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  • Retirement party: NOT

    So I'm fixing to ride off into the sunset soon. Real soon. Co-workers are beginning to ask "when is your retirement party?"

    My answer: there won't be one. Just handshakes and hugs on my last day.

    My rationale is the following:

    I don't like events where people feel compelled to go to "pay their respects" (for the same reason, I don't want a funeral, but if there is one, at least I won't be aware of it).

    Retirement parties are usually kind of lame, as parties go. Most of the people who attend retirement parties are still working and will be for some time, so they aren't sharing in any of the joy. Plus, there's the co-worker/friend dynamic. There are several people whom I consider 'friends' at work, but it's not like we share much in common, other than the daily toil. I suspect once I am gone, I will have minimal social interaction with them anymore, just like the summer camp friendships, high school friendships, college friendships, previous workplace friendships, et.al.

    And retirement parties are kind of awkward too. At one party a couple years ago, the honoree gave a long, teary speech that had everyone looking at the floor. At another, the honoree was given a plaque for exceptional dedication and service, even though he had been phoning it in for years.

    Plus, there's the gift aspect. People are expected to cough up a twenty spot for a fly fishing rod or whatever, and there's always solicitation occurring at work- girl scout cookies, flower fund, coffee fund, holiday party fund, on and on. The money suck is endless.

    The reaction of co-workers has ranged from befuddlement to mild indignation, kind of like how relatives would respond to hearing you're getting married by a justice of the peace instead of having a formal wedding and reception.


    Just curious if any others walked away without fanfare, and why...
    What a long strange trip its been.

  • #2
    Yep. Fully agree. I just faded away. Turned in my gear, walked off. No one really cares except friends, who don’t need to throw a party.

    Enjoy retirement. See you on the barricades soon!
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • #3
      It is customary in my agency for the station an officer retired from to host a retirement dinner or lunch. The captain I worked for at the time had a history of knifing people in the back and he and I had been in a urinating contest for several years, so he declared there would be no retirement event for L-1. His conduct was so egregious that when they heard what he had done, managers from other stations called and gave him a hard time over it. Nonetheless, he held firm and I went out quietly with no retirement event. After 33 years of service, that one really hurt.

      I opted to purchase my department duty weapon, as retirees are allowed to do. I filled out the paperwork and gave it and a check for the purchase to the same captain. Over a year went by and no one called me to come pick up my gun. When I inquired as to the status of things, no one knew anything about my purchase request and my gun had since been assigned to another officer in a different part of the state. Only when I was able to provide copies of my paperwork and cancelled check was the gun retrieved and delivered to me. There is little doubt in my mind as to who made my paperwork disappear.

      As with many problematic managers, my captain was later promoted to assistant chief and then deputy chief. He was later forced into retirement when one of my friends sued him for racial discrimination and an EEO investigation came to the conclusion that the allegation was true. If he retired before the investigation was officially concluded, then the finding would not be sustained on his record, so he retired post haste.

      I occasionally see the old captain at retirement events. Over his career he has screwed over so many people that he's forgotten who he's done what to, so he says "Hi Buddy" to everyone. Up until the time I started working for him, I never found the word "Buddy" to be so insulting.

      Sorry, but when I saw this thread come up I just had to vent. I feel much better now.



      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

      Comment


      • OutofRoll
        OutofRoll commented
        Editing a comment
        This is a sad story. People like that makes the world a bad place

      • L-1
        L-1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for commisserating with me. But the reality is, while I'm still pi**ed, I am also still here and doing well in retirement. Sometimes the greatest revenge is being successful, in spite of the efforts of others to screw you over.

        It was interesting to watch my captain's career after my retirement. He sponsored a number of people under his command for promotion. They all secretly sought those promotions elsewhere in the state so they wouldn't have to work under him. He finally got his comeuppance when he screwed over the wrong person and was forced to leave. They did hold a fancy retirement party for him in the Queen Mary, but only a few people showed up for it. I was tempted to find a crack whore with a new baby and promise her $100 if she attended his retirement dinner and wandered around introducing herself as his new girlfriend, the baby as their lovechild, and telling anyone who would listen that he promised to take the three of them to Tahiti that night immediately after his retirement dinner. As much as I disliked him, I just couldn't be that bad.

    • #4
      I will probably skip the city retirement going away and just have a small gathering at a water hole....I am not one for any fanfare....but, I have enjoyed the ones I have gone too...it's all a personal choice.

      Comment


      • #5
        I'll be throwing a retirement party when certain people at my PD go. They won't be invited...

