update: our employee retired … but now she won’t leave

Remember the letter-writer whose employee retired, but then wouldn’t leave, even after she had been replaced? Here’s the update.

To summarize what happened after my letter was published:

1. Boss reminded Fiona to work part-time only.
2. Fiona complied reluctantly, blaming Sally (her replacement) for this arrangement.
3. Fiona gradually increased her own working hours back to full-time. When asking other coworkers for their work failed, she made extra tasks like creating unnecessary reports or copying documents by hand writing instead of printing.
4. Even though Sally officially took over Fiona’s role, Fiona continued to monitor and criticize Sally’s work. She refused to hand over certain jobs to Sally and insisted on doing these herself.
5. Boss eventually let Fiona go. She received a month’s notice and a large retirement package.
6. Fiona tried to continue to work after her employment formally ended. She monitored shared files remotely, emailed clients, asked another employee to submit his work for her to “check,” and requested updated passwords on sensitive documents.
7. When her access was promptly cut off, Fiona contacted me privately to say she was upset at this disrespectful treatment of her, Sally’s supposed incompetence and rudeness, and being let go when she wanted to keep working full-time. I wished her well and otherwise didn’t respond to her long rant.
8. I directed our team strictly not to engage with her over any work-related issues.

I do wonder if Fiona will reflect on her own behavior after time passes and realize she was the main contributor to the problem. She could have continued to work part-time as initially agreed if not for all these issues.

This was a bizarre experience. Sally, however, is doing great.

{ 265 comments… read them below }

  1. Alex*

    If Fiona wants to come do my job for me that would be OK lol.

    I can’t imagine wanting to work if I had the resources to retire! This boggles my mind.

    1. Panicked*

      I think the idea of retiring is often better than actually doing so. Both my parents retired and quickly realized that they had far too much time on their hands. They went to socializing at work and having a reason to get up in the morning to very little of either of those things. My mom went back to school and is working on another masters and my father went back to work part-time.

      I am also in the “I can’t wait to retire” camp, but looking at how my parents have fared has made me realize that I will need to build in purposeful social activities, volunteering, and whatnot to ensure I can actually enjoy it!

      1. Zombeyonce*

        I have such a long list of things I’d love to be doing instead of working, but I’m still so, so far from retirement. I’m impatiently awaiting the surely inevitable day I win the lottery and can do exactly what I want all day.

        1. Blame It On The Weatherman*

          Yes, it’s so weird and sad when people have so little going on that they want to work and can’t transition to retirement. Even if they spent their lives so consumed by work that they were anemic in a lot of things that matter – close friendships, hobbies, interests, spiritual life, books, etc – once you’re retired, how could they not want to explore those things they never had time for? Where’s the curiosity? They could try getting into birding, go to museums and parks every day, write a terrible romance novel just for fun… the lack of a sense of purpose after people no longer have to work tells me they neglected developing their life’s true purpose all along.

          Like if your career was the most awesome thing you always wanted to do – you were a director or a brilliant detective, marine biologist, whatever – I get how hard it could be to be bereft of that. But if people can’t look outward into the smorgasbord of wonder they now have access to explore, I really feel there’s something wrong.

          1. Blame It On The Weatherman*

            (That’s not to put all the blame on those people, though, only part of it. A great deal of it is hypercapitalism fooling people into thinking that their purpose is something extrinsic – the wealth the generate or productivity they produce for others. If you think this, you’ve been punk’d.)

            1. MassMatt*

              Yes, indeed, if only we achieved True Socialism no one would ever have trouble adjusting to retirement. /s

              1. Moira's Rose's Garden*

                We don’t need to carve out the middle and present a false dichotomy that our only options are hypercapitalism and true socialism, in order to critique some of the negative aspects of a culture that so relentlessly ties human worth to work productivity.
                A lot of people have internalized that in ways they don’t realize, that can become more apparent & have to be grappled with as we age and either can’t work or look to retire. It’s a thing.

          2. DyneinWalking*

            It’s not just sense of purpose… it’s that intrinsic motivation and follow-through can be hard for many people.

            I myself have found that, while I have a many interests and many project ideas, it’s extremely hard for me to actually DO any of those if I don’t get some small external push to shift into productivity.
            Mind you, I love being productive! But without external structure, I tend to idle until noon, start a few productive things but get sidetracked, idle again, then realize that the day is pretty much over.
            I need structure (why, yes, I do have ADHD). I hope that until retirement I’ll have learned a bit more self-discipline, but I’m not betting on it.

            1. UnCivilServant*

              It’s amazong what having a deadline and an obligation to someone else does for my productivity.

              If it’s a project I’m doing for myself, it’ll sit and be procrastinated on and be half done for years.

              If it’s for someone else, I’ll churn through what needs to be done with a singlemindedness that’s unhealthy.

              1. cheeks*

                1000% agree to all of this (also have ADHD). I absolutely love an external deadline and I don’t think that makes me weird or sad. I enjoy working and hope one day to be able to put some work to good use (like volunteering to help preserve wildlife for example!) sometimes structure is good for people!

              2. pandop*

                Yeah, I’ve seldom met a deadline I didn’t crash headlong into. But no deadline = no doing a lot of the time.

            2. Theon, Theon, it rhymes with neon*

              I don’t have ADHD (quite the opposite), but even I find that I work better on some things with external structure. I had a professor once who told me that many things in life, such a writing a dissertation, are like clearing a field of trees: you chop down the trees, it’s fun, rewarding, and quick, and you get excited because it seems like 95% of the work is done, but then you spend the majority of your time on the unrewarding and tedious work of pulling up stumps.

              So if you’re doing academic research (something I do for fun), the initial discovery process is quick and exciting! Then if you want to publish your findings, you have to do due diligence and work through the boring source material to make sure you’re not missing something important, cite your bibliography, polish everything up, etc. I’m currently doing the tedious parts of a couple articles, and though it’s seemed like I’m almost done for over a year, the tedious parts are dragging out to be longer than the entire first 95% of the exciting research part. It’s hard to stay focused on this!

              My wife, who crafts, says tying off the tail ends on a sweater is worse than the entire rest of the sweater combined.

              I once saw someone joke that they could start a housecleaning business employing procrastinating would-be authors, with the pitch being: “You pay someone to come over to your house and write a novel, and they’ll clean your entire house top to bottom, rather than sit down and focus on writing.”

              So depending on what you want to do, external structure could absolutely be necessary for you to get a sense of reward instead of “I puttered around all day and felt unsatisfied at the end.” And it’s not just hypercapitalism: having an unfinished sweater lying around is simply not as intrinsically rewarding as having something finished. There are studies to this effect, indicating that our brains release pleasure chemicals when we accomplish something. It’s important to have *some* days where you putter around and chill out, but many people aren’t made for two consecutive decades of that.

            3. Lydia*

              I think of the time I was laid off and job searching and the amount of things I got done, and that was before I even found the two hobbies I’m most committed to now. I made art, my house was clean, I cooked, I went and had coffee with friends. Not having the income sure sucked, but I was rarely bored. I imagine that’s similar to what it would be like if/when I retire.

              I do understand needing structure. I think that’s one of the reasons I’d get (cheap) lunch or meet a friend for coffee. I needed some external accountability, too.

              1. Jaydee*

                I’m in my early 40s. When I was younger, I assumed I would work in some capacity for as long as possible. A lot of lawyers do. They “retire” but that just means they go from partner to “of counsel” and don’t work a full time schedule. They bring in clients and mentor younger lawyers rather than doing the day-to-day grind of practicing. They only work a couple days a week and take a month or two off in the winter to go somewhere warm.

                But now? Retirement sounds great! I want to travel. I want to have long lunches with my friends. I want to have hobbies. I want to volunteer – maybe doing lawyer stuff, maybe doing something totally different. I want to foster dogs and cats (this might be a dealbreaker for my husband, and if I try it he might tell me to go back to work).

                I think a key difference is that I’m in a job now that doesn’t use up all of my time and energy. Time off isn’t just an intense recovery period so I can go back and do all the work again. Like, I’m not too tired to do fun things on the weekend. If I take a day off work, sure I’ll relax but I might also take myself out to a late breakfast at a coffee shop or go to a yoga class that’s during the workday. I could do those things any time if I didn’t have to work.

            4. Son of Sad*

              Yeah, when my parents retired, my mom made all the plans – vacations, social engagements, day to day activities. When she got sick and then passed away, my dad basically stopped everything except his regular card games and weekly lunches with his old friends. But they’ve been dying off, too, and he’s spending more and more time doing less and less. And there’s only so much my siblings and I can do about it.

              1. coffee*

                I’m not sure how old your Dad is, but he might find it worthwhile to go into a retirement village or nursing home – they organise a lot of social events, and my grandmother really had a great time with a lot more socialisation once she moved into a nursing home. They may have a respite/try-it-out period he could do to dip his toe in.

              2. WS*

                This is really common for retired men. In my country there’s an organisation called The Men’s Shed which provides social interaction, hobbies and life skills for older men, mostly run by other older men. It makes a huge difference to their quality of life. Is there anything similar where you live?

          3. Perfectly normal-size space bird*

            My in-laws were/are like that. They are pretty awful to begin with but they made everything all about careers. FIL had a career as an executive at a major oil company and when he retired a multi-millionaire, they had all the time and money to do whatever they wanted but they never developed interests or cultivated relationships outside their careers to fill in the void. Earning lots of money and moving up the ladder was the height of importance to them. So FIL just…exists. No friends, no hobbies, no interests. He hasn’t so much as traveled outside the town he lives in even once. Even when MIL was still alive, interacting with them was like trying to play tennis with a black hole of misery.

