The Sadness That Comes With Retirement

Posted by $ Abaco 3 months, 4 weeks ago to Culture
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Anybody else experience this? I love my work. And...my "retirement" will certainly include plenty of more work. But, it will be fun stuff. No more 9-5 with a boss. And, I have options lining up. I'm pulling the plug on my engineering career in a few months. I realized something looking back on things. I've had the luck to work in a few jobs where I got to work with a small team of very competent, intelligent and good colleagues. Looking back I realized that each time those teams were blown up by inept management. And, it makes me wonder. What the hell is wrong with people? It's a microcosm of what I see at the national level. Cruz's state is in very serious trouble so he flies off to Cancun just being the very latest example. Looking back it appears that almost anybody anymore who seeks positions of power are really intellectually flawed. I'm retiring from this position at a pretty young age simply because those above me are perfectly fine with me working myself into an early heart attack.

This morning I found a picture of the best architect I've ever worked with. It was when he and I spoke to a large audience of architects and engineers at an event in S.F. He and I were such a potent duo working side-by-side, industry experts. We were there with the boss who hired us who is a brilliant guy. Soon after that meeting upper management yanked my boss out of that position, replaced him with somebody only because they wanted the job and our team quickly dissolved. My former boss retired in disgust and rides his bike around town sampling the local beers (I'm joining him on that and we're planning our bike trips), and my former architect colleague has been directed to compile staff workload spreadsheets for the office.

It makes me really look at our world holistically and think about guiding my children on their futures. The old "work hard, take care of your family and retire" paradigm that we established post WW2 in America is dead. Totally dead. But, as I've taught my son...knowing is half the battle...


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  • Posted by Mamaemma 3 months, 4 weeks ago
    One thing I see in your post is that this world that we live in loves and rewards mediocrity and hates and punishes excellence. Some things never change.
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  • Posted by $ Markus_Katabri 3 months, 4 weeks ago
    You’re Going Galt! I’m not far behind. I’m done contributing to a shit show that despises me for seeking excellence. I’ve noticed the power structure in general is more than happy to let me pull most of the load. I teach my youngers NOTHING. They all think they know it all anyway. So why should I prove them wrong and take all the hate for it. Reality will do a much better job and cost society more with ZERO effort on my part.
    To quote AR. “This is their world. They created it. Leave them to it.”
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  • Posted by 25n56il4 3 months, 4 weeks ago
    Having been a Federal Lobbyist, excuse me Public Affairs Rep, I have no problem with Sen. Cruz taking his daughters to Mexico. Good parenting. He could have hitched a ride on the Shell Oil Jet if he'd wanted to be sneaky!
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    • Posted by mccannon01 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      I don't have a problem with Cruz taking a moment with his family, either. Exactly what is he supposed to do - climb up a windmill with a torch and personally thaw it out? There is no practical reason he and his family should stay if they don't have to. I have family members in Texas and they'd do what Cruz did in a heartbeat if they could - actually, they could but didn't. IMHO, the roots of this criticism is simply envy and jealousy.
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  • Posted by Mamaemma 3 months, 4 weeks ago
    Boy, this really hits home. I am a single practitioner dentist who owns her own practice and office. I absolutely love what I do. I have been a dentist for 46 years this year, and retirement is peeking at me around the bend. My daughter graduated from dental school almost 6 years ago and has been in practice with me since. It has been wonderful. I have been able to break her in and teach her so she has become a better dentist than me. But she is getting married this August to a wonderful man (yay!), and she will be leaving.
    So here is where I am. I am a dinosaur. Private practioners are a dying breed, for financial reasons. Young graduates come out of school with $250,000 to $500,000 in debt, only to make about half as much as the preceding generation. This is due to the fact that insurance companies essentially set our fees, and income goes down while costs go up. I would love to get a new graduate to come in and work with me a couple of years and then slowly buy me out, but it’s not going to happen. That’s a thing of the past. So my practice and my way of practicing, putting ethics and the patient first, is dead. The only way for dentistry to survive at this point is to have huge groups and commit massive fraud and throw ethics away. I know this, as I sat on our state dental board for 10 years.
    And one more thing: the quality of the graduates has declined precipitously in the last 10 years. I’m not sure I could deal with a “partner” who was incompetent, and the odds of that is high.
    Just another example of how our country is changing. The patients, by the way, are the ones who get screwed.
    So you’re not the only one who is retiring in disgust. Most of all, I am so sad to see where my profession, which I respected highly, has gone, like a lot of America these days.
    Wow, I had some time to rant, didn’t I?
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 4 weeks ago
      I saw similar trends in the finance world. I had my own investment advisory business "on the side" for several years. Under Obama the red tape became so bad under "compliance" that it was tough to make money, while my kids weren't getting enough of my time. Sold the business. Now...get this...The advisors I know are too mired in red tape to take on small clients or help manage the investments of their large clients. So...I have found a niche running numbers for them and doing the math so that they may better serve their valuable (big) clients. That's right...under the American system the investment advisors are so regulated that they can't do the math to properly "advise". And...now I'm starting to do it for them. I actually love it.
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  • Posted by LeoSopicki 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I have been retired for about 10 years and recently have had recurring dreams about working on projects, directing a team, and otherwise being part of a large effort of some sort. Never would have predicted that.
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  • Posted by VetteGuy 3 months, 4 weeks ago
    Congrats on your upcoming retirement! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I've enjoyed mine. A colleague once told me "don't think of it as leaving something. Think of going TO something." In my case it was mountain biking, traveling, and working on old cars. Biking became a lot more fun when I could hit the trails while most people were at work, and I could avoid the crowds. Enjoy!
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    • Posted by $ 3 months, 4 weeks ago
      Same applies to golf courses...much more open during working hours. My plan is to work in the mornings (starting just before market open) then hitting the golf course after a good lunch that includes beer. I would also like to coach high school golf. That's more driving around and organizing than coaching (these kids are so good now days). And, I like the thought.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    You are more experienced than I am, but my thought is don’t let mediocrity get you down. There’s a lot of it, and it will drive you crazy if you can’t steer clear if it and let it exist without bothering you too much.

    I think the post-WWII concept of a career path isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I think it partly came from WWII-era price controls and regulation. Historically people didn’t have one job take care of them, and they didn’t plan on having a period toward the end of their life when they would not work.

    Since I’ve run a business I have a new respect for inept managers and even more respect for managers who build something excellent. Life is too short to work on even a tiny fraction of the endeavors that are out there. Don’t pick one with seriously inept people or that doesn’t work with you for any reason.

    I try to have grace toward political faux pas like Cruz going on vacation during a crisis. In all areas of life there is a lurid world of people angling to make one another look good or bad in the eyes of others. I try to live for myself and ignore those empty calories. I try to ignore the politics and work the problem. Politics is lurid and hard to look away from. It sometimes feels like it unfortunately matters more than the underlying task, and that the world is mismanaged. When I look back with perspective, tough, usually getting the underlying work done mattered more than politics. The world is mismanaged, in the way all processes have inefficiencies. I try to focus on what I’m trying to accomplish and not ruminate on value lost to inefficiency.
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