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What did you say to people as the day approaches?
Old 03-03-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
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What did you say to people as the day approaches?

I had a good professional friend who was in management above me who I worked with in education for more than 30 years. While he was an administrator famous for helping people get things done, and often I was the person who helped him help these people(I knew him from when he was just a fairly wild fairly new teacher, through his elevation of District Director of Elementary Education), during the last two years and increasingly when you went to him for help about something that he would have no control over in the future, he would use a fairly liberating response.

He would look you right in the eye. He would get a serious expression on his face, like he was going to tell you something important, and then he would say, "Perhaps..... Perhaps you have confused me with someone who actually gives a sh*t about this."

If you pressed the issue, he would sigh, and say, "Alright, if I really did, here's what we could do, but......."

I've begin to find it liberating.

What phrases are you using, or what phrases did you use?

Z
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:01 PM   #2
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As the day approached to announce my retirement (I assume that's what you're talking about), I kept my mouth shut. On the very day of the announcement, I met with my superviser and said, "I have decided to retire early. I will not be working here as of July 1, 2008. You have 9 months to find my replacement."

I'm sure you wanted something a little more clever, but that's what happened.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:26 PM   #3
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As the day approached to announce my retirement (I assume that's what you're talking about), I kept my mouth shut. On the very day of the announcement, I met with my superviser and said, "I have decided to retire early. I will not be working here as of July 1, 2008. You have 9 months to find my replacement."

I'm sure you wanted something a little more clever, but that's what happened.
Scott,

Since my father was also in educational administration, he had the worry of becoming a lame duck. Don't know why as there are some real benefits in being a lame duck. But anyway, since his district did not pay him for unused sick days there was no need to give any advance notice.

When the time came, he didn't tell a soul and swore my mother to secrecy(she also worked there). He retired in the summer, and when the fall had come around he had already moved away. He and my mother just disappeared. No muss no fuss.

I would like to do that also, but everyone knew that when I sold my property in western pa that the end was near. Plus, I've been in the same place for more than 30 years, I'm a fixture; and double plus, we have to give notice of about 5 months if we want to get our sick days back in a lump $$$$$ sum. Since I have collected more than 200 sick days in an over 30 year career here that's not a figure to walk away from. Besides there is about a 3 month lag time from the date of retirement and the time we get out first pension check, so its what we all live on. I won't be having any retirement parties though..... maybe a drop-in one at the winery in the summer. There are people I worked with over the years that I DO NOT WANT AT MY PARTY! But they would come just for a party and a chance to roast me.

Thanks.

Z
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:35 PM   #4
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Since I have collected more than 200 sick days in an over 30 year career here that's not a figure to walk away from.
You must be a government employee. Very few real companies would pay you for that.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:47 PM   #5
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I was very quiet about my retirement back in October, 2008, at age 45, after 23 years of work there. Only one trusted coworker/friend knew about it. In fact, he would laughingly ask me from time to time in the months (years?) leading up to it, "Why are you still working here?"

As the pieces were falling into place back in 2008, I narrowed down the range of retirement dates. I chose October 31, 2008 as my last day. I gave my bosses a month's notice, although it is not as much as it seems because I was working only 2 days (12 hours) a week. I was able to finish my one big project about 45 minutes before I left on my final day. Good timing, huh?

My bosses were saddened but not terribly surprised because they knew I had been unhappy there for several years. (I am also assuming my coworker/friend did not tip them off.) Not liking any of those grand retirement/resignation luncheons, I told the division's informal party planners not to have one for me. On my final day, my coworker/friend took me to lunch to a diner we often would go to anyway. Later, there was a small gathering at my desk to give me some stuff (and $150 cash they would have spent on a luncheon LOL!).

It was tough keeping a straight face in the months leading up to my announcement in some of the management meetings because others in there often joked about retiring (we asked one to retire because he was old enough to do so and we did not like him a whole lot). But I managed (and laughed inside, "If only you knew...").

About a week later, I collected a big company stock payout ($300k) which got taxed pretty lightly because it was mostly NUA (Net Unrealized Appreciation) taxed at 15% LTCG. The dividends from those proceeds are invested in a bond fund and paying my bills with plenty left over.

