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The Last Day
Old 11-05-2015, 12:10 PM   #1
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The Last Day

How did you handle the last day at work? Big party, small party? A final email to your favorite collegues, cussed out the VP? Mine is coming 4/1/16 wondered what folks did.

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The Last Day
Old 11-05-2015, 12:31 PM   #2
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The Last Day

I walked around and said goodbye to a few of my favorite co-workers. I was pleased to see some of them sought me out. Some were surprised I was leaving, they hadn't heard. There were two people I was very fond of - former direct reports- who I spent a good chunk of time with that day.

Then at about 2PM I typed out the short farewell & thank you email I had composed ahead of time and cc'ed it to most of my department and some other folks I liked. Within a few days several dozen of them emailed me back to say goodbye. Some of them thanked me for having a positive impact on them, which was nice.

After sending the email, I packed up my laptop and left it along with my ID and credit card on my boss's desk. Then I went home. I rarely got to go home early while I was working there, so it was cool to do that on my last day.

The day I walked out of that building for the last time was one of the best days of my life.

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Old 11-05-2015, 12:59 PM   #3
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Great day!

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Old 11-05-2015, 01:27 PM   #4
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We all have our own wants for the last day. I left politely but on my own terms - but instead of detailing my last day, I'd suggest you go out as you wish, whether that's a lot of fanfare, less or none at all. What can they do to you once you've announced? I will say the months leading up to it seemed to drag on forever, but the last few days were a blur.

Best of what you want.

I would not cuss out anyone for any reason, you're just sinking to their level, rise above it - you'll feel better about yourself in the long run, and eventually forget about whoever you want to cuss out.
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:40 PM   #5
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Our company had already consolidated and laid off probably 80% of our location's employees.

They called me as I was driving into Atlanta and told me tomorrow was my last day. I turned north and headed for home. No thank you's, no gold watch, no going away dinner.

It was nice for everyone in our company over 55 years old to be "retired" involuntarily. It allowed us to get the big severance package and almost two years of unemployment payments. I never made so much money.

Needless to say, retiring at 58 1/2 years old was the best thing to happen to me. Looking around, I don't know anyone that's worked to age 65.
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:51 PM   #6
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I hosted a party for many of my employees the night before the last day. Showed up at the office about 1pm on last day, had a little wine reception hosted by the company then flew home one last time (I commuted for work for about ten years). When the plane finally touched down it finally sunk in. I was free!!!
FIRE'D in July 2009 at 51...Never look back!
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:52 PM   #7
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I telecommuted so basically I handed my laptop and printer to a courier who came to pick the items up.

And that was it.

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Old 11-05-2015, 01:59 PM   #8
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I never actually had a "last day" per se. My actual last day on the payroll, I just drove in, went straight to HR, turned in my badge, laptop, corporate card, signed some agreements, and then left.

My last day of working regularly was about 4 months prior. After that I worked a special project from home plus one related business trip. Most of that time I was just consuming my remaining accrued vacation. Boss asked if I wanted a party and I said no. At some point, he did get me out for a nice lunch with 6 or 7 of my favorite coworkers.

About 3 months prior to that was when my retirement was officially announced. That sort of "felt" like the last day. I remember spending the better part of two days answering some really nice email from people all over the world that I had worked with over 25 years.

That's it. No final email. No cussing out VPs. No party with gag gifts. I just wanted to disappear quietly.
Retired at 52 in July 2013. On to better things...

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Old 11-05-2015, 02:47 PM   #9
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My team had a surprise "party" for me a few days earlier - it was actually a virtual meeting except for 3 who were in the office. They also invited dozens of other people who had worked for me in the past and roasted me by PowerPoint. Very sweet of them.

I sent my "farewell" e-mail the day before, ended up with several conference calls the last day (packed up my desk during them) so I didn't even get out early. Left my badge and laptop with one of the admins, said good bye to anyone who was around (not many as it was a Friday when lots of folks worked from home) and headed out with my box to the garage.
"One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute." William Feather
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:50 PM   #10
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I cheated. I knew that my co-w*rkers (actually, the folks that w*rked in another area and I didn't even w*rk with) were trying VERY hard to have a "send off" for me and I had specifically told them I DID NOT WANT ONE. So, I led everyone to believe that my last day was going to be a Wednesday when in fact it was the previous Friday.

My "true" co-w*rkers (other fliers) understood and knew my plan. About a week later, we all got together at a local restaurant and enjoyed lunch without the pain-in-the-arse hoopla.
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Old 11-05-2015, 03:04 PM   #11
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I just drove in, went into the office, turned in the last of the item that needed turning in there, said bye to everyone (smallish office, ~dozen people) then went to Supply and turned in the last of the items there (weapons, I.D., etc.) picked up my "retired" I.D. card, went back to the office for a bit, then the guy who organized vehicle assignments called and we made arrangements for me to turn the car in. He drove me home and I was done a little after noon.

No party, I didn't want one.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:05 PM   #12
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I worked for a very large organization, I sort of started in the mail room and finished up As a big shot , literally The corner office. My last day I was at my desk my boss showed up it was about 11 pm, he said what are you doing here , I told him I was just finishing up with written advice to the 30 or so issues that were pending as you can't teach experience. He asked me to reconsider and stay, I told him ty but I was done, when I left, an old friend that was still with the company drove me to the heliport and flew me around the whole city they had mapped out all the places I had worked. It was like a dream. About 2months later they threw me a retirement bash and gave me a gold ring that looks like I won the super bowl, I miss the guys ,and the laughs, it's been 8 years.
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Old 11-05-2015, 04:43 PM   #13
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Great responses all, not looking for a recipe, but was interested in how arguably, one of the most significant day in a career was played out. I dont want any big send off, i think a final email and a few personal goodbyes to special people after 32 years will do for me.

