Waiting for the other shoe to drop...

by Kaylee
(Florida)

I work for the federal government and have done so for 26 years.


I truly enjoyed my job in health care until about 3 years ago. I just reached full retirement age of 66 but had plans to go ahead and work till 70, that way I would be able to get some remodeling done in my home so I can retire in comfort.

Management changed about 3 yrs ago, the older ones have just been harrassed and seem to be giving up and falling like trees, it's not called forced retirement but it, is the thing of making you so miserable you decide to go.

I am at the top of my pay grade so that leaves a lot of younger people who are being paid less. Until the management change I never had a problem with the job.

Now have a 37 year old supervisor who doesn't have a clue about what I do or care to. I am being harrassed and nit picked on like never in all the years.

I have always worked out in the community' with patients and was on my own, I still enjoy the patients but I can just see the situation going downhill, no matter what I do or how hard I try to work with this person I am still criticized and being written up for trivial little things.

I tried a union grievance but she just lied her way out of it. I have become very depressed over the past Few months as the situation with her escalates.

It would probably be better for my health to retire as I am in bad emotional shape to the point I can't seem to come up with the new things I would like to do in my retirement.

My plan to work until 70 is not working out and I think what if I retire and tomorrow she isn't there, I would be sol sorry for giving up my last 4 years.

I am married but the main breadwinner and also the one with the best 401K.

All I want is just to have this person off my back but it just ain't gonna happen. Sorry for such a long post, I really need advice as to how to get my mind straight, I am very angry and think I'm turning it inward.

Thanks for listening.

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Update: Waiting for the other shoe to drop
by: Kaylee

On a more positive note, things are looking somewhat more positive after a rough year or so, I was forced to file an EEO complaint for harrassment back in February so I think she has decided that this heifer isn't gonna be put out to pasture before her time.

I really appreciated all the advice and did heed somebody who said maybe I needed to change my attitude, I did do that somewhat, she wanted a day to day log on Excel and I had never really done anything on Excel, that is for anyone to see but me, after some embarrassment in front of my colleagues I am now taking Excel as a free course at our library one night a week. Voila!

I was able to get my log done and actually am so organized now it scares me. My work is 100 per cent up to date and I'm actually doing things ahead of the due date.

So for now, I cannot and don't want to forget how I was treated because I'm one of those who doesn't think a leopard changes its spots very often. My strategy is to minimize all contact with her and only converse on a transactional basis, no chit chat, no politics.

I'm starting to think about retirement on my own terms now, would like to start a blog, I just don't wanna walk in my parents shoes and spend the entire day watching CNN and eating out!

I have so many more ideas.

At the time I wrote the last post I really felt like I might chuck it all my March but for now I am feeling much better and I think letting them know your limits is a first step to decreasing harrassment.

I've always said I'm 51% angel and 49% b***h, Don't push it.

Thanks guys, this site rocks!

other shoe
by: Doug

I've been in a similar situation where I felt not only my supervisor but also my colleagues were ganging up against me.

You know what? They had a point (hard as it was for me to admit it). I changed my ways (reluctantly--I had a hard head) and things got better.

In my experience, I find that people are funny. They tend to behave in predictable ways; most people love the status quo.

When conflicts arise the question often becomes "who is going to change?" Another question is often pertinent: "would I rather be right or would I rather be sane/serene/ happy?"

Most of my problems with other people have been the result of my own poor attitude (feeling entitled, not willing to adapt to change, feeling unique or superior). I've found that when I change my attitude my problems become more managable (they don't necessarily disappear but they do become bearable).

Given a choice between feeling "forced" to take early retirement because of a pain-in-the-**** supervisor and working extra years to pad a retirement check I would not give my own personal power away to the supervisor.

There's a coping skill called "compartmentalization." What you do is visualize the problem and then put it in a mental "drawer"--a very small drawer. You only open the drawer when you absolutely have to.

Otherwise you open other drawers labeled "what can I enjoy about my job today?" and "what can I be grateful for today" and "fantasying about all the wonderful things I'll be doing once I retire."

Good luck!

WENDY: Good One, Doug! THANKS!

Young managers
by: Sherry

This situation is called bullying!! I am 65 and still work full time as an administrative assistant.

