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Old 07-28-2009, 03:41 PM   #41
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Don't get your hopes up with either decision you make!

I retired and everything I had dreamed it was going to be was a bust. It was December and we had huge amounts of snow the week I was scheduled to leave causing people to not show up to work. The "party" was supposed to be a little gathering for me and a co-worker from the production side. No one showed up from my side of the house and so none of the traditional stuff (the bye bye speech....gold watch...placque...letters...etc) were there and I basically looked like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time as my co-worker received all his stuff. I didn't get to say goodbye to hardly anyone and when I went in for my final check out, they had put my "stuff" in a bag on my desk. My boss has yet to give me a call or address the big flop. It wasn't what I thought the end of 32 years would look like!

I would still opt for the smaller scale party though....it is all about the people you worked with and saying bye to them!
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:03 PM   #42
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I chose a Chinese buffet format, no gifts unless it involved chocolate , and put together a small list of people to invite by email that was sent by my group secretary (she volunteered). I personally did not want anything formal because I was not very happy with my employer when I left. TETO.

In general, it really should be up to the person retiring, aligned with what they do or do not want. If a person sez no party or no gifts, they usually mean it, IMHO. I've seen too many instances of retirees truly unhappy at being "forced" into these formal speech-ridden events.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:50 PM   #43
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I retired after almost 33 yrs working for the Fed gov. I opted to have the potluck luncheon in our training room. All of the old retirees came and brought food and gifts also. There was so much good food and they had a cake with a much younger picture of me on it. It was a very nice party and I enjoyed it. (I can't imagine paying $30.00 for a leisurely dinner, let alone for a hurried lunch.) I am definitely too frugal for spending that for lunch.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:16 PM   #44
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TETO.
I've looked on Google and UrbanDictionary.com, and I'm getting confused by their definitions... What does this acronym stand for?

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In general, it really should be up to the person retiring, aligned with what they do or do not want. If a person sez no party or no gifts, they usually mean it, IMHO. I've seen too many instances of retirees truly unhappy at being "forced" into these formal speech-ridden events.
We've had way too many military commands where "cultural differences" caused the retiring person to not feel free to clearly express their preferences. Coupled with some COs who've had other retirees complain afterward that the command didn't adequately recognize their service, and you end up with policies like "You WILL have a retirement ceremony and you WILL be there"...

And yes, I've had to draft the responses to the Congressional inquiries that some of those COs received.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:16 PM   #45
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When I retired, the company threw me a late afternoon goodbye party in the cafeteria, and it was their call - just the company practice at the time. I'm not really into ceremony and thank goodness was not asked to give a speech. For me this party was more about my co-workers than me. They made me a plaque, and people came by to wish me well and I had a chance to thank folks individually and express my appreciation. I liked the individual one-on-one part.

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Old 07-28-2009, 11:54 PM   #46
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Longhorn BBQ?
But of course! Spokane's favorite take out BBQ.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:35 AM   #47
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I retired after almost 33 yrs working for the Fed gov. I opted to have the potluck luncheon in our training room. All of the old retirees came and brought food and gifts also. There was so much good food and they had a cake with a much younger picture of me on it. It was a very nice party and I enjoyed it. (I can't imagine paying $30.00 for a leisurely dinner, let alone for a hurried lunch.) I am definitely too frugal for spending that for lunch.
You obviously understand my point of view! I work for the feds as well. Today is the retirement luncheon for a women who sits three cubicles down from me. I am not going because I don't want to spend $30.00 (plus tip, plus money or gift for her) to wolf down lunch half way across town and probably have to stay late in the evening using flextime if I was out for over 45 minutes (and it is easily a 15 minute drive each way). I felt guilty about it so I talked to her yesterday and explained, and told her how much we would miss her and so on. She said she understands, and that there were no restaurants that she could find which would do it for less since they categorize it as a "banquet".

I think the potluck in a conference room will probably work in my case. I need to talk to my supervisor and our administrative assistant to see if we can iron out the details. I think this is a "first" for us, but I think a change like this is appropriate in the middle of a recession. We are all watching our pennies.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:15 AM   #48
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Haven't taken the time to read all posts but thought I would put my input into this thread.




