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The dangers of ‘checking out’
Old 11-26-2018, 06:53 AM   #1
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The dangers of ‘checking out’

Next Friday, Ill jump online and (I work a 4 day week and Fridays I’m off ) shoot an email to my Boss and his Boss and let them know 1/6/19 will be my last day. I have vacation scheduled from that same Friday through 1/2/2019. I’ll then ‘work’ those last 4 days from home. On paper 12 days left in this job.

Admission: I’ve ‘checked out’ - I am in the middle of two big jobs. One is being run by a friend I’ve worked with forever. I will not and can not let him down. The other is a very difficult job being run by a colleague who has made negative comments that have no basis. I’ve overlooked the remarks.. With so little time left Is it worth it to make a fuss? If time wasnt short I would be all over it.

So my meditation is Phrase is now “Ray only a few days left”. I remind myself to be especially nice.

Anyone care to share their last few days..
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:09 AM   #2
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I worked the last days just like the previous years. That is just the way I am wired, not saying it is the best way. I may have gotten some satisfaction out of naming some culprits on the way out, but that was counter productive in my opinion.

Congrats rayinpenn on the last few days.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:17 AM   #3
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There were a few co-workers soon to be ex-coworkers that I had issues with and I wanted to say something to them before I left. I didn't. I was more interested in what lay ahead for me than what lay behind. I was the type that was pretty low key and no one outside of a few said a word to me. Jealousy or indifference? Who Cares? We were on different wavelengths and all I wanted to do was live my life the way I wanted to.
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The dangers of ‘checking out’
Old 11-26-2018, 07:25 AM   #4
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The dangers of ‘checking out’

I did nothing of substance my last year. I came into the office one day a week and trained my replacement. He did all of my work tasks. Spent another day a week at home organizing things, and communicating with my replacement. So I was checked out, but the boss wanted me to be checked out so I could give my replacement ojt training.

Ray - don’t worry about the negative comments. If the colleague is a dweeb, he/she would probably have them even if you were giving 100%. Nothing matters as long as the boss is happy.
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Old 11-26-2018, 07:42 AM   #5
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My last 3 months were busy as heck for me. Year end closing, dealing with auditors and grooming my replacement. But knowing I was about to enter utopia made it all go well for me. Didn't feel the stress I normally felt during that time of the year.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:06 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
Anyone care to share their last few days..
When my time came, I had decided in January that I would be retiring once an important project was completed at the end of June.

I waited until two weeks before my last day and gave my 2-week notice.

I worked the final two weeks, spending most of my time split between tidying up the project, and leaving sufficient documentation for whoever came after me. I spend my usual 50-55 hours working each of the final two weeks.

I left at the usual time on Friday.

Six months later I was asked if I'd come back to help out my successor. We agreed on a part-time gig of Mondays and Tuesdays, 8 hours each. That lasted for about a year. It seemed to work out well for them, and I actually enjoyed it.

For the final two years of so of my work, I personally disliked my bosses. My team and I were reorganized four times - and each time I worked under a different boss located in a different state. I worked hard to shield my team from the burden of these bosses and from all the political infighting. During those two years I thought long and hard about whether this was my final job, or if I should leave and start over again for a while at a new company. Eventually, I decided that I could tolerate anything for a short period of time and that I was financially ready to retire.

I could have skipped out that January, but I felt it was important to my team (and to a far lesser extent the company), to get this multi-year project fully completed before I left. It wasn't bad at all knowing that I had just 6 months longer to put up with the foolishness. Knowing the end date makes everything easier to bear.

I never once thought about just announcing via email that I would taking vacation for a month, working from home, and never showing my face in the office again. Perhaps that's just me. I'm not the vindictive or "checked out" type I guess. When I work, I like to work hard.

We each find our own way to exit. I was pleased with mine.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:22 AM   #7
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All I cared about at the end was going out without regrets when looking back at my career. Not worth leaving a sour taste with others after a good career. I stayed productive and I was cordial with all my co-workers, even the 10% I never cared for. What happened to them after I left wasn't of any concern. Staying productive helps the time pass quickly, as always. Though I didn't let poor planning by others create "emergencies" for me, as always - a few people tried to dump their work or problems on me, but I didn't allow it. And I wouldn't be any more or less forgiving of others even on my last day. YMMV
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:48 AM   #8
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I was working only 2 days a week in the last 17 months of my career. I worked on 2 important things. One was an important project I wanted to get done before I left the company. The other was finishing up work on smaller projects which would be transitioning to others. I had been doing that for several months when I had down time from my main project.

I did finish my work on both items before I left, getting my work on the big project done about 45 minutes before I left on my final day for good.

On anything else, though, especially if it pertained to stuff happening after my last day, I had mentally checked out.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 11-26-2018, 09:49 AM   #9
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I was at my office til midnight my last day, alone, being sure everything was finished. I gave a few months’ notice. I can’t imagine checking out. Fortunately my company didn’t check out either after I gave notice (the flip side). A lot depends on the kind of company and job.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:55 AM   #10
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I had given about 2 months notice, and was basically an individual contributor responsible for my own work. I did have some checking out in the last couple weeks. But I did continue supporting those I worked with and did my job. Although the last couple weeks was more of transitioning my work to others that would be taking over.

