Thursday, August 27, 2009

A second lick

I can’t tell you how many people I know who have retired only to show up again in the workplace more or less doing their old jobs. These are the rehired annuitants, the “double-dippers” as we called them. While collecting their generous government annuity, they can continue to earn a somewhat diminished salary.

I always thought these were the people who had nothing else but work in their lives, not necessarily even needing the money, but rather whatever the job did for them in terms of providing structure and recognition for their work.

When I retired 3 years ago on not the best of terms with the powers-that-be, I was so sure I was never coming back that I threw away all versions of my resume. I had loved my job, but it was a closed chapter in my life, or so I thought. To anyone who suggested differently, I offered that I would show up for parties, but that would be about the limit of my involvement.

Then my good friend and colleague D, who has plenty of outside interests, recently retired and much to my surprise said he was going back to work just 3 months later doing some very interesting research, basically serving as a consultant with no real production deadlines. Something in my lethargic brain said “You too could be doing that on a part-time basis and you might really enjoy it.”

So I made what I thought was a reasonable offer to come back and mentor someone new to a position that I could have done with my eyes closed. It seemed like such a perfect way to dangle my toes back in the working world with no permanent commitment on either side.

I was somewhat dismayed when I talked with the old office about this and they didn’t really see that they needed my help in this way. There was the vague suggestion of something else in 6 months or more, something that would be self-contained and would probably not give me the exposure to my old staff and other colleagues that I would enjoy.

There is still so much uncertainty around this possibility that I haven’t started to recreate a resume. If indeed something that I find attractive comes to fruition, I can probably reconstruct my 35 years of working life in a form that’s good enough for government work. Did I really say that?

Anyway, I’m likely not destined to resume my life as a government worker, at least not right now.


Blogger LiLu said...

Really? I guess maybe they're trying to save money... but it's weird that they wouldn't say something like, "We'd love to, BUT..."

12:09 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LiLu -- Sometimes people don't know they need to fix something until it breaks. I was offering some preventative maintenance.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

the rate at which it is going there will soon oly be government workers.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

In my world, it does seems like a lot of feds come back as contractors after retirement, but it seems like there are fewer and fewer contractors around these days.

11:07 AM  

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