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Old 03-19-2010, 03:02 PM   #21
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It's hard to let go of a life you have been living for several years but soon you will be enmeshed in a new adventure . I retired in steps so the only time the chill was noticeable was when I went from full time to part time and I did not have to be on the "Needle stick Committee " ( that alone was worth retiring ). If the chill bothers you were a sweater and ignore it .
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:39 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Any thoughts from others who've been through this?
Not to sound morbid, but as a doctor you are well aware of end-of-life conditions where the person "separates" their reality from this world a week or so before death.

Leaving a job/position is no different. You are leaving one "world" and entering a new journey, in a new one.

While my superiors were well aware of my departure (mega company required a 3-month notice) my actual "separation process" began well before that - when I made the firm decision to retire. I went through the same set of circumstances as others had noted. I was no longer part of the organization for all intents and purposes, and had no problem with those actions. Heck, if I was that upset, I would have just stayed there and never retired.

In fact, I even "planned" for my departure in a way, through some small actions. I purchased a nice leather jacket from the "company store" (with the company logo) as a "going away present" to myself.

I also planned on the final day to leave through the front door - not the rear employee’s door. After more than 28 years in the same building, I thought it was a type of "closure" for me.

What actually happened? Well, I guess I was more prepared than I thought. While I did buy the jacket, on the last day (after a few hours), I turned in my PC/phone/ID/etc. and simply walked out the back door.

Yes, it seemed that I had "disconnected" myself from that life well before I finally left.

For me, it was only a job. A way to provide security (e.g. pay) to take care of my family, along with myself. While I had "acquaintances", none of the folks I would consider friends. I know this is different for a lot of folks, but my job did not supply my "social requirements" for people interaction.

In a bit over a month, I'll be retired three years. There won't be any celebration of that fact. I've moved on to my "next life" (and am quite happy there) ...
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:14 PM   #23
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Got to love the internet, I get to put on my psychiatrist hat and give medical advice to a doctor.

Think of yourself as piece of skin that has been torn off a male patient (your hospital). The initial reaction is to ignore the loss and hope it will just it heal itself. After a bit of time the patient realizes that something needs to be done so they try and graft you back in place. When the realize that won't work they do the normal stuff, they uses stitches and bandaid to stop the bleeding. Eventually, scabs form, the wound heals. Right now the scab is still a source of irritation and remainder of the pain.

Damn, I am not a good enough story teller to figure out how the skin makes it way down to Key West and enjoys Pina Colodas and walks in the rain. But that is what happens.

Seriously this is all perfectly normal, your feeling of hey I am not dead yet, and your coworkers treating like you don't exist. I remember people especially bosses, always came up with "great ideas", the week before they left on 3 month sabbaticals. Generally, somebody would ask "oh are you going to help out with this instead of the bike trip in France, or the Greek Island cruise, or the two week hiking in Yosemite.?" The whole room would laugh, the sabbatical person would protest I haven't left yet and we'd all roll our eyes. My only advice is to reflect how you treated folks who were short timers.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:58 PM   #24
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Boy can I relate to this. The circle of people who know I am leaving is slowing expanding. It has just been decided that two of my key guys will be assuming some of my responsibilities. Yesterday I mentioned an issue to them that we would need to start thinking and talking about. One of them said "yeah, we already started talking about that"...without me. They are starting to move on. Strange feeling... I want to go. I am the one made the decision to leave. I want the organization and people to succeed without me. But it is hard to let go. I don't like transitions and I don't like good-byes. I'll be happy to get to the other side of this.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:39 PM   #25
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I have the advantage of having met you in person. Guess what? You're a really cool person. I liked what I "read" with respect to your personality.
So it is not surprising to me that you have these "glad to be almost out the door" but somewhat lingering thoughts.

What I am reading in your post, from the outside of the aquarium, is you have a deep personal concern for your patients and staff. I applaud that. Very good stuff.

For myself...the closest I came to giving a hoot about folks I would no longer w*rk with or the "not be included in meetings" thing was...believe it or not...the private sector contractors I w*rked with. I ran several govt contracts and had a wonderful relationship with some very hard w*rking folks, both on-site and remotely located. They did not w*rk for me. I looked at the interaction as all of us being part of a team.

I suspect there might be a parallel in your world.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:08 PM   #26
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Where I work, if you give notice and are known as diligent and conscientious, you will be piled up with assignments by way of thanks so as to extract every last ounce of work out of your hide before you leave. The rationale is that it could take months to replace you via the civil service list, so why not! The slackers never leave, and of course they can't be expected to shoulder any additional duties even in the short term. I also think there could be some underpinnings of jealousy in regards to your retirement plans.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:17 PM   #27
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I also think there could be some underpinnings of jealousy in regards to your retirement plans.


