Tag Archives: retirement

The Long Arm of Corporate Big Daddy

My version of the Golden Years

I’ve been getting these calls from cheerful lady at a “placement agency” who desperately wants to help me. I blew her off by saying that I hadn’t decided. I decided I was leaving corporate America the very nano second I found out our department was moving to Mexico. Don’t know why I was being so wishy-washy.

After several such calls she informed me that there was a deadline and that I had to make a decision. Deadline? What deadline? I asked her “what do you mean? Are they going to repossess my retirement?” What she meant was that there was a deadline the corp I worked for set for funding their services. Oh, I see. She finally talked me into accepting a package of information about retirement they provided.

It came in the mail. An appropriately subdued color scheme book. It looked a lot a book you get from a health insurance company, with 2 pages outlining what you are covered for and 180 pages of scourges that you are not allowed to be afflicted with because it’s not covered by insurance. I don’t even want to know that because I don’t want to put the possibilities in my brain pan.

Back to this book . It’s called What’s Next? A Road Map for Exploring the Rest of Your Life. On the first page is a quote: To conceive of one’s life without the word retirement being relevant, is to reframe it. (Charles Handy, The Age of Unreason) OK, I’m with ya so far.

Some interesting Factoids from the book:

1889: Germany sets retirement age of 70 – life expectancy is 46. I knew it! You ARE expected to work after you’re dead.

1933: Retirement promoted as “socially desirable” to open up jobs for young people.

1935: Social Security Act passed. Retirement age 65. Life expectancy is 63. 40 workers support each SS recipient.

1950s: Insurance Companies and retirement community developers sell the Golden Years as a life of leisure. At this time 16 workers support each Social Security Recipient.

1983: Social Security retirement age raised to 67, effective 2027.

2004: only 3 worker support each SS recipient.

2011: The first of 76 million baby boomers reach 65.

Anyone who thinks that they can live on Social Security needs their head examined. Unless they relish the thought of living under a bridge in a box and eating cat food. Well scratch cat food, that stuff is expensive now. The canned people drinks for oldsters are cheaper. That’s a scary thought.

The book goes on to give their version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the usual where were you 5 years ago and where to you wanna be in 5 years, and so on. Then it gets to a 2 page spread where you are supposed to plan out every hour of the day, including sleep time, in 1 hour increments. What? I’ve lived by the calendar and planning out every second of the day to squeeze in more productivity for long enough, thank you very much!

Well now that I’ve scanned the book, panicked, trashed it, cursed about it, and retrieved it from the trash several times, I’m actually going to read it. I’ll let you know if I find anything that I think bears repeating. I probably will. Usually when I get a knee jerk reaction and throw a book across the room it’s something that I need to know, but don’t want to…just yet.

3 Months Since Liberation

The 2 of Us

Decided to take a breather and look back at what has been going on since I started this blog. This is my 165th post to date. I started this blog to share my adventures in transition from worker bee to retired Queen bee 🙂 Today marks 3 months since that happened. It’s been a wonderful journey so far and getting better everyday.

Since that fateful day 3 months ago I took on a project of a lifetime.  My 23-year-old grandson is living with us for a while to get his feet back on the ground. There are good days and bad days but overall he’s making excellent progress. And so is Mr. Husband and yours truly.

When I started this blog I had no earthly idea how much fun it would be and how mind altering. I would like to thank Mr. Husband and all you people who read my ramblings. I love the comments and they always get me thinking about all the different ways to view any particular situation.

Every morning when I open my laptop and start reading is like Christmas morning. A big hug to each and everyone one of you for sharing my journey. It gets better everyday!

Gird Your Loins – I Went to Walmart

walmart

Went hog wild at Wally World and spent $20.34 on assorted craft stuff. Only went 34 cents over budget. It’s funny, I allow myself $20 in the hobby shop and $20 in a casino, excluding drinks. Wonder what myself is trying to tell me. Maybe increase my fun budget?

Bought stencils, glue stick, paint brushes, yarn, and giant crochet needle in case I decide to remove my own brain through my nostril. This idea almost came to fruition after standing 2nd in line for 30 minutes in the 10 items or less line. The cashier was operating at half the speed of smell. I told myself that if I had to be a cashier there I probably wouldn’t be too peppy either and tried not to sigh (audibly).

Finally recuperating from 40 years on the job. At the stage now where I want to try some artsy crafty type things. Going to try painting with bleach on some old T-shirts first. I like the burned out, punk/grunge look that it gives to an old shirt. Run over them with the car a few times and it’s a fashion statement.

crochet laptop bag

crochet laptop bag

Also going to crochet a sort of vestish type thing to wear over tank tops, now that I’ve banned my bras. (Thank you Pat Bean, for the vest suggestion) Saw one in a shop in Houston last weekend for $158 dollars. Good grief, I thought it was a typo, but the sales girl assured me that it was the absolute latest thing. A must have.

Very well if I must have it. I’ll make it myself. Works good for a vest, not so good for a car or bicycle. The learning curve on those is just time-consuming. And the raw materials? Geez Looweez. Mr. Husband would object to a steel foundry installed in the garage, anyway. That would mean his truck wouldn’t fit in there. And our air con bill would go way up.

My first foray back into crochet land was this lap top bag in the picture above. I’m going to get a library card at the place 5 seconds from house and visit frequently to write and get away from the drone of the TV. Going to try this bag as a simple easy solution instead of the huge hideous black plastic laptop briefcase/brick of honor from my corporate days.

The Final Laps – Big Duh!

Duh! Not getting far with no ID

Duh! Not Getting Far Without ID

Retirement count down 2 days to go. I was feeling all smug, having everything all planned out. Then it occurred to me.  My driver’s license expired last Thursday on my birthday. Duh!

I plan to depart on the train for Seattle next Tuesday. Something tells me that they are not going to let me board with an expired ID.

So tomorrow morning it’s off to renew the license. Sigh. I’ll bring my new Kindle because I will be in line for 3 days. Silly me. I could have done it online, hassle free.

That will teach me to let paperwork pile up on my desk at home. But once I don’t have a work desk it will not be so difficult….I hope.

Wishful Wednesday – 2 Days to Go

Collaberative Workspace

Count down to retirement – 2 days. Today I was looking around the huge room I’m sitting in. Once our group is gone, they are going to cram 3 times as many people in here as there ware before.

To save money, the corporation must reduce the “footprint” of each employee. Sounds suspiciously like foot binding to me! The average space in a jail cell is 6ft x 8ft. The average cube is 4ft x 6ft and shrinking. So if we get thrown in, jail we will have more room to wiggle in and 3 meals provided. Slightly less freedom. Don’t really want to compare it first hand though.

Now I understand that corporations need to be cutting edge, competitive, yada yada. But give me a break. This not some ground breaking, brilliant idea. It’s been done before. Attention Big Wigs, we’ll deal with it. Just don’t expect us to buy the horse poop about cramped quarters leading to collaboration, enhance the sharing of ideas, and so on. All it does allow you to know far more about the people sitting behind you and front of you then you ever wanted to know.

Speaking of the people. I had to choke back the water works today. I felt tears trying to well up about leaving all the girlfriends.I’ll still see them, but not everyday. Once I start hugging, it’s all over. I’ve decided that I’m not gonna give myself a stroke trying not to cry. If I do, so what? I enjoy being a girl. It’s my God-given right to boo hoo when the occasion calls for it.

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