Saturday, January 13, 2024

Major Announcement is Not a Moot Point

It is now official. I recently devoted an entire newsletter to the major announcement that I am now actively searching to hire my replacement, train him or her, and then retire in two years. (By the way, I’m referring to my full time job in the HVAC business, not this weekly newspaper column. I have no intention of retiring from this sweet gig, unless I no longer feel like investing 60 minutes every Saturday morning — 30, if I decide not to proofread — typing out 600 semi-random words.)
It’s an interesting phenomenon announcing your retirement two years in advance. On the one hand, it’s kind of like that old expression, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.” This was exemplified by one of my co-workers, who said to me, “How do you know you’ll even be alive in two years?”  

Well, that’s a good question, Mr. Morbid. You are right, there certainly is no guarantee that I’ll be alive in two years. For example, the next glazed cruller I eat might be the one that causes a heart artery to implode and effectively make my announcement a moot point. (I believe the correct definition of the word “moot” is: “that which causes a heart artery to implode.”)

However, I have to make plans with the assumption that nothing will moot me anytime during the next 24 months. It would be really awkward to reach New Year’s Day, 2026, and exclaim, “Oh man, I thought I woulda been mooted by now, but I’m still alive. What should I do?!” 

Many people in the industry saw my announcement and made comments, some of which were along the lines of, “Retire? But you’re too young!” These comments made me feel good, even though I knew the people were lying through their teeth.
Other comments were more like, “Hmm, it’s about time, Gramps.” These comments made me want to whack them in the kneecaps with a wooden cane (which I don’t need — yet), even though I knew the people were being 100% truthful.

In the newsletter I sent to clients and other industry movers and shakers announcing my two-year retirement game plan (is there a dumber expression in the entire business world than “movers and shakers”? I think not), I said that if I’m not successful in hiring a replacement and training him or her, then I will not be allowed to retire.

I thought it was pretty obvious that this was a silly, humorous comment. Certainly my employer cannot force me to continue working. (The only thing that can force me to keep working is the status of my 401k account, which in recent years seems as if someone has been trying to moot it.) But after I sent out that newsletter, many people said to me, with a quite serious tone of voice, “You know, they can’t MAKE you stay. You can leave whenever you want!”

“Yes, Einstein, I know. The 13th amendment is still in effect.” That’s what I was tempted to say, but instead I offered the same reply I’ve written to countless people over the years who emailed me about something I wrote in a newspaper column: “Relax, it was just a joke.” 

I’ve now reached the 29th minute (and I’m definitely not in the mood to do any proofreading this morning), so it’s time to wrap this up. There were a few other observations about retirement that I wanted to make, but we’ve run out of room for this week’s column. Maybe I’ll mention those ideas next week — if I don’t get mooted in the meantime. But right now, I’ve got a couple of glazed crullers that need my full attention.  

1 comment:

  1. This don't make sense. It doesn't take 2 years to train someone for any job unless it's like medical school or something. Who wants to wait around in the wings for 2 years with original guy still there before the job be theres, and what are they going to be doing all that time? Sounds like fake news
    Ruth O'Keefe