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A flyer went around today with information about the Annual Retirement Dinner (after the New Year). It had a list of 74 names, just from our section alone! I haven't worked out the percentage, but it's a hefty loss. I have worked with most of these people for many years.

There are two consequences: The most immediate one is that the employees who are leaving go into "retirement mode." Anything that impacts health or safety is taken care of, but all other tasks are flushed. Or they burn their illness time by staying home altogether.

The second is that the retirees will be replaced by newbies and with such a great number of them, there will be much instability and confusion and dropped balls. Not done deliberately, of course, but because there is definitely a learning curve when an employee is new to a position.

Personally, I'm having a hard time dealing with the swirl of retirement fever all around me. People are itching to get out of here; many have worked in this organization for decades. The backlash will rock the boat considerably. And I'm tired of people asking me when I will retire. Or exclaiming, in mock horror, "What? you're not retiring, along with everyone else?" Enough, already!

It is difficult, though, not to be caught up in the turbulence and to keep my nose to the grindstone. I find myself trying to stuff all the personal aspects of my life into the interstices which happen at work: breaks, lunch hour, on the way home. And weekends.

That's when I start to think longingly of retirement. Wouldn't it be nice to have the time to do the things that need to be done and that I would like to do? Ah, well, that decision is made and is not to be revisited for a number of years to come.

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