            My mom is the opposite. She’s not wealthy but finally has enough that she can afford to do things she never had time or money for when she was working. She has a huge circle of friends she sees often and tons of outside interests. Since retirement, she’s traveled to countries she always wanted to visit, learned to SCUBA dive, hikes in national and state parks weekly, cultivates a large vegetable garden and naturalized wildflower habitat she built from scratch, does volunteer work for conservation groups, and still has time to occasionally drive me bananapants.

            1. H.Regalis*

              Other than driving you bananapants, I want to grow up and be like your mom! Having a social life is so vital to me and her retired life sounds awesome.

          4. Hannah Lee*

            Part of it is sometimes we (humans) find it difficult to really look forward and imagine, take steps to get ready for some time way way off in the future, actually putting a framework, plan, resources in place to be well positioned in the next phase of life. It happens frequently with the financial side of retirement planning, where people are great at setting aside funds now for what they will need down the line, because the stuff that’s right in front of our faces is demanding our attention and resources.

            So, being 40 or 50 and having a lot going on in your life, you’re not necessarily going be thinking “how am I going to want to spend my days when I’m 70?” “what might I want to do to keep me busy, engaged, etc?” because just getting through a day, or a week or until the next end of quarter or vacation in the present is filling up your brain.

            Add to that the (in the US at least) focus on ambition, achievement, financial gains, productivity … values that go all the way back to the Puritans or Horatio Alger “self made man” myths and there’s actual discouragement, disdain for devoting time to things outside of work (unless it’s an approved activity in that culture, for example in the US various sports and sports adjacent things or community involvements or family stuff like involving yourself in your kids’ activities). And add to THAT the frequency of older workers not getting to stay working as long as they’d choose (layoffs of workers in their 50’s, 60’s, or health issues driving people out of the workforce) so they wind up retired years or decades earlier than they’d imagined.

            So we just have a vague sense of “I can’t wait to just relax and not have to answer to anyone” or “play more golf” or whatever, without actually thinking through how it might work, what a typical day or week will be like, or what we maybe could now do to make that transition to post-Full Time Work life easier when it comes.

            For example, giving real thought to where we want to be living, geographically and type of housing and with whom, and starting to put things in motion so we can already be in position, or have begun getting there.

            Or thinking of hobbies, communities, volunteer work, consulting/contract work we might want to do in retirement and putting a toe into them now, while we’re still working. That way when we find ourselves at “Star Date: Retirement +7 or 30 or whatever” we aren’t just staring at an empty calendar and contact file with little idea where to even begin.

            Though, TBH, I’m not sure that Fiona would have done anything different even if she tried to do advanced planning, because she seems to have firmly and abnormally planted her identity in that particular role at that particular company and was refusing to back off and STILL thinks she was right.

          5. Olive*

            Curiosity and interests is different from time and scheduling discipline though.

            When I have a day off, sometimes I just don’t get a lot done. I’ll get some lunch, do some chores, and exercise. And then I’ll get one piece of a hobby project finished, a few chapters of a book read. And maybe that’s more understandable given that I’m also just needing a break in general.

            But when I have to work (and parent), I somehow make those things also fit into to my day. I’m not out here rewearing dirty laundry. I grab a few minutes of exercise between work and my next activity. Volunteer after work. Do hobbies after kid’s bedtime. It’s easy to believe that I do so many things that I’d easily fill up a day without work, but I suspect that after a few days, it would feel like too much time because I’d have lost that need for hardnosed efficiency.

          6. selena81*

            My ‘sense of purpose’ is laying in bed and watching TV.
            I’ve been unemployed for several years and I didn’t really need friends or hobbies to have a good time.
            The only thing I really missed was a feeling of being useful to society, which is fulfilled now that I’ve worked some years

          7. WingNWing*

            Can I just flag “smorgasbord of wonder” as my new retirement goal? (Been retired for 15 years from my first career; then found a volunteer gig 10 years ago in a radically different field that keeps me slightly intimidated and always grinning. So many options when you’re no longer focused on earning a necessary amount of money)

          8. Emily*

            I am far from retirement and not even that passionate about my job, or about work in general…and I still think that if I were magically able to retire today, I would benefit from some amount of part-time work or volunteering. It’s less about a lack of hobbies or interests and more about a need for externally-imposed structure – I struggle a lot to self-motivate even when I have time and things that I want to do! (Yes, like several other commenters who have mentioned this, I also have ADHD.)

            1. JustaTech*

              Yes to this – I’m ADHD and also on the shy/homebody side, so I know that if I’m not going to turn into a total hermit when I retire (and I don’t want to turn into a hermit, I do like being around people some), I’m going to need some structured activities.

              It’s funny, but watching my dad’s siblings “retire” has been fascinating. One retired and immediately founded a company to make a medical device during peak COVID, and he’s having a great time doing that (and renovating his house to make it walker-accessible, and renovating the kitchen in my cousin’s new house). Another retired, but keeps up a lot of consulting work, around all of her world travels. My dad retired, but has joined several boards and teaching organizations on top of playing a shocking amount of golf.
              When my grandfather retired for health reasons he consulted, then was an envelop stuffer (just to get out of the house) then finally indulged himself in his life-long fascination with Oak Island and built all kinds of innovative tools for testing theories about the money pit.

              My husband asked me the other day what I would think about retiring right this minute and I said “heck no” even though I don’t love my job. Partly that’s because I worry that I would end up sliding into STAHP and I don’t want to do that, but also because I know I need structure. After some more thought I said I would probably go for some Masters degrees for fun.

          9. Daisy-dog*

            It really can vary. My aunt (who is 70) retired recently after working as a translator in a hospital for decades. She loved her job, but didn’t like how much of it transitioned to virtual post-Covid. She lasted about 3 months after retiring before finding a part-time gig in healthcare (this one is in-person). I think for her, it was because she never actually wanted to retire. (She could absolutely volunteer, but doesn’t “believe” in it, sigh.)

            My mom is the opposite of her sister. She stopped working when my dad died and she wasn’t even 50 yet. They had a business together and technically my mom could have hired someone to take over for my dad (she didn’t have his technical knowledge), but decided not to and dissolved the business. She has been fine not working since then.

          10. Alice in Spreadsheetland*

            Yes, I’m in the camp of ‘people with way more hobbies than they have time’ and would LOVE to not have to work as much! I’m specifically making the trade-off with my current job of a lower salary, but more time off/flexible schedule so I can do more non-work stuff. But I also know I’m unusual in that I really don’t have many work ambitions and all my aspirations are in my hobbies.

            But if you’re used to your validation coming from work, and putting in lots of hours, plus if you like to socialize at work (I don’t really do that either), I can see how it would be difficult to retire and suddenly lose that.

          11. Colleen*

            Lots of empty nester (mostly moms) who lost all purpose after their kids graduated look this way. But the sad ones who just long for yesterday, pester their kids or get involved in annoying activities.

          12. münchner kindl*

            Good employers, unions and similar have in the past decades pushed the concept of preparing for retirement by starting activities in your private life a few years before full retirement – because back in the 70s, people who had only known work, had fallen into “retirement shock” where going from 40 hours working a week to sitting on the couch all day, not knowing what to do, lead to very early death.

          13. tc*

            Especially if they don’t have much family or friends close by,people really miss the social interaction.

          14. kicking_k*

            My mum was a teacher and struggled to think she was no longer contributing to society after she stopped. She felt irrelevant and as if her activities were trivial. This does appear to have worn off, though. She helped me with childcare (she retired pretty much simultaneously with her first grandchild being born), took up quilting, edits a parish magazine and helps run a walking group. So she stays pretty busy. I always knew she would, as she’s the kind of person who can’t sit idle.
            I kind of sympathise more than I did as my family travelled recently without me and I found it difficult to fill my evenings without the stimulus of having others around me. Why didn’t I go with them… because I had to work, of course.

          15. Kelsi*

            I mean, my dad has a lot of hobbies, but it took him a couple of years to really get the hang of retirement. Most of his friends were still working at the time he retired, so he struggled for awhile with finding stuff to do that wasn’t just sitting in the house (he’s an introvert, so spontaneously meeting new people was VERY challenging). My mom had also retired first, and while she loves him and loves spending time with him, her being his only social outlet got real old real fast. He started working again for a few years at a similar (but less taxing) job to the one he retired from. By the time he retired again, a. some of his friends had also retired, b. he had a grandkid to spoil and babysit, and c. a club he was a part of had a sort of renaissance and got very active again.

            It’s a big shift for a lot of people, even people who have other interests to fill the space.

      2. Java*

        Yes! I was actually really nervous for my parents to retire, they’re introverted homebodies and I knew it would be all too easy for them to fall into a habit of just not doing anything.
        Thankfully they’ve been doing pretty well at embracing the time they now have – but my siblings and I definitely put pressure on them to do that, Christmas/Birthday/Holiday gifts were exclusively activity and hobby-based for a few years haha.

        It’s a good reminder that even if you love your job, having a full and rich life outside of it is incredibly important.

      3. Rosemary*

        There are many days when I think I would like to stop working (and theoretically I could afford to do so if I wanted, albeit I might have to give up some luxuries) but I am not sure what I would do with myself all day, every day.

          1. WriterDrone*

            That’s what really gets me. Fiona was allowed to go down to part-time work. There are so many people near retirement who would love that opportunity, to still make some income from a job they know how to do but be able to ease themselves into retirement instead of having almost nothing structuring their days or week and having to figure it all out at once.

          2. Fives*

            This is what seems ideal to me. Still have a “schedule” and work some and then you’re free to do other things.

