opus harper lee

I am retiring in six weeks. In fact, as I will be working about half the time left, I have 18 working days over those six weeks. I am retiring two years early, due to several factors. First, I can. I was surprised when I found out that I could, not in the sense of being 64 vs. 66, but that the finances are there. I discovered the finances are lined up because I hate bullies. I try to not hate anyone, but bullies seem to push buttons I would rather not have pushed. One bully pushed me mid-January. She is a co-worker, a supervisor, with whom I have clashed over the years. One night she put my life in danger on the freeway. I do not take this behavior lightly. As she passed me, after putting my life in danger, I looked at her car, realized who it was, and took a deep breath. Two weeks later, I addressed her. I was not kind. I was angry. I cursed. I lost it.

You see, this particular bully has been abusing too many of my coworkers for too long. I have observed her telling someone to doing somethings, they do it, then she chews them out for doing what she told them to do, correcting them, ordering them to go do what she did not tell them to do. I lost my patience (let alone respect) with her years ago. But when she put my life in danger, I blew my top, in the workplace, in front of witnesses. I refuse to apologize.

The reason I refuse to apologize, to have ‘remorse’, is doing so permits another bully to win. If I am not man enough to stand up to her, even at the risk of losing my job, then who am I? Where is my integrity? At what point does a man have to submit, what price does he surrender to the bully? If I am not willing to be fired for my behavior, if I whimper before the powers that be, then who am I?

I have a target on my back now. I will not be fired, my behavior does not rise to that level, but I am facing suspension. Before I learned of the intent to suspend, I decided to see if I could retire, in case they decided to fire me (which was on the table). When I learned how much my wife and I have in savings, plus social security and other benefits, I realized that I no longer needed to work. So I will retire.

Underneath all that, my hands are shot. I visited my doctor about mid-January as well, just a minor checkup. I complaint to him that my hands have been giving me grief for a couple of years now. He probed and pushed, stating that it looked like I have carpel tunnel, that I needed to see a specialist. I wondered if I have arthritis. I chased that down, had an MRI on my hands and learned just last week I do not have carpel tunnel, or arthritis. I suffer from chronic inflammation. Bottom line, stop working.

So, putting the inflammation, the finances and the bully together, it is time and I feel good about it.

Retirement should be fun.
I am going to bed now. But I never good to bed alone.