Plain and simple.........NO!
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:16 AM   #49
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When I retired, I requested that any consideration for spending $$$ be donated to a charity of my choosing, rather than go through the farce of a gathering.

I guess you can tell that for me it was just a job (even though I was there close to 30 years).

While I had no ill-will towards the folks I worked with, I looked at them a bit like close relatives - people that you had to be with, rather than people you choose to be with...

Additionally, since it was a multi-national, many of the teams I worked with over the years (including my direct manager) was located in other countries.

This worked out well in my case; total contributions to my named charity resulted in several thousand dollars (no, I did not get the tax deduction ) ; it was given by the corporate office in my name, so I'm sure they did!
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:12 AM   #50
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Asking that the money for your retirement party be donated to charity is a terrific idea!

I definitely don't want a party. I'd prefer to say goodby to my friends in my own way. I think I would choke trying to say something positive about several of my coworkers. Moreover. it has always irked me that my boss uses these occasions to deluge himself and entertain on a lavish scale using corporate money, probably because I am so fugal. Having the money be donated to a food bank for people who really need help, sidesteps the whole problem of a retirement party and makes you feel a little warmer inside.
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:30 AM   #51
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It varied where I worked. Some had a big bash and roast at a restaurant, others, like me, just rode off into the sunset. I did get the traditional flag that had been flown from the Capitol, a plaque with a detective badge on it noting years of service, and some other trinkets. During the last few weeks I just made sure everything I'd worked on was closed out, and on my last day I cleaned out the last of the personal stuff from my desk, went over to supply, turned in all the issued gear, drove to the maintenance shop and turned in the car, and got a ride home.

I was home by noon and that was it.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:46 PM   #52
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I've looked on Google and UrbanDictionary.com, and I'm getting confused by their definitions... What does this acronym stand for?
MMAO for the secret acronym cipher.

Just kidding...TETO = To each their own...
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Old 07-29-2009, 10:13 PM   #53
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When I left MegaCorp after 31 years, my department staff held a pot luck for me in our conference room and invited the people I worked most closely with over the years to an open house. It was very casual and low key and I deeply appreciated it.

Five years later, when I retired from my second career (as President/CEO), my board threw a formal luncheon in my honor. It was stuffy, stiff and frankly uncomfortable. I wish they hadn't bothered.
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:40 PM   #54
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Three of us who had worked together for 25 years retired over the space of 4 months, so we had a joint dinner party after the last one left (I was the first to go). This was organized by our co-workers (NOT management but rather people who were actually sorry to see us go ) and held on a Friday evening at a nice restaurant in the Berzerkely marina. With the three of us going it was a big enough draw to pull in lots of the people who'd retired over the previous 10 years.

Having three "honorees" means that no one feels any pressure to stand up and do an extremely long spiel (which happened at the single-retiree in-office catered lunch event I went to a few weeks ago). 4-5 minutes per person and some comments from the other folks worked out fine.

Parties really need to be after hours and away from work so people can have some fun and aren't feeling pressured to get back to the job. And having the party after people have been retired for 1-4 months gives them a chance to relax a bit and come to grips with things so you don't have a lot of choking-up due to the emotional stress of it being your last day.

cheers,
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:56 PM   #55
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My preference: to walk out at lunch and never come back.

Rita
Same here!!! I told my boss and all of my co-workers, that I did NOT want a retirement party...emphatically!! My co-workers understood the reasons for my request and they stood behind me on it. I was told by one of my buddies in the department, that my boss, who was/is an exceeding large dumb-@ss, on the other hand demanded that there be a retirement party for me, and that it be kept 'hush-hush'.

So I casually reiterated (several times) my "no party" request within easy earshot of the dumb-@ss ....who reiterated to my coworkers that regardless of what I wanted, the party was still on. WRONG ANSWER!!!

