Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Passing Thought

Apparently the big guns at the agency where I used to work are leaving over a huge controversy. My replacement, a very capable guy, keeps me informed of the continuing comings and goings.

I was not prepared, however, for this: “There was a call for finding people with experience. Maybe you want to come back.” It sent chills up my spine, but at the same time roused my curiosity.

It was just a year ago on May 3 that I left my old job, never to look back in sadness. It was a parting not necessarily of my choosing, but I simply could not stay in the current environment. I have never once had any regrets about my decision.

But a chance to go back and become a double-dipper? I must admit the lousy economy is eating into our savings at a faster rate than we had planned. And it is true that my husband is the only one earning money beyond our annuities.

As hard as I tried to imagine getting up early and getting dressed for work to throw myself into rush hour traffic, it just seemed like a bad dream instead of a lucrative possibility.

As for those in high places who are shamed into leaving, I feel a little sorry for them, even though they certainly didn’t come to my aid when I was embattled. They are good, hard-working people who have given their lives to the Federal government. They never expected to leave in shame. It’s sad that every disastrous failure needs a scapegoat to go down in infamy.

As for me, I think I will pass up this chance and continue to let my life take its shape without any extra funding. I’ve just become too enamored of my freedom!


Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

When I decided to become a part time worker instead of a fulltimer, it was a hard decision. My biggest problem, believe it or not, was my health. Working fulltime was just too stressful for my body. I went to 60% which was a HUGE cut in salary (as you can imagine!). For the first time in many years, though, I had time to reflect and adjust. I came to realize that this was a wonderful gift. Since then, I have been an 80% worker and I really like working four days a week. I think, "Where else can you actually BUY time?" My brother says that insurance and retirement tables show that teachers only live an average of 8 years past their retirement (this was really bleak to me). I realized that we have to make the most of the NOW years and not wait until retirement. Since I started teaching at twenty-four, I knew I would have a good thirty-five to forty years to work, so I have decided to pace myself. I am in it for the long run. Of course, now that I am in year twenty-four of the long run, it seems like it is racing by!

10:22 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I don't know where you'd find the time! At the agency for whom I work, we have a lot of retirees come back as consultants or contractors, limiting their hours a bit. It still seems like a lot.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- I worked part-time for 5 years when my children were young. Those were great years!

Kristin -- In my agency it seemed most people came back, but I actually knew when I left it was forever.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Colette Amelia said...

Ahh the evils of having to live in a cash economy. We must work or have work or have some other form of income in order to keep a roof, warm and dry and fed.

Time for me to get into the paid work force...the time for volunteering and raising kids is past. Scary...and the costs keep rising, I don't know how the younger generation does it.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Wow. The timing of this offer, coming exactly a year after you left, is astonishing.

Good decision, Barbara. Can you imagine the mood inside that building?

8:39 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Colette -- I am very lucky to be retired (after working 35 years) with an annuity that does not make me wealthy, but puts food on the table.

Reya -- I found my stomach tightening in knots at the thought of returning there to work. The staff must all be demoralized and very discouraged. It would probably not be good for my mental (or physical) health.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I'm so with you. I am long past going back to a work life routine. I enjoy sipping coffee in my p.j's!

9:31 PM  

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