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          Husband keeps hinting that he wants to quit, but when I tell him fine, start looking for a new job (he’s not even 50 yet) he dances around and huffs and refuses to admit that what he wants is to sit around the house all day. Like, literally never leave it while tinkering with web comics that he dives into, gets bored with, abandons, and then starts over with another one, while wondering why the internet isn’t flocking to view his stuff.

          I frankly am DREADING him retiring.

      4. Beth*

        My dad retired and I think if he hadn’t hated his job by the end, he could’ve been a “can’t actually leave” type. He’s struggled to find hobbies and activities to fill his time. It turns out home maintenance, naps, and golf can only go so far.

        My mom, on the other hand? I think she’s busier than when she was working! She has a million hobbies, she volunteers, she has a bustling social life and is always meeting up with some friend or another, she travels to visit family…when she has nothing on her calendar for a day, it’s a rare treat. She’s my model for how I want to retire someday.

        1. Justme, The OG*

          That was my mom too. She hated everything at the end so she was glad to retire. My boss retired and then was rehired as a part time hourly employee in another department. I don’t think she was ready but wanted to spend more time with family.

        2. WriterDrone*

          My parents were the same. My dad was just ready to be done with a job he had come to resent while my mom already had some hobbies and volunteer work going that she was able to ramp up once she wasn’t working full time. She did get a seasonal job but it’s at a nursery and she mostly does it for the discount because one of her hobbies is gardening. Fortunately, my dad has also been roped into the gardening and has found he really likes it, especially the food part, so my mom takes more care of the flowers and my dad does most of the work on the vegetables.

      5. Sara without an H*

        Happy retiree, here. It’s true, you need to create some kind of routine for yourself to provide structure. On the other hand, being able to create your own routine, versus having one imposed on you by your employer, can be an enjoyable challenge.

        1. Tricia Bednarski*

          Another happy retiree here who enjoys being able to go grocery shopping whenever I want. Some days I wonder how I got everything done while teaching and coaching.

        2. Myrin*

          A bit off-topic but Sara, for some reason I’ve been reading your comments for years thinking you were late thirties, early fourties! I don’t know what gave me this impression but I’m shook!

          1. Sara without an H*

            Oh, that’s probably an effect of my effervescent personality! Thanks, Myrin, but I can remember the transition from DOS to Windows. And “floppy disks” when they were actually floppy.

        3. Me, I think*

          Another happy (very) recent retiree. I have several hobbies that involve a large social circle and can take almost unlimited time; they can also involve travel all over the country. We got our little camper five years ago to take to [hobby] festivals, and got a slightly larger one last year to take around the country. Our offspring lives 2000 miles away in a remote but beautiful area and one that I love spending time in. And there are [hobby] festivals all over that we can attend. I am super lucky that my partner also enjoys these hobbies and we can do them together. Plus, I get to go camping as often as I want. I just got back from *two weeks” camping during April, which was impossible on an academic calendar for the last three decades.

      6. gmg22*

        Absolutely agree with this — my widowed mom, an RN and special educator, is now 78 and has honestly never fully “retired” — she works one day a week at a college health clinic and usually one more day per week subbing for various elementary and high school nurses. Between that and her nonwork pursuits (racquet sports, summer golf, Lions club, book group, brunch with her fellow retired teachers, etc etc etc), she is a happy and busy gal!

        There are so many things retired people (health permitting) can do to keep themselves active and engaged, including part-time work, volunteering, and social clubs. But you have to be open-minded and purposeful about looking for those things and building your new phase of life around them. Seems pretty clear that Fiona was not doing that; she was clinging to her old job, to a frankly pathological degree, to bolster her identity.

        1. Zweisatz*

          Yeah I think that’s key. It seems some people expect retirement activities will be foisted upon them like a job was foisted on them (because they needed money). But you’ll need to look for this stuff and sort out what works for you.
          I’m always surprised when retirees dismiss volunteering and then go work again instead (except if they need the money, sometimes that how it is).

      7. perstreperous*

        My (UK) employer has the voluntary policy that those close to retirement can go down from 5 to 4 to 3 days a week before going to 0.

        That avoids what I once saw called “jumping off the multistorey car park” (5 days a week straight to 0) and does appear to avert the sort of issues described.

        1. selena81*

          The person whose job I took over had so much banked vacation time that he skipped several months in the year leading up to his retirement.

          Which was also good for me: there wasn’t a cliff-edge for me either, I could get used to doing all his responsibilities while he was still with the company.

          He was very very much looking forward to retirement, had a ton of things he was going to do, so there was never any risk of him being a “Fiona”

        2. Sara without an H*

          That sounds like an excellent policy, one that I wish more employers would copy.

      8. Loves libraries*

        Yes. I saw this when my dad retired. I also knew that my husband and I would have more time on our hands once the 3 children left for college and looked for hobbies. My husband has since retired and has lots of time on his hands. I’m not retired so he does the shopping and cooking.

      9. Wendy Darling*

        My dad became a partner in a company that had previously been run by one guy because the guy wanted to retire. He got my dad up to speed and put him in charge and the company threw him a big retirement party and then he just kinda kept working there anyway for the next five years.

        My dad had a health crisis within six months of my mom having a health crisis when he was thinking about retiring and he just fully threw in the towel. He decided to retire and six months later he was off the payroll and out of state. He did a little contract work for them on and off for 2-3 years afterwards but then decided it was too much of a pain and he couldn’t be bothered to keep his licenses current so he stopped. I think watching his predecessor be totally deranged about retirement made him seriously think about how he wanted to spend his retirement.

      10. Ms. Carter.*

        I cannot WAIT to retire and start working at random, low-level jobs for fun. Barista, barnhand, writer, poet, waitress…everything I want to do now and simply don’t have time for. I can understand Fiona’s motivations in sticking around past her welcome expiration, but I can’t imagine doing it.

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          I don’t think I’d want to be working waiting and bartending jobs in my seventies; my legs and back wouldn’t stand for it.

        2. Redaktorin*

          I suspect you will quickly find that not many people want to hire or work with someone who thinks of the service industry as something “low level” they can do for funsies.

          I currently work a six-figure corporate managerial job with regular overtime and look back on being a barista as the toughest thing I ever did.

      11. Dina*

        My parents combatted this by moving onto a sailboat when they retired. They just made landfall in the Marquesas after a 33 day passage from Panama!

        Which is to say, having something else to focus on seems to be the key. You don’t have to go drastic like my parents!

      12. Gemstone.*

        My parents are lucky to have the funds to do this, but, retired now, they’ve bought a camper van and spend most weekends and every second week or so travelling and taking photos for their photography club.

      13. Sleeve McQueen*

        I also can’t wait to retire, but I can imagine it would be an adjustment. That said when my husband said we should consider getting a hobby farm for retirement I shut it down really quick. Kids, work and pets dictate so much of what I do in life, I am not looking to replace them with a bigger commitment

        1. Zweisatz*

          Good for you. If he wants something easy and fun a tiny garden is realistic. Hobby farm? No.

      14. just me*

        I cannot even comprehend not wanting to be retired. I, unfortunately, will probably never be able to afford retirement, and it’s tragic because I’d like to retire now. (mid-50’s). I’m so busy! I don’t have time for this “working for a living” thing.
        I keep acquiring new hobbies. I don’t have time for all these hobbies.

      15. Zoe Karvounopsina*

        My father retired young, immediately started volunteering and working part time for the Parole Board, and then phased out of that a few years ago, and now volunteers for the National Trust. He has slowed down, but he needs activity.

        My mother, self-employed, refuses to admit she’s retired.

      16. tiny potato*

        My mom was a doctor. She retired from doctoring about six years ago (and was happy to — rewarding work, but physically and mentally taxing!). However, being a doctor is pretty all-encompassing at the expense of other interests and connections, and I think she went a bit stir-crazy, not having cultivated much to do with herself. So she went back to work, not seeing patients but in an educational administration role part time, basically to fill her days while she set about cultivating other activities. Now that’s dwindling away and she’s gradually moving back to full retirement but this time with a better sense of what she likes doing — notably some pretty vigorous environmental activism! It’s a relief.

        As for myself, my interests outside my job are basically what keeps me sane, so I doubt I’ll have a similar problem haha, but it’s good to keep an eye on.

      17. Elizabeth West*

        I would love to retire; I have a zillion things to keep me busy that I barely have time to do right now. But I can’t unless I win the lottery because thanks to years of underemployment, I have no savings. Still, I cannot imagine wanting to go back in the office to make up for a shortfall of things to do.
        I think we have too much focus on work as identity, and this makes it harder for people to fully commit to retirement.

      18. Candace*

        I think it depends on how much you love the work you’re doing. Mine is very meaningful to me, and has a direct impact on students (I’m in higher ed). I don’t know if I want to retire – there are lots of things I like to do, but I manage to fit them in just fine. I also live in a very expensive city, which I love, and only just managed to buy a house, at age 58. Sounds crazy, but it’s still way cheaper than the rent for a 2 bdrm apartment. I’ll be working until I physically cannot.

    2. Zombeyonce*

      Why did she even “semi” retire in the first place if she wanted to continue working full-time?

      1. Frank Doyle*

        She probably didn’t realize until she did it that she wouldn’t like it — but she should have been honest with herself and her employer and tried to find a solution, rather than just . . . hanging around a lot and making busywork for herself.

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          Or she couldn’t afford it. I’d bet she didn’t calculate how much she would be spending, or had some medical bills come up.