        Honestly, I've always found retirement parties to be a mixed bag. They seem to be pretty mandatory for the departments I've worked for, even if they person retiring won't be missed. Some have included truly heart-felt sentiment, while others have been nothing more than going through the motions. After spending a career on the job, at least it's a way to say goodbye.
        "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
        -Friedrich Nietzsche

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by L-1 View Post

          As with many problematic managers, my captain was later promoted to assistant chief and then deputy chief. He was later forced into retirement when one of my friends sued him for racial discrimination and an EEO investigation came to the conclusion that the allegation was true. If he retired before the investigation was officially concluded, then the finding would not be sustained on his record, so he retired post haste.

          I occasionally see the old captain at retirement events. Over his career he has screwed over so many people that he's forgotten who he's done what to, so he says "Hi Buddy" to everyone. Up until the time I started working for him, I never found the word "Buddy" to be so insulting.

          Sorry, but when I saw this thread come up I just had to vent. I feel much better now.
          I've worked for this exact archetype. Someday, his family will wonder why grass never grows in front of his headstone (reason: frequent deposits of human uric acid).


          RE: Going through the motions. That's a huge factor in my decision because 95% of life is going through the motions: going to school because we have to... going to work because we have to... going to Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt Edna's because we have to... going to a retirement party because we have to... a million more. I'd like to think my retirement party wouldn't be held in a phone booth if people didn't feel obligated to attend, but who knows, maybe I have blinders on....

          Things are much more fun when they are organic, and spontaneous. When they just kind of happen and the people involved sincerely wish to participate. No formal announcement, no gift registry, no flag ceremony- just a small group of people convene in the back room at McGrady's Pub and raise their pints. I suspect that will be what happens in my situation.
          What a long strange trip its been.

          Comment


          • OutofRoll
            OutofRoll commented
            Editing a comment
            I feel this way all the time going through the motions...

        • #7
          My last day of work with LASD I just cleaned out my locker and went home, no one ever offered or mentioned a retirement party... I was a little upset that I was awarded a dept. medal, but only received it via Fed Ex. a year after I retired.. All I was to the LASD was a 6 digit employee number and when I walked out the back door, a new employee walked in the front door to replace me...
          Retired LASD

          Comment


          • #8
            The agency/institution I retired from was a place of work..................nothing more. I worked with a lot of good people, and made many lifelong friends but it wasn't my life, just my job.

            My former agency always had a "retirement reception" for those who were lucky enough to get out alive. It always happened on a Friday of the week of the retirement & attendance was "mandatory" by tradition.

            I messed up the tradition since I went on terminal vacation leave 2 months before my retirement date. While on vacation I got a call from the Warden's secretary asking what kind of cake I wanted to be served at my reception . I told her there would be no reception as I was not going to come in for it. She told me I had to come in that day and put in at least an hour of ON DUTY time in order to be retired.

            I then explained to her that there was no such policy in Institutional, Department or IPERS (state retirement) policy and I would NOT be coming in. She continued to argue this point at which time I told her to find the policy and mail it to me when she did find it.

            2 hrs later I got a call from the Warden ASKING me to attend the reception and accept the "honors" for a retirement. I then told HIM that I was not attending . I explained that I had spent the last 15yrs of my 30yr career on midnight shift....and during that time nobody cared enough to come on to MY shift to thank me or my shift mates....that I didn't work days and wasn't going to come into the institution on days to be "honored". I told him that sometime after business hours on my last "official " day of work I would bring in my equipment and turn them into which ever Captain was on duty and be done with the place.

            When I came in that night there was a box with the retirement plaque & commemorative mantle clock showing my dates service Both inscriptions were incorrect as I had a break in service of 5 yrs but they chose to just run them together to show the nearly 29 yrs in one stretch--- even though I had told them previously those dates were wrong.

            The Warden was in his office and came in to say goodbye. I still wasn't impressed

            I now work across the street at the County Courthouse ..............I have been inside the doors of the institution exactly 3 time in 8 yrs and ALL THREE times was paid by the sheriff or I wouldn't' have been there
            Last edited by Iowa #1603; 06-10-2019, 10:44 AM.
            Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

            My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

            Comment


            • #9
              The last chief who retired said he wasn't going to have a reception. Then a lot of people talked about going to his reception, so he decided to have a retirement party since a lot of people he respected genuinely expected it.

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by Bing_Oh View Post
                I'll be throwing a retirement party when certain people at my PD go. They won't be invited...
                I've actually done that.

                The hangover was apocalyptic...

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
                  So I'm fixing to ride off into the sunset soon. Real soon. Co-workers are beginning to ask "when is your retirement party?"

                  My answer: there won't be one. Just handshakes and hugs on my last day.

