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Feeling a slight chill...
Old 03-19-2010, 08:47 AM   #1
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Feeling a slight chill...

It has been about 3.5 months since I gave notice of my ESR and it really generated a gracious reaction on almost everyone's part. But as the moment approaches I am feeling the inevitable distance that impending separation brings - meetings to which I am no longer invited, a little less attention paid to my opinions, a discussion about who will be moving into my office, etc.

A lot of my most important duties have been reassigned to people I have trained and they will do a good job. So they no longer really "need" me. From a management perspective I am beginning to feel like my work here is done. As I should (but part of me doesn't like it). Happily the patient care part is humming along as well as ever.

I guess I anticipated this but underestimated it. Haven't had even a moment of remorse about my decision to ESR, but I'm wondering if I miight be better off just making a clean break of it sooner rather than later (I do have another part time job in place starting in May). Currently I have an unlimited arrangement to stay on part time (2 days a week).

My successor has not been named or even close, but that could take a while.

Any thoughts from others who've been through this?
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:01 AM   #2
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Is there some relief in not having to attend meetings and not deal with administration type duties, but being able to devote all your time to patient care instead? Seems like that would be the best part of the job for a dedicated physician like yourself.

We still need you here Rich! We always will!!!!

When I gave my notice, I was sooooooo ready to go, I was delighted to no longer go to meetings, planning etc. But then again, I had had to keep my pending retirement secret for most of the time. I was only allowed to tell my folks about 1 month before. So I by then I was just so ready.

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Old 03-19-2010, 09:02 AM   #3
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Rich, you're experiencing a bit of what someone recently called the "forgotten but not gone" syndrome. I gave notice to my boss 5 months prior to retiring but somehow managed to keep the announcement quiet and didn't let my group know until 30 days before leaving. That helped reduce the lame duck period but I definitely felt it the last couple of weeks and I was very glad when it was all over with.

If you don't need the $ (I know you don't) and know the place will not crash and burn when you leave, time to go. Your clean break idea is the best option for everyone involved.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:09 AM   #4
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I am going through the same thing. A few years ago, my boss offered to sell me his company stock, but I declined saying that I was going to retire in a few years. Others bought his stock and leapfrogged me on the company ladder.

I also am not invited to meetings and less attention is paid to my opinions now that I'm working 2-3 days a week. I also think that being upfront with my plans may have been a hindrance, but I had to to start esr when I did.

I would think that a lot of people have similar experiences as yours after they announce that they are cutting back or resigning. Management's goal is to keep the ball rolling regardless of anyone's personal goals
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:25 AM   #5
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I had the opposite experience. I was asked to keep my departure a secret so nobody but my boss and I knew. Folks eventually started to ask questions when they noticed me leave after working only 9 hours (6:30AM-3:30PM).

"So are you planning to work a full day today?"
"Nope"
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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My company had treated me very well over all except for the one boss who caused some problems for me due to my faith so I did something very unusual. I gave them one year notice verbally and put it in writing about two months before. They spent most of the early months making my job better and easier to try and get me to stay which I really appreciated but it did not change my mind. The last two or three months I stop going to certain meetings and had all along slowed down on offering opinions as the plan was to allow time for them to get use to me not being there. It occasionally was hard to stop the feeling of being left out or not need but that was the plan. I filled the time after finishing any work documentation that needed to be done with making plans for upcoming trips and working on the budget running what if scenarios which certainly help make me feel better about the choice. I also spent a good bit of time on this forum reading and I spent time studding RVing as we planned to purchase one then and start RVing.

It actually took over a year to get use to the not needed feeling. This is not to say that I did not love being ESR'd. The part time business I have really helps on the mental side and the money has been good also! I do see me trying to scale the part time business back even more eventually as we are finding more and more things to do with our time and every minute is even more precious now as we have the choice of how to spend it. Think about that each time you feel not need in your last days at work and you will not care!
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:50 AM   #7
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Is there some relief in not having to attend meetings and not deal with administration type duties, but being able to devote all your time to patient care instead? Seems like that would be the best part of the job for a dedicated physician like yourself.
Oh, definitely. I don't miss the meetings at all. It's the not-being-invited thing that is different.

I know this is a transient and even superficial thing in the larger picture. Just kind of tracking and reacting - I've never done this before .
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:12 AM   #8
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Rich, perhaps you could talk to someone in management about it and get their blessing for you to leave right now. As I recall you were planning to leave a week from next Wednesday anyway, so it shouldn't be that big a deal to them, or you.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:19 AM   #9
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Rich, perhaps you could talk to someone in management about it and get their blessing for you to leave right now. As I recall you were planning to leave a week from next Wednesday anyway, so it shouldn't be that big a deal to them, or you.
Thanks for the suggestion.

I can leave pretty much whenever I wish, but there's really nothing pressing -- it'll all fall into place come April, I suspect.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:21 AM   #10
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You could regard it as a 1.5 week vacation. Surely you deserve that.
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:25 AM   #11
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Oh, definitely. I don't miss the meetings at all. It's the not-being-invited thing that is different.

I know this is a transient and even superficial thing in the larger picture. Just kind of tracking and reacting - I've never done this before .
Perhaps you can turn your thought of not being invited around: think of it as your colleagues giving you space to make your exit. As you know the process of leaving is emotionally difficult for most of us.

Rather than have you turn them down, creating an environment where both of you remember you soon won't be a part of the team, not inviting you gives both of you the space to gracefully conclude your working relationship.

