Monday, December 11, 2006

The luxury of being able to retire when you want

In my division at work there are a couple of people that are pretty much pariahs. No one wants to include them in anything (in fact, I've specifically been told to exclude them from certain projects) and they don't associate with the top brass (who barely tolerates their existence.) The whole situation just makes me sad - I mean, I think that these people should have been fired ten years ago because they simply aren't any good at their job, but since they are still here through the goodwill of one person or another they live on the fringes of our little society and some people are just mean to them. I like them as people well enough, but they are both rather incompetent and I dread having to work with them on anything. Who wants to live like that though? Who wants to go to work every day knowing that at least half the people you work with wish you were gone, and that no one includes you in anything, and your superiors don't acknowledge your existence? If it were me, I would have moved on long ago. But the people I am thinking of are effectively stuck in our division for two reasons:

1. They don't have enough (or any) skills, so they are unable to be hired elsewhere.

2. They are only a couple of years away from retirement and getting the full pension.

These ladies are lucky to be backed by a nice pension, but that pension's value is severely cut if you don't stay on for at least 30 years. They each have a couple of years to go, so since they have neither the skills to get a new job nor the savings to quit on their reduced pension, they have to stay in a group which really makes it difficult for them to have a happy work life.

This is one reason I'm really glad that I opted for the "give me the money" pension plan here, because I know that I would also be similarly motivated to stay on past whatever milestones in order to get that benefit. That's part of the point of the pension system - to motivate employees to stay - but now it's trapping these ladies because they can't afford to go.

1 comment:

MollysBrother said...

You bring up such an interesting point: the idea of being cornered into a job you hate for the foreseeable future because your locked into the financial need.

I for one want to do my best to be able to have as many financial options 30 years down the road so I don't have to hate my daily situation.

My heart goes out to these women because they're probably just as aware of their situation as you are.