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Forcibly "retired". Not all its cracked up to be..
Old 01-28-2016, 10:36 AM   #1
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Forcibly "retired". Not all its cracked up to be..

Thanks to this horrible collapse in Oil & Gas I was laid off in Oct. I am 62 and was 95% set regarding my financial plans and timing. Money is not a real problem ( unless this market collapse gets a helluva lot worse) I was going to leave in a year-18 months anyways. BUT the ceo wanted the last of the originals OUT and this was his great excuse. I was directly tied to the original owners and the old methods and was one of the few remaining and possibly the highest "ranked"..... All they had to do was to HINT that it was time for me to retire and I gladly would have complied. YET

HOWEVER ..I am extremely bitter, not so much over being retired ( I was VERY ready for that) , as I am due to the method. In our world being laid off is EXACTLY the same as getting FIRED. I am no longer "part of the family" like a retiree. ALL of my co-workers ( many over 35 years together) have retired and are still involved in Christmas parties, the annual awards event etc..As a laid off ( fired) guy I am not even allowed on the property. Worse..I was at work with my guys ( over 100 direct reports) most of which I hired, nurtured and have worked with every day for over 25 years at 7AM on a Friday and by 7:30 I was OFF the property. It was demeaning and embarrassing. What really stuck in my craw was when one of my best friends , whom I have worked with since 1981, brought with me to this place 25 years ago, spend EVERY day with for the last 25 years..retired a few weeks ago and I wasn't even allowed to be there.
Another issue is the timing. Our ( wife and I ) plan was to work another 12-18 months in order to cover COBRA to age 65 and retire together to begin our 874 page bucket list. She is still going to work another year plus in order for us to have the medical we need so I am stuck in this nirvana alone ! It sucks.

My question to ya'll. How many of you have been "retired in a manner not of your choosing ? How LONG did it take to get over the ANGER and the SHAME ! Did long before you got out of your morning FUNK when you get up and realize that for the FIRST time since EVER ( I've worked or been in a classroom ALL my life) you have nothing you have to do ?
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:43 AM   #2
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This too shall pass. I have a similar story, but not as intense as yours.

I have had a great 2 years since.

Maybe get real drunk, dig a hole, and throw the company crap in, and forget it. Don't let this take days off your great future.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:49 AM   #3
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aggie, sounds to me like you had way too much of "you" invested in your job. You aren't your job, and the sooner you realize that the quicker you can get on with the rest of your life. Dwelling on how crappy you were treated won't change anything and will only screw up what I've found are some of the best years of my life. You are your own worst enemy if you let this happen.

As to having "nothing you have to do", are you sure you're actually married?
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:50 AM   #4
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You have a right to be angry, but my advice is to work on letting it go ASAP. It is like drinking poison hoping your enemy will die from it.

Concentrate on all of the upsides of retirement, take a nice trip, do something you have been wanting to do but did not have the time for.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:50 AM   #5
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Thanks Target2019...I did BURN all of the company crap I had accumulated over the decades. It was kind of fun and did feel good ! I had a LOT of crap.....
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
aggie, sounds to me like you had way too much of "you" invested in your job. You aren't your job, and the sooner you realize that the quicker you can get on with the rest of your life. Dwelling on how crappy you were treated won't change anything and will only screw up what I've found are some of the best years of my life. You are your own worst enemy if you let this happen.

As to having "nothing you have to do", are you sure you're actually married?
This. Especially that last bit.

One thing for sure, leaving this way sure helps you figure out who your real friends are - they are the ones that stick right there beside you when stuff like this happens.
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:57 AM   #7
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aggie, sounds to me like you had way too much of "you" invested in your job. You aren't your job, and the sooner you realize that the quicker you can get on with the rest of your life. Dwelling on how crappy you were treated won't change anything and will only screw up what I've found are some of the best years of my life. You are your own worst enemy if you let this happen.

As to having "nothing you have to do", are you sure you're actually married?
Thanks.. I think you are 100% correct! I did have waaaaaaay to much of me pour into THERE. Decades of 60-70 hour 6-7 day weeks will do that. I really think that the worst part for me is NOT the job part... It's no being part of the family I was with for the better part of 4 decades. But I've heard for a lot of family and friends who are retired and they ALL say that in a year or 2 virtually ALL of their old co-workers have drifted away from them and their old companies. I think I just needed to VENT a bit !! Now I've got tot hit page 65 of my weekly honey-do list...Thanks
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Old 01-28-2016, 10:58 AM   #8
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I was also laid off rather abruptly - more than once.

