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Old 05-30-2008, 08:29 AM   #21
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Hello Bayer:

I am many decades younger, and have immense respect for my elders ( I am not a lawyer) who have survived my lifetime's worth of working hard in a professional field, maintaining relevance, and navigating the shifting political challenges. So I am sure that I could learn years of advice from you, but feel compelled to share with you what I read in your posts.

I think you do know what you want in life. And you, in the latter stage (I hesitate to say final b/c I know many happy working physicians and lawyers in their 80's), suddenly find your intentions molested (I can't think of a better word right now). And it sounds to me like retirement is not what you want. Rather, it is professional and personal fulfillment. But isn't the latter what we all seek for? Although it sounds like your personal fulfillment was achieved through profession. And that for many decades, your work was considered honorable.

Some people have a family with kids. Some people have a significant other or life partner. Some people have a volunteer passion or hobby passion. All of these people then have something which lights a fire in their heart, to help or to sustain them, when the daily grind of human living and work become unbearable.

Maybe now could be a time for you to begin to cultivate that? If someone spurns your love, then the usual understanding is that person is not worth your love. Chris succinctly stated it.... how long would you choose to continue to expend your life energy, your hopes, and even at 60- your dreams on something unworthy?

You are not the sum of your professional accomplishments. Likewise, you are not the sum of your rpofessional shortcomings. Similarly, you are not the sum what you did not achieve and what your high school colleagues did achieve. Rather, you are valuable for who you are. The lives you have helped. Those lives who have been meaningfully affected by who you are, and yes, your knowledge and expertise.

I think this would be easier (maybe?), if you had a wife (dog, SO, etc) of 40 years who was still by your side and could look you in the eye and say:

Bayer? Screw them. Forget them. They don't know that you ARE a wonderful and important human being. You mean the world to me. Sure, keep working if you want the bonus, the paper to say no negligence was committed.... but whatever, you are still IMPORTANT to me. No matter what.

So, I am not sure if there is something that can give you that satisfaction of feeling. But it is never to late to start working on it. I'll be quiet now since this is already too long, but i wish you the best luck Bayer.

p.s. The feisty part of me, when the sword fell, would have joined a non-profit in non or low paying capacity working cases agaist the offending firm.
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Old 05-30-2008, 08:42 AM   #22
Recycles dryer sheets
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PS. that was very well said and well written although I'm not sure I would feel comfortable with a 40 yr old dog looking me in the eye and giving me a pep talk
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:30 AM   #23
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Find the Fork


I empathize with you and your situation. I have been there. It sounds like you are being forced down a fork in the road. I am sure that your plight has touched many on the board as it represents the plight of old workers in America.

It is difficult to start anew with your life’s aims but sometimes we are forced into it. When one door closes, another opens. Count your blessings and start the difficult task of deciding what to do with the rest of your life.

Best wishes.

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Old 05-30-2008, 12:06 PM   #24
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We fall down but get right up.

Sounds like you've taken a fall here; time to assess and re-assess whether you've invested too much of your life into your current work. Perhaps, at one time, the work was inspirational -- seems more like a job now and not a very good fit for you now.

I've known a few red-booked listed lawyers who have taken falls in the past -- they move on quickly -- and try to find new client bases. At this stage of your career, as one lawyer to another, I'd chuck the current practice area and find a different practice area. Elder law is a growth practice and perhaps more fulfulling than working on corporate or municipal/bond financing deals. There are many other practice areas.
Someday this war's gonna end . . .
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Old 05-30-2008, 04:01 PM   #25
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Congratulations! You have the opportunity that few people will ever experience.

My humble thoughts on this opportunity:

1. The firm needed a scapegoat and unfortunately, it was you- so, give them what they really want- your exchange for a nice fat severance package and a confidentiality agreement with the caveat not to pursue the matter further through the ABA, EEOC, local newspaper, etc. Walk out of there on your terms. Soon.

2. Take some time, travel, live a little. You probably spent 30 years busting your hump in the legal profession. Ditch the suits, buy a couple of comfortable pairs of jeans, and go see this great country of ours first- (i'm opinionated that way) then go see the rest of the world... There are a lot of good travel threads on this site if you need ideas.

3. Take a few months (or a few years) to decide what you want to be when you grow up- it may be a volunteer job in the legal profession, it may be Habitat for Humanity, it may be the retired lawyer working part-time at the local coffee shop... heck, it may even be posting here full-time...

4. Find new friends- screw your old co-workers- they either already turned on you or will be branded as traitors if they associate with you after you leave.

5. Look at this as a real opportunity, not a setback. You are fortunate that you have the means and the health to enjoy this next chapter in your life. Make the most of it.

Good Luck !
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So much wisdoms from so many people...
Old 05-30-2008, 06:50 PM   #26
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So much wisdoms from so many people...

I must say I appreciate learning from you all. I sought counsel from this forum because I want to learn from you who have a perspective of life and work that is very different from the career sharks with type A personality who work with me and telling me that I got screwed and I need to stay and fight and clear my name. They are not necessarily wrong and I am not disparaging them with the term "sharks". I learned a lot from the replies and want to thank everyone.

On reflection and from talking to people in the office, I wonder whether I might now better understand the fairly strange overreaction. When I told the head of my division a couple of months ago that I have been offered this job that in many ways better than his, he said ruefully that because of his family ties (wife's job, kids in school and social ties to locale ) he would not be able to move to take on a change. When the misadventure happened, he drove the sanctions to the max. Now the new job is shot. I do not want to bore you with my take of what happened, but that was one of the reasons why some colleagues are urging me to fight for my name. The situation way past where something can be negotiated privately and I leave with a parachute and dignity because the state controlling agency was notified very quickly. The firm's oversight committee did meet to discuss the case, but he controlled the discussion and the committee pretty much did what he recommended)

I hope I did not convey a sense that I was jealous of my high school classmates and was comparing their success to mine. I just admire my close friend for his ability to walk away from a business career that many will kill for. I was also wondering about how a person whose work affect the nation's safety, life and death for people under his seer, would feel with the large come down of his power when he resigned his commission. If some people can do this, how come it is more difficult for someone like me who is not anywhere near that kind of atmosphere?

I know what most reasonable people would choose in my situation. and I want to thank again for the many wise inputs I received. My head agrees with you, it takes a little more time to drag the heart along.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by bayer View Post
My head agrees with you, it takes a little more time to drag the heart along.
As many people on the board can tell you, big life changes take time to get your head around - the more so when they come about on someone else's schedule rather than yours. Take your time and make the best decision for you. But keep in mind that your career is not the same as you.

And based on your comments abouyt the way things went with your job, I would very seriously consider getting specialized employment counsel.
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."

- George Orwell

Ezekiel 23:20
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