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comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 07:34 AM   #1
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comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

I gave my 2 week notice mid April and finished April 27th.
Someone told me they had felt sorry for me and thought I was poor because I never seemed to have new clothes, brought my lunch and drove one of the oldest cars in the parking lot. They had no idea that I was just living below my means.
Another woman wanted to know if I won the lottery. Or got an inheritance (No, no)
A few said "You're so lucky" when in reality planning and perseverance had the most to do with it. We were lucky to never have been laid off and had a good education to start with.
Someone asked me to handle their investments. I directed them to the good books that were advised here and to this website, but I highly doubt they will do anything.
My favorite comment was "now you will have the time to give back." I have always done charity work behind the scenes and worked as a nurse and we paid taxes on two incomes. I am doing work for my favorite cause right now, I make quilts and organize others to help for our wounded American soldiers. Because I want to and I can.
The biggest complainer said that she worked because she enjoyed it. She had to have noticed the blank stare I gave her after that comment.
The person who is constantly giving money to her grown kids who can't hold a job and bounce from one partner to another told me she could retire but she loved her kids too much and couldn't say no to them. I couldn't even comment.
A friend advised I was lucky, she had to spend all day Saturday getting out her summer clothes and packing her winter ones. I was lucky she said because I could do that any day. Except all my clothes are out year round because I don't have enough to pack away when the seasons change. She is hoping to be able to retire at 62, but thinks she and husband will have to go to 65.

and last but not least, three people said "So what are you going to do all day"



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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 08:12 AM   #2
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

I love it! All of us still working have these conversations to look forward to when we quit! I got a similar one the other day: friend says "I know you two have money to do x, but you just won't spend it!" Well, duh!
Congrats on weathering the commentary with humor intact and thanks for sharing!

Sarah
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

How about at the pool I swim at 3-4 times a week, so you get to know the regulars who are my age or older mostly, asking how could I survive without working?
I'm 62, sold a home, had a business I closed because, well, I was damned tired of working 70-80 hours for 16 years. Would logic not tell you that this person was not ready for the poor house?
Sadly, I can guarantee you that if I were a man the question of how was I surviving not even be asked.
We have a looooooong way to go yet with this equality crapola between men and women in our thinking.

(Interesting that the above were written by women, too....get it?)
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 10:43 AM   #4
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Interesting comments - thanks for sharing!

Congratulations and I hope you are enjoying your FIRE!
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 11:07 AM   #5
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Good for you! I've got another decade, at least of work ahead of me. But I already see signs of what you experience. I have a co-worker my age who somehow thinks Prince Charming will come along and rescue her. I've offered some advice, and she always counters with, "But I don't want to make the sacrifices now." What sacrifices, I ask? My daughter and I just got back from a Disney World vacation, I have a nice house with a beautiful yard, so what am I missing out on? I think it's just denial. I'm most curious to see how we'll end up in twenty years when we are both in our sixties. She jokes that she will come live with me. I DON"T THINK SO!!! So soak it up. Enjoy it all! You've done well, girl!
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 11:50 AM   #6
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

My RE clock has a week and a half to go and the questions and comments have about dried up.

The most common was "you are too young to retire".
Followed by "Wow, how can you be able to retire at YOUR age?"
Others include:

"Boy, I sure wish I could retire." Well, if wishes were horses then all would ride.

"Man, you must be rich or something" FI, not rich.

"Why are you retiring?" You're kidding right?

"What are you going to do now?" Not work here anymore.

"You are going to get bored and will be back in a few months" No chance...I would peel off my skin layer by layer first.

"I can't imagine being able to retire" That is why you won't.


Management has not yet replaced either of my two current positions and people are starting to panic. I guess my boss will be pretty busy for a while. Sucks to be him.


More to come I am sure. :

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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 12:23 PM   #7
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

I just cannot let this opportunity go to pass on this tidbit: Years ago, like 30, I was a headhunter for the then Big 8 (the major) accounting firms of the world. My quest was to convince the accounting firm auditors to take jobs in major corporations doing more auditing normally, which they hated. It was a good career move, but it took some convincing as they worked those young people like dogs.
Anyway, what I found was the very attitude from women mentioned above: "I don't want to make the sacrifices." From the men the attitude was "whatever it takes." Big difference.
Now, I thought that I must be the only headhunter that heard that... until one of my candidates told me another female headhunter was, also, so disappointed in women's attitudes toward work. She found, too, that women were waiting for that white knight to rescue them and did not want to really sink their teeth into a career. Sigh.
And that, kids, is why women are often not topping that glass ceiling. We do it to ourselves often.
I will admit that that was my attitude until around 27 when reality hit: career and not marriage was my goal (even tho I married to have a baby for a short period).
How depressing that 30 years later there are still a great number of women living the fantasy that someone is going to come along to rescue them. Can't he come along and sweep them off their feet while they are, at the same time, being a whopping success at a career?
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 12:41 PM   #8
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
And that, kids, is why women are often not topping that glass ceiling. We do it to ourselves often.
Happens to men, too, but for different reasons. I never wanted to work the long hours I have ended up working. I passed up opportunities because I wanted a better balance of life. But I eventually had to buckle down and make sacrifices because it was obvious that there was no other way we could afford to have kids. So now DW stays home with the kids and I play the role of Sisyphus.
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 12:57 PM   #9
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
....