      2. selena81*

        I assume she never has had long stretches off and thought it was going to be ‘one long weekend’

        1. Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom*

          I’m surprised that it took as long as it did to finally wrench her little hands off the company information. It seems disappointing that nobody took it seriously at first. I feel bad for Sally.

    3. Frank Doyle*

      Right?? I cannot WAIT to retire. There are so many things I’d like the time to do.

    4. Goldenrod*

      I know right! Holy shiz. People are weird.

      I’m glad to hear the boss handled it properly, though.

    5. Not on board*

      I feel like Fiona had similar thoughts prior to retirement… I think she thought that working part time would be relaxing. Then perhaps she found that she had nothing to do at home and was bored, or she realized that working part-time meant losing control/authority over the work being done. Possibly a mixture of both. If you don’t have a lot going on before you retire, it’s probably going to be a little boring when you do.

      1. Sloanicota*

        I have had the reverse happen in my org more often. An employee wants to go part time or contract in preparation for retirement, maybe work from home as Fiona did in the first letter. Sometimes the org agrees and it works out okay, other times it’s not a good fit – it’s irritating to all the “real” employees to have someone who’s not really on the hook in the same way / is the only one with flexibility & permission to work remotely – but often the employee ends up being the one who comes back deciding to just retire! It’s hard for them to have one foot in and one foot out, and it may not be as “fun” as they were picturing even if they planned to just cherry-pick the parts of their jobs they liked the most.

      2. londonedit*

        Yeah, working part-time can be difficult. I did it as a freelancer a few years ago – I picked up a job where they only wanted someone two days a week. It was a nice source of regular income alongside my other freelance work, but it was also frustrating – I’d work Monday/Tuesday and get whatever I could done in that time, but then half the time I’d turn up the following Monday and find that things had moved on, decisions had been made, and either the work I’d done was obsolete or someone else had started working on it or I’d have to start all over again. I can only imagine how much more frustrating it would have been if I’d been doing that job full-time beforehand.

    6. The Original K.*

      A friend’s father was a BigLaw partner, retired, and realized quickly that he had too much time on his hands. He started doing a lot of pro bono work. Now he has grandkids he dotes on so he scaled back the pro bono (though he still does it), but the first few weeks with the days stretching out in front of him were apparently rough – he was kind of like “… And?”

    7. Chirpy*

      Right?? I would retire this instant and actually have time to do my hobbies, if I could!

      Alas, I still have 20-30 more years to work…if I’m ever able to retire at all. It won’t be possible on my current pay.

    8. TG*

      Retirement can be very hard on people who find their identity in the work they do – men especially have a difficult time. I think part of it could have been that or frankly she wanted to feel irreplaceable which no one is. If she had just let it go she would have been fine. She doesn’t own the work or control it and I hope she learns to enjoy her retirement and find value in her life post retirement.

    9. Reluctant Mezzo*

      I knew someone who worked a 4 day/10 hour schedule, but kept coming in on Friday anyway. She lived in a room by herself in a house shared with a couple of other people and I guess didn’t get along with them. She also had a number of health issues, but the 50 hour week she set herself probably didn’t help, as she had a heart attack and passed on in her sleep one weekend. Even if she could have retired, I doubt she would have.

  2. AE*

    Thanks for the update, OP! I got to #5 and was like, “Oh no, there are too many items remaining after this…”

    1. ampersand*

      Right!? They should have removed her access as item 5b, and yet somehow that didn’t happen until #7!

      1. ferrina*

        YES! I was shocked she still had access after her last official day. That’s the kind of thing you turn off at 5pm on their last day. She should have had no access to clients after her last day.

        1. selena81*

          Yeah, that’s just basic security protocol. Your account gets deactivated either immediately or within a few weeks.

          1. Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom*

            I was really surprised that the company did not react as strongly at first. I know that at the places I’ve work it would happen immediately, followed closely up by legal.

          2. OMG, Bees!*

            IT here, common protocol was to reset the account password in most cases, keep it around in case anything needed. Someone like Fiona would probably have her account active, but either her old manager or Sally monitoring it for awhile.

  3. Full time reader, part time commenter*

    Why was any of this allowed to continue? Making work for herself by writing out documents instead of copying? Poor Sally! This was a failure of leadership in the office and a huge liability. The morale of the entire office must have been affected.

    1. Venus*

      She had been an employee for 20 years, and presumably a good one, so they were likely trying to be kind to someone who was having trouble dealing with retirement. Thankfully they sorted things out before Sally left.

      1. pally*

        Yeah, that’s probably the case. Which makes me wonder: is there an EAP program to assist those transitioning from work to retirement (either in general or at the OP’s company)? That would be something Fiona should have been steered to. Early on.

        1. Goldenrod*

          What what it’s worth, EAP at my workplace is pretty useless. It’s very hard to find a therapist right now!

          But yeah, that would have been appropriate to at least try, although I wonder if Fiona would have recognized that she needed help, psychologically. It sounds like she was in massive denial about the whole thing.

        2. Phryne*

          Not in the US, but my employer has a collective insurance programme that is aimed at preventing people from getting ill or burning out (completely voluntarily, the offer of all sorts of courses, coaching and preventative treatments is there if you look for it, not pushed) and this programme also offers retirement training (free of cost to employees). This training is with a group of people retiring at the same time (not all from the same place of employment) offsite, generally a couple of days at the seaside or in the woods, all-in arrangement in a hotel. Partners are encouraged to come, and then it is a few days of training and coaching towards making a plan for yourself what you are going to do, what keeps you ticking, what do you really want to do and making some concrete plans for that.
          Apparently it is really useful and quite fun.

      2. CommanderBanana*

        This honestly isn’t kind, though – it’s not kind to Fiona and it DEFINITELY isn’t kind to everyone else.

      3. goddessoftransitory*

        Yes; it’s a good thing the execs realized they couldn’t keep unofficially renaming the company “Assist Fiona Inc.”

      4. Ally McBeal*

        Maybe, but you HAVE to cut off all access to work system once someone’s employment has formally, officially ended. It’s really dangerous not to. Fiona apparently didn’t do anything malicious but companies simply cannot take that risk.

      1. purple monkey & bubblegum tree*

        They obviously mean “allowed to continue for as long as it did.”

    2. Observer*

      Making work for herself by writing out documents instead of copying?

      Yes, that’s just bizarre! So much so that I went to check the date on the original email again. Because whut?!?

      I hope that that’s the thing that made the boss finally let her go.

      1. selena81*

        ikr? that sounds like something from the ’80s. So bizarre.
        So yeah, it would make sense if that was the thing that convinced everyone that Fiona wasn’t going to take subtle hints about overstaying her welcome.

    3. MuseumChick*

      Most likely, she had built good relationships with everyone who the power to do anything about this. They likely wanted to be kind to her. And, she had also likely built relationships clients and management was probably worried what she would say to them.

    4. Debby*

      As far as I’m concerned, she should be called “Saint Sally”! What she had to put up with and deal with was amazing, yet she hung in there! I admire that.

      1. WoodswomanWrites*

        Yep, I was afraid that the update was going to be that Sally resigned. I’m glad this was resolved before that happened.

    5. Trixie Belden was my hero*

      I planned to take early retirement due to health reasons and then the apocalypse began. I went thru with my original (modified) plans. Everything took longer and was more expensive and I’m only recently have been able to move forward with the rest of my retirement plans, hobbies, dreams and I still have items that I’m working toward. Although I can empathize with the feeling that her identity was so tied to her work, having a plan is so necessary, as is the flexibility to make changes. I’ve noticed that as we age, the idea of change becomes frightening, sometimes resulting in banana pants behavior.
      An identity solely tied to work is incomplete and since jobs can disappear at anytime for any reason, dangerous to your self worth. The ability to adapt is a skill you need your whole life, especially after a huge life event like retirement.
      Even if you have plans, apocalypses happen. I had a plan. Some things changed, some things didn’t. One new thing I didn’t expect is that I discovered AAM in the beginning of lockdown. I wish I had earlier in my career.

  4. LCH*

    so bizarre! i went back to read the initial post to see if she had been required to retire, but it was her idea!

    1. Java*

      My MIL told me that when she was working at an exec level they actually had “retirement classes” for retiring employees because so many of them (especially men in the 80s and 90s) would retire, have no idea what to do with themselves and get really depressed and weird (and many would wind up divorced) because so much of their lives had been dedicated to being a CFO and whatnot. They had no idea who they were outside of that job and figuring that out in your 60s is daunting so it can be a really hard transition.

      I’d wager this is what Fiona was going through.

      1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

        Very much. Instead of looking around at her own life and her own choices, she is weaving a tale of woe.
        Sally forced her out and turned everyone against her. Sally wants to keep the work for herself. Even the boss thinks she can’t handle the work anymore and is giving it to Sally.
        It’s sad, but far above the pay grade of OP’s workplace.

        1. selena81*

          Yeah, it sounds like Fiona twisted the whole thing in her head in a way that made her the victim, fighting conniving Sally who is stealing her job.

          It’s possible better mental care could have prevented this, or maybe not. Fiona sounds like an extreme case, who at first seems to be easing into retirement very well (making plans to slowly reduce her hours) and then unexpectedly demands her job back.

        1. Hot Flash Gordon*

          My dad was in the Air National Guard and enlisted folks are required to retire at 60 and officers at 70 (I think). He worked full time at the Air Base and couldn’t hold that position as a civilian. So, even though he had put in 40 years, he really wasn’t ready to retire at 60. He spent 6 months lazing around the house and calling me way too much (lol). He ended up getting 2 part time jobs and joked that he worked more than when he was full time at the base. He finally fully retired during the pandemic and does on-call pharmacy delivery for the local drug store chain.