My manager is 36 and immature. She micro-managed me for 2 months, because she said I wasn't suppose to screen the callers on the switchboard. I have been on the switchboard for 19 years and I don't know how to get a caller to the correct employee they need unless I screen the call. Anyway most callers will not tell you exactly what they need unless you ask them.

I had never been micro-managed in my career ever!! I thought I was going to lose my mind when she continued to micro-manage me.

I couldn't take it anymore so I went to the President of the company and he said I can stop her and he did. He told me I was right to screen the callers. Micro-managing is a form of bullying!!

Time Waits for No Man (or Woman)
by: Sandi B

Hi Kaylee,

I, too, had a difficult time before I retired. I loved what I was doing in the healthcare field for 25 years and my last place was a disaster.
Younger bosses don't have a clue sometimes.

My hair started to fall out. It got so bad that I just called my IRA guy and said start sending me $$ per month. Then I gave a 2 weeks notice and left.

After 3 months I decided to become a personal fitness trainer for "mature" women. I love it. I teach weightlifting at a Crossfit gym and my oldest client is 79 years old.

Find what you love and go do it. You will survive. I sometimes get anxious about the future, but I am part of a resilient, strong generation and I think how great I feel now.

Your health is all you have. Take care of it.

Other Shoe to Drop
by: Dean

Kaylee, I'm not sure what your financial situation is but if you can afford to go I'd go.

My wife and I were in similar situations and we retired at 61 and 62. We had enough money and didn't need the stress that work caused.

Been retired over 2 years now and have never been happier. We were lucky because we both have enough interests to keep us busy in retirement.

If you have no idea how you will fill your time in retirement then perhaps it may be best for you to put up with the stressful work environment for as long as you can.

Good luck!

Do what is best for your mental state
by: Paul

I had the same problem after working for the government for 30 years. I decided I did not need the stress, retired, and then worked many years at low wages.

I never regretted my decision, as I have peace, and that is much more rewarding than kowtowing to one that is only thinking of their advancement rather than those they serve.

Best of luck in making a decision

Similar thing happened to me
by: Nancy

When I was 57 I got a new boss who harassed me like you are being harassed. I have no idea why he took a dislike to me, but I suspect it is because I got caught up in office politics at first.

I was able to transfer to another department then find another job, but I was hanging by a thread for awhile.

I had to work because my husband retired at 55 and I was carrying him on my insurance. Because of this, even though I was able to go back to my old department, I found another job. This new job was extremely hard and a lot to learn. I ended up being successful in this job, but not without a whole lot of stress.

Wendy gave good advice on retirement planning. I didn't have this website when I first retired and it was a big adjustment. The best thing that could have happened to me was to find a retirement counselor like Wendy, maybe she can refer you to someone.

Just a suggestion.

GO FOR IT!!
by: eve

The same thing happened to me I worked for the Government for 32 years.

I got tired of the nit picking and the lies told on me by so called supervisors. They wanted to promote younger people in to higher paying jobs not the older more experience people who already knew their way around the agency.

I left for my own peace of mind. I sleep better and love doing what I want to do each day instead of being hounded by so called supervisors all day. I no longer need sleep aids and blood pressure is down I no longer need pills for anything now.

So I say go for it if you can money wise.

Sounds so familiar...
by: Wendy

Your story of "not" forced retirement, is exactly a forced retirement and it happens everywhere!

It's your choice, Stay or Leave.

If you stay, you simply must adopt new work rules, work in a more techy manner, it's a new workplace out there today. Otherwise, despite working a job for many years, you don't do it how they now want it done. Right?

If you leave, you have to fill 8 hours a day that you previously worked. Consider now, before you walk away, what will you do all day? It's a huge consideration...

Since you are already angry, then you leave with nothing to do, you could really fall into a depression... so you need to simply consider where you are headed.

-- Can you both travel somewhere, and just get away for a bit?

-- Can you take a class to learn something new?

-- Can you write a blog, sharing your special knowledge of a topic, with the world?

-- Start a new business? Check out my site: Just Business Ideas

I honestly think you are almost there. Why make yourself ill over retirement... It should be a wonderful new opportunity to find the NEW YOU!

Best wishes!

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