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Old 03-19-2010, 10:33 AM   #12
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Way back when.... I had a senior (SVP) boss who quit... but was hired back as a consultant to do specialty work... I worked with him a lot even though I was was down the food chain....

One day he did not come in when I thought he was going to... so I asked. He said 'that SOB from NY was coming down and he did not want to see her'... upon further discussion, it seems that he left because of all the BS and such... so he AVOIDED the meetings and the management as much as he could... and LIKED it better...


But from what you have posted... you feel like you have 'less worth' now... well, yea... you are leaving... nobody is so important they can not be replaced.. and from what you have said, you have trained your replacements well... bask in the glory of a job well done...
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:08 AM   #13
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You made the decision to leave. They are staying and it is business as usual. Of course they will miss you and feel the loss, but they must continue on.

As far as feeling a slight chill.....here ya go.....
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:40 AM   #14
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I told my boss in January that I was leaving end of March or April. We've since decided on end of April but with me continuing to work one day a week. Although my co-workers don't know I'm leaving I can already see a difference. One thing is that my work one day a week will be different. I won't have hands on responsibility for specific cases (I'm an attorney) but will be consulting and advising on various matters.

On the one hand it is exactly what I want. On the other hand, it seems strange to know that I won't be going to all the meetings, won't be the primary person responsible on things where I would have been. And, when the others do things differently than I would have done (I'm not saying wrong...just different) I know that will seem strange to me.

In some ways it would be easier to just leave altogether. On the other hand I know I will enjoy the one day a week doing the things I most enjoy and they will pay me well for it.

I've been on vacation this week and going back next when this will shortly all become public news. That will be interesting.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:51 PM   #15
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Don't know about the doc business, if 3 1/2 months is normal. I only gave 2 weeks notice as required, only felt the chill the last 3 days, but it was good chill. Was great to be out of the loop, and emergency responses as well. I'd say a clean break is better than hangin around. Remember you can never go home again.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:05 PM   #16
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Oh, definitely. I don't miss the meetings at all. It's the not-being-invited thing that is different.
Well, I bet they miss you in the meetings. But they are trying to bravely go on and get used to not having you.

Yep. It is kind of an explicit acknowledgment that you are not as essential as you once were. Yes, we retirees do have to adjust to the feeling of not being as important once we no longer have our careers. As ready as I was I still experienced a feeling of a small loss of self-esteem/self-identity as now I was just a person, not a "manager of XYX" or whatever. But then as I created my new life as a retiree, I built a new self-identity, and became very comfortable in my new "role" as a less important person!

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Old 03-19-2010, 01:05 PM   #17
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Don't know about the doc business, if 3 1/2 months is normal. I only gave 2 weeks notice as required, only felt the chill the last 3 days, but it was good chill. Was great to be out of the loop, and emergency responses as well. I'd say a clean break is better than hangin around. Remember you can never go home again.
Yeah, in academic medicine it's appropriate to give ample notice for senior positions, since replacement requires a national recruit and pretty intensive training. Alas, I did that and my boss and his team sat on it for 2 months before thinking about recruiting in January. At least I did the right thing.

With hindsight I might have waited longer before giving notice. But it will work itself out, and my "final final" notice will be a clean break whenever it occurs.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:07 PM   #18
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But as the moment approaches I am feeling the inevitable distance that impending separation brings - meetings to which I am no longer invited, a little less attention paid to my opinions,...
In the first place they're probably distancing, or at least trying to hog the doughnuts. And if you've ever in the previous decades wanted to skip these meetings... well... now's the payback!

But in the second place they may be reluctant to entertain the opinions of someone who won't have to endure the consequences of the decisions. You're being paroled early for good behavior so you're no longer entitled to participate in the escape planning.

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... but I'm wondering if I miight be better off just making a clean break of it sooner rather than later.
Yep, your clairvoyance is trying to tell you something. They've probably been planning to ambush you with some sort of ceremony or party, and you need to disappear unexpectedly at least a few days early. Vacation time!

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(I do have another part time job in place starting in May)
Currently I have an unlimited arrangement to stay on part time (2 days a week).
You ER'd to start a job search? You're spending 40% of your ER week-- working? Which part of all of this is either "E" or "R"?!?

I'm beginning to lose track of the scorecard on which you totaled up the reasons for ER...

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Any thoughts from others who've been through this?
This is the part of your career that separates "co-workers" from "friends". You'll know after you ER which is which. It probably can't be sorted out now. The ones who are hanging around these weeks might just be keeping tabs on you to make sure you're really ER'ing and not just playing a cruel emotional trick with their hopeful anticipation of your departure...

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...
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:20 PM   #19
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Classic Nordsian reply, wisdom seasoned by just the right amount of cynicism and insight with a hint of "huh?" Thanks, Buddy .
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:42 PM   #20
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[SIZE=2]I... a little less attention paid to my opinions....

Any thoughts from others who've been through this?
R_I_T, the forum will always pay attention to your opinions. During that awful transition, I turned to Terhorst's book which always reinforced and clarified my goals. IMO, it's important to acknowledge it, you are doing that; if you feel pain over leaving, it may be because it is so important to you, it matters. Maybe when others are at meetings, you could be planning your real life and posting here.

A few weeks after I got a transfer, the occasional, “thanks for working 24-hours straight” luncheon came up; I qualified but was not invited. A couple months later, a co-worker from that dept. invited me for a drink; she said they spent most of the lunch playing 20-questions: “why did CuppaJoe leave?” It was hysterically funny.

Hope you are laughing about this soon, Rich.
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