      2. Sloanicota*

        Ooh I’d like to see this on a societal level – and then people could connect with other recent or soon-to-be retirees, too!

      3. LCH*

        oh, yes, it is obvious that she regretted her choice. my aunt is so close to retirement and she is currently trying to think up things to fill her days before she does it.

      4. katydid*

        When my Grandpa was getting ready to retire my Grandma told him he had to find some hobbies or make a plan of what they were going to do, because she wasn’t just going to have him hang around the house all day. He learned to golf, they got an RV and at one point ran a bed and breakfast. So it worked out well!

        1. selena81*

          I kinda wonder if the 2-income household has changed things.
          It used to be that the woman was often a housewife and thus had friends within that context. Whereas the man had lots of contacts through work.
          But there’ll be more and more couples retiring where both have worked their whole life.

      5. Kaiya*

        I wonder if a retirement class would have helped someone I knew in passing, who lost his wife two years before he retired.

        I never knew whether his retirement was mandatory, or if not then did anyone suggest postponing while he adjusted to his widowed state. Or what ultimately happened to him. :-(

      6. AcademiaNut*

        In Japan, the term is “wet leaves husband”. After a life of long work hours at a job while their wife handled all the household stuff, they retire, blow back into the house, and stick to their wives, who are just trying to go on with their daily work. It can end in divorce.

        1. Mallory Janis Ian*

          Ha that reminds me of one of my aunts after her husband retired. She was like, He just follows me around the house all the time! She just wanted to do her housework and the other things she’d done when she had the house to herself, and he didn’t know what to do with himself and thought that she would be more glad to have him around — which she was, but not during her house cleaning time!

      7. goddessoftransitory*

        I bet a lot of them DID end up divorced! The “husband hanging around the house and trying to run it like his old job” thing is a cliche’ for a reason.

  5. Don*

    This is way more bonkers than I expected. I wonder why Fiona asked to go part time in the first place is it want what she wanted.

    Handwriting, instead of printing is especially bonkers.

    I hope for the sake of the company, that 6 and 7 happened almost concurrently.

    1. Shiara*

      Sometimes people really struggle to adjust to retirement. She probably thought that going part time would help her ease into it, but the familiarity and enjoyment of the work environment meant she kept creeping her hours back up.

    2. selena81*

      tbh, I have had times where I thought I was going to like something, and than I did it and it was ‘meh’.
      Afaic Fiona’s problem isn’t that she regretted retirement but that she went into complete denial, instead of being an adult and talking to her boss about potential ways to un-retire (in ways that would do right by Sally)

    3. morethantired*

      It sounds like Fiona is the type of person who thinks the entire business rests on her shoulders and she can never truly be replaced, and then when reality begins to set in, panics and struggles to try to keep control and feel important. It’s kind of like those people who never take sick time or vacation even though everyone wishes they would — feeling needed and being overly invested in their work is their whole identity. I used to be a little like that until burnout and related health problems made me have to confront my unhealthy habits.

  6. Caramel & Cheddar*

    I’m so confused why Fiona asked to work part-time in the first place when she very clearly did not want to work part-time! Such an odd situation all around, and a great example of why people’s computer access needs to be cut off immediately after their last day.

    I’m glad it eventually worked out, but yikes what it took to get there!

    1. Pastor Petty Labelle*

      She thought she was ready to transition to retirement, then found out she didn’t like it. But no take backsies. Especially when someone else was already hired.

      But the trying to sabotage Sally because Fiona was mistaken about retirement was not acceptable.

      1. Caramel & Cheddar*

        Yeah I think part of it was probably also seeing someone else do your job might feel weird and she probably thought Sally was somehow sullying her legacy in that role or something, hence all the complaints and sabotage.

          1. selena81*

            I don’t think it was that well planned. It makes more sense to me that it hurt to see how replaceable she was. And projected that anger onto Sally.

        1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

          I’m speculating, but I think the source of her unhappiness came from being back in the office.
          She needed a clean break and proud memories.
          She could think that all her skills and institutional knowledge were irreplaceable and everyone would be struggling without her.
          Instead, she went back and saw things working fine. She Sally happy and doing well. She saw others working with Sally while she was on these little side projects, not asking for her help or insight. It was too much.
          Sally must be cutting corners! Sally is a fraud. Sally must see her as a threat to the facade she’s created. And now everyone from the CEO down is in on it.
          And being FIRED?! Wow. Sally has everyone under her spell.
          At least she’s not a real professional threat to Sally!

          1. Sloanicota*

            It’s also hard to see your successor change things or undo things you did. She may not have counted on that.

            1. Zoe Karvounopsina*

              My successor at one job started changing my spreadsheets while I was still there. It was fine, she was allowed, but it felt disorienting as hell.

          2. selena81*

            I think you might be right: that a clean break would have been better. Going out with a bang instead of a whimper.

          3. goddessoftransitory*

            This reminds me of the movie About Schmidt, where Jack Nicholson is at such loose ends after retiring he goes back to his old office to see if his replacement “needs any help.” Everybody just stares at him like he’s got two heads and he realizes the place hasn’t missed a beat without him. It’s deeply disturbing.

      2. AnotherOne*

        yeah, there is a joke in my family that my grandfather “failed” at retirement the first time. he retired for a few years- out of medical necessity- hated it and, once he was in better health, went back to full-time work. He retired about 5-10 years later and it stuck.

        but retirement can be a much more difficult transition for people than they expect.

        1. Pastor Petty Labelle*

          My dad is 84 and still working. He has hobbies, he has grandkids 10 minutes away that spends tons of time with. He is not the type that his job is his life. But he will. not. retire. I asked once and he said what would I do, I said anything you want. That was about 5 years ago.

          1. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*

            My father-in-law managed to transition from being a full-time staff scientist at IBM, to an unpaid adjunct professorship at the state university, which got him lab space to do the research he was interested in, and library privileges. In teturn, he advised grad students, and published a few papers “University of Albany” as his affiliation, which department chairs tend to like.

            He is now, a couple of decades later, thoroughly retired, but it was a slow process. It probably helped that he had moved far enough that he couldn’t have just dropped in at the old lab.

            1. Artemesia*

              Years ago I helped train a bunch of middle aged men being forced into early retirement by a well known tech company. They were being prepared to teach in community colleges and state colleges i.e. places happy to get experienced engineers and computer experts but who didn’t need research faculty or tenure faculty.

              We were not experts in science teaching but the training was focused on the norms of college teaching and faculty life, as well as how to go about planning instructions. I did some sessions on adult learning and strategies for teaching adults. Others dealt with curriculum design, syllabus design etc and others with faculty life. Our grads did well in their post retirement jobs and we got a lot of positive feedback about the preparation we provided.

              1. selena81*

                the best teachers I had at university were pretty much always (retired) professionals: from anecdotes to professional attitude, there are things you can only know from real work-experience.

                1. AcademiaNut*

                  This is literally the kind of thing adjunct positions were designed for – bringing in a professional expert to teach some specialized classes, pay them a stipend for their effort, but don’t require supervision / administration / publishing.

                  Now, of course, it’s a way to seriously underpay junior people, without providing job security, and knowing that they’ll try to do research in their spare time in the hopes of securing a tenure track position later.

            2. selena81*

              That’s what adjuncts are supposed to be: bored profesionals or retirees who don’t need the money and aren’t looking for tenure, but just like to share their knowledge.

              Shame the adjunct job is now abused to underpay young scientists: hiring them as adjuncts and pretend not to notice that they’re starving.

        2. Cyborg Llama Horde*

          I have a great-uncle who’s “retired” five or ten times. He’s a teacher (in a rural part of the US that always needs teachers, which is how he can pull this off) and for years he’ll announce in the spring that he’s retiring, but by the end of August he gets itchy feet and applies for another teaching job, and they always take him back.

          He MAY have actually retired by this point, but I’m not sure.

          1. Chocoholic*

            This was my MIL. She was a teacher, and retired from teaching 5th grade about 25 years ago. She then started teaching at the college level for a while, then she started supervising student teachers. She did finally retire for reals, but it took a few tries, and probably close to 15 years from when she retired from teaching kids.

          2. WriterDrone*

            A family friend has said she’s happy to be backup daycare for her grandchildren (she has seven from three different kids) as needed because she figures it keeps her from being tempted to go back to full-time teaching. Watching one or more grandchildren who are sick or whose daycare wasn’t open that day for some reason and substitute teaching every once in awhile keeps her busy enough.

        3. Statler von Waldorf*

          Yeah, that is my Dad. He’s currently on his third retirement now, and I’m skeptical that it will stick any more than the last two did.

          When you’ve spent sixty years working, it’s really hard for some people to stop.

          1. ferrina*

            Yep, I know someone who is also on their third retirement.

            Part of it is the identity- when you’ve built your identity around work, what is there left when you retire? At least that’s how it is for the person I know- all his hobbies revolved around making business connections (like golf with business connections, going to dinner with business connections, etc)

          2. Rebecca*

            my dad retired from teaching at 63, and now he spends much of the summer helping his dad (my grandpa, who’s over 90) work on the family farm. they’re both hardy farm guys; the year they can’t work will be the year they perish

            1. not nice, don't care*

              I tried farming part time while working full time and it’s great when you’re young. Now I am so ready to retire from the paycheck job so I can scrape out a few more years of farming before I downsize into a home that doesn’t require 24/7 labor (assuming that’s even possible anymore).