My old company is a long, tiring trip from where I live (the #1 reason I left - the commute), so I surely won't be visiting there any time. I do stay in touch with a few people via phone and email but it isn't urgent.
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:58 PM   #6
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Z, I didn't think of the lame-duck issue. I had my university teaching assignments for the next year; I had already wound down my research; I was on some committees that I had to finish up; but I wasn't an administrator and wasn't really in a position that involved any lame-duck issues. I had worked in the same position for 30 years, and enjoyed the nice retirement party given by my department and another one given by the university. Ditty my wife, who retired at the same time from the same university. It was a clean break. And we haven't looked back (except my wife co-authored a research paper six months after our retirement).
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:16 PM   #7
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What phrases are you using, or what phrases did you use?
Yeeeehaaaawww!
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:19 PM   #8
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Hmm....I voluntarily resigned, so my choices were a bit different than a traditional retiree.

"It's a good time for me to leave" was said to former colleagues who asked why I was exiting at age 48. Nobody disagreed with me. Most sincerely congratulated me, quite a few hugged me and wished me the very best.

"I'm doing a Johnny Paycheck" only to very close friends.

"School's Out Forever", singing a single line from Alice Cooper's song, to myself of course
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:42 PM   #9
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I
About a week later, I collected a big company stock payout ($300k) .
I'd take that over being paid for my accrued leave any day! (After taxes, the most I could possibly get, if I took no vacation for the whole year before retiring, would be about $25K).

I don't plan to tell anybody I'm retiring until I'm ready to go out the door. In fact, I tell everybody I have many years to go. If some people want to give me a party, they'll know where I live!

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Old 03-03-2010, 06:00 PM   #10
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Not sure yet, a few months away. But it will start with an e:mail to my boss, he's not on site, titled "It's Time." It'll be brief, undoubtedly leading to a phone conversation. I have no beef with my boss, he's been good. No one will know in advance except DW of course, not even family.

As Site Manager with almost 80 people, I'll have to say a few words in some public setting. I used to think about what advice I'd leave them with, but I've decided more along the lines of 'I haven't saved up some clever words of wisdom for my last day. Whatever we've done here together over the years will stand the test of time if it was beneficial, and quickly be replaced if it was not. I wish you all the very best in life.' And of course I will talk one on one with most of them. I will miss most of them, but there about a half dozen folks at my site and about a half dozen at Corp that I won't be able to forget soon enough...
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:44 PM   #11
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Our global CEO knows I won't be here forever, as does our global CHRO. I have mentioned it to my most senior people locally. I have done it this way because of succession planning, and they asked me a year ago to stick around until end of 2012. There is really only one person at the moment who could replace me in Japan, but I am concerned about the preparedness to fulfil the second part of my role (looking after the rest of Asia). My CFO and my local CHRO know, because they also need to plan. The target date is still nearly three years out in the future, and if my succession plan falls apart, then who knows what will happen. Likely as not it will be 30 days' notice, or a consulting contract that allows me to go home to California or somewhere in the US, and commute once a month in just a very high level oversight role until a longer term solution is found. I've been on a one year assignment for 11 years now, which has been a great blessing and has allowed me to prepare for ER so much better financially than had I not had the assignment, but by the end of 13.5 years, I will need a change, and time to recharge my batteries.

To answer the original question though, I would not use the phrase "...ask someone who gives a sh*t" unless I had been treated badly at the end. I have been here a long time, and even though there have been difficult times, megacorp has been good to me, and I don't feel I can let down the 3000 people who work for my division.

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Old 03-03-2010, 07:16 PM   #12
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To answer the original question though, I would not use the phrase "...ask someone who gives a sh*t" unless I had been treated badly at the end. I have been here a long time, and even though there have been difficult times, megacorp has been good to me, and I don't feel I can let down the 3000 people who work for my division.

R
I guess I should explain my post just a bit......

Most people who have never worked in a really collegeal public school environment don't understand what kind of relationships develop when everyone is not working on selling a product or developing a product, but on teaching little children to be productive citizens. I know my father in law, the senior manager level banker, never had a clue what I do or what teachers of elementary school do. And, despite the fact that everyone here spent 5-7 years of their lives in an elementary school!

First of all, he said in a joking way. And second, he only said it to people that he's known and worked with for many years(many meaning more than 25 years.) It was and is humorous. And I've used it in the same way.

Did he really give a cr*p? Of course he did, except for things that would require fruition or development beyond his time. The same for me.

