One of my co-workers is retiring, and while that in itself is not noteworthy, the fact that many of us who remain employed here are now incredibly jealous IS note worthy. And it’s not like this guy is rolling in dough; no, quite the opposite. He currently lives in a rather drab, mostly run down house, in a not-so-great-part-of-the-city. His plan (if it can be called that) is to walk away from the house and move into his 5th wheel camper. This will allow him the time and means to get away and travel, visiting all the places that he has wanted to visit for quite some time.
His “early retirement” symbolizes all that is wrong with full time employment. You work the majority of your waking hours and only have enough time left in the day to stuff some groceries down your neck and then try to unwind just enough to fall off in a slumber, only to repeat the process the following day. Day after day, week after week, the time just blends together until you are old and your existence on this planet is frittered away with nothing to show for it.
This guy has not been a stellar employee; in fact, his own personal philosophy has been to fly just under the boss’s radar for many years. He’s a decent worker, always shows up on time, and doesn’t stir up any shit with his co-workers. But in today’s economy, with everyone having to multi-task and make due with less, our boss is looking for “self-starters” and “go-getters” who produce 120% or more. What boss doesn’t, right? But there’s nothing in it for the employee because we don’t get any bonuses, nor do we get extra pay for overtime. Company policy actually states that we can be written up for coming in early or clocking out more than 10 minutes in either direction. So what’s the incentive to produce more than just what is needed to get by?
So here I sit, trying to think of a way, ANY way, that I can do the same thing. Cash in what little I have, buy a cheap camper, and hit the open road. Sure, it’s just a dream, but in today’s world, it’s the only dream I have.