MRS ONL did a thought provoking post recently that highlighted how many people don’t get to retire when they would choose to. The post was very timely as the small charity I work in has been going through difficult financial times. I have told you about these problems before but things have become considerably worse since I gave notice of my impending retirement [these things are not related]! Every week communications are sent out about someone else who is being made redundant; people who are skilled and dedicated workers who have given so much to the charity and each one of them brings me pain; to say that I feel I am leaving a sinking ship is to understate how fragile this organisation feels at the moment.
Mr BOTRA commented that if I could have hung on a month or more I might have been made redundant too and he is right, I am sure they will move on to the lower grade post when they have finished getting rid of the management tier. And yet I feel pleased that I got in first, not only to save the charity I work for having to find the few weeks salary they would be obliged to pay me as redundancy pay but also for my own dignity; everyone knows that I am leaving to retire and it is my choice; I haven’t had the stress of ‘consultation’ interviews and competing for the one remaining post. Other colleagues have not been so fortunate, are not leaving out of their own volition and will be going straight in to job seeking, a particularly tough activity during the festive period.
I don’t want to criticise the work of the charity, the services it delivers are extremely high quality but unfortunately the higher management took the somewhat reckless decision to grow and spend beyond the secured income a few years ago and individuals are now paying the price for that over-stretching. The new management is taking control of the situation but many good people are being thrown out in the process.
This all really brings home how important having some back-up savings are for those times when employment let’s you down. I feel privileged to be choosing when I can retire and I am very sad that I have colleagues with an insecure future. I don’t intend to sound self-pitying, as I realise how fortunate I am, but leaving a despondent and bruised organisation means that certainly none of them will have any interest in joining my retirement party and there will be no one left to care enough about buying me a retirement present. I will be able to slip away quietly and I think that is most appropriate in the circumstances.