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