Friday, March 2, 2012

So, Who Am I? (Blogophilia 1.5)


It’s a new Blogophilia season, and it is time for the meet and greet.  My name is Christopher Mitchell.  For years I used the nickname “Another Government Employee” (6th house on right, off 9-27, PDK-Atlanta).    As the name suggests, I work for a Government agency.  Specifically, I work for our State’s Employee Pension Program.  It is my mission to assist my fellow worker bees over the life transition that is retirement.  

These people worked for years to prepare for this.   How hard can it be?  The end of a career is as stressful as any other job change.  Think about the times you were laid off or fired from a position.  Did you have dreams of being on an airplane?  That you were going somewhere that you didn’t want to go?  And when you arrive at the new job.  Will they like me?  Can I handle the work?  Where is the coffee?

The end of a career has the same problems.   The client is facing a set of parameters that they have never seen before.  My client list ranges from school janitors to doctors.  Each person has a different story to tell and different dreams of the future.  

 My normal interview with a client normally runs about 30 minutes.  I cover the basics of the plan, what they can expect to receive based on their service, and the terms and conditions of the application process.  There is a lot of detail involving some personal financial matters.  The end of the interview is dedicated to post the client’s post retirement life.  

I always start this section with the question “What do you want to do when you grow up?” This startles a lot of people.  Here they are in their 50’s or 60’s and they are almost like teenagers in thinking there really is a life after work.  If their health is good, they might have another 20 good years left.  They are thinking “Just when I figured out the meaning of life, they changed it.” By all accounts, it is a complicated, confusing time in someone’s life.  So, how to handle it?  The questions are geared to get the client to think proactively.  Some people already have some of this thought out.  

At the end, I will get a lot of compliments about “going the extra mile”.  But it is a way of paying forward.  In a few years, it will be my turn on the other side of the desk.  I hope who ever handles my account treats me the same way. 

Oh, and I want to thank Dave Coon (Nissmech) for providing the format for me to steal.  I really did need to be lazy this week.  J

17 comments:

  1. I have to agree Christopher ... retirement can be and is a scary time for most people... I retired from a proper job in 1988 aged 42... then I started up my own business and worked 24/7 for 20 years...then at the age of 62 I retired .. that was 4 years ago this April and I have never been so busy in all my years... but its the kind of busy I have looked for and enjoy... its good to meet you proper Christopher ... I have often wondered how our season champion ticks... you have a very responsible job indeed my friend... and I do wish you all the luck in the world for your future and your impending retirement pal... great blog..

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    1. Thank you. Budgets and Management willing, that date will be 12/01/2018. Of course, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

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  2. I am terrified of retiring - fear I'll retire and you all will be having a wake for me in 30 days or so. Still the mountains call and I may have to just get up the courage and try it one of these days

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    1. I run across that. It is sad when it happens because a lot of those people did have hopes and dreams.

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  3. Cool glad to see you are living a happy life.

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  4. Well thanks I never did know what you do - Very important job. I retired in 2009. I never did know what I wanted to do when I grew up. Turns out I wanted to be part of an international group (and inter planetary) of writers. Who knew?

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    1. There is a satisfaction that comes when someone makes the transition well. And it is fun to hear their dreams of the future and how they are going to get there.

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  5. Thanks for sharing. I was good to get to "know" you. :)

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  6. I'm impressed with the way you approach your job. Heck, I'm impressed with everything you do. Thanks for sharing, that was really insightful. Sallon

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  7. as others have said before me. I did not know the implications of what you do. You are actually a guiding light for very many retirees and you should be commended! Well this will have to suffice: 8 points Earthling! :)
    Marvin

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  8. I will probably be working as long as I'm healthy and able it seems but if and when I retire I always wanted to travel. Nice to get to know you more!

    Michelle K.

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  9. I am glad to get to know you more! Every little tidbit someone in our Blogophilia family shares is fun to know. I like the feeling that you have pride in what you do and how you go the extra mile.I like to think I play it forward in both of my jobs too.

    When I am at my part time job on Sundays at the nursing home, I work in Activities. I am there to keep thier minds sharp and I hope they enjoy seeing me as much as I enjoy spending time with my wrinkled friends. I always ask them questions about their younger years, how they met their spouse, what they did for work, etc. I hope I can make a difference.

    I always enjoy reading your blogs and hope we all grow old together here! Joanie

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    1. When I was a Cubmaster, I used to take the kids to sing Christmas Carols to the seniors. It was always a fun thing.

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  10. I don't ever picture myself retiring. What would I do? I used to do contract work, which essentially is working for myself, at home, on my own time. It's good when you're kept busy all the time but when not... time begins to lag and it gets very boring staying home. So I'm thankful I'm back in the 'regular' working world and enjoying my 'work' time.
    No doubt what you say is all true... even for retirement, one has to prepare, just because it's a whole new lifestyle. -Leta

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