Sunday, April 28, 2013

Furlough? What Furlough?

Spring finally made it to Minnesota this week in a very nice way but not before leaving the returning Robins cut off from their supply of worms with 5 inches of fresh wet snow on Tuesday morning. Mom was telling me that raisins make a good substitute food for them. I looked but we had none.

I noticed out our laundry room window that tulips were beginning to push their way through the snow in the front flower bed. Finally!

Do I detect a hint of frustration or worse from a co-worker or three because I intend to work beyond age 56? (mandatory retirement age from which I'm exempt) I think I do. It's something I began to notice a few months ago and seemed to begin around the time I first talked about staying an additional year beyond my original planned retirement date of January 2014. I can think of no other reason for the changed attitude toward me by a few people. I actually find it amusing while at the same time recalling the clique in high-school I was once a part of. I figured the days of that sort of thing were long gone but apparently, I was wrong.

Speaking of work...the furloughing of air traffic controllers across the country began one week ago today. It lasted all of 5 days before being stopped due to the inconveniencing of the flying public from the resulting delays because of reduced staffing. Sure, I'm happy that I'm not being furloughed but I'm troubled that the administration caved so quickly on the issue. Sequestration was meant to be painful for our nation as a whole but if Congress is going to be allowed to soften the effects of it each time it causes a little pain, what's the point? They should have allowed the air traffic control system to continue to limp along and cause so much frustration that they were forced to address all of our budgetary problems, not just ATC.

I haven't made any updates lately to our sun-porch/deck blog because the weather has been keeping Joe from beginning work. He plans to be out tomorrow morning though to drill holes for the support posts. It will be nice to see the project finally get underway. We're excited about it but glad for the delay in getting going because it's given us some additional time to rework the design just a little.

I got out for a fun but tiring ride Friday afternoon. My first time out this year without full length tights and knee warmers. Nice!

I'm happy that my riding isn't interfering with my walking. I went a little further than I'd planned to yesterday and I have a blister to show for it but I really enjoyed my time out there. I took the pups out first then spent the next few hours on my own.

We had a fun time last night with friends. Phil and Tracy hosted a Murder Mystery dinner party. Tammy played the role of Torchy, a nightclub singer with a sketchy past while I played the role of Eddie "Socks" R. Gyle, a well connected, wheeler-dealer nightclub owner. Tammy did a nice job on our outfits!

In the game, you act out your role in four separate rounds. You're given a biography of your character and a brief scenario of each round to help guide you along. Each person knows information that the others don't and it's up to the players to try and piece it all together by asking questions throughout the game. There's specific information you're required to divulge to the other players along the way. I think Tammy was the only one among us who figured out who the murderer was. It was a lot of fun.

Here's a link if you're interested in hosting a game. I believe Tracy bought the one we used at a local bookstore.

Look beyond the smiles of this dapper group because one of them is a cold-blooded killer. Who do you think it is?


No Longer a Factor said...

Hi Kevin,

Sorry I haven't visited lately.

The perceived "frustration or worse" among co-workers over your decision to stay on the job another year interests me. Is this about not being able to move up on the seniority list as soon as previously anticipated or what?

As younger controllers, we were always happy to see members of the 'old guard' stick around as long as they could! When they finally had enough and retired, there were some big holes in our experience level, corporate wisdom and (most important!) our source of riveting "war stories!" We hated to see them go but always gave them a grand sendoff.


Kevin said...

Hi Factor,

Actually, the frustration I'm sensing is coming from guys who themselves are already eligible or soon will be eligible to retire. There are always those who talk a big game about how they'll go the day they're eligible but when they finally find themselves in that position they continue to work. I was never one of those, in fact, throughout my career I'd always said I was going to stay until I was 56.

About two years ago I found out that because of a short stint I did in Flight Service near the beginning of my career I'm exempt from the requirement to retire at 56. That added a whole new wrinkle to my plans and I began to consider staying on a little beyond my 56th birthday this August.

My tentative plans were to retire on January, 2nd, 2014. I've since revised those and pushed the date back until January of 2015 but who really knows when I'll decide to call it a career? I honestly can't say that I do.

It was this decision to possibly delay retirement until 2015 that to me seemed to be where the frustration with me (by just a few people) was ratcheted up.

I don't find the work stressful. Between RVSM (reduced vertical separation minimum) and URET (user request evaluation tool), two things that have made the job considerably easier, the most difficult aspect of the job at this point is the shift work.

My focus has always been on my long range plans and not the immediate satisfaction that retirement will bring. I've seen too many guys who leave early only to find themselves either bored or in need of extra cash or both. I'm quite sure that won't be me.

I'm almost there and I figure that an extra year or two at the end of my career isn't going to break me but will most definitely help with some things we'd like to do. Oh, but I'm also an endurance athlete so maybe there's a component of that creeping into my thought process...just a few more miles...just a few more miles...

Thanks for stopping by, Factor!