My last day was scheduled to be on a Friday, and that was when he was planning the 'surprise' party for. So on Wednesday morning I cleaned out my locker. On my way out to my car with the box, my boss questioned why I was doing this now instead of on Friday. So I told him I'd explain it when I came back in in a few minutes.

I walked back into the building and into his office, tossed my keys on his desk, and told him I was officially done effective immediately!!! I never saw anyone's jaw drop his did...what a look! He told me I couldn't leave until Friday because he had a "big" party planned for me....and all of the 'guests' (HIS friends) were already invited and all of the 'food' was already ordered, and, and, and....Then the idiotmeister told me he had ordered a platter of 'finger' sandwiches and a cheese tray for lunch in the break room.....which isn't even big enough for all of our departments employees, let alone his "guests"....and I just had to be there, or he'd look like a fool. Too late...I looked up fool in the dictionary and saw his picture there!

I had organized and set up ALL of the retirement lunches for the previous 14 years for all of the departments. I always checked with each retiree as to their preferences, and let them know what I was planning so they could make changes in both venue and menu if they wanted....or to have nothing at all. No one ever made any changes, as they knew I always went 1st class. We ALWAYS had a nice "steak 'n' all the trimmings" lunch/brunch at a decent restaurant, and all the employees from all the departments, as well as any special guests who the retiree wanted, were included. The department that the guy was retiring from always footed the bill, no questions asked. This had been the tradition for YEARS, even before I took over the task.

I walked out the door on that Wednesday, and never looked back! I'm told the dumb@ss is still pissed off at me, and all of my former coworkers still laud me for my performance....too funny! About a month after that, I had to go to the main office to drop off some paperwork, and was handed a small box by the office queen and told in a rather snide manner "Here, this is for you". I opened it a few days later, and low and behold, there sat my "reward" for my years of service....a cheap, crappy, POS watch! Not sure what ever happened to it...I put it back in the box and don't know (or care) where I put it! Besides....I'm retired....what the heck do I need a watch for??
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:01 PM   #56
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BTW...on that Friday (my original official retirement day) I had my own private retirement dinner, in the peace and quiet of my own backyard!!! A nice hunk of prime cut ribeye, grilled to perfection over charcoal, with sauteed mushrooms, a huge baked 'tater drowned in butter, and a nice salad.....and NO 'finger' sandwiches!!!
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:25 PM   #57
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Sounds perfect, Goonie!
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:56 PM   #58
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When I left my last job, we had an informal "open house" in the conference room for an hour and people could come say goodbye to me. it was pretty informal, and some coworkers brought coffee cake and juice.

A week later my old boss hosted a party for me at his house. I could decide who to invite. It was great and I got to see everyone I wanted. They also sang songs and played the piano. I loved every minute of it and was very grateful to my old boss.
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:05 PM   #59
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BTW...on that Friday (my original official retirement day) I had my own private retirement dinner, in the peace and quiet of my own backyard!!! A nice hunk of prime cut ribeye, grilled to perfection over charcoal, with sauteed mushrooms, a huge baked 'tater drowned in butter, and a nice salad.....and NO 'finger' sandwiches!!!
Now THAT's how I want to celebrate MY retirement!

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Old 08-13-2009, 01:09 PM   #60
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Well, the Management did put together a very nice lunch sendoff for me the day before I retired. That was a relatively informal thing, similar to what had been done for others in the past. Lots of colleagues in attendance (thanks, Dizzy!) and a good time was had by all. After lunch I had an exit interview with an HR person who appeared sincerely interested in discussing any problem areas I had noted. (You know what they say about sincerity. Once you can fake that, the rest is easy...)

On my last day, I brought in the last bits of company gear I found at home, some old, old hardware found in my home office closet (PowerMac 8500/180!), visited with a few people, and then went to lunch at the company cafe with a few friends. We hung out on the patio for a while. At one point my manager dropped by, and rather sheepishly mentioned that he needed to collect my badge and office key. I handed them over and went back to yakking and drinking iced tea. I eventually wandered off to the parking lot and left.

I'd say the whole experience was pretty low-key, low pressure, and about what I expected. Drama factor of zero.
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