        4. Hush42*

          My grandfather was a pastor when he retired. He went through all the steps to resign at the church he was leading, they bought a house in a retirement community, fixed it up and moved in. Then the church that they had started attending after they moved lost it’s pastor and he was asked to preach for a few weeks. Then that turned into them asking him to step into the position of Interim Pastor while they searched for a new full time pastor. Which turned into them moving from their home in the retirement community to the parsonage on church grounds. 3 years later he finally put his foot down and re-retired. The church definitely took advantage but I also think he was amenable to it because he wasn’t really quite ready to retire. They started attending a different church after his second retirement and he was able to be an active volunteer in the church without all the headaches that come from leading a church. I think sometimes it takes a couple tries for Retirement to stick.

    2. Sneaky Squirrel*

      We’re conditioned to work immediately when we reach adulthood and to believe that our value is in being a “productive” member of society. I think some people retire and then learn the hard way that they don’t know what to do with all the newfound free time they have.

    3. Boof*

      Rampant speculation- maybe she was starting to struggle with the standard workload, but then realized she liked the full time schedule and pay? The resorting to copying things by hand to fill the hours is just weird and if her judgement is so far off that she thinks her employers want that i have to wonder if more complicated tasks were getting too challenging

  7. Penfold*

    Glad Sally is doing well and ultimately hasn’t been pushed out due to Fiona’s bizarre behaviour.

    1. Throwaway Account*

      I expected the last part of the post would say that Sally left and now they are stuck with Fiona!

    2. Paint N Drip*

      Totally agree. I think it’s a real testament to her integrity, soft skills, and patience that she pushed through and is still there despite the weirdness with Fiona.

    3. WoodswomanWrites*

      Yes, I was relieved when I got to the end of the update and found out Sally didn’t resign.

  8. Cassielfsw*

    Fiona was the one who decided to semi-retire in the first place. If she was so desperate to continue doing her job full-time, she could have just… Done that? Super curious about Fiona’s motivations during this whole debacle.

    1. Person from the Resume*

      I think it’s clear that she didn’t actually want to retire (she did ask to semi-retire from the get go). But she must have thought she wanted to work less and be semi-retired and only then realized that she didn’t actually want that. That she didn’t want to be at home and out of the office?

      Very, very confusing.

      I am glad the boss eventually handled it the right way.

    2. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

      I’ve seen lighter-weight versions of this. Doctor, family, et al tell Fergus to cut back. But Fergus’ identity and sense of self-worth revolves so strongly around the job – “but I’m irreplaceable!” And so Fergus gets stuck in this weird half-way existence trying to meet two incompatible demands.

    3. Union Rep*

      This behavior is extremely common among retiring faculty that I represent, to the point where our contract has procedures for how to be rehired as an adjunct after retiring from your tenured position. Our university goes out of its way to ensure that you lose all of the benefits of your prior seniority (most importantly tenure, but other things too), but is so understaffed that they rarely turn down this pool of suckers who volunteer to take a massive pay and benefits cut just to keep working into their 80s. I think this option should be eliminated, but the people who want it really, really want it, and so it stays.

      1. doreen*

        I don’t think they are necessarily suckers – a lot depends on the details, of course, but if I could retire, collect my pension , continue to have health insurance (which comes along with my pension) and work 10 or 15 hours a week , I’d probably still be working.

      2. Orv*

        At my university that’s called “recall status.” We do get to be selective about it, though, so the profs that are really a pain to deal with don’t get asked back unless the need is truly dire.

      3. linger*

        In Japan, retirement of tenured university instructors has a built-in hard limit, and adjunct staff can’t continue past a certain (slightly higher) age cutoff, which private universities can set a little higher than state universities. And that baseline limit was lowered about 10 years ago. Last I looked the maximum age for tenured staff was 65, and for adjunct staff, 70 (some pre-existing tenured staff of private universities are grandfathered in at a few years beyond these limits). Beyond that age cutoff, full professors can continue to pursue research and publishing at their institution if granted “emeritus” status. But not teaching. (My former org, at least, was set up such that the grad school could not hire anyone directly itself, but instead “borrowed” instructors from the undergrad programs; thus retirees barred from undergrad teaching also could not officially teach at grad school level, though some less formal mentorship of grad student research might continue off the books.)

  9. HugeTractsofLand*

    Oh dear…this is a LOT. I’m so glad that Sally hung through it and that your business handled the Fiona situation well. And may I just say as a data manager: this is why you inactivate people’s accounts as soon as they leave!

  10. Pastor Petty Labelle*

    This is one reason why you cut off their computer access on the same day they are terminated. Some of the stuff after she was fired — monitoring files !!!! — would not have happened.

    Fiona isn’t a bad person, she just wasn’t ready to retire as she thought. But that is on her, not the company.

    1. Eldritch Office Worker*

      Yes my eyes bugged out when I read she had that much access after being let go…eesh!

      I hope Sally is doing well and has been emphatically reassured that Fiona’s behavior is not a reflection on how the company values her.

    2. Observer*

      This is one reason why you cut off their computer access on the same day they are terminated. Some of the stuff after she was fired — monitoring files !!!! — would not have happened.

      Yes. There is no way she should have been left with access to the system. We’ve had situations where staff leave where we have left them with access. But that is only in situations where we actually have an agreement with them to do some consulting. Otherwise? Nope. Even people who leave on the best of terms.

      Which is to say that even though I can see why no one expected this level of problems (asking another person to send her work to review?!) it should have been done anyway.

      1. Orv*

        As an IT person I’m often amazed at how hard it is to get HR to promptly tell me when someone has left.

  11. InquisitiveDodo*

    I’m so surprised that she was able to *remotely view documents* after having her “employment ended”. There’s a big IT issue in there somewhere- if she was disgruntled, she could have caused HUGE issues by being able to access all that!

    1. Dust Bunny*

      Seriously, this! Where I work–and I assume for most other places, too–when you don’t work there any more you can’t get into any of that stuff!

    1. Eldritch Office Worker*

      So true! I know many people, especially older people but not exclusively, who have no idea how to pick up a hobby. And this is what happens.

    2. ecnaseener*

      Seriously. If she can find herself a hobby, particularly a communal one with organizational needs, she’ll be golden. (The amount of time and effort my retired parents spend just on making pickleball rosters…)

    3. Peanut Hamper*

      I have so many hobbies that are going nowhere because I just don’t have the mental space for them after a day of working. The day I no longer have to work means I will actually be more productive in my personal life than I have ever been. I can’t wait!

      1. Dust Bunny*

        Working is what forces me to keep a schedule of some sort and rest occasionally. I’d just hobby myself to death otherwise. But I’m never bored.

    4. WellRed*

      My goodness, just having space to exercise and cook healthy would be nice! And sleep! And add in a hobby or volunteer or part time job! Whatever floats your retirement boat!

    5. An Omynous*

      Please teach my workaholic parent how to hobby (and socialize), they don’t know how to slow down or have fun. Retirement (happening next year) is going to be… terrible.

      1. Dust Bunny*

        Maybe they can channel that. My dad has always been a bit hyperactive and it drives us nuts but he’s currently running a bunch of stuff for their church, which is great because a) it keeps him busy and b) the church needs the support, and since he’s retired he has the time to do it. (It doesn’t have to be church. Other people find volunteer opportunities, independent research projects, etc.)

    6. colorguard*

      Seriously. My dad saw what happened to his father after my grandmother died: No hobbies, all their friends were couples where the wives were friends, etc., and he was so … lost. So after my grandfather died 15-20 years ago, my dad made a point of getting more involved in hobbies and groups even before he retired and it’s been great for him, especially since he retired almost a decade before my mom did.

  12. Mytummyhurtsbutimbeingbraveaboutit*

    Sounds like Fiona’s work was her life. I feel bad for her but there are plenty of other organizations who could use her time…not her old one.

    1. Pastor Petty Labelle*

      Who knows she could meet a boyfriend there (assuming she is not currently married).

  13. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

    So I’m guessing Fiona wanted to everyone to realize how indispensable she was while also having the ultimate power to control her own schedule at her leisure — she’s “retired” now, so she’ll come in when she wants to, or go on vacation when she wants to… Retired doesn’t mean what she wants it to mean.

    1. FuzzFrogs*

      This is what volunteering is for. If OP ever has the bandwidth to engage with Fiona again, she could suggest volunteering for her local Friends of the Library, Rotary Club, etc.

      Some of these things even have boards for volunteers to sit on, so she can administrate and supervise and be important. Or maybe she just needs to move to a neighborhood with a really active HOA, that seems to fit her level of micro-managing.

      1. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain*

        yeah, but even volunteers are often held to some sort of organization schedule and don’t have power over what they are tasked with doing — there are set meeting dates or events where volunteers are needed to be there, and they might be assigned to the registration table or hand out food/drink. Fiona sounds like she would be a nightmare volunteer for most organizations including an HOA. She doesn’t sound like someone who has a strong ethic to contribute to a cause, or is lonely and trying to find like-minded friends.

  14. No one is irreplacable.*

    I don’t get making work for yourself, which I’ve seen many people do in 40+ years in the workforce. STOP!!!
    When I retired, I walked away and never looked back. After a few inquiries about “where’s this” or “what about…” I even stopped responding to that stuff. I left clearly labeled files and file drawers and gave you plenty of notice (6 weeks) of my retirement, and reminded you several times that I was leaving and would be happy to review X, Y, Z, etc with someone before hand. I stopped even replying to that what abouts after a few months.
    It helped that the day after I left I couldn’t access even my electronic pay records, which might have been illegal but what is it with apparently for months this person could access all sorts of files???