I felt that from some of my co-workers . How could I afford to retire while they still were slaving away ?
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:42 PM   #28
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Rich, I noticed a similar reaction at work. It started toward the end of my notice period and has grown in the 11 months (what am I doing!) that I've been working ten hours a week. My whole career I had a valued voice in decisions and almost always had a seat at the table for important decisions. Now I'm no longer a decision maker or even an influence. I go in, do my very-short-term assignments, and only sometimes hear from others what's going on.

This bothered me at first, but I have become comfortable with it. They have to live with the decisions made -- I don't -- so it seems right to leave it to them. And I am so far out of the office politics! I don't keep track of who is mad at whom, or who the idiot of the week is.

And they have no power over me. That's a very unusual feeling for me at work. I like it.

I hope if you decide to continue for a while that you can find a comfortable environment.

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Old 03-19-2010, 09:12 PM   #29
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Rich, I noticed a similar reaction at work. It started toward the end of my notice period and has grown in the 11 months (what am I doing!) that I've been working ten hours a week. My whole career I had a valued voice in decisions and almost always had a seat at the table for important decisions. Now I'm no longer a decision maker or even an influence. I go in, do my very-short-term assignments, and only sometimes hear from others what's going on.
Coach, I think you are on to something. People probably recognize that they no longer have a "stake" in you, and I have experienced that from both sides of the table over the years.

I think this type of reaction is rational from the institutional standpoint. For me it's part of letting go. So far, there has not been any personal animosity.

DW took me to a nice dinner tonight. Anniversary (39th) is Sunday and we have plans for tomorrow night. Planning a kid visit and two out-of-town-old-friend visits in April. Spiffing up the RV for future jaunts. It's good.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:27 PM   #30
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Planning a kid visit and two out-of-town-old-friend visits in April. Spiffing up the RV for future jaunts. It's good.
Yep, give yourself (and your toad) a break (brake).

For the next few weeks I'd advise spending the vast majority of your time looking forward, not looking back. Heck, when I was where you are in my ER countdown I had difficulty sleeping - too excited about what the future held!
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:39 PM   #31
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Interesting. When I left mega-corp it was known my boss had 90 days to find a replacement and all knew I might have a bit of input. All of a sudden, people who considered my position an impediment to getting anything done came by to kiss my a$$ seek my opinion. My boss made me attend meetings, that I might otherwise have skipped, to watch the contenders. It was worse than 'working'.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:52 PM   #32
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Yep, give yourself (and your toad) a break (brake).
No doubt.

Mild milestone: Today I received an email invitation to a wine tasting put on by my alma mater. This is a really fun group of which I am the senior member. It is on a Wednesday night and I instinctlvey reacted with an internal "darn, can't really be doing a wine tasting deep into the night and showing up for work the next day," Wait, I'm not working Thursday. Or Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. RSVP'd 5 minutes later.

P.S. Speaking of Toads, went with the Blue Ox and BrakeBuddy Classic.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:06 PM   #33
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Wait, I'm not working Thursday. Or Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. RSVP'd 5 minutes later.
Yep, it's a whole 'nother way of thinking. Don't worry, you'll catch on in no time...
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P.S. Speaking of Toads, went with the Blue Ox and BrakeBuddy Classic.
I have the exact same setup. My only (small) complaint is the remote transmitter plugged into the MH dash doesn't work - too far from the remote transmitter on the Brake Buddy to the get a signal. Not a problem as the BB works fine - I can feel it kick in.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:43 AM   #34
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No doubt.

Mild milestone: Today I received an email invitation to a wine tasting put on by my alma mater. This is a really fun group of which I am the senior member. It is on a Wednesday night and I instinctlvey reacted with an internal "darn, can't really be doing a wine tasting deep into the night and showing up for work the next day," Wait, I'm not working Thursday. Or Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. RSVP'd 5 minutes later.

P.S. Speaking of Toads, went with the Blue Ox and BrakeBuddy Classic.
You are ready for the next jump, which is "What day is today?"
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:45 PM   #35
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If hospitals are anything like military bases, then wait a few months until you return to learn that you're invisible. Even "worse", some officious bureaucratic functionary might demand to know your reason for wanting to visit!

Of course you could always put on a lab coat and wrap a stethoscope around your neck. But they might get in the way of your new ponytail...
Oh, this is so true - my husband and I were talking about this - the transient nature of the military and dealing with a mild melancholy as everything changes around you or you change. We have wonderful (and not so wonderful) memories of certain places and people and yet they are not there anymore and if you go back to that geographic place, it is different...in many ways...and yes, some damn bureaucrat makes it difficult to get back in where you once had to go daily.