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Old 11-05-2015, 04:56 PM   #14
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I arranged to leave at noon on my last day of work.

I got to my desk at 6 AM, as was always my habit. I completed a small number of tasks that were left on my "to do" list, and erased it off my office whiteboard. I sent my farewell e-mail to everyone in all organizations that I had interacted with at work.

There was a last minute e-mail "OMG, Emergency, Emergency! I'm so sorry but quick, before you leave forever, tell us how do we do XYZ and why do we do it that way?" So, after I was finally able to stop laughing (I mean really, seriously, think ahead much? ) I answered that.

Then by around 8 AM, there was nothing left to do. I posted here:

Want2retire is retired!

People came by to say goodbye, although I retired on a Monday and my official retirement party was a luncheon on the previous Friday, IIRC.

I looked out the window, and did one more search of my office to make sure I had all my personal belongings. Then the time came. I took my exit clearance form with its multitude of signatures, my parking pass, and my badge to security and they examined everything and said I was good to go. They nearly had to pry that badge out of my hands; hey, I liked the photo!

I walked out to my car, got in, and a tear or two fell. I felt a little shaky, to tell the truth, but I got over it as soon as I started the engine.

After I drove home, F took me out to lunch and we spent the rest of the day together.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." - - - C. Columbus
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:24 PM   #15
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Pretty (very) anticlimactic last day for me.

I was a senior manager (EVP GC) at a public co that was acquired by another megacorp and I was one of two former exec officers still working when I left. The other guy had already relocated with his family to Europe, and all the other C-level folks who were my peers were already gone. Plus I had told our departing CEO that I didn't want a big party (after we went to two or three pretty depressing dinners for CFO, COO, EVPHR, etc. ) who were all leaving more or less w/o a choice ...

The way the whole thing went down required me to give a long lead time (like 30+ days) after which, my new manager(s) decided that in order to have stability they needed 'someone who was long term' in the role and they were unjustifiably worried that I would walk the halls bashing the merger and new team (if I was going to do that I would have done it in the 6 months they asked me to stay on after the deal closed!) ...

They give my #2 a richly deserved promotion which I wholeheartedly recommended and endorsed -- and after that I had about 3-4 weeks of being on the payroll but not having really anything to do ... so I stopped going to the office after clearing out my office the first weekend. That first week I had lots of drop-ins from folks who had heard the news plus a few from colleagues around the world who were in Corp HQ for meetings that also heard about it.

Last day on payroll was very uneventful ... drove to work, turned in my laptop(s), badges, keys, credit cards, IDs, etc. and signed a stack of paperwork. Glad I remembered a buck to get out of the parking garage w/o my ID! I was home by 10 am and surfing by about 1030.

Convinced my team I didn't want a party, so we had a small dept lunch at our usual spot after the holiday weekend.

Really was very smooth, and I wouldn't have wanted a big deal in any case.
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:42 PM   #16
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I didn't really have a last day because my last day of work was the last workday before Christmas 2011 but I telecommuted, then I was "on vacation' until the first of February 2012. Leaving the first of February allowed me to stay on the firm health insurance plan through the end of February.

However, between those two dates, the firm flew me and DW to NYC and we had a nice retirement party at a watering hole across the street from the office with open bar and appetizers from 5:30 to 11. By coincidence, one of the practices that I had worked with was having a big meeting at the office so a lot of those colleagues stopped by for a drink and to say goodbye. We had a blast.

The next day, I stopped by the office and said goodbyes and then we flew home. I had worked with literally hundreds of people during my stay there so I also sent out a farewell email that was well received.
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Old 11-05-2015, 05:45 PM   #17
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"Worked" until noon, then left for good.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Moneygrubber View Post
Great responses all, not looking for a recipe, but was interested in how arguably, one of the most significant day in a career was played out. I dont want any big send off, i think a final email and a few personal goodbyes to special people after 32 years will do for me.

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I had asked for a received permission to sent out a goodbye email to several hundred coworkers. HR reluctantly agreed when my VP pushed, that went out a week prior. So the last week was full of well wishes.

Last day was uneventful there was a get together the night before at a local watering hole. Quite a few folks I cared for were there but as I requested it wound down by 8 pm.

Few of my old closer co-workers took me out for lunch after my exit. Very low key day, I did send a note to the HR director saying thank you for something she had done for my Mom and Dad years prior. My whole process was done with a smile and grin, there was some crap I could have said, but why?
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Old 11-06-2015, 06:30 AM   #19
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I was not comfortable with a big retirement party but I had worked for 31 years at a single organization and was at a fairly high level with a lot of work friends so I didn't want to be a dick about it. Besides, some of my employees loved planning parties so I went with the flow. They hosted a large luncheon at a nearby hotel with speeches and a spoof video outing goofy "facts" about my life and career (modeled after Swift Boat Veterans for truth ads). The whole deal turned out to be a lot of fun and I was glad I went with it.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:06 AM   #20
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I gave my notice in Sept 2010 that my last day would be in mid-Dec 2010. I originally just wanted to slink out quietly but as December came near I was OK with a retirement party at a nearby pizza place. About 30 people showed up including a couple that I had worked with 15 yrs earlier. It was a nice casual traditional event and I'm glad I did it.

A coupled of days before my actual last day I sent out an email saying goodbye and thanking them. On the last day I went around the office; said goodbye; and left for home around 1pm. It was a very nice day.

I definitely recommend going out on a positive note.

Happy, Wild, and Free
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