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Best Last Day @ W*rk?
Old 02-28-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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Best Last Day @ W*rk?

As "Young" Dreamers we should be putting some thought into this. Since we have all left jobs in our past I thought that perhaps sharing "best of" stories would be an aid for preparation. You never get a second chance to leave a last impression.


My "best" last day was at my favorite local nuclear power plant (I'm way past the Simpson's jokes). After giving my 2 week notice (surprised the he!! out of them) I volunteered to finish my last week as scheduled, on night shift, so no one else was screwed. The last day I reported to work, but in place of my "very professional" uniform I wore a particularly loud Hawaiian shirt. It spun the Shift Supervisor up pretty tight. When he threatened to call for someone in to replace me in the control room, I relented and pulled a company shirt from my back back. I smiled the rest of the 12 hour shift, before driving off into the sun rise. No regrets.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:38 AM   #2
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Here's my story.

I'd relocated to another state to take a new job. My house was listed to sell and I moved. Unfortunately, they bait and switched the project I was working on (no cutting edge stuff, as promised - I would not have moved states for a step back in my skill set.) My boss, the department head, was a software guy - but the guy running the project was hardware... and felt anyone could write code. (Anyone can - but real time embedded software in an interrupt driven system takes some work to get right.) Anyway - he decided I was not productive enough because I left each day at 5pm (I got there at 7am - he didn't get in till 9:30am). I'd met and exceeded the aggressive goals for the first 2 phases of the project. But he still felt I was taking to long and not productive enough. He called me into his office and reamed me a new one. I thought I was getting fired. (An experience I've never had.) Turns out he had no authority to fire me - just wanted to scare me/bully me. That night I called around to friends in my old state and lined up a job. Called my realtor and pulled my house off the market I gave notice the next day. This was about 2 months after I'd started.

I had about 2 weeks worth of work to finish the project... and that coincided with my notice. Being a slacker (in the eyes of the jerk running the project) I finished early. I went to the department head and asked if I could leave 3 days early. He said yes. So instead of leaving on Friday, I left midday Tuesday.

Best last day was walking into the jerks office... and telling him I was out of there and he'd have to find someone else to bully. He was upset that I wouldn't be working on his next project. HA.

Best move ever cutting my losses quickly. Best day ever getting out of there early, telling him I was going early, and watching him freak out. It helps that he got in trouble for intimidating me to the point I quit.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:53 AM   #3
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My best last day was my first job out of college. I graduated with a Psychology degree in the late 70's. Finding a job, any job, was a welcome. Anyway I was hired as a Purchasing Agent for a small firm. It was a great job. I was young and the company liked to have fun. But in an effort to try and flow with the dough I had an opportunity to start with a MegaCorp that would train me in computer programming. I took it.

My last day at the small company was a surprise to me. They called me in to the lunch/break room and had a surprise lunch for me. Gave me some trinkets... it was nice. And then in comes a nice looking woman dressed like a gypsy with a boom box. Starts it up and proceeds to do a belly dance for me! My face was twenty shades of red, but it was all a good time. Something I'll never forget. Of course, the pictures they gave me help never forgetting.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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My best last day was the day I retired, which I shared here a few years ago. Here are a few exerpts from my retirement day thread, that sound more than a little manic. Honestly, you had to be there to understand how truly wonderful my best last day really was.

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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I have completed my "to do" list here at work and have erased it off my whiteboard. All I have left to do is to turn in my badge, parking permit, and exit clearance on the way out the door.

It is SO FANTASTIC to make a long term plan and to finally implement it! I really appreciate the support all of you have given me through the years.

And as for the inevitable "How does it feel?":


!!! !!!
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OMG, thank you and I *LOVE* it!! Dare I say it?

Whee!!!

Another ride upwards on the Dow rollercoaster, and on my ER day. Can't get any better than that, even though it will surely go down in a day or two. I can't wait to see the results, to see what my nestegg on Retirement Day ends up being, and consequently what my SWR will apply to!

Frank just took me to lunch, to celebrate. It was hard to turn in my badge (after wearing it every day) and I didn't expect that, but now it is kind of cool to know that even if I wanted to go to work (which I don't), I couldn't!
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Well, I don't drink (and neither does Frank). If I tossed confetti, I'd have to sweep it up. And it's hard to do Snoopy dances with my feet up vegging out in the middle of the day. I didn't even scream in victory on my way out the door (though I whispered "Yes!" softly to myself once my hands were on the steering wheel, before turning the key in the ignition).

I am still on Cloud Nine! And, I may just stay there.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:59 PM   #5
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My best last day was almost 30 years ago when i was a junior doctor. I finished a 1 year training post in a hospital in Waterford, ireland. This had been a very positive experience. The nurses organized a coffee party and presented me with a beautiful handmade crystal glass bowl (some of their spouses were glassblowers) which I still use and display with pride. Its present value is at least $500. This was the nicest gift I have ever received in the workplace. I was overwhelmed.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:36 PM   #6
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At the first place where I worked, which by its nature had significant turnover, we had a "termination tie" - a very loud and bright tie that men wore on their last day at work and was passed on to others to share with those leaving later. It was a great tradition.

The next place I was the last employee to leave so after moving all the files to the new place I just walked out the door. The next place I left they held a nice good-bye reception and presented me with a GPS so I could always find my way home. The final place had a very nice retirement party for me and DW and a nice hotel room (Waldorf in NYC).