It was difficult & traumatic, especially the second time, but I joined SCORE ( www.score.org ) and was able to do something worthwhile to give back to the community for several years.

Now I keep myself busy managing my investments ( no pension, and no SS for another few years ), as well as doing volunteer work for the homeless and faith-based charities.

It's good to work with the homeless and disadvantaged, as it gives a fresh perspective on how fortunate we are to be able to maintain our quality of life.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:05 AM   #9
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I was also laid off rather abruptly - more than once.

It was difficult & traumatic, especially the second time, but I joined SCORE ( www.score.org ) and was able to do something worthwhile to give back to the community for several years.

Now I keep myself busy managing my investments ( no pension, and no SS for another few years ), as well as doing volunteer work for the homeless and faith-based charities.

It's good to work with the homeless and disadvantaged, as it gives a fresh perspective on how fortunate we are to be able to maintain our quality of life.
Like you this was my second time. I was zapped ( along with most of Houston) in 86 and that was a lot worse. I did not have any money saved and there were absolutely NO jobs in Texas back then. It was absolute hell and damn near turned me into a raging drunk !!! I survived that bust and swore the next bust would be my last ( it is)

Meeting a guy in 30 minutes to discuss going to work for the local government part time to give me something to do, little pocket money and to help in an area where I have a LOT of contacts. Should carry me for th next year or so until Mrs 76 can join me and we can HIT IT !!!!
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:12 AM   #10
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I was laid off from mega when a young gal was put in charge and wanted all the 'old' people gone... it took her 3 years, but she did accomplish what she wanted... the sad thing is that she knew nothing about the role she was placed in and things got much worse... I knew it was coming at some point in time as she had started at a different location...


I was let go from my last permanent job because I had made it much more efficient and there was not that much work for me to do... heck, I was falling asleep at work!!! I was hoping for a few more years, but it was not to be....


I was a bit bitter on the first one since I knew the lady in charge did not know what she was doing and that things would go belly up... however, it was the result of a merger and 'my' group lost out... the heads of the dept were let go quickly or found some other place to work... I also made some good money there and was hoping to get to retirement... but, I let that go, except for being pissed at the higher ups who put the stupid lady in charge.... but I do not dwell on it.... only think about it when others tell of their woes....
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:31 AM   #11
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I was laid off twice in my career, both times because they said I was making too much money (a/k/a/ age discrimination). I presumed that second one was my forced retirement at age 58.
I, too, was bitter and frankly depressed for a few days - unlike my first lay-off, the second one was somewhat of a surprise. But the timing was in a sense good because it occurred just as my teacher-wife's school year was over. We had a good summer together, and in that time I very quickly learned that I was financially A-OK for retirement.
That first September morning when my wife went back to work was very tough for me, but that lasted just a few hours. Then I realized "hey, this isn't bad at all!"
I did land another j*b a few months later before I voluntarily packed it in a couple years thereafter.
Every once in a blue moon I have a dream about that last job I was laid off from, and the anger/bitterness crops up during the dream. But I'm having too much fun for those emotions to affect my waking hours.
To OP"s question, I daresay your current emotions will mellow very quickly. BTW my DW is still (voluntarily) w*rking, and I have no problems finding enjoyable things to do while she is at school.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:37 AM   #12
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On thing that makes getting laid off rather than retiring or getting fired is you can now collect unemployment.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:37 AM   #13
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Noting ever tastes good when it's jammed down your throat. Congratulations, however, on being 95% of where you wanted to be, and in all likelihood it's probably more than 100% of where you need to be.

I don't blame you for wanting to vent. Bit by bit, day by day, let that anger be replaced by the realization that life is pretty good, you are in a good place...enjoy! You paid your dues.
As the saying goes, "the best revenge is living well"...and that includes having a happy heart.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:39 AM   #14
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I was laid off when I thought I was immune, after all there had been previous layoffs and nobody in our dept. was touched.
My time came and I was the ONLY one laid off from our dept, so it was a shock and kinda hurtful. Took about 6 months to get over it. There is no SHAME to being laid off, but it does feel like a slap in the face. However often the person deciding really doesn't think of it that way, they just need to make cuts and pick some folks to layoff.

I had developed friendships of the work folks, but never considered them family, that is just not reality. One way to tell is think back how many of your work friends invited you to something on the weekend at their home?

