Author Topic: Anti-retirement gift  (Read 3803 times)

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Coley

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Anti-retirement gift
« on: November 19, 2012, 05:22:35 PM »
This is such a sad situation. DH and I are employed by the same organization. A sweet woman who has a very long history at our organization is being forced out of her job. She is of retirement age; however, she has not expressed a desire to retire. The upper management evidently decided that she was no longer of use in her position. They offered her the option of taking a lower-level position in another department or retiring. She opted for retirement.

Typically, the organization holds parties for employees who are retiring. DH and I have learned that this lady has requested that they not hold a party for her. I don't blame her for that. This wasn't her choice, and celebrating it doesn't seem right. Although the management's decision is not common knowledge, those of who know about it are feeling pretty sick that she has been treated this way.

DH and I are wondering if there is anything the two of us could do to wish her well and honor her longevity and commitment to the organization. Any ideas? Since she does not want a party, should we forgo any acknowledgement of her departure?

CreteGirl

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2012, 05:29:19 PM »
Perhaps take her out for a special lunch or dinner.

Amara

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 05:33:48 PM »
That is awful. I second CreteGirl's suggestion of a special lunch or dinner (maybe dinner, no time restraints?) and invite whoever feels like you two do to share in it. She would probably appreciate knowing that some there are going to miss her.

LEMon

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2012, 04:31:49 AM »
I would see the difference as she has asked the company not to do this.  You as her friends can ask to do something and have the heartfelt meaning come through to her.

cicero

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2012, 04:47:56 AM »

DH and I are wondering if there is anything the two of us could do to wish her well and honor her longevity and commitment to the organization. Any ideas? Since she does not want a party, should we forgo any acknowledgement of her departure?
does she not want *any* party/acknowledgement or does she not want a *company* party?

some people really truly don't want any parties or acknowledgements. but if she just doesn't want a company party, then I would do as PPs suggested - take her out to lunch, have a little party with her work friends, bring in a cake on her last day and make it more a casual event, and so on.

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bonyk

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2012, 05:15:24 AM »
Something very similar happened to my aunt.  In her case, she did not want any lunches, tokens, or cards from anyone.  She was too hurt/embarrassed/angry.  What did mean a lot to her, however, was a few quiet heartfelt verbal acknowledgements as she was leaving.

BC12

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2012, 05:59:28 AM »
DH and I are wondering if there is anything the two of us could do to wish her well and honor her longevity and commitment to the organization. Any ideas? Since she does not want a party, should we forgo any acknowledgement of her departure?

Definitely acknowledge it. Even if she doesn't want any kind of party, I bet it would really suck for her if nobody noticed her departure.  At the very least, you could try getting all of your coworkers to pitch in for a nice floral arrangement and sign a "We'll miss you" card. Put them on her desk on her last day. I think that would be a nice gesture, and unobtrusive.

And you could just ask her. "I'd love to organize a little get together on your last day. Maybe we can all meet up for Happy Hour at that one place?" If she says no, just do the flowers and card thing.

Coley

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2012, 07:36:42 AM »

DH and I are wondering if there is anything the two of us could do to wish her well and honor her longevity and commitment to the organization. Any ideas? Since she does not want a party, should we forgo any acknowledgement of her departure?
does she not want *any* party/acknowledgement or does she not want a *company* party?

some people really truly don't want any parties or acknowledgements. but if she just doesn't want a company party, then I would do as PPs suggested - take her out to lunch, have a little party with her work friends, bring in a cake on her last day and make it more a casual event, and so on.

Good question. I honestly don't know the answer to that. We know she doesn't want a company party, but that's all we know. I was thinking about situations in which people would generally celebrate a milestone, but they don't want a big celebration.

She has coworkers and colleagues who are closer to her than DH and I are, so it is possible that they are planning an independent celebration or another type of acknowledgement. DH was her subordinate a number of years ago, and I have done contract work for her. We would like to acknowledge her in some way. I may have DH ask one of her staff whether they have anything planned or if they know more about her wishes in terms of acknowledgement.

Kiara

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2012, 08:06:37 AM »

DH and I are wondering if there is anything the two of us could do to wish her well and honor her longevity and commitment to the organization. Any ideas? Since she does not want a party, should we forgo any acknowledgement of her departure?
does she not want *any* party/acknowledgement or does she not want a *company* party?

some people really truly don't want any parties or acknowledgements. but if she just doesn't want a company party, then I would do as PPs suggested - take her out to lunch, have a little party with her work friends, bring in a cake on her last day and make it more a casual event, and so on.

Good question. I honestly don't know the answer to that. We know she doesn't want a company party, but that's all we know. I was thinking about situations in which people would generally celebrate a milestone, but they don't want a big celebration.

Speaking on this, because my mom and I just had the conversation....their 50th wedding anniversary is coming up.  Most people throw a party.  My parents would shoot me if I tried.  So instead, I told her that for ONCE, they are letting me take them out to dinner somewhere nice, and I'm paying.  And she thought that was a perfect idea.

So based on that...I think a small dinner would be good.  That gets the caring across without it being a big song & dance.

O'Dell

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2012, 11:29:39 AM »
Another vote for asking her out for a special luncheon/dinner. If she truly doesn't want any sort of party, then she can clarify at that time.

If you think someone closer might be organizing something, why not sound out one of them? "We heard Millie doesn't want a company party, but it seems a shame to let her retirement go unmarked. Is anything special being planned among the employees?"
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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BeagleMommy

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2012, 03:00:03 PM »
I think it is a great idea to check with one of her coworkers to see if they've planned anything for her.  If not, suggest you, your DH and she go out for a lunch/dinner to commemorate her long service to the company.

Coley

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2012, 09:22:13 PM »
Thanks, everyone. We will check to see if her department has any plans in the works. If they don't, I like the idea of taking her to lunch or dinner.

Mikayla

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2012, 04:23:06 PM »
My take is a little different.  You and DH should take her out for a nice dinner, and then that is the end of it.

I say this because there's risk involved when you start asking others what they're doing.   I know because I've seen it at least twice.  OP, you and your DH may have common sense and respect for her wishes.  Others may not.  They're well intended, but they just can't let her go quietly. 

I would write or talk to her and just acknowledge that you know she doesn't want a party, but the 2 of you would love it if she'd let you take her out to dinner.  And then, obviously, if you get invited to an offsite event she has sanctioned, you could attend that, as well.

BarensMom

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Re: Anti-retirement gift
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2012, 05:32:35 PM »
I'm going against the grain here, but the "retiree" doesn't want a party or get-together.  I think she is probably getting inundated with questions about lunch/dinner invitations, getting together after work, etc.  I wouldn't do anything more than a "We'll Miss You" card with a restaurant gift card.  I agree with a PP that she's probably embarrassed and angry about being forced out, so low-key might be the best option.