Friday, June 01, 2012

Prosepctive Indolence

R was slowly preparing for retirement. He was pre-empted after a disagreement with a superior who he accused of being rude to him. His fellow workers backed him, yet he was called in to see the CEO who suggested his heart was no longer in the job (possibly true) and that there might be a redundancy package on offer for him. R is a dinosaur. He has worked the same job for a couple of decades. He will readily agree that he is not with the 'modern methods'. He just does his caring, supportive and training job as he has always done. This is possibly why his clients are so fond of him, nay, adore him. He is a constant in many of their lives. He doesn't succumb to their varied moods. He treats them all equally, with firmness, fairness and fondness. R does his job well, as he has always done. But for historical reasons, he doesn't come cheap. He is paid more than his co-workers who do the same job. In fact he is paid more than his immediate superior.

And so, he is negotiating a settlement package. If the organisation he works for wants rid of him when he does his job well, then it must pay.

He is worried about not having enough money to retire, a few years before he is of old age pension time. Naturally no one likes being told they are no longer wanted. That must hurt. In spite of me urging him to not worry about money, as I earn enough to pay some of our bills on my own, he stands by that he has never taken anything from anyone and is not about to start. This is quite true. We have never shared money and never had the benefits that married or de facto couples receive. If Social Security tell him that I must support him, they can whistle Dixie.

There have been many conversations about his prospective retirement, but eventually I said to him, I don't think you are quite ready to retire. He agreed, and will try to find an easy to do part time job after finishes up at where he now works.

So, just into the new financial year, R will finish up full time work where he has worked for twenty years and the organisation's humble beginning. It will be a momentous financial and personal change in our lives.

Edit: A couple of weeks after I wrote that post and decided that it might not be wise to post it, things moved on rapidly.  As of this afternoon R will have finished up full time work after succumbing to subtle management bullying and a decent financial incentive to leave.

This is rather a life changing event for both of us.


  1. Best wishes to R. I can attest that retirement can be very fruitful and fulfilling. Hopefully his reputation will overcome ageism in his efforts for part time employment.

  2. I was going to say take the redundancy package and run like the wind as i did as you would have read in the paper the amount of people being put out of work lately and not being paid their award entitlements. But everything has been settled by the sound of it :-).

  3. Anonymous9:55 am

    Yes ageism exists in the workforce today. Being loyal to a company is not looked on favourably any more I'm said to say. And they will look at any excuse to get rid of you.

    I am biding my time to go unless a redundancy is waived under my nose then it is straight out the door.

    I'm sure R will be fine and like you said a partime job for him will boost his self esteem.

    Good luck to you both.

  4. Wow, big changes eh. My Dad retired a few years ago and now he does bits and pieces here and there, he can't fully retire! I'm glad of that though, he'd be bored silly at home all day long.

    It will take both of you some time to adjust but R will be good. Does he still want a casual or part time job?

  5. Retirement worries me too, but not only for financial reasons. After a busy life of hard work and responsibilities, what does a person do each day - part time work elsewhere? volunteering? sports and hobbies? blogging for money?

    The earlier a person plans for retirement, the more satisfactory it will be (I hope). Daytime tv would be soul destroying.

  6. Idiots in charge don't realise management can be got cheap anywhere, whereas experienced caring, give-a-damn people like R are not only an assest to the company but very rare to find.
    Hope he finds a part time job that suits him down to his blessed cotton socks.

  7. I could be trite and suggest they don't deserve R and that, after adjustment and a clarifying glass or twelve R'll realise he's better off without them, and enjoying the sun beating down on him on the balcony whittlin' and whistlin' is just the what the doctor ordered.

  8. Victor, work offers are starting to flow already, but I am encouraging him to some other type of work. He won't do anything before our holiday in late June.

    Windsmoke, as it is a private organisation, but government funded, that is not really a problem. It seems businesses are closing down at a rapid rate though.

    Thanks Anon. Very kind words. I hope you get some financial encouragement to leave.

    Fen, yes he does still want to work. It seems he can get any amount of casual work in his field and earn good money.

    Hels, blogging for money and watching daytime tv, quell horreur. I was going to say, you have a wide range of interests, a house to maintain, papers and books to read, a family and you are active. But I know retirement is not quite as simple as that. Planning for retirement financially makes sense, but I have never grasped it on a personal level, no matter how many wise words I have heard about it.

