My Week: The Beans Have Been Spilled

Things on the murders/murderer front have gotten put on the back burner. The only thing that’s being done about it now is waiting. The suspect was informed her husband had no intention of hiring a lawyer for her and he had filed for divorce. The judge recused himself because he had been involved in the changing of the will that may or may not have brought on retaliation. He had also defended the suspect in prior cases. She is being held in custody and will be tried in the next county by an as impartial judge as could be found. So that’s where that is. And now on to other things.

I have been working on a Project, even at the hospital some. It’s a personal project and it’s coming to fruition the first of October. On that day, I will be a full-fledged retiree. Six months to the day before my 25th anniversary of being an employee, I turned in my notice. Since I’m considered a department manager, I have to give four weeks rather than the usual two. That means I’ll have twice as long to have the time seem twice as long.

This is something I’ve been waiting for and praying about. One day, I was impressed with the phrase, “Now is the time to do it.” Pieces started falling into place. It was an exciting experience.

I’d told my neighbor over a week ago and one person at the hospital I could trust not to say anything. My friend, Shari, has been encouraging me to stay on for another year but with that much stress, I might not have come out alive. I’ve been emailing back and forth with someone in Human Resources at the Mother Ship. My budget has been the focus here at home. I’d deleted it from my flash drive so I asked merm for the copy DD said should still be on the computer. It wasn’t. Well. Then it was gmail to the rescue. I LOVE GMAIL!! merm had emailed it to me once upon a time and all I had to do was search by “budget” and another keyword or two and there it was. I’ve been consulting with merm as well as the advisor for the 403(b) plans. I’ve been keeping my spreadsheet open and tweaking it as something else came up. I thought I pretty well had my ducks in a row.

Night before last, I filled out the resignation form I’d printed off the hospital web site. They’re on the WWW. I signed it, dated it and put it in an envelope that had a label with the name of my boss. I don’t have Printmaster installed on my computer right now or it would have been decorated with balloons, flowers and rainbows. Instead, it had a red border.

I emailed my two sisters who are still online (the one in the Great Northwest emails very sporadically at best) and said I’d filled out my notice and to pray for me. They both responded that they would.

Yesterday, I emailed my boss and said I needed to talk to her and added that it was important. It isn’t easy for the two of us to have time at the same time but it finally worked out. I stuck the envelope in an interoffice envelope with a “confidential” label on it and sallied forth.

When I got to her office I went inside and closed the door. “What’s going on?” I usually leave it open. Before I gave her the envelope, I told her the postmaster was returning mail. AGAIN. That has been a real problem for us. Nothing I’ll go into now. I handed her the envelope and I think she had an idea what was in it. When she saw the word “Retirement” she said, “I am so happy for you! I’m sad for me but I’m happy for you.” She also said she was jealous. Too bad. She has a long way to go before she retires. She’s younger than either one of my sons.

We talked a little and she wanted to know if I had everything lined up. That’s when a couple of my ducks broke rank. I had thought I could be paid my Paid Annual Leave (PAL) and the half of my Extended Illness Bank (EIB) over time but I was mistaken. She signed the form and we went to Human Resources to have a Personnel Status Notice (PSN) filled out.

Keeping it quiet until a couple of weeks in is what I would have preferred but that isn’t an option. It has to be posted in the coming week. There are people who check the job listings daily and, as soon as my position is posted, everyone will know. The hospital grapevine is alive and well. Humming along. Oh, well…

They wanted to know if I had any thoughts about my successor. I said the staff could rotate through the position so they’d know I wasn’t sitting at my desk doing nothing but that was shot down. It would have to be a person designated as the supervisor. The Department Manager. I’ve had a couple of suggestions but we’ll see what the next few weeks bring. I did say that I had, so far, five pages of notes, single-spaced. My boss breathed a sign of relief.

After my boss went back to her office, the HR person said, “I remember the first time we met but I’ll bet you don’t.” I was at a loss to know what she was talking about. She continued, “You came into the insurance agency where I was working to buy a policy on DD. The insurance here was too high at that time.” I remembered buying the policy (which was used one time and the charges all went to the deductible) but I didn’t remember meeting her then. I’ve had plenty of opportunity since to get acquainted and she has been a tremendous help.