                  My rationale is the following:

                  I don't like events where people feel compelled to go to "pay their respects" (for the same reason, I don't want a funeral, but if there is one, at least I won't be aware of it).

                  Retirement parties are usually kind of lame, as parties go. Most of the people who attend retirement parties are still working and will be for some time, so they aren't sharing in any of the joy. Plus, there's the co-worker/friend dynamic. There are several people whom I consider 'friends' at work, but it's not like we share much in common, other than the daily toil. I suspect once I am gone, I will have minimal social interaction with them anymore, just like the summer camp friendships, high school friendships, college friendships, previous workplace friendships, et.al.

                  And retirement parties are kind of awkward too. At one party a couple years ago, the honoree gave a long, teary speech that had everyone looking at the floor. At another, the honoree was given a plaque for exceptional dedication and service, even though he had been phoning it in for years.

                  Plus, there's the gift aspect. People are expected to cough up a twenty spot for a fly fishing rod or whatever, and there's always solicitation occurring at work- girl scout cookies, flower fund, coffee fund, holiday party fund, on and on. The money suck is endless.

                  Just curious if any others walked away without fanfare, and why...
                  Congrats, brother.

                  I feel the same way.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    RE: "Gone Away" party, as in celebrating someone (not invited) is finally gone....

                    I recall one. It was epic. Tears of joy flowed like raindrops off a rhododendron plant in a spring storm. Everybody got up and spoke about what a relief his departure brought and cursed upper management not just for promoting him despite all the red flags, but protecting him, despite the obvious hostility and psychosis. Because the classless organization had simply shuffled the kook to a new spot, we also said a prayer for the new people under his thumb.

                    Heck, for all I know, there might be a 'Gone Away' party in planning stages for me....

                    (Joking. I have agreed now to a final choir practice on my last day. No email invitation to the world, no gift, no upper management, no stodgy presentation, blah blah. Probably be a dozen people or so.)
                    What a long strange trip its been.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post

                      (Joking. I have agreed now to a final choir practice on my last day. No email invitation to the world, no gift, no upper management, no stodgy presentation, blah blah. Probably be a dozen people or so.)
                      We just had 4 personnel retire .

                      Chief Deputy 22 yrs with 2 depts
                      Deputy with 42 yrs as a cop with 2 depts
                      Deputy with about 19 yrs as a cop with 3 depts
                      Jail Administrator with 36 yrs with the agency. (He left in Feb)


                      We had a department reception for all 4 late last month.

                      The Chief and the 42 yr deputy are each having "private" receptions in the next couple weeks.


                      RE: "Gone Away" party

                      I have been to more than one celebration of relief where the honored person was not invited..............
                      Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

                      My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Ok, I, and my Force (Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) - your bowing and grovelling are expected, peons!), are the outliers here.

                        Long Service Medals presentations USED TO BE made at members-only (Regular, or Police Officer, plus Civilian (Telecoms, IT Techs), and Municipal (clerks)) formal dinners (no spouses / SO or family), until we changed to follow Canadian Federal Government awards protocol to require such events be open to the family and public (FAR better). My wife and our kids attended when I was presented with my initial LSM (20 years), but not when I received my 25, 30, and 35 bars. My wife and 1 son attended when I was presented with my Saskatchewan Protective Services Medal (25 + years in the Province). The RCMP also paid for my 2 medals to be court-mounted.

                        I decided in early October 2010 that it was time for me to retire, as I was coming up to maximum-service-to-count-to-pension (35 years) at the end of that month. My wife and I had just returned from a trip to Puerto Vallarta MX that our kids gave us for our 30th wedding anniversary. I had been posted here since 1993, was on Traffic Services since 2001, and realized that there was NO WAY IN HELL that I was going to get promoted, plus was PROBABLY going to be transferred in Spring 2011 (I had been left here due to a child who had a health / development issue, which had been successfully accommodated, and she was now able to be independent). I found out it would take 40 business days to process my papers, so I did them up, and I was put on a desk for 2.5 months to clear up Unit paperwork and keep me from getting involved in any more Court cases. I walked out of the office at 22:00 Dec 29, alone, after cleaning out my locker.

                        My last Office Manager did organize, and I attended, a retirement party for me. I first knew about it while I was helping instruct on a course just before I pulled the pin, and when I walked in after a break, my Supervisor had a video up on the screen of my Academy grad photo (complete with 1975ish porn 'stache-on-baby-face). It was held about 1 month after I retired, in about -35 C stormy weather, and not only did many members I had worked with (including one who had a 5.5 hr drive), or I had recruited, showed up, but many civilian friends-of-the-Force, plus my wife arranged for my Mom to attend (who lived ~ 1500 miles away, and flew in for a couple of days). Many stories were told, and only a small percent could I refute or deny the truth of. They presented me with a framed collection of Force badges on a mini-shabrac (horse blanket used by our Musical Ride - not that I was ever a member of the merry-go-round-with-lances, but very nice anyways), paid for via the amount charged to attend.