I still meet with some of my old work friends, but we meet outside of work by having lunches together to catch up on stuff.

When I read your "rant" I thought to myself, this is why they won't allow you onto the property. Your post sounds very scary by how much you think you are entitled to see your "family" and attend events. Honestly I thought this is exactly the feelings a person must have before they grab a gun and do something incredibly stupid.

You have to decide if you want to die a bitter old man or live the life of a happy retired man, but dwelling on 1 day at work is not the way to be happy.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:49 AM   #15
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aggie76, you have every reason to be furious. That did not happen to me, but if it did I know I would be working through some serious anger issues.

On the other hand, it's time to start thinking of YOU first, now. Feelings like what you have expressed, while 150% justified, can't help anything and they could lead to a heart attack or even to your early demise. Why let them steal the best years of your life from you?

When you feel ready to let this go, I'd suggest looking towards the future. Remember that all those back at the company are chained to an alarm clock and battling traffic, while you get to sleep in and then do whatever you choose to do all day. When you feel you can, I'd start thinking about the retirement you dreamed about all those years, and making it a reality. The best revenge is living well.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:51 AM   #16
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Get out there and collect your unemployment check.
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Old 01-28-2016, 11:54 AM   #17
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You mention both anger and shame. You are working through the anger. But regarding the shame, the industry is suffering, and the CEO had an agenda to get rid of you. So let go of the shame. If anyone should feel shame, it should be the CEO.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:11 PM   #18
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Very hurtful.

This might seem like an off-the-wall suggestion - but you should buy "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron and read it and do the assignments at the pace of one chapter every one to two weeks (or at least not faster than one chapter per week and now slower than a chapter every three weeks). Just do every assignment in the book, no shortcuts, and without fail.

Come back and let me know how you feel at the end of the book. (Remember, no reading ahead, and no skipping the assignments or telling yourself you'll come back and do them later).

The book has a value beyond it's original target audience.

Kindest regards.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:11 PM   #19
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Been there aggie.

After 34 years of working directly with the founder (uh, yeah...way to much of 'me invested in the company') the new acquiring company called me on the phone and told me "there's no (org) box with your name on it; sorry" click. Literally.

You go through the entire grieving process of denial, anger etc etc

But here's the thing: a bit like investing, (heh!) "over time" you'll see that you were given a gift and time heals more than you can imagine right now.

You say you were 'very ready' to go but it was how it was done. It really doesn't matter if it was done coldly or with a nice party...

Take whatever severance you can, get on unemployment, start spending some time here with some really good folks, be happy you're financially sound and before you know it you'll wonder why you didn't leave sooner.

Trust the inputs and other insights here on this forum....it'll be ok.

Really.
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Old 01-28-2016, 12:56 PM   #20
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My question to ya'll. How many of you have been "retired in a manner not of your choosing ? How LONG did it take to get over the ANGER and the SHAME ! Did long before you got out of your morning FUNK when you get up and realize that for the FIRST time since EVER ( I've worked or been in a classroom ALL my life) you have nothing you have to do ?
I was laid off in lieu of formally retiring in 2006. This was at age 58 when I planned to retire at 62.

Because, IMO, the current management team was taking us in a direction not likely to succeed, I had a bit of resentment. My long time peers were falling like flies and "new guys" were taking control. OTOH, I'm a realist and knew that at 58 yo in a high tech company, my era was over. I really experienced very little anger or shame. What I did experience of that quickly vanished after some pencil pushing showed I could FIRE and a serious job search would not be necessary.

I received some significant financial benefits as a result of being laid off instead of retiring including an attractive severance package (both cash and benefits) and the ability to collect unemployment benefits for two years.

To this day I proudly announce that I'm a member of the "long term unemployed" and not retired when folks ask what I do for a living.

I never had a "funk" period with "nothing to do." After a few weeks of calculations and research to determine if I was FI or not and whether a retirement budget slightly lower than planned was going to be OK, the party began. Despite being laid off at 58 when I had planned on retiring at 62, it's all working out and in retrospect I'm delighted it happened the way it did.

Time is more important than money and I gained 4 years at the expense of only a minor reduction in our retirement budget. Thanks MegaCorp for throwing me in that briar patch!

Since you say you're financially OK, I suggest you suck it up, stop whining and put the "anger and shame" thing behind you. Your life is ahead of you. Enjoy it!

Edit: BTW, I was also in manufacturing.
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