It was past time for me to go to lunch when I got back to the office so one of “my” girls was in the break room while I was eating. She wanted to know what the meeting was about. I said, “Staffing.” That set off a whole conversation around the table and I didn’t have to say much of anything. On Tuesday, I’ll tell everyone who is there.

This morning in church during Prayer and Praise time, I announced my decision and it was met by sort of a “ho-hum” attitude. After church (which had only female participants and was about abuse), one of the ladies told me how jealous she is of me. I told her that was nice because I had always been the jealous one. Then another wanted to know how I was going to spend my time. I gave her a brief rundown and came home to eat watermelon on the deck, watch the hummingbirds and doze in my chair.

I’d been lurking yesterday and today trying to catch my neighbor so I could tell her the news. She got home this afternoon and I went over, uninvited. We sat down and had a good visit. I told her I’d gone through with it and she said she’d been wondering. She said she could pretty much tell by the way I’d gone bouncing into the living room.

She had the same question the lady at church had. I told her I was going to take a week off just to do what I wanted and nothing I didn’t want to do. Then I was going to get to work. The next week would begin half my time spent on this site and the other half on the house. She told me not to work ALL the time. I assured her that wouldn’t be the case but I would have to have a routine. I have yet to decide if I will alternate days or split the days and work on one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. That may take some experimentation.

I’m in budget practice mode for right now. The a/c is off and I have a fan directed on my back and legs. Next month, I’ll be able to sign up for the budget plan for my electric and water. The other day, I noticed that one of the banks offered free checking and bill pay. I’ve had free checking but not bill pay. When I went in and asked at my bank, I was told that starts at age 60. For seven years, I have been paying for them to pay my bills. I figured up it’s something like $350 I’ve doled out that I didn’t need to. When I asked if they could go back and refund my money, the answer was no but I wouldn’t be charged ever again. Makes me almost feel like switching. They have my date of birth in their system. Guess it’s something you don’t get unless you ask. Banks will get your money one way or another.

It’s past my bedtime. Oh, my shoes came yesterday and they are lovely! For used, they are in almost pristine condition. I’ll have to take extra good care of them because they are a collector’s item now.

10 Responses to My Week: The Beans Have Been Spilled

  1. Mary Jane September 4, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Yea! Guess this week the cat will be out in the bag at work, too. The reactions(s) should be interesting!

    • Tommie September 4, 2011 at 10:02 am #

      Yes, this will be an interesting four weeks. I’m not really looking forward to it. Maybe my successor won’t be named until after I leave and I won’t have to train him/her. It would be tempting to take some time off but I’ll need the money later. Tomorrow will be my last scheduled holiday that will come out of my PAL.

  2. Genese September 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    i am delighted for you. Yes, the next 4 weeks will be rough but it will pass quickly. i can’t wait to see how well you feel once you are out of this stress. i have no doubt that God will continue to be with you and guide you through this new chapter of your life

    • Tommie September 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

      Thanks, Genese. God has been with me through thick and thin and He won’t abandon me now. It’s going to be strange not to have to get out in all sorts of weather and fly down the mountain to get to work by 8 a.m. but it will be a good kind of strange. I’m anxious to get started on the next phase!

  3. Roberta Neels September 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    Tommie I’m happy for you.

    • Tommie September 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

      Thanks, Roberta! I’m looking forward to October 1!

  4. Lila September 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    You already know all your friends are congratulating you on your upcoming retirement. I’ll be different, and congratulate you on the shoes! That was a real find. Do you mind telling me the brand? The kind of dress shoe I could always depend on to fit me no longer exists. The company was bought out by Naturalizer, much to my disappointment.

    • Tommie September 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

      Thanks, Lila, but sorry. It wouldn’t do you any good to tell you that they’re Etienne Aigner shoes. I put in a previous post that all they are making now is handbags. It was a great disappointment to me to find that out. Your only hope would be to Google your size and luck up like I did. Since I already had a pair I have enjoyed as long as they lasted, I knew this pair would fit. It’s frustrating for things like this to change. 🙁

  5. Monica Rivas September 16, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    Congratulations Tommie!!! XO Monica…aka..floop

    • Tommie September 16, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

      Thanks, Floop! I can’t wait!! Two more weeks…Will they be the two longest weeks in my life?

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