    Jayne, tonight he is very happy and glad to have left. I am worried a bit though as to how he will adjust.

    LS, he has starting on the mental clarification substance already, with a single malt bought for later clarification. He will miss his clients, but really, he is pleased to be out of there. The clincher was that his three long time workmates are in the process of leaving too.

  9. Ouch. There is not enough discontentment at work, or a big enough payout to quite offset a kick in the guts like this. But everyone else has already made the important comments; keep busy, forget the mongrels, and give yourselves time to adjust.
    It's always much worse when there are other people involved, such as R's clients. With time, I hope he realises he can do just as much good for other clients.

    All the best.

  10. Judging by what I have read in the papers lately it seems the good ship Australia is in danger of sinking.
    I hope R enjoys a bit of time off and your forthconing holiday before taking up casual/part-time work.
    I'm of the opinion that he was asked to leave because of the amount of money he earns. Clearly management would prefer to pay a newbie a lesser amount. It's the same story the world over.
    I would love to retire, but am financially unable just yet. When I get to be 65, I'll still be in a financial dinghy rather than a cruise liner, but I'll have had a few years to get used to and prepare for breadline level living. Heck, I'm almost there now. On the bright side, I don't have much now, so don't have much to lose. And I know I will cope.

  11. Of course his clients adored him.
    I would like to think the mongrel who was rude to him is out of work soon too.

    All men find retirement difficult. has he thought of volunteer work? The Bone Marrow Registry needs desk people. The Blood Bank is run by volunteers - not many donors realise that. Love and Good Luck from me though.

  12. Yeah FC. The euphoria is evident and all is normal. At some point there will be a crash. I'll be there to pick up the pieces.

    River, you made some very salient points. Out of five full time staff last year, no-one is now there on active duty. There is only one full time permanent staff member and she can't be left alone as she needs a superior. Crazy place. And yes, she gets paid a pittance. Surely you being 45, it is twenty years away before you get an old age pension. You have plenty of time to plan. Once you do, I don't expect you will have 'how can I fill my day' time, well, not too much.

  13. Ann, the mongrel is an empire builder, and he is actually doing a fine job of it.

    I keep telling R what a great lollipop crossing person he would make. Volunteer work is under consideration. It would be good if he could find some volunteer work that really interested him. But what are his interests? Problem.

  14. That's a huge change for him and your good self, Andrew, but I've just read in the comments that job offers have already started, so I don't think he's going to be sitting at home, bored.

    And when he is sitting at home, it'll be because he feels like it. Best of luck to you both.

  15. Indeed Kath. Is isn't the type to do nothing. Wait till after holidays.

  16. 45? Thank you. I'm 3 months away from turning 60. Retirement is a lot closer now, it's the light at the end of the tunnel.

  17. Its the company's loss by the sound of it - my sister has been a Renal Dialisys nurse for decades - she will be 62 soon and I know is compassionate towards patients - but what she tells me about the attitude of the bureaucrats running the place to "dinosaurs" like her - leaves a lot to be desired. A sane society would respect the years of experience that my sister and R have and learn from it - I understand his worrying about covering his costs but when you are together everyone just throws what they have into the pot and it all balances out somewhere

  18. Andrew

    even if a person has plenty of superannuation and savings, retirement can be a terrible shock. Instead of bouncing out of bed every morning with a clear idea of the tasks to be tackled that day, there is the risk of no plan for the day, no timetable for responsibilities and no adult meetings.

    Sofar so good for me personally, but I am a lecturer at a TAFE College :( Our future does not look good.

  19. River, I am pleased you see it as a light at the end of a tunnel.

    MC, it is the same for me. My experience and knowledge counts for nothing. I am not too fussed by the money, but he is more so.

    Hels, we have two friends at TAFEs and both are contract. One in particular is worried. We are seeing her tonight. You are right. It is no good getting up without something planned to do, even if the plan is to sit a read for two hours. On rare days when I have nothing planned, I then plan in the shower.

  20. Who wants to work? What's this 'plan' nonsense?

    You're regimented.

    Us artists and poets seek Realisation. We just Are.