    1. Good Enough For Government Work*

      My parents have now been retired for 5+ years and having a lovely time of it. They got back last night from a coach trip to Amsterdam to see the tulip fields, and are out to dinner with their friends tomorrow night. My dad has his choir, for which he’s on the board and which arranges social excursions for partners as well as choir members. Last month they came for lunch and drinks with me at my favourite bar before they went to a concert; I took them out to a major West End musical for Dad’s birthday in Feb and we’re doing the same again with Michael Sheen’s new play in the summer (my mam’s birthday). Retirement, to be frank, sounds AMAZING – I’m only sad I almost certainly won’t get to do so myself…

  15. mango chiffon*

    wow she was emailing with clients after her employment was terminated??? I hope IT was able to cut off access fast enough. I can’t imagine how that would look to clients and what you’d have to tell them afterwards. What a mess.

    1. Ess Ess*

      As soon as you heard she was contacting clients after termination, she should have received an immediate legal ‘cease and desist’.

  16. A Simple Narwhal*

    It’s so strange that Fiona chose to retire and then seemed to resent having to retire? It would be one thing if they forced her into early retirement and she balked at that, but it was entirely her decision!

    And then to complain about mistreatment when she was given a generous retirement package? They absolutely didn’t have to do that, especially given her behavior. (My read was that this was like severance, instead of something she was entitled to upon retirement, but the inclusion of “generous” to me sounds like they gave her money that they did not have to give her.)

    1. Filthy Vulgar Mercenary*

      It sounds like she thought she wanted to (partially) retire but then something about the reality of retirement didn’t sit well with her, but by then it was too late to take it back since a replacement had been hired.

      1. HonorBox*

        I read it that same way, too. Like she realized she didn’t love the free time and flexibility she had. But that isn’t the workplace’s situation to resolve, especially when the replacement who was hired was someone she signed off on.

        Not that I don’t have sympathy for Fiona. It would suck to be in that kind of spot (I sure as hell wouldn’t) but it also doesn’t serve one well to approach it in the way she did. If she wanted to continue working, I would wager an amount of money equal to her generous retirement package that she could have found something.

  17. Taryn*

    Fiona! Are you aware how many generations below you will be unable to retire? Take the win, lady. Go on a vacation to Italy or something.

  18. ChattyDelle*

    I just retired! I have texted my old boss 2x – once to thank her again for the lovely send-off party – & chat occasionally with former co workers to keep up on office gossip. otherwise, I’m happily OUT OF THERE. I cannot imagine the chaos of half-in half-out & there’s no way Fiona should have internet or physical access to the office.

    1. Mockingjay*


      I have 18 months to go until I join your rank! Like you, other than a thanks to my boss, I’ll be completely GONE.

  19. CommanderBanana*

    I’m still confused about why steps 2-8 were necessary. You can remove someone’s access to stuff, block their email, and prevent them from “working” for you when they no longer work for you!

    Also, as a raging elder millennial, I would LOVE to retire. I would LOVE a retirement package. Seriously, seething right now.

    1. Kermit's Bookkeepers*

      Seriously. If I had the option to retire and I didn’t have hobbies or a community set up for me already, I would probably just plug myself directly into my PS5 and never be heard of again. Gimme that good, good rest.

    2. Orv*

      It seems like everyone was too kind to tell her, “go away, you don’t work here anymore” so they let her continue to have access so she could “work part time.”

  20. tabloidtained*

    Retirement can be difficult, but…this was not the way to go about changing her mind! Yeesh.

  21. purple monkey & bubblegum tree*

    I just…do not understand people who live to work to this extent. I feel so sad for them–their personal lives must be really, really empty if they’re so desperate to spend all of their time working.

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      I think a lot of people are in this boat. They have let work completely control their lives to the point where they don’t have any hobbies, don’t have any close friends, aren’t close to their families. Then they get to retirement and are at completely loose ends.

      To be fair, Fiona could have put all that energy to really good use volunteering somewhere, but she had work blinders on. Work was literally all she could see.

      I feel sorry for Fiona and other people like her.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        Yeah, my dad is like this. Turns out that burning the rest of your life on the altar of Work is a Pyrrhic victory, because nothing is left when it’s time to stop working.

    2. goddessoftransitory*

      I think a lot of it is realizing how replaceable you really are.

      Because unless we are someone like Einstein or similar, every single one of us has a job that someone else can do (and if no one else can it’s a sign that we are working in a very untenable job.) I’m sure Fiona really thought she would still be needed around the office, to the point where she only semi-retired “to help them out.” Then Sally shows up and demonstrates that another person can fill her role quite nicely.

      “The cemeteries are full of indispensable men” is depressing, but true.

      1. Not my coffee*

        It is now the day after this comment was posted.

        I remember not too long ago someone mentioning this saying this in the comments. Many comments were posted after about not respecting people who want to work.

  22. RJ*

    There were some engineers at one of my old jobs who lived to work and had put so much time, effort and sacrifice into their identity at the job that they ‘were’ the job. One retired and came back as a consultant, passing away while still working on a project. Fiona seems like she would go down this same path unless stopped. It just makes me sad because I’ve seen it happen way too often. Good on you, OP and continued success to Sally!

  23. Peanut Hamper*

    Still picking my jaw up off the floor at a company that lets a person go and then doesn’t revoke their computer access to things. WTHF?

  24. MicroManagered*

    I have sympathy for Fiona. Women often report that they feel irrelevant and invisible as they approach “retirement” age. I can’t imagine that’s not a factor here.

    1. Observer*

      I hear you. But still, her behavior was really out of line.

      What is especially problematic is how she tried to take Sally down. She was hired to do a job, and it’s not her fault that Fiona was having a hard time. It’s just not ok to try to do that much damage to someone else because you’re running into a problem that has nothing to do with them.

    2. Peanut Hamper*

      I have sympathy as well, but Fiona handled this in a terrible, terrible way, especially in her attitude toward her replacement. She basically made herself irrelevant.

    3. Dr. Rebecca*

      Okay but that’s no reason to make it everyone else’s problem. Like, we can acknowledge her feelings and their validity, and still be appalled on the molecular level that she’s taking her issues out on everyone else.

      1. MicroManagered*

        Note that I never said I agreed with or support her behavior. Just acknowledging that she’s a person and that I can easily connect some dots about why she might have struggled to let go.

        It’s easy to judge harshly when you’re just reading words on a screen.

    4. Dust Bunny*

      Just gonna add: Nothing highlights that you’re superfluous like hand-writing reports and inventing work for yourself. But she’s retired. She should be superfluous . . . at this workplace. It’s time to go be significant somewhere else.

      1. Peanut Hamper*

        This is the perfect framing for this. Fiona could be a rockstar volunteer somewhere that really needs her energy and enthusiasm.

  25. Observer*

    Sally, however, is doing great

    I’m glad to hear it. And glad that she didn’t quit.

    This was a bizarre experience.

    Yes, indeed. Made more so by your Boss’ reluctance to act, it seems to me.

    #2 should have put Fiona on *extremely* thin ice, to start with. But even without that, #3 (especially the issue of *handwriting* documents!) should have *immediately* led to #5 (letting her go.) She should absolutely never have been allowed monitor and criticize Sally and her work, much less refuse to hand over tasks! The first time this happened should have been the last.

    And once she was let go, all of her access should have been cut as part of the off-boarding process. And the minute she tries any ONE of the items on the list you provide, that should have acted essentially as an alert reminding Boss / IT to get it taken care of stat.

    You say that “when her access was promptly cut off” but the reality is that it was not “prompt”. Prompt would have been the same day that the first over-step happened.

    I will say that you handled things well, though. And I’m glad that you told people to not engage with her on any work related issues.

    Also, one take away for you. If there is not a policy and process for separations that includes terminating access, please put that in place ASAP. The vast majority of people are going to be just fine if you don’t. But you really, really don’t know who is going to be the outlier. So, just don’t even take the risk.

  26. Sara without an H*

    Hello, LW — I went back and took a look at your original post. I’m assuming yours is a small organization, with minimal structure. You and your Boss need to sit down and write up actual policies for leaving service and for moving from full-time to part time status.

    And part of your policy should be that anyone leaving service loses access to your system within 24 hours.

  27. Ex-prof*

    “I do wonder if Fiona will reflect on her own behavior after time passes and realize she was the main contributor to the problem.”

    Nobody ever does.

  28. HonorBox*

    Holy smokes! Fiona appears to have some sort of combination of boredom and regret for leaving when she did. But that isn’t something the workplace needed to fix for her. I’m glad that your boss took a strong stand and ultimately moved her out. But the lack of understanding that she made the decision, signed off on Sally as a replacement and then complained she was let go makes me think she’s never going to fully understand that she messed this all up.

  29. ypsi*

    Re Fiona continues to work

    What kind of security does your company have? I cannot believe that an employee can access shared files after she is no longer an employee of the company. If I was a client of your company and found out about this arrangement, I would promptly take my business elsewhere.

    1. Momma Bear*

      This. People are cut off at my company as soon as their badge is turned in. Deactivated, gone, shut off. Someone in IT messed up if she was still able to access files. I hope OP’s company has fixed that since.

      They were also very lucky the new employee did not quit after Fiona’s actions. The company took too long to act.

    2. allathian*

      Yes, absolutely. The whole situation was completely bonkers.

      But this is the consequence of requiring employees to use their own devices to access company systems and not being rigorous in shutting down that access when someone leaves. Personally, I refuse to do business with any company that requires their employees to use their personal devices to process customer data. If it’s simply a matter of scheduling work in a CS setting, I’m fine with that.

      This situation would never come up at my job because employees who leave lose access to all systems when they hand in their smartcard/badge, computer, and work phone.

  30. Beancounter Eric*

    Fiona’s big mistake is retiring in the first place.

