Monday, June 24, 2013

Different ways to say "no change"

The was some incremental, yet almost imperceptible, progress on my big work project last week. As of today I have about a week and a half to get everything done, but still can’t quite get started as I am waiting for permission to proceed to make its way through various official channels. The good news (using a very generous definition of “good”) is that my contracting bosses have just very matter-of-factly started putting fallback position plans in place to deal with the fact that they don’t expect me to hit the deadline at this point, and it doesn’t seem like I’m going to bear the brunt of the negative fallout. It’s just more or less understood that the machinery moves slowly and I am standing by to leap into action when the gears spit out what I need.

But life in the office continues to go on all around me, and we are currently in the midst of a number of retirements. (A slack of retirements? A sunset of retirements? A senescence? Not sure of the collective noun here.) A week or two ago a gentleman whom I knew on sight but never had any professional interaction with retired, and around the end of this month a woman with whom I’ve worked often is retiring. I was working with her on getting some special-order software for my big project, actually, and thankfully that got resolved last week, as opposed to getting lost in limbo if it had been an unfinished bit of business at the time that she made her exit. I’ll be attending a luncheon in her honor tomorrow, and I’ll be duly grateful that she was so willing to put in the effort to see things through to their conclusion even in her last weeks at the agency.

And yet another one of my colleagues, a fellow employee of my contracting company and the woman from whom I took over many day-to-day duties when I came aboard, is retiring due to health issues … some time. Soon, probably, but she does not yet have a date set for her last day. She has been transitioning more of her duties lately, officially to someone other than me but I have a feeling that I will end up being expected to handle some or all of what is inevitably forgotten in the official transition.

At any rate, all of these departures are somewhat of a piece with what I was prattling on about yesterday, and how the beginning of summer always feels like an appropriate time for transitions, for the endings of things, how even though I now work year-round and have done so for basically the past sixteen years (give or take a spate of unemployment now and then) I feel the urge to do things differently come late June or July, even if only in very superficial ways. But it occurs to me now that June will be an optimal time to retire (thirty-odd years from now or whenever I can feasibly afford to do so), to greet my golden years as one big long summer vacation. Which would also, I suppose, require moving somewhere perennially warm like Hawaii, but that’s not exactly an argument against the notion.

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