I’m down to about 25 work days left before I’m officially retired, and I’m not quite sure what to do.
Most people tell me to wipe my hands clean and walk away, while my coworkers say they want me available to answer questions. I’ve been in my position for 26 years.
But my employer, who asked me to stay an extra year to train my replacements, never hired anyone. So, I’ve been chugging along and leaving as much of a trail of breadcrumbs for people as I can, while still trying to support the chorus as much as possible during a pandemic.
Many hours of my time was spent organizing files and creating a working file structure and now it feels like that’s been a waste of time. Now I’m being told to dump as much as I can into dropbox and they’ll create a new system in Office 365. I don’t begrudge the change in systems, but I do grieve the lost time.
I wanted to leave my job to spend the first year with my grandson and now he’s 13 months and walking. And while I’ve gone as often as I could, my promise to help my employer ended up being a false path. I thought I could leave things in great shape for it to continue. Instead, it’s all going to be a jumble of change (that’s ok) but I’ve given up that time with my grandson.
I also think I’m a bit angry about the deal with the employer. I stayed on the pretense that I would be training someone (actually 2 people because they are splitting my job in two) and that never occurred. I feel a bit used – like a placeholder in an odd year. I’m grateful for the income.
I’m supposed to help them with their upcoming tour; to train the next employees in how to structure a tour. My reward for this would be to go on the tour for free. My guidance isn’t something they are willing to pay me for in cash money and by employer guidelines, I can’t work for them in any capacity for 6 months anyway. Still, I have a nagging feeling that like the first scenario of working to train someone this past year, it may be more of a “get what you can” situation and less of a sharing the brain trust of someone who has led 6 international tours with over 150 people each time.
I want to retain my dignity and not be a doormat while exiting gracefully and without sour grapes. Is this at all possible? If I step away and wish them well, will I be looked at as someone who didn’t uphold my end of the bargain without the hindsight of understanding that they didn’t uphold theirs?
I want to do the best for everyone, though I’m finding I’ve been doing my best for others before I do the best for me. When I do for me, I feel selfish and uncomfortable. How do I find the in-between that feels right?