Anyway, what I found was the very attitude from women mentioned above: "I don't want to make the sacrifices." From the men the attitude was "whatever it takes." Big difference.

She found, too, that women were waiting for that white knight to rescue them and did not want to really sink their teeth into a career. Sigh.

And that, kids, is why women are often not topping that glass ceiling. We do it to ourselves often.
I don't know that I would attribute *all* of that to women waiting for their white knight to take care of them. Many times, I think women just have a better handle on the whole 'balance' thing than men do. Which means they are definitely smarter in some ways.

Although I do agree, that can (on average), contribute to the 'glass ceiling'. Personally, I think that is a much bigger factor than discrimination. In my mega-corp, most of the managers had engineering backgrounds, and that led to higher management positions. How many females were graduating from engineering programs back then (or even now). Pretty small minority - why is anyone surprised that they are not fully represented in the higher positions?

Sometimes I think it actually works just the opposite - the relatively rare female engineer that is willing to do the work to climb the ladder probably gets more notice, and benefits from more fear of discrimination from her management. There are painful exceptions to this, I know, but I think the statistics do not tell the story.

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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 01:17 PM   #10
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Jealous comments come in all forms. They'll still be making them while you're enjoying your life.
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 01:42 PM   #11
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Great post! As I was putting oil in my 9 year old car today (mechanics say that given the age of my car, it will eat up oil so all I need to do is put more when it gets low!), wearing a nice suit for a big presentation, I actually wondered if people felt sorry for me since I didn't have a BMW or a Lexus SUV like all my other peers at work....

By the way, I was very proud of myself that I can now easily open the hood of my car and be comfortable putting oil (this is Mrs. Bearkeley by the way - Mr. Bearkeley would know how to do that) in the car and most of all, didn't even mess up the suit! ;-)

Thanks for sharing!
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 02:19 PM   #12
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Nobody wants my opinion but me...but here goes. Women should put their own oil in, learn to swing a hammer for basic repairs, get an engineering degree if they have a whit of mathematical/analytical ability and so forth.
We can't expect equal pay and opportunity if we keep acting incompetent, which, often, is just an excuse for laziness.
I cannot tell you have MANY girlfriends of mine that are in their mid 30's to late 50's who are still waiting for that white knight and refuse to learn to take care of themselves. My God...if I waited for some white knight to come along, hell would be freezing over at times! But they are waiting still... Personally, I see them as fools at that age and still waiting for some guy to rescue them. Do they think it takes away from their femininity?
If my 28 year old straight and masculine son can teach himself to sew his own buttons and repairs and cook, we women could learn to swing a hammer for a basic repair at home, eh?
Maybe these Israeli's are on to something what with their women equal in the military. What do you think?
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 02:22 PM   #13
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
Nobody wants my opinion but me...but here goes. Women should put their own oil in, learn to swing a hammer for basic repairs, get an engineering degree if they have a whit of mathematical/analytical ability and so forth.
Why, exactly?

I haven't monkeyed with anything more complicated than adding washer fluid in the car in well over a decade. If I swing a hammer, I generally end up in the emergency room. Math? I can just about manage basic algebra if you give me a few hints along the way. Hasn't stopped me from doing anything I want to do.
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 02:47 PM   #14
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Orchidflower, I find your insights interesting and your opinions worth discussing. The thing that bothers me (a guy for what that's worth anymore) is that your opinion of "success" seems to be gaining total self sufficency.

Why?

Nobody wants to be the spouse, partner... or even friend... of a person that is so self-sufficient that other people are just irrelevent. It is a ticket for resentment from both sides.

Relationships are based on sharing... even professional relationships.

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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 02:49 PM   #15
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
Nobody wants my opinion but me...but here goes. Women should put their own oil in, learn to swing a hammer for basic repairs, get an engineering degree if they have a whit of mathematical/analytical ability and so forth.
We can't expect equal pay and opportunity if we keep acting incompetent, which, often, is just an excuse for laziness.
I cannot tell you have MANY girlfriends of mine that are in their mid 30's to late 50's who are still waiting for that white knight and refuse to learn to take care of themselves. My God...if I waited for some white knight to come along, hell would be freezing over at times! But they are waiting still... Personally, I see them as fools at that age and still waiting for some guy to rescue them. Do they think it takes away from their femininity?
If my 28 year old straight and masculine son can teach himself to sew his own buttons and repairs and cook, we women could learn to swing a hammer for a basic repair at home, eh?
Maybe these Israeli's are on to something what with their women equal in the military. What do you think?
I think "you go girl!". The gal and i got lucky when we found each other - we have lots of similarities and lots of complementary skills. While we both could do the other's habitual tasks, and do when needed or as a break for each other, we tend to stick to pretty prosaic gender roles in our tasks. She can do home wiring and plumbing repair (though watching her use a chop saw gives me the willies!), I can cook and clean; mostly though I do the repair stuff and she makes most meals (i do prep cleanup and dishes). Main thing is she is no kind of helpless wait-for-someone-to-rescue her kinda girl, as an ex car dealership service manager she's more a sparkplug takecharge woman. When reaching our balance point many years ago I had to tell her I was not one of her boys. Nor am i the boss of her, though she lets me play that role.