    Old Employer’s big mistake is not locking out Fiona after her termination date.

    As for retirement, in theory, I should be retiring in 7 to 10 years.

    I refuse. Retirement is for wimps.

    I’ll work till I die.

    1. Be Gneiss*

      People are going to tell you that you’re wrong. I know that’s definitely not my plan for my life. But do you know what, Beancounter Eric? If that is what will truly make you happy, you do you. And kudos to you taking the time to do a personal inventory and determine that is what you really want from life. Different strokes, live and let live, and all that.

    2. Paint N Drip*

      Count those beans baby!
      Me? I’m a wimp, and if I’m able to retire I’ll do so gladly

  31. L. Ron's Cupboard*

    This is George Costanza-level nerve, pretending like she never retired at all and just showing up at the office every day like no biggie.

  32. Immortal for a limited time*

    If Fiona’s employer is in the U.S., she and the employer should know that the IRS takes a dim view of someone who begins receiving an employer-sponsored retirement benefit while continuing to perform the same work for the same employer. In my world (working for a qualified pension plan), if the employment relationship had not been severed for a specified length of time, she would not be considered retired at all and would likely be required to pay back all benefits she had received. Beyond that, if they return to work w/same employer later, there is often a limit on how much one can earn while still receiving retirement benefits. This is not just a Fiona problem; it could be a serious f-up on the employer’s part.

  33. Nat20*

    Why would you retire, or even semi-retire, if you… clearly don’t want to at all?? What??

    1. Orv*

      Some people retire just because it’s what they’re “supposed” to do when they reach a certain age. Others retire and then find they don’t know how to organize their lives without work.

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      Probably the feeling that LW’s organization just can’t get along without her. OP made a comment down below about how Fiona really pulled the company through some difficult times. Fiona probably had an outsized view of her importance to the organization.

  34. CubeFarmer*

    This update is not a good reflection on LW’s organization. That situation was allowed to continue for way too long. I would not blame Sally for looking for another role where she wasn’t being undermined by someone who shouldn’t have even been present.

  35. Cafe au Lait*

    My husband recently got a Saturday job fixing guitars for the local guitar store. I’m so thrilled for him even though it means more solo childcaring on my end. He’s mentioned wanting to fix guitars as a hobby job when he retires and now he’s building his skills.

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      Your husband is doing this right. Maybe someday he can share that love of guitars with your kids when they’re older.

  36. H.C.*

    Letters like this also make me empathize with younger generations’ frustrations that they can’t get jobs because older gens simply won’t retire. (Yes, I know the jobs being vacated wouldn’t be the early-career ones the younger gens would apply to, but still – an employer can’t create those openings if their staffing budget is taken up by those who won’t retire even when they can afford to – I’m aware there’s a huge caveat in that too.)

    1. Observer*

      No, it doesn’t. Look, Fiona’s behavior was beyond out of line.

      But just as young people do not have an obligation to not get jobs so “old people” don’t have to retire, “older gens” have no obligation to retire either.

      There are many reasons why people do not / cannot retire. The idea that those needs are less valid than the needs of younger workers is not a good look.

  37. Kristin*

    Retirement can be a big challenge for some people! I hope Fiona gets involved in volunteer work or finds some leisure activities that keep her engaged. She clearly has a lot of energy and gumption…she just badly misdirected it here.

  38. Not The Earliest Bird*

    My father in law won’t retire. Because if he does, his (multiple) ex-wives will be eligible to collect part of his pension. The man is nearing 80.

      1. Not The Earliest Bird*

        Even if he never collects, he “wins” because he doesn’t have to share with them.

  39. Luke I am your OP*

    OP here.

    Fiona was someone who practically lived at work and there were difficult years when she really pulled the company through. Boss hoped that Fiona would gradually adjust to retirement and gave her more grace than the situation required.

    #6-7 happened within one or two working days of Fiona’s last day. I’m sure the situation would have dragged on if she didn’t lose access.

    We are a smallish company without an IT dept. Fiona already had WFH set up when she requested to go part time – a part of that arrangement was most of the work would be done at home – so that’s how she had access post retirement.

    It boggles my mind that Fiona is so bitter and clueless about why this all happened. I understand struggling to adjust to retirement; but….she requested this? How does she not realize you can’t arrange for your own retirement then take backsies? Especially after being told explicitly to stay in your own lane?

    1. Sara without an H*

      Boss hoped that Fiona would gradually adjust to retirement and gave her more grace than the situation required.

      Sigh. No good deed goes unpunished. It’s too bad that Fiona is choosing to take this attitude, especially since it sounds as though your Boss would have been quite happy to have her continue on a part-time basis, if she’d just respected the rules.

    2. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

      > It boggles my mind that Fiona is so bitter and clueless about why this all happened

      It seems clear to me that she’s made a mistake, can’t accept it, displaces blame onto others (Sally, “the company”, etc). She’s bitter and clueless as she has truly convinced herself that it’s the fault of these external factors. And I would be very surprised if she changes, because that’s a deeply ingrained trait. I bet you will find other ‘evidence’ of it if you reflect back on the time you knew Fiona at the company.

  40. Porch Gal*

    I had the opposite situation: I requested to cut back to part time, and my employer agreed but then failed to reduce my responsibilities. To top it off, a few months later they complained that I was working more hours than we had agreed to!

    I had originally given them a list of responsibilities that I thought belonged in my position and a list that I thought could/should be reallocated to others. They didn’t respond for months, then came back with a different split of responsibilities which they appeared to consider a “done deal.” Ok, fine. They shifted one major annual project to someone else (this was a project that wouldn’t happen for another 6 months). They also shifted one smaller daily task to another person. Everything else was “We’ll let you know who to give it to,” and was never brought up again. 6 weeks later the person who took over the daily task announced she was leaving, and I was “asked” to take it back “for a week until we figure it out.” No one ever mentioned handing off that task again. 2 months later the payroll office was complaining to my boss that I was working far more hours than I was budgeted for, and my boss professed surprise, even though I hadn’t had any current responsibilities reduced! Within a month I submitted my resignation. I gave them 3 months notice, so that I could complete a different project. They hired someone who was moving here from halfway across the country and who couldn’t start until 2 months after I left. They arranged for New Person to fly in and train with me for a week before I left. As it turned out, a medical condition requiring surgery that I had hoped to postpone until after I my departure date became a crisis, and I was only able to train with New Person for one day before emergency surgery.

    I left them with a 50 page manual on how to do my job and didn’t look back.

  41. Nope*

    Then answer is no, she will not ever come to the realisation that this entire situation was of her own making. She will continue to consider herself the victim in this situation & I am willing to bet she bores her family & friends with rants about her awful experience.

    I would suggest checking Glassdoor for her bad review but no one should be using Glassdoor since their wildly inappropriate update.

    1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

      > bores her family & friends with rants about her awful experience

      I hadn’t thought of the friends and family angle (because in the mental image I’d formed, she is quite lonely and doesn’t really have them!) but it could go like this: she rants to friends and family about the Sally situation. They say something to appease her, which has the effect of egging Fiona on. Especially since of course they would only have the story from Fiona’s perspective: as soon as I went part time I was frozen out – all my workload was given to Sally – my input was rejected or not sought even though I’ve been doing this for 20 years – they are trying to push me out and I won’t be pushed out!

  42. Still no cool name.*

    Wow…Fiona could use a hobby. So, in a few years are we going to be getting a letter from an organization that uses volunteers saying they have a volunteer who won’t follow the rules that they can’t get rid of?

    Glad they fired her though, and not the new person.

  43. I forgot my user name againn*

    I had to read this twice to confirm Fiona wasn’t my old boss. The letter fits her to a tee right down to creating more work for herself . My boss was given a hard last day. She was scheduled to leave at noon that day and waited until 10 AM to share her final house keeping details. It was also her idea to retire and stay on during the transition period. She also made it awkard during the transition period to discuss new ideas with our new boss. We would have to wait until Fiona was done for the day or off to speak out loud about anything new and fresh. Some people really can not let go.

  44. Old Admin*

    I didn’t read all the comments, but is it possible to redirect Fiona’s attention to another job? As in fill in for somebody on maternity leave, a part time position in another company etc.?

    1. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

      Fiona is an adult who should sort out her own life and make her own plans.

  45. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

    Poor Fiona, but the company sounds disfunctional not to have held to her agreed pt pparameters and to have tolerated her make-work and outright sabotage.

    I find it crazy to be so invested in a job/company, but I suppose that’s the chasm between those of us who work only to live and those who live to work.

    I retired early and have found retirement the best years of my life. Even though I’ve no close family to occupy me, I’m never bored or lonely and I enjoy every day.
    I often think how great it is not to have to get ready for work, especially when it’s a gloomy raining winter morn or glorious sunshine calling me outside to hike.

  46. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

    “When her access was promptly cut off, Fiona contacted me privately to say she was upset at this disrespectful treatment of her, Sally’s supposed incompetence and rudeness, and being let go when she wanted to keep working full-time.When her access was promptly cut off, Fiona contacted me privately to say she was upset at this disrespectful treatment of her, Sally’s supposed incompetence and rudeness, and being let go when she wanted to keep working full-time.”

    Is Fiona out of her damned mind? What part of “You don’t work anymore” does she not comprehend?
    I have so many, many questions!

  47. Hashtag Destigmatize Therapy*

    Coming in a bit late with this comment, but hats off to you, LW, for not taking the bait when Fiona complained to you. If I were in your shoes, I would’ve really struggled to contain my outrage. But telling her off would only have made the situation worse.

Comments are closed.