Only 4 employers in a 35 year career - how common is that today?
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:31 PM   #7
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Haven't ever done it, but would love to go OTD with no notice but a simple sign on my office door....

"Gone Fishin"
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:01 AM   #8
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My best last day was my last day of (paid) work.

I had really nice going away party where many dozens of people I had worked with over the last 15 years showed up. Some of whom I hadn't seen in a years.

However, what made the day really special was having lunch my final day with Intel's CEO Andy Grove. Since I was lucky enough to sit within 50' of the man for most of my career I had lunch with him in a group setting many times. But only a couple of time with just myself or with one other person.

I was good friends with Andy's technical assistant Mike, and he knew it was my final day which is why it happened. After Andy saying that I was awfully young to move to Hawaii. The subject turned to the internet. (Andy, Mike and I had all had been early advocates of the internet in the company). In May 1999, the internet bubble was still expanding. Andy told us that he had made a ridiculous amount of amount with venture capital firm investing in internet companies. But he was no longer going to be put more money into these funds. This set of a heated discussion between Mike and Andy, with Mike saying that internet changed everything and so the stock prices were justified, while Andy argued that internet stock were just much too expensive. (Mike latter went on to be executive at Facebook)

At the time I probably had 75-80% of my net worth in tech stocks, mostly Intel but plenty other tech stock also. So I gave a lot of thought to that discussion. Mike was exactly right about how transformational the internet was and everything he predicted and more happened. If I had only known about Warren Buffett's "be fearful when others are greedy" admonishment this would have been easy decision. As it was I was still pretty greedy, but over the next month, I decided that Andy Grove was a lot smarter than myself and started reducing my exposure to tech stocks, ultimately dumping most in Jan 2000 a few months before the crash really hit hard.
So I've got to thank Andy Grove for not only allowing me to make millions in the first place, but also the wise counsel that let me keep it.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:14 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post

Only 4 employers in a 35 year career - how common is that today?
Not too common these days. I've had 2 employers in a 35 yr career. I'm not retired yet but, this will be my last full time employer.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:04 AM   #10
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I know this is not as impressive as 35 years with one employer. In 2017 I will be 30 years with one employer and 38 years in the military my second job. In defense of the numbers I am a full time federal employee for the Army National Guard since 87 and joined the army back before then in 1976. With a 2 year break I decided to continue my military service. So in 2017 I hope to be fully retired and wearing whatever I want. Oh and I know that will be the best last day of w*rk for me!
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Huston55 View Post
I've had 2 employers in a 35 yr career. I'm not retired yet but, this will be my last full time employer.
My rap sheet is similar: 8 years with my first employer (military) and 27 years with my second (mini-megacorp).

My best day at work is a tie: the day our new owners announced our company would be the survivor of a forced merger and I would not be losing my job at age 50 - and the day I retired at age 58.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:47 AM   #12
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Our department was in the middle of changing VIP's, I had a Director from hell...she really thought she was the Mega corp Diva....would give me a hard time for everything. Well, the new VIP came in and had a "meet and greet" with everyone, and I gave him my resignation at that meeting Oh the look on his face! He then let the Diva know and she was pissed off! The remaining two weeks were absolute hell, with all the questions and silly busy work....but I had the biggest smile on my face!
They gave me a party the last day, lots of fake smiles and what not...I was even told that they would hold my job for me if things didn't work out! LOL...I actually skipped out the doors and ran to my car Loved that day!
Subsequent lunches with co-workers were fun also...they would keep asking if I was ok, if business was good, did I feel as if I made a mistake...and it would piss them off that I was doing so well! I haven't seen anyone from those dark days in about two years
I went back to visit the site once...and I had such a frigging headache just being in that building....ugh!
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:24 PM   #13
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My rap sheet is similar: 8 years with my first employer (military) and 27 years with my second (mini-megacorp).
Yep, mine's very similar: 6 yrs active duty Air Force (+17 yrs AF Reserves), and 29 yrs with MegaCorp.

Getting close to time to put this horse out to pasture...the kind of pasture with finely mowed fairways and smooth, true greens.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:45 PM   #14
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I w*rked for only 2 companies in my 31+ years. My best last day was the party we gave when DH and I repatriated from Germany to the US after 4 years. In Germany, the custom is that when you leave (voluntary resignation or retirement), you give the party. So we invited all of our colleagues to the German equivalent of happy hour at what would in the US be called a brewpub. We paid for everything - lots of beer, sausages, and the like. A wonderful evening - I'd do it again in a minute.

My last day of w*rk before ER - as I recently posted, I had to find the HR person to take my badge. Unfortunately, that Megacorp has gone downhill even more since then.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:44 PM   #15
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My "best" last day was at my favorite local nuclear power plant (I'm way past the Simpson's jokes). After giving my 2 week notice (surprised the he!! out of them) I volunteered to finish my last week as scheduled, on night shift, so no one else was screwed. The last day I reported to work, but in place of my "very professional" uniform I wore a particularly loud Hawaiian shirt. It spun the Shift Supervisor up pretty tight. When he threatened to call for someone in to replace me in the control room, I relented and pulled a company shirt from my back back. I smiled the rest of the 12 hour shift, before driving off into the sun rise. No regrets.
That sounds vaguely familiar, I wonder if I was in the same control room
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