for example a while back USNA '50 held their 55th in Honolulu. But it's fun going to Navy football games in big Navy towns like here or San Diego.

I've gone to a couple of ship reunions with fascinating results, but I don't think I'd hop on an airplane just for that reunion. I guess I'd arrange a couple weeks' travel if the reunion was in an area I wanted to visit anyway.

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Now that I ER, I wonder whether I will feel odd. Well, at least the firm I ER from knows that I left them for early retirement as it was announced in a farewell party.
I think you'll feel like you're under a microscope. Some will want to know how that ER thing is working out, others will wonder if you're networking for a job, still more others will wonder why you couldn't find something more interesting to do than show up at the reunion...

But if just one person takes you aside for an ER Q&A or even asks for an ER tutorial, then it'll be worth your time.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:05 PM   #8
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I have received many invites to HS, college and past military organization reunions, but I have never once been tempted to attend. DW tried to interest me in attending a reunion for an army unit that I was a member of in Vietnam ('68) and I had to explain to her that I had absolutely no desire to get together and trade war stories with a bunch of old guys.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:34 PM   #9
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I attend the Holiday party as the "date" of my 83 year young "uncle". He hates to go to these things alone, so I go with him. I tease him about strolling in with a young chickie (me at 52) on his arm.
I always dress REALLY fancy schmancy just because it is such a contrast to the no frills way I dressed while w*rking. Some of the guys still do a double take.
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Old 10-13-2010, 06:36 PM   #10
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You mean to say that companies invite you back after you left?
So many new things to learn in life.

Went to DWs 40th high school reunion. She really liked high school. I stayed awake this time. Kind of fun. Maybe we will do the 80th.

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Old 10-13-2010, 07:03 PM   #11
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Never attended such gatherings and never will.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:18 PM   #12
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Thanks, all for great insight. Well, I'll just go for one alumni party - the one organised by the firm I ER from. It is quite convenient - about half an hour's journey from my home and held in a five star hotel. Looks like they will serve good food too. If boring, I'll not go again.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Moscyn View Post
Thanks, all for great insight. Well, I'll just go for one alumni party - the one organised by the firm I ER from. It is quite convenient - about half an hour's journey from my home and held in a five star hotel. Looks like they will serve good food too. If boring, I'll not go again.
If you remember; post your thoughts. I think you would be the focus of the conversations you enter - how are you enjoying life; what are you doing. I would zone out when people start to talk about the company and the working life.
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:40 PM   #14
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So all the other guests will also be former employees, Mocsyn? At a five-star hotel? And the company is paying for the reunion? That is one nice company!
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:08 PM   #15
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Bestwifeever, yes, company paying for all expenses. Like you said before, they may just be looking to recruit ex-employees.
Dex, I doubt I will be the focus of conversations I enter. I would imagine people just ask "so what do you do everyday?", then look at me queerly and zone off but if I do find myself in the focus of conversations, well, I can keep my responses imaginatively interesting for them to be just slightly envious. I'll avoid provocative situations like - one of my ER friends was asked whether he missed the intellectual challenge from work and he replied very directly that he did not miss anything as his previous job was not intellectually challenging at all. I guess if I don't want anymore invitations, a response like that would be provocative enough.
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Old 10-14-2010, 07:54 AM   #16
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Never attended such gatherings and never will.
Same here. As someone else mentioned, I thought this thread was going to be about high school and college reunions. I have no interest in attending any of those. My HS had its 25th year reunion a few years ago, in some ritzy hotel which cost about $90 per person. Yeah right. If they had it in a less formal and costly setting, I would at least consider it......then dismiss it (despite the temptation to go there and try to pull a "Revenge of the Nerds" with my early retirement!).

My college is having its 25th reunion this year but I went to a large school (NYU) and did not stay in touch with anyone in my graduating class. I recently went through the yearbook just for fun and recognized less than 10 classmates among the several hundred pictures. SO that would be a waste, too.

As for my company, there is no way I'd make another trip to the office in New Jersey, the place whose commute to I despised for all those years. Thankfully, I just missed by about 18 months working there for 25 years which would have earned me an invitation to their 25-year club. I have kept in touch with a few coworkers via an email now and then, though. I never went to optional companywide events while I was working there so why would I want to go to them when I stopped working for them?
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:33 AM   #17
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Going to a FAC (Forward Air Controller) reunion the end of Oct. There are friends there we spent time in Viet Nam with, but the god parents of our daughter will also be there. There is a tour of the plant that builds the F-35 fighter, several museums, a large air show, and it is in the town I went to college. We don't plan on setting around telling war stories, but do look forward to a fun weekend.
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:50 AM   #18
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We don't plan on setting around telling war stories, but...
...the odds hearing phrases like "cleared in hot" and "hit my smoke" are pretty good.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:03 AM   #19
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We don't plan on setting around telling war stories...
(*snort*) Yeah, sure, good luck with that...

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Old 10-16-2010, 09:39 AM   #20
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Maybe I'm missing out on a good time, but I never have and never will go to reunions of any kind. Been there, done that...and done with it totally once it's over.
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