We don't give up on the important things, even if it sounds like we do.

Where is he now? He works part time for the district as the administrator of the district cyber school. I talked to him today. Once a teacher always a teacher, and we always give a cr*p, its in our blood.

Rambler, I enjoyed your comments just like everyone else's. Everyone deals with this process in a different way, and its great to find out what these ways are.

Z
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:26 PM   #13
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I told those who needed to know that I was going to retire and when, in the context of the transition of my duties.

My friends at work had already known about it for well over three years. One had become my supervisor a couple of years before I retired, so I never had to break the news to my supervisor. I kept her in the loop and we plotted a smooth transition.

So basically, I didn't say anything!

A few times I was assigned long term tasks, so I said, "You know that I'm not going to be able to see this through, right?" and suggested that someone else shadow me on that task so that I could hand it off easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rambler
To answer the original question though, I would not use the phrase "...ask someone who gives a sh*t" unless I had been treated badly at the end. I have been here a long time, and even though there have been difficult times, megacorp has been good to me, and I don't feel I can let down the 3000 people who work for my division.
Yes, I felt the same. Of course I cared!! I still care that my former co-workers accomplish our mission with excellence and integrity. It is their responsibility now, not mine, though.

Edited to add: I read what you said, Zarathu, after writing this and I understand what you are saying. My cubicle was right by a big sixth floor picture window, and during the late hours often other scientists would pause there to gaze out the window and chat. I would point to a movie theater parking lot and say, "See those cars out there? After November 9th, one of them is going to be me. Instead of working here, I'll be at the movies."
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:49 PM   #14
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IIRC, the military rules at the time I retired required a 9-12 month approval. "Sneaking away" was not an option. So I filed my retirement request the morning that the 12-month window opened, and it was approved with impressive (perhaps even disquieting) rapidity.

I had detailed personal and department checklists to complete, so that couldn't be a secret either. A big part of the list was telling people far in advance, over and over, to let me know what they needed from me (letters of recommendation or other endorsements) before I turned into "just another retiree". So nobody was left hanging and it actually pushed a few undecided officer candidates off the fence. That was gratifying.

A few months before terminal leave I stopped trying to fix the broken people, blow up any bridges, or convert the unbelievers. I quietly wrapped up projects, cleaned out a lot of files, unobtrusively sanitized my spaces of my memorabilia, and drafted a "To Do" list with a calendar for my relief.

I did have to patiently and endlessly recite "Thanks but no thanks, no retirement ceremony." My XO was happy to support that after his obligatory please-tell-me-what-you-really-want sermon. However we still caught endless grief from those who knew better or those ceremony sadists who felt that the command climate was discouraging us retiree-wannabes from requesting our due.

I kept the farewells informal. Our department was on Ford Island, isolated from the main command & front office on Pearl Harbor's mauka side, and we'd developed our own ways of doing business. One of those was a weekly lunch BBQ fundraiser that rotated among the various divisions. One of those quiet BBQ days a couple weeks before I left on terminal leave, I bought the department's lunch and ran the grill with that week's crew. Word spread pretty quickly and it turned into a casual parking-lot talk-story farewell without the usual martial pomp & circumstance. A week later our Damage Control division hosted an Aloha Friday BBQ at the firefighting trainer, where they really know how to flame-broil things to perfection. Pomp & circumstance was decidedly of the unofficial no-media-please variety. And a month after I (finally) retired I was invited to one of the civilian employees' monthly lunches, which was a nice way to catch up on gossip without any pomp & circumstance.

Even among shipmates with whom I'd spent five years at that command or longer from other commands, there was considerable skepticism that I'd really stop working. Some decided that I was being coy about the ethics rules and would return the week after I retired in the civil service's aloha casual. I didn't discourage those rumors. It became easier to say that I was just taking time off with family before making any decisions. A few of the more disillusioned enlightened got full financial/lifestyle disclosure and concurred there was no reason to chase a career, let alone a paycheck.

I expected that there would be a last-day-in-the-office ambush, so the week before I made a big public show of filling that day's calendar with appointments. Then on that last day I finished all of the official business by 7:30 AM, turned over to my relief, and left an old steamin'-hot coffee cup on "my" desk next to an old garrison cap. The OPDEC got me out the door hours before the posse realized what had happened.