From the perspective of my previous civilian job, it has been different: people stay there for 20-30+ years, so it is the same...sort of. What's been interesting is that I have moved on, but I call every now and then to say hi to a few of my coworkers I enjoyed working with and are friends....I crack up as they say they miss me and they haven't been able to hire someone with my combination of skills, knowledge and experience --- I told them for years they needed to 'grow' that. It is an ego boost, though, sometimes. However, I don't think I could ever go back - I enjoy my role as an entrepreneur/semi-retired too much now.

Rich_In_Tampa - if your previous position entailed using leadership skills and you were good at it or enjoyed it, it can be difficult to divest yourself of some of that authority - it's nice sometimes to be 'king' or be someone that is relied upon for decision-making. It is hard to let go. So I can understand.

Whatever the toad and bb you are talking about with REWahoo looks like it might be the right diversion :-) I guess it's hard to have our intellectual and emotional selves progress at the same rate...so we wait for one or the other to catch up and make us 'in tune' again. Distractions works wonders....
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:18 PM   #36
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=Coach;9161

This bothered me at first, but I have become comfortable with it. They have to live with the decisions made -- I don't -- so it seems right to leave it to them. And I am so far out of the office politics! I don't keep track of who is mad at whom, or who the idiot of the week is.


Coach
I agree with Coach that they are the ones who have to live with their decisions. I put in for early retirement in Feb and left the beginning of June. I was taken out of the daily rotation of interviewing in person, interviewing by phone and working on the claims on your desk, to working the front desk and answering phones (not a favorite thing to do in our office) for quite a while. I would answer the phone and it would be a claimant that was on my list wanting to know when I was going to adjudicate his retirement or disability claim and I did not know when I would get to it, since I was doing another job. I felt bad for the people and would have been upset with me if I had been in their shoes. I was also made to go to training meetings when I knew that I would be gone, before it went into effect. I just sat there thinking I could be working on people's cases. Finally, at the end of my career, I was allowed the time to get things cleaned up. Two of the cases that I had for too long, even though they were paid timely, are neighbors that live down the street. I would be thankful, if I were you that you can spend your time more productively, than going to meetings. As soon as I left work, they changed the number combination on the door, so I could not get back in. Also, if I were to go back to visit (only go for the Christmas luncheon and a baby shower), I would be escorted to the break room by the security guard. You are not allowed to go to your former co-workers' desks. I avoid all of it, by not visiting them at work.

Happy 39th Anniversary and enjoy the wine tasting.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:33 PM   #37
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My situation is just the opposite, so reading your post has helped reinforce my approach as right for me. I have told no one except DW, and don't intend to until the day I am willing to retire, but that does not mean I want to leave MegaCorp abruptly. When I tell my boss, I will offer to stay through whatever transition he'd like within reason. My direct reports, my peers and my boss will be fine with it, but there is no telling how some of the other suits may react. I think they'll be fine with it but by waiting, I take away their option to spite me in any meaningful way, without hurting themselves...
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:04 PM   #38
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Rich,

I went through something very similar as I also gave a lot of notice. I think the hardest for me was being left out of the decision making process. Last year started a big global initiative in defining, finalizing and rolling out new global procedures for Process Safety Management, and after being a company expert for so many years, it felt weird being in an advisory role only, and not part of the decision making process.

The last 2 months were very much low key, and boring and I couldn't wait for it to end, and even took a few weeks of vacation time rather than work and get paid for the unused days.

If you have the option to get out sooner, then take it, besides, April is only 12 days away.
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:10 PM   #39
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When I went to doing only occasional work for my old firm the relationship changed dramatically. Sometimes feel as if I am just a PITA to them so they do little things to make life just a little more inconvenient for me. Like making it hard to get reimbursed for expenses. Like changing the contract terms each year to take a little more away from me. I go back and forth on whether to completely cut the ties, but I like the bit of work I do and I like the extra spending money so for now I keep on doing it and try to ignore the fact that I am no longer a big shot and in fact have no say in anything my old firm does. Now that I have moved away from town it is easier to ignore them.



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Old 03-20-2010, 08:57 PM   #40
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I went through something very similar as I also gave a lot of notice. I think the hardest for me was being left out of the decision making process. Last year started a big global initiative in defining, finalizing and rolling out new global procedures for Process Safety Management, and after being a company expert for so many years, it felt weird being in an advisory role only, and not part of the decision making process.
I am beginning to realize how very lucky I was that my immediate supervisor had been my closest friend at work and was a really nice person.

I gave over six months' notice. After I gave notice, I was invited to every relevant in-house meeting. I chose to sit on the periphery and not at the conference table itself, and to participate in an advisory role (mostly!! ) in order to encourage participation by my soon-to-be successor and supervisor. If/when they needed help, or if/when things got too intense and upper management required my input, I was there.
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