I’m writing on behalf of my husband. I feel so badly for him. He just retired from his federal government job after 23 years of service, and his boss treated him like dirt. As he was required to do, my husband submitted his retirement paperwork to the agency’s headquarters several months ago. And as he was allowed to do, he chose not to tell anyone, including his immediate supervisor, that he was seriously thinking of leaving at the end of the year. He wanted to retire but our financial issues made him unsure. We were both very worried about making ends meet if he couldn’t find a decent job after he retired. So much so that he thought about pulling his paperwork several times. So when my husband only gave his supervisor one day’s notice, his supervisor got very angry and said some ugly things. Retirees in his agency typically have a luncheon and get a nice plaque. My husband didn’t want or expect a luncheon, but he was hurt by his boss’s rudeness and the way he made a point of saying my husband wouldn’t get the traditional plaque. I can understand why the boss would be upset with not having advance notice, but his behavior was very immature and unprofessional. My husband gave so much of his life to his career and the agency. I want to call the jerk and give him a piece of my mind. What do you think?
Distraught over husband’s treatment
Dear Distraught over husband’s treatment:
I am so sorry for the way your husband was treated by his former supervisor. I can, however, see why your husband’s last-minute announcement would upset him, considering the possible logistical and administrative repercussions as well as his personal disappointment in your husband’s lack of communication with him. That being said, I do not know the nature and/or the history of their relationship. Nevertheless, from where I stand, neither party handled the situation properly.
If anything is said to the supervisor, it should come from your husband. Your husband can tell him that he now sees why his actions upset him, but when he was trying to decide whether or not to retire, he was so consumed with his own issues that he did not consider how his actions could affect him and/or the agency. Hopefully, the supervisor has calmed down since your husband’s departure, and will not only be professional but more understanding of what your husband was going through and respond affirmatively.
On a side note, you indicated that the agency does not require a person to give advance notice to an immediate supervisor of his/her retirement date. The agency may want to consider changing this policy.
You’re probably asked every time a new year rolls around to share your “heart” philosophy. I’d appreciate an overview.
Share your heart
Dear Share your heart:
I never get tired of sharing my H.E.A.R.T.™ philosophy. H.EA.R.T.™ is an acronym for Honesty, Empathy, Adaptability, Responsibility, and Teamwork enveloped in passion and respect. One’s work life is more productive, as is one’s personal life, if these basic elements are applied. The beginning of a new year is a time for reflection and resolution. I am hopeful that everyone will assess their aspirations and consider applying H.EA.R.T.™ in their work and personal lives.
More information on H.E.A.R.T.™ can be found on my Web site: http://www.rozeknows.com/philosophy.php.
I got fired by a Hampton Roads fast food chain that I had worked for for over ten years. As a late night shift manager, I was responsible for closing. I was fired for closing the store less than five minutes before the official closing time. I begged for a second chance but was reminded that company policy calls for termination when you break any of the company’s rules. I was also told that I was a very good worker and manager, but others have been let go for the same thing and no exception could be made. I’ve always thought that exceptions could be made if management so desired. I got another job but I still wanted to hear your thoughts about this.
Fired for barely breaking rule
Dear Fired for barely breaking rule:
I sympathize with you, but I believe your former employer’s actions were appropriate. If your old boss had made an exception, anyone else who had been fired for the same offense could challenge his/her termination. I have no doubt that you have learned a valuable lesson and nothing like this will ever happen again to you. Best of luck in your new job.
© 2011 Rozanne R. Worrell