What bugs me about her is that she expected that if she did her normal substantially better than outstanding job that the powers that be would notice and reward her. They do of course - with more work for the person who can get things done. I think there is a gender difference in expectation of reward - women hope, men tend to negotiate and demand defined reward up front.
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 03:35 PM   #16
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

oops - sorry for getting us off topic!

Joss - I think Orchidflower's point is more in-line with having the self confidence that you could be self-sufficient. One of the things I look forward to once I finally RE is having time to do things that I never did before....travel, give back to society and yes, certain things that maybe manly work! ;-)

I recently learned how to solder pipes and lay tile. Although I don't plan on doing these things in my spare time, I was really excited to have accomplished them. Just like Calmloki, I'm fortunate enough to have a husband who makes dinner on the weeknights since I work late. On the weekends, I cook while he does things that I know I can do, but definitely prefer not to (like cleaning out an attic filled with crap and about 50 years worth of old buzzards nests at one of our rental properties!)
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 03:54 PM   #17
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Thanks for reinterpreting. You guys are getting my point...
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-08-2007, 10:42 PM   #18
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
Anyway, what I found was the very attitude from women mentioned above: "I don't want to make the sacrifices." From the men the attitude was "whatever it takes." Big difference.
Yeah, and I thought the difference was that women were smarter!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
She found, too, that women were waiting for that white knight to rescue them and did not want to really sink their teeth into a career. Sigh.
And that, kids, is why women are often not topping that glass ceiling. We do it to ourselves often.
Sounds like you need some new women acquaintances. I think back on all the women sailors & officers I've served with over the years, and I can't think of a single one who was waiting to be "rescued" by marriage.

In fact most of the women I've served with left active duty for the Reserves before retiring. While the men were slaving away with the "whatever it takes" attitude, deploying and not seeing their kids grow up, the women were raising families and enjoying their lives while working a weekend a month & two weeks a year. When my spouse joined the Reserves (just short of 18), her comment was "So this is where all the women went!!"

When our kid hangs out with her real friends, the grrrl power is thick enough to cut with a knife.

But our next door neighbor the girly girl fashion plate is definitely after a worthy marriage prospect. She has to be, because that's all she wants to do with her life instead of learning independence.
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-09-2007, 08:39 AM   #19
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower
(even tho I married to have a baby for a short period).
Okay, I'll ask...how did you manage just having the baby for a short period? Cause I might have considered it if I'd known it was possible!

I see a lot of that white knight thing, but what I notice is in "women" professions, like nursing, is that many fight like dogs and generally are miserable at work. None of my nurse friends that move from unhappy job to unhappy job ever realize that THEY are the problem. For this reason, I could never work (again) for a woman boss; I don't think they are as fair and reasonable as male bosses.


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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks
Old 05-09-2007, 09:18 AM   #20
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Re: comments from coworkers in my last two weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC

I see a lot of that white knight thing, but what I notice is in "women" professions, like nursing, is that many fight like dogs and generally are miserable at work. None of my nurse friends that move from unhappy job to unhappy job ever realize that THEY are the problem. For this reason, I could never work (again) for a woman boss; I don't think they are as fair and reasonable as male bosses.


Sarah
I have managed groups with women as the majority of employees. I have worked in departments where women were the top management. I have worked for several women managers, directors, VP, etc. My wife is a manager of mostly women. My late wife was also a manager of a department with mostly women.

Disclaimer: The following statements are not intended to represent all women in all cases. These statements are from first hand discussions held with many many women over three decades of working in various Mega Corps and may not reflect other organizations (military, healthcare, small business, etc.) None of these comments are intended to inflame or demean anyone; they are just personal observations of my experience and that of my peers and my former and current management wives.


Women do not like working for other women.
Women would rather work for a man.
Women do not like working for weak men.
Women do not like working for sexually aggressive men or women.
Women would rather work in a department with a mix of both men and women.
Women do not like to work in a department with ALL women.
Most men do not like working for women.
Some men dislike working in a group of mostly women; others can adjust and learn how to survive and still be successful as a minority.

Male and female managers would rather not have a department with all one sex or the other; but all women is worse.

Female managers, directors and VPs I have worked for pushed everyone harder than most of the males at the same levels. They also were less predictable and more apt to manage by "force of position" rather than by leadership skills or qualities. They were more likely to be impressed with flashy presentations than with simple facts. They were more apt to side with other women and to promote women over equally qualified men.

My current department is over 80% female. I have never managed a group of only males. Managing female employees vs males is different. Say what you will but it is different. I treat all my employees equally in promotions, pay, raises and project giving. However, the amount of time spent with talking, discussing, explaining and mostly listening is 50% higher with women than most men in all the groups I have managed. I am not saying this is bad; just different.

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