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Old 01-12-2012, 12:01 PM   #21
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In my case and many of the cases above, I believe that there was a confluence of economic mistakes and political mistakes that led to our eventual workplace issues. I'm not referring to the bad bosses that could be with us even in good times (though you could more easily take another job in good times). I'm talking about workplace tensions and company mass layoffs as resulting from high level mistakes -- and maybe not just in the USA too.

In my case I trace the layoffs at megacorp to (1) a multinational company splitting up to avoid a lower margin business, (2) being then isolated in that lower margin business, (3) the tech boom phase leading to huge management and investor (capital allocation) mistakes, (4) management buying a company in Belgium they could not treat in the US way i.e. no layoffs, (5) Sept 11 attack causing huge government budget shifts and imbalances, (6) Iraq war. That was the scenario in 2003 when my megacorp had another round of mass layoffs. And its just kept happening there.

I could go on but what I'm saying is that many individuals have suffered in their personal lives due to broad mistakes made at very high levels of companies and governments. We only have to look at the equity markets over the last decade as a mirror onto this.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:48 PM   #22
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I remember a few weird nuts and incompetent "leaders", but I still enjoyed the rolls I had. The vast majority of my coworkers were hardworking, pleasant people. I bump into one every now and then, and I'm always glad to see them and chat about how their lives are going. I didn't leave because of the job or the people, I left because we were bought and the new company closed several operations.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:14 PM   #23
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I made the mistake of saying I'd like to retire in 2-5 years and from that point on my new management made my life so miserable the only answer was to make a deal to leave. He had a thing against experienced employees and wanted to replace everyone with contractors that he could use and abuse for 3 months, then eliminate them.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:04 PM   #24
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Not a certain individual, though a few folks that come to mind didn't help.

When I decided that my path lead elsewhere, I was ready. The first day in FIRE was a day like today (several inches of snow falling down, a messy commute). But I get to stay home and skip all the sloppy travel because I'm FIRE'd.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:05 PM   #25
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I probably would have worked till I died had it not been for miserable, self-loathing, abusive, power-thirsty or power-drunk coworkers and managers.

Most coworkers and managers were great, but it only takes one basard, properly positioned, to make your life a living Hell.

I retired to be free from that guy.

Or you could take the position that one of my sisters and I have used....

Tell them, 'We were here before you got here and we will be here after you leave'... most people don't know how to handle that...

PS... you do have to do it where that person can not fire you at their whim... and be very good at what you do.... just saying....
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:49 PM   #26
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Yes. I had been running my department for 22 years after building it up from scratch. From zero loans to 35,000+ loans. From zero staff to 45 people who worked together as a team. From a department that lost money the first couple of years to a department that grossed over $10mm a year. The CEO hires his wife's best friend, demoted my CO, puts her in his place and she proceeds to make my life (and everyone else's) a living hell for the next 8 months until I left. Fortunately, I had reached full retirement and left on the first day I was eligible for my pension. I have never regretted it.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:47 PM   #27
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I had a new President/CEO come on board who felt (needlessly) threatened by my presence; threatened by just about everyone he met actually. He just wanted to get his own bunch of 'yes-men' in place.

So he decided that it was worth a LOT of money (and I mean..A LOT!) to buy out my contract and send me on my way after 33 years with the same company and I ER'd at 52...9 years ago.

I now make it a point to send regular postcards and emails to him (especially when I'm in Florida/Mexico/Carribean and he's driving to work in a snow storm!) just to let him know "how I'm doing".

I've been told by friends inside that he goes nuts every time I send him a 'hello!'...

Seriously, there were several options open to me at the time and taking the ER route turned out the be the absolute best one.

As another poster mentioned, I would've stayed there until I died; really. Instead, I was given this huge opportunity to live a considerably more full life. Fantastic!
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:56 PM   #28
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Where in the US do you work that you can do this? Almost anyplace in the US is work at will anymore, which means you work at the will of the employer.

[mod edit]
At my Megacorp, apparently.

In my c@reer, I had to terminate two employees for cause. One took full family/medical leave absence (3 months or 6 months, I forget) and then simply did not come back to work. After unreturned phone calls, several letters, more certified letters, the person was finally terminated. The process - after the failure to return from leave (without contact) - was almost 2 months.

You simply would not believe what happened with the second termination - I couldn't make this up, but won't tell it here. As egregious as the behavior was (okay, let's just say alcohol WAS involved - but that's just the tip of the iceberg) the individual sat home with paid leave for almost 2 months before HR would help me deal with it through termination.

By the way, Megacorp was not unionized.

YMMV
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:46 PM   #29
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You simply would not believe what happened with the second termination - I couldn't make this up, but won't tell it here. As egregious as the behavior was (okay, let's just say alcohol WAS involved - but that's just the tip of the iceberg) the individual sat home with paid leave for almost 2 months before HR would help me deal with it through termination.