                        The RCMP would not give, nor sell, me either of my former sidearms (S&W Model 10 revolver for the first almost 20 years, S&W 5946 the last 15+), given our firearms laws, but then I am not a target-shooter, nor do I own guns, but I WOULD have liked to have kept the revolver, with the firing pin cut and barrel welded shut.

                        I was gifted my badge encased in an acrylic paper-weight, and received a certificate of service, from the RCMP, plus a letter of congratulations from my Division (our Divisions are (mostly) based on Provincial boundaries) Commanding Officer. I also received a certificate of service from the Federal Government. The RCMP issued me a photo ID card, authorizing me to be able to wear Review Order (like how our Musical Ride members are dressed, except for the nag, lance, and the gauntlets) or Walking Out Order (formal dinner wear) uniform on state and formal occasions.

                        I was paid out my severance leave (30.4 weeks - don't ask, it was a stupid formula), unused annual leave (400 hrs from past years, 100 hrs from the last year), overtime bank (80 hrs), and on-call (2.5 hrs), but it was transferred, tax-free, into a tax-deferred retirement savings plan, which gave me a tax-deduction that year.

                        I joined the RCMP Veterans Association a few months after I retired. We have several Divisions across Canada, with 3 here in Saskatchewan. I am with the Regina Division, and we meet once a month in the All-Ranks Mess at The RCMP Training Academy. We provide VIP security and chauffeur services for a variety of sports and entertainment events, host a formal dinners for our widows, operate Salvation Army kettles, provide drill troops for formal Change-of-Command parades at the Academy, or "F" Division (designation of the operational Division for Saskatchewan), as well as for Remembrance Day, visit our ill and invalided members, and provide Honour Guards for our Vets' and operational members' funerals. We have 2 VA uniforms - either a red, or a blue, blazer. I get into the meetings about 2 times a year, but also participate in Remembrance Day parades, and funeral Honour Guards, locally.

                        I feel bad for you guys that were treated with less-than-deserved honour and have left with bitterness. I used to be bitter about not being promoted, but I knew there were things that I had done that caused me to be to be passed over. I do not imply that any of you pulled stupid patrolman tricks as I did; I am just at peace with the Force and my life. I still have coffee with the on-duty members, and a few of us retirees plan on attending the operning of the new Detachment after it is completed.

                        ​​​​​​​I am most grateful for the fact that I look SO MUCH better than the rest of you mutts!
                        #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
                        Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
                        RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
                        Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
                        "Smile" - no!

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          I feel bad for you guys that were treated with less-than-deserved honour and have left with bitterness.
                          Bitter isn't the biggest taste in my mouth right now. Leaving after 27 years, it's a mixed bag of emotions- many ups and downs, some true adventures, some real head shakers, and more insight into how bureaucracies function (and non-function) than I ever anticipated. VERY grateful to be leaving on my terms, with no more holes than I was born with. I'm humbled to have worked with and for some very good people and the only lingering bitterness is for the utterly shameless who knew better, and the powers who protected them.

                          I've been to parties similar to yours, where old academy mates flew in and local dignitaries spoke and at the end, the honoree went 10-42 for the last time and dispatch responded statewide with a warm fuzzy goodbye. It's exactly what I'm trying to avoid....



                          What a long strange trip its been.

                          Comment


                          • PeteBroccolo
                            PeteBroccolo commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Leaving when you want, in the manner you want, IS the best. There were knives out for me over the years, both valid and just vile vindictiveness, but hey, I made it.

                            I remember my Dad telling me, "Make sure you lock-in your pension", as he was a commission sales person for MANY years. I have to admit that I WAS wondering why I was sticking around, especially the first 2 years, but things settled down, then I met my wife. After marrying, and having kids, it was EXTREMELY important for me to keep moving forward, so I did.

                            A couple of days before I left, I sent out a Division-wide eMail, which solicited a LOT of replies, and was NO WAY authorized, but what could they do - fire me?!

                            IF I had done more planning, I COULD have come back as a Reserve Constable, and worked part-time, but, given my last post / last duty / current location, I would have been asked to perform duties I would not want (back-fill at small General Duty Detachments for annual leave / sick leave / training, or fly-in far North postings), rather than the ones I would have wanted (Court Liaison, Provost (Prisoner escorts), traffic, school talks, public event information booths, breath-testing, fingerprinting / photographs for prisoners).

                            All the best to you!

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