Over the next few years I was still invited to retirements, promotions, and other events. More talk story and catching up. I'd either trot out the "taking time off" story or explain the facts of ER to the curious Young Dreamers. As my ponytail grew longer and my surfing skills improved, everyone began to realize that I wasn't comin' back...
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:27 PM   #15
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I'd take that over being paid for my accrued leave any day! (After taxes, the most I could possibly get, if I took no vacation for the whole year before retiring, would be about $25K).

I don't plan to tell anybody I'm retiring until I'm ready to go out the door. In fact, I tell everybody I have many years to go. If some people want to give me a party, they'll know where I live!

Amethyst
When I left, it was in the middle of a 2-week pay period. Therefore, and because I was paid on a 2-week lag, I expected to receive two paychecks - one for a full 2-week period ending the week before I left, and one for the single week I left. However, I received 3 paychecks. The third one was for unused Paid Time Off (PTO). I thought I became ineligible for PTO when I reduced my weekly work hours from 20 to 12 in 2007 (the previous year). However, by some fluke I still had some unused PTO time carried into 2008 even though I was ineligible for it according to the employee handbook (and the Intranet timesheet system said I had zero PTO) and emails about the PTO policy recently revised.

I did not want to cash that third check only to have them figure this out and chase after me for it later. As much as I like money, and I was about to get an electronic payment for $300k, I did not want to keep $1,400 I really wasn't entitled to. I asked the payroll director, a very capable woman, who then asked the HR folks who replied that I was somehow entitled to it. Goody for me LOL!
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:40 PM   #16
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As I've said on here before, I am somewhat of a hero around work. I will retire this summer at 43 (one of the youngest ever) with full benefits. On top of that, I only paid $14,000 for my five year buy option way back when.T oday it would cost me about 10 times that. I get a lot of encouraging comments and playful ribbing...at work.

Everywhere else I get, "You're going to get another job aren't you?" or "That's too young to retire, you'll get bored/run out of money/hate it." I realize a lot of people don't know about my pension, the COLA's and the health insurance, but it is still wild to see so many people that regard early retirement (I am only semi retiring) a bad thing. The attitude seems to be that if I am not working, I'm must be doing something wrong. Our family doctor told my wife that i couldn't retire. I would run out of money, get bored and probably die young. He exclaimed I had a family to take care of! Where I work, early retirement is not considered abnormal. My mom retired from there also many years ago in her 50s and my Dad retired from the Post office at 53, so it is weird to hear all the negative comments.

I usually smile and tell them what they want to hear. Yes, I'm going to work. No, I'm not going to just sit around. Blah, blah, blah. They still shake their heads and walk away convinced I am on the path to self destruction. Would be funny if it weren't so sad that so many people think like that.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:43 PM   #17
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I have always been on excellent terms with my company and I told them 2 years out when I planned to retire in order to have a good handover to my successors. I never considered giving little or no notice. The last year has been one big hand-over process where I have documented what I do and trained others as best I can. I never felt like I was a lame duck even though I had very little to do in the last 2 months.

On a slightly selfish note, my pension ongoing is dependent on the ongoing success of the company so it was important I did a good handover and whenever anyone said "i don't suppose you give a sh*t", I corrected them, because I really did care.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:20 PM   #18
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I had thought about leaving my job a year before I called it quits. Finally I came to the decision to hand in my resignation. Unlike others here on this forum, I was not high on the totem pole and my responsibilities could be handled by my fellow coworkers rather easily.

I told my boss I needed to talk to him. He knew what was coming as I'm sure I looked serious. I told him I was giving my two weeks notice while holding my resignation letter in my hand. He reared back in his chair and starting cussing and I'm quite sure his cuss words are still orbiting the Earth. I told him that was the best compliment he had ever given me!

After his cussing and my bouts of laughter died down, he talked me into staying six weeks. I didn't want to, however I liked my coworkers and the company had been good to me. I wanted the transition to go smoothly.

Then, like Walt, the next word was Yeeeeehaaaaawwwww!
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:31 AM   #19
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I didn't keep it a secret but the last 3 months were insanely busy. A boatload of projects finally broke loose plus training interim successers plus cleaning out my office. My last day hardly anyone was there but a good friend took me lunch with a bottle of wine for 2 hours. That was great.

My usual response was "It's not going to be my problem."

I don't miss it at all.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:50 AM   #20
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