I am ashamed to admit this sounds like a fun way to leave my job. Am sorry for you.....yet it sounds like an interesting exit....
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:22 PM   #30
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...I've been told by friends inside that he goes nuts every time I send him a 'hello!'......
I think you definitely need to be more outgoing to the guy - keep in touch - don't be a stranger - he sounds like the kid of guy who deserves it.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:28 AM   #31
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I think you definitely need to be more outgoing to the guy - keep in touch - don't be a stranger - he sounds like the kid of guy who deserves it.
And don't forget to send pictures. Especially of warm beaches when it's snowing where he is.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:37 AM   #32
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Related to this thread...news we already knew:

Your bullying boss may be slowly killing you

Quote:
If you spend your workday avoiding an abusive boss, tiptoeing around co-workers who talk behind your back, or eating lunch alone because you've been ostracized from your cubicle mates, you may be the victim of workplace bullying. New research suggests that you're not alone, especially if you're struggling to cope.

Employees with abusive bosses often deal with the situation in ways that inadvertently make them feel worse, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Stress Management. That's bad news, as research suggests that workplace abuse is linked to stress and stress is linked to a laundry list of mental and physical ailments, including higher body weight and heart disease.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:21 AM   #33
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I've enjoyed working at several different MegaCorps. Often in groups that are having so much fun we talk among ourselves about the improbable notion that we are paid to write fascinating software all day. If we could have afforded it, we would have worked there for free. In every case, there was a corporate change, often several levels removed or change in ownership, which resulted in layoffs, or sale of divisions to anti-managers, or just new policies that made work there onerous.

So there was no individual !&%^!!#$% who made me want to achieve FI; it was a repeated pattern that made me want to no longer be dependent on MegaCorp employment. Perhaps when I really am FI, I will start some enterprise that I can control, or just freelance as the spirit moves me.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:27 AM   #34
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I probably would have worked till I died had it not been for miserable, self-loathing, abusive, power-thirsty or power-drunk coworkers and managers.

Most coworkers and managers were great, but it only takes one basard, properly positioned, to make your life a living Hell.

I retired to be free from that guy.

This is exactly what happened to my DH. He loved his job and always said that he would be the last one there and would turn out the lights and lock the door. He had to quit due to his health from all of the abuse that he was taking from his boss.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:30 AM   #35
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I now make it a point to send regular postcards and emails to him (especially when I'm in Florida/Mexico/Carribean and he's driving to work in a snow storm!) just to let him know "how I'm doing".

I've been told by friends inside that he goes nuts every time I send him a 'hello!'...

Seriously, there were several options open to me at the time and taking the ER route turned out the be the absolute best one.

As another poster mentioned, I would've stayed there until I died; really. Instead, I was given this huge opportunity to live a considerably more full life. Fantastic!
Keep up the good work! I love it!!
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:59 AM   #36
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Since I was wearing the golden handcuffs, I couldn't leave, but if I could of I would have retired about four years earlier. Re-org really screwed me. Left me with no work for a year. I basically showed up and sat in my cubicle all day. I asked over and over, but the new division had no supervisor and no one in management could take the time. Once a supervisor was hired, he was a loon. Pretty soon we were filling out paper work to gain permission from him to fill out more paperwork. Not joking. Since I was a project manager, he made me and my coworkers basically evangelize the people we worked with about his new system, something non of use believed in. It sucked. I wouldn't have stayed longer since there was not financial reason. I wished I could have left earlier.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #37
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I was ready to RE at 54 with my DW working the better job. I caught my foolish boss in a lie that involved my safety working alone in a dangerous laboratory. He said I never asked for any help while doing this extra work testing equipment as I was a salesman. I told him straight out he was a liar. Well, I staid on for weeks negotiating my severance to get out. I was paid well to go. To this day he doesn't want anyone to speak my name but he is forced to hear every now and then. When they were having problems with new designs of equipment, a new employee suggest contacting me. He was strongly told never to mention my name again.

The company has since made him president and he has now reduced employees from 250 to 150.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #38
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As a programmer I might have kept working until 2008 and full retirement. They made me a manager (I am an extreme introvert) and this one particular FB (Frumious Bandersnatch) assaulted all my senses.
Screaming into the night early retirement buyout when I realized I could live on less than $25K/year.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:24 PM   #39
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I think it's a lot different for those of us who have always planned (versus wanted) to retire early. Even in my early 20s I had a goal to retire at 55. It's not that anything or anyone made me want to leave when I hit my target age - there was absolutely nothing that could have kept me working.
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:06 AM   #40
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For nine years, I went to the office, a 40 minute car ride away and "played in the office sand box" all day. It wasn't work it was play. I loved it. Then Obama was elected, canceled the program and funding dried up. The first line managers I reported to laid me, and 225 others off. One of the better life events. I went on "sabbatical" and am quite happy about it. This coming week I'm going to a goodbye lunch with two of them, both are slated to uproot their families and move across country about 3000 miles. They need the jobs, I don't.
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