I think it is always best to go out smiling and not create any issues, even if you are right. If you do have an exit interview any criticism should not be directed at individuals.

Congratulations Ray, just enjoy your new status as the short timer! I did make a little fun with my short timer countdown posting the number of work days left for my time outside my office door. Just to make sure everyone knew not to get me involved with anything new that would go past the last workday.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:59 AM   #11
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My last few months were spent handing over my projects to colleagues to take up after I'd left. I had finished my last big project with the successful commissioning of a big new production unit and was then not in a position to take on any large projects. I liked all the guys and gals I worked with so did my very best to document everything very well and spend plenty of time with the ones taking on my workload.

Compared to the rest of my working career that last few months was a cakewalk and I admit that that I was really bored for the first time ever, but I never "checked out".
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:14 AM   #12
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I chose not to check out. I was raised to "never burn bridges, no matter how you feel about others". A project that I could have let sunk (and used my leaving as justification for why I should not be on it) I took over and left successfully. One result was a large unexpected bonus Megacorp sent me after I retired, in thanks for not "checking out" on the project.
FIREd date: June 26, 2018 - wwwwwwhat a rush!
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Old 11-26-2018, 10:29 AM   #13
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I didn't check out. I wanted to leave with my good reputation intact as I expected to pick up some contract work later.
I did make sure I handed off projects to those few people that like to make life difficult first and spent more time on wrapping up projects with the friendly folks.
“No, not rich. I am a poor man with money, which is not the same thing"
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
Anyone care to share their last few days..
Here you go! From 11/5/2009 through my retirement on 11/9/2009.

I gave six months' notice, trained others in how to do various parts of my job, and did my best to make the transition as seamless as possible. My way of exiting without leaving anybody in the lurch, was consistent with how I have done things all of my life so overall, I felt pretty good about it.

During my career, several times I had to go through mountains of papers and computer files left by other retirees, most of them outdated, unimportant, and useless (the papers and files, not the retirees! ). So anyway, I spent the last few months shredding and reducing papers and computer files to a manageable amount. Just before I retired, I delivered those papers and files to the appropriate people myself, rather than leaving that chore to others.
Happily retired since 2009, at age 61.
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Old 11-26-2018, 11:54 AM   #15
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I am a burn no bridges guy and chose to leave the same way that I had arrived ~25 years earlier (grateful and appreciative for the opportunity). I did get a perverse joy coming in early and taking stuff from my desk to the dumpster, or taking a few things home each day. My space was always spartan anyhow, so no one suspected my pending departure.

On my last day, I had the buffet breakfast (first/only time) in the cafeteria, then concluded my no drama exit interview. After that, I handed my battle rattle (phone, badge, laptop, etc) over to the department admin and exited with the biggest grin that my face could allow.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:09 PM   #16
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I took a package, so left with little fanfare and ease of transition into retirement.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:32 PM   #17
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I had an hour-long exit interview in which I was critical of corporate policy but not of any individuals, especially coworkers. I also made sure to mention my commute as reasons #1, #2, and #3 as my main ones for leaving.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 11-26-2018, 12:43 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ronstar View Post
So I was checked out, but the boss wanted me to be checked out so I could give my replacement ojt training..

This was basically my situation also. I had to apply for an early retirement package a few months before I could actually retire, and after I did that, it became pretty clear that all new work would be going to the young guy that I had been training/mentoring for some time. That was fine with me. So I just finished up a few things that I had been working on for a while, and that was it.

Interesting twist happened later, though. I heard a couple months after I retired that the guy I had been training (for a few years, actually) quit and took a new job with a different outfit, closer to where his girlfriend was. Not only that, but he gave only a couple days notice, and told them he had finished his part of a couple of big projects, and would send his stuff to the boss on his last day of work. Guess what.......he never sent his stuff, because it was not nearly finished. I hope he likes his new job, because I don't think he will be working for the agency he and I worked for ever again.
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Old 11-26-2018, 12:49 PM   #19
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I gave a 6 month notice and said I would gladly train my replacement, but month after month no replacement came. Finally within a month of my retirement date and 2 months after I had signed my retirement papers they finally posted my job. Needless to say by that time it was too late to hire someone and have me train them. They called me several times after I retired and asked for help on some things and asked if I would come back and train the person they hired to be my replacement. I declined.

It really ticked me off that I gave them 6 months and they waited until I was gone to hire someone, but I wasn't surprised because the person that they put in charge of our department was nothing more than a walking buzz word generator and was attached to his boss by a huge vacuum.

I don't miss that place at all.
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:23 PM   #20
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I could have said a few choice things to a few people, but decided why bother. I just kept working like usual up to the last day. The people I served, which included active duty military, needed my best work as much as ever.

To my surprise, a casual remark during my exit interview led to a long and lucrative post-retirement consulting gig. All I said was that while I looked forward to retiring, I kind of regretted letting my many years of varied experience fall on the floor...
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