Round Two Decision

Two weeks ago…

Yesterday I IM’d one of my co-workers with a question.  He’s a very nice fellow who got dumped on during the last “downsizing”.  That’s how it works, and unfortunately, it didn’t work out so well for him.  After a short conversation, I thanked him for the help and he replies:

JS:  I don’t know what I’d do without you

Me   9:47 AM:  I appreciate that J! Glad I could help.

Now I’m really touched, and feeling needed. If you’re even half-awake, you learn a lot over 37 years.  I’d be lying if I said I haven’t enjoyed being the artifact.  I remember how valuable I thought people like that were when I was younger.  Now they’re all gone, and so is all that knowledge. It makes me very sad knowing my co-worker will be swamped when I decide to go. I wish I could do something about it, but there’s really no solution.

If the company was smart, they’d be training younger folks who were thrown into these positions with no prior experience.  But nobody seems to notice or make an effort.  And besides, is there really such a thing as a smart company?  I know there must be.  What would it be like to work for one?

I’m very aware that I have a strong desire to be a team player.  I often dislike this about myself, thinking that maybe I’m just a “pleaser”.  Is that why I’m such a hard worker, because I’m always trying to gain acceptance, possibly stemming back to my childhood?  Or is just in my DNA?  Or both?

Yet, this is the role that I’ve lived most of my life. I seldom say no to a challenge or a request. I enjoy pulling my own weight and finding ways to help the team.  If I’m working with other people, I want to be a contributor.  However, most people I work with are stretched way too thin and are constantly behind.  It’s a stressful environment when there’s not enough people to go around.  I often feel that it’s a hopeless situation and that all I do is put out fires. It’s such a mixed bag.  I’m always questioning why I’m doing this.

My wife and I sat out by the fire pit the other night as the sun began to set.  We ate a nice dinner as we discussed my plans to leave. She is now becoming adamant that I quit by summer, so we can spend some time boating and camping like we used to.  That’s what I really want to do, and she knows it.  I begin to get a knot in my stomach thinking about leaving, just like I did when I first retired.

DSC_3331 fixed
My wife enjoying the wildlife across the fence.

Last Thursday…

After so many years with the same company, I’d never had a reason to write a resignation letter.  It’s the end of the line of my working career and I’ve got nobody to impress.  I thanked them for hiring me, said I enjoyed it and stated that I have other opportunities.

I called my recruiter, but no answer. I left a message. By Friday morning he hadn’t returned my call.  It was hard to keep focused with this unpleasant task weighing down on me. I called his number again and got his voicemail.  I didn’t want to do it this way, but I wasn’t going to keep calling. I decided I’d leave a two-week notice message, letting him know a resignation letter was on its way to his e-mail.

Just before I began to speak, his name appeared on my phone.  I swapped calls somewhat awkwardly, regretfully letting him know that I was leaving.  Within a minute, the huge burden that had been sitting on my chest began to lift.   I was about to become a retiree again.  Freedom.

Tuesday…

I was enjoying Ralph’s latest post on his interesting and refreshing blog Bluefish Way.  At the end of the post he asked a great question:

Have you ever had a boring and soul destroying job?

Yes, Ralph, I think I have.  I thought about a conversation decades ago in a company file room. I had chatted with a co-worker who told me about the fulfilling life she created outside work to counterbalance the meaningless number-crunching routine she performed all day long.  I’ll never forget that conversation and it had a great affect on me over the years.  Yes, my job has been frustrating, empty and meaningless at times.  But I’ve gained some skills and self-satisfaction from it, which I should be thankful for.  Most importantly, we’ve built a life together outside work that brings us happiness.  In the end, it was all worth it.

 

champie
A very short-lived ottoman

Always trying to think ahead, I’ve already begun buying materials for the fence and looking up boat parts.  Less than two weeks to go, my life as a worker bee will come to a close.  My wife is excited too, and she’s now researching flight and lodging deals to for us to visit Europe.  Neither of us has ever crossed the Atlantic.  I guess it’s about time.

I want the boat running by summer.  I need to stain the house, build the fence, put in a yard sprinkling system, and the list goes on.  I’m anxious to start getting things done around here again.  I’m healthy, happy and I’ve worked hard my whole life.  It’s time to start enjoying it again.

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16 thoughts on “Round Two Decision

  1. Before I comment Des, I must thank you for the link/ping back to my post. Appreciated !
    Wow ! You must be so relieved, such a weight lifted off your shoulders, by resigning. Congratulations ! And do enjoy your retirement with your wife my friend. Ralph 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to congratulate you to your decision to leave the boring and mind killing job and also offer you my best wishes for your well deserved ride into the sunset years. May they be golden and happy, Des. It would have been better if you could have left your last job on a more positive feeling about it. After years and years of frustration in my teaching career, I was blessed with five years of a very rewarding and enjoyable teaching period, which allowed me to enter my retirement with no bitter feelings, which I had often observed with older colleagues. The main thing is that you enter your retirement with definite plans to enrich your life with new experiences and spend more time with your wife. Again best wishes! Peter

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you that it would have been better to leave with a better attitude. I did make some effort, but I think I was just ready to go. I’ve sometimes felt that when the joy is all gone, it’s a bad time to stick around. Glad I made the decision before it got any worse. I’ll definitely enjoy myself, and my wife and I are excited to have a summer off together again. Peter, thank-you for your kind words, it means a lot. Des

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you have decided to retire (again)! If you are that unhappy, it’s the only choice. And I know what you mean about how frustrating it is when there aren’t enough people, especially well-trained people, to get the job done. It’s almost impossible to enjoy your work when that is the case.
    Still, I like the way you decided long ago to make sure you had a fulfilling life outside of your actual job. I think that is essential! Very few people are lucky enough to feel completely fulfilled by their job, or even to really like their job. For the rest of us, we have to make sure we’re getting that happiness elsewhere. As for our jobs, we just take pride in knowing we are doing the best we can and making a difference, no matter how small.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One my first posts ever in blogging was about the encounter in the file room, obviously an important event in my life. I was in my early 20’s and so impressed with this wise woman who had acted on the thought that work is necessary, but necessarily fulfilling, and how important it is to find meaning in one’s life away from the job. I’ve often thought it’s because of her example that I chose to spend the next 35 years there.
      You’re right about the fact that very few people are fulfilled by their work, and also that never having enough people to do the job creates an un-enjoyable atmosphere. That’s a recipe for failure, which some people handle well, but some just don’t. Ann, I think it’s great how you often pick up on the real intentions behind my posts and I enjoy reading your thoughts on them. Thanks much for reading and understanding, and for your kind comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Here I am, late to the party. Glad to hear you’ve made your decision. & your reaction shows it’s the right one. Best wishes for the next stage of your adventure. Let me know if you come to Northern England / South Scotland 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Nik, nice to hear from you. You haven’t missed much… I’ll definitely let you know if we venture into your neck of the woods. Thanks much for the kind wishes! Des

      Like

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