FIRE Milestones – Formal Resignation Notice

Freedom

Yes I did.  I turned in my formal resignation for early retirement last week Wednesday.

It was an epic day almost from the dawn’s first light.  A magical snowstorm came through our state, leaving ten inches of crystal white snow over the landscape.  We greeted the day as a family with buckwheat flapjacks, real maple syrup and a one hour “late start” to work and school.  It was nice to be able to sleep in a little bit,  have a relaxing start to the day, and watch fluffy snowflakes float by the windows of our house.

Unfortunately, the bosses’ office was dark when I got in at about 9:15am.  That was a big uh-oh, as he went home under the weather the day before and was getting ready to head out of town for 2+ weeks.  The plan was to sit down at the very end of the day, but he sent an email that he was still feeling cruddy and would only be in the office for a little while.  I was caught up in meetings at this point, but he agreed to stick around to catch up on some workaday issues.  

How strange to be running a morning meeting and think – I’d better get this wrapped up quickly so that I can go quit my job!

I got up to his office at noon and he explained how awful he was feeling.  We chatted about some outstanding business and I said “I need to talk with you about something that’s going to come as a bit of a surprise.”  As planned, I reached in my bag for the bottle of Macallan 18 scotch whisky I had brought to mark the occasion and put it on the table with two crystal tumblers.  He looked at me with a smiling, but probing expression that said “WTF is going on?”

I explained that since HE had long said he was getting near his retirement, I had kept this special bottle “in my office to toast YOUR announcement when the moment arose.”  But he hadn’t done that yet.  “So, instead,” I said, “today I’m going to announce MY early retirement.”

He leaned back with a bit of a quizzical ‘what did I just hear?’ expression, smiled, and asked simply, but incredulously, “No shit?!”  He was truly surprised – perhaps even a bit astounded at the delicious ridiculousness of someone going rogue from corporate life before they even turned 50 years old.

I probably should have paused at this point and heard more of his reaction, but instead I babbled for several minutes about how long I had planned early retirement, what I was hoping to do, and how hard I am trying to give him adequate notice (~45 days), given the added responsibility he had piled on my desk.  (see “An Awkward Knot” post from December)

Then he said three things: “A. I’m very jealous.”  He has been working on his own plan to escape into retirement for some time, but has not pulled the trigger yet.  “B. You are a BIG leader and I felt like the added responsibility I’ve given you would really help everyone see that.”  And, “C. You are going to leave a tremendous hole in the organization that won’t be easy to fill.”  He was very positive, very gracious, and very definitely happy for me.  It felt great – but hugely surreal at the same time.  

Then we talked about what retirement would look like – for both of us.  I said my overall goal was to “do as much as I can, and as little as I want.”  He said that he is looking forward to the opportunity to tap into more of life’s opportunities – there are so many that don’t fit with a full-time work schedule.  He said his retired friends are so busy that their calendars are harder to schedule around than his calendar is. Mostly he said he was very sincerely happy for me – “it will be the smartest thing you have ever done.”

In the end, we never opened the Macallan 18.  It was only midday and he wasn’t feeling well.  He also wanted to be mindful of MegaCorp office rules, which apparently do not permit drinking during office hours (who knew?). We penciled in 4/1/16 as my final day – which would give us about 3 weeks of overlap in the office between his work travel and my family spring break.  April Fools Day has been my longtime plan, so I was happy with that and got a hearty handshake and smile as he headed home to rest.

As I expected, sitting in the boss’s office and resigning for early retirement felt truly like a Mad Men moment.  Don Draper & Roger Sterling would have loved the vibe. For me, it capped more than a decade of diligent planning & patience.

One of my brothers texted me during the day and suggested a celebratory beer that night. I made a counteroffer of the 18 year old scotch and what followed was an epic evening to close out an epic day. My brother, wife, son and I hit the Macallan 18 with full force, drinking about $100 of that $225 bottle, along with some other, less pedigreed beverages. We simply sat around the kitchen where we had enjoyed flapjacks that morning, turned up the music, and laughed at the absurdity of it all.  The picture above shows what hard-earned freedom looks like (my first published photo here, too).

The excitement & scotch combined for a very good night’s sleep – although I went to bed at 1am and had to be at work for an early meeting the next day.  Despite having only five hours sleep I was ‘up & Adam’ the next morning with a hangover of only adrenaline.

There is more to tell, but that is enough for now.  The viral communication of the news has been funny to watch.  I will catch  you up next week on the reaction of co-workers, friends & family.

Image Credit:  MrFireStation.com

82 thoughts on “FIRE Milestones – Formal Resignation Notice

  1. What a great story! I’m happy it worked out so well. Can you imagine if Don walked into Roger’s office midday with a nice bottle of scotch to announce his retirement? They’d have drunk the whole bottle by 5pm πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks – I am now on the final countdown. I’m sure each day I’ll feel a little more like ‘dead man walking’ among my own team.

      Like

      • I’ve had this when I changed jobs; it’s weird indeed. Plus I noticed it with someone retiring last year. There was a meeting where a new computer program was announced and introduced, and I saw her thinking: Ha, that’s no longer my concern! And she leaned back in her chair. I thought it was wonderful for her πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • It sure must feel great. You can still decide to care and engage (at work or with some other social issue or something like that) if you want to, but if you don’t feel inspired, you won’t have to πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats – that’s awesome – and a great story to boot! I’m on my own journey to retire early – shooting for late 2016 (it’s starting to get real!). I’ll be 47. So – following along with your story is definitely a great experience for me – although I’m sure it’s an even greater experience for you to be “living” it! Again – congrats to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Late 2016 is getting very close, isn’t it. We are so close in age & plans I can relate to your situation very well. In the final months the time will go SLOW and the time will go FAST. Just savor the good and bad all the way!

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  3. Congratulations on reaching your announcement milestone. Enjoy the wind down of your work role and responsibilities. I can imagine it will lead to some interesting conversations with everyone at Megacorp.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Luke – Yes, it has been highly entertaining to watch the news spread and see the expressions on people’s faces1

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  4. Congratulations! This is the post I’ve been waiting for, and so great to hear that it all went well. And nice to see YOU here! Are you going to tell us your name soon? πŸ˜‰ Obviously every situation is different, but I’m curious how 45 days felt to your boss as the period you’d stick around. We’re wondering how much notice to give when it’s finally our time to do this. But either way, huge congrats, and how wonderful that your boss was so happy for you!

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    • Thanks – it’s been an exciting few days! The amount of notice worked pretty well. It’s slightly more than 45 days, which is the amount of notice that MegaCorp gives employees if they are laid off, so I thought that was fair in a sense. Boss is traveling for a few weeks, so more notice was necessary. Still, I’ll be fine (and not surprised) if I don’t stretch all the way to 4/1.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a FANTASTIC post! Congratulations to you!! I might be as jealous as your boss was, but I’m so glad it worked out smoothly for you.

    I do know that when I pull the trigger, there will plenty of celebratory drinks, but I’m going to stick with beer and maybe a couple shots… no way on the Scotch! πŸ™‚ How was that by the way??

    — Jim

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    • Thanks, Jim – it has been a fun few days. The scotch was good if you like scotch. A bit strong for my taste, though. We compared the Macallan with Jack Daniels and it was noticeably smoother. I’m not sure that makes it worth and extra $200 though. When’s your date to FIRE?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I always like to think that I could be a Jack on the rocks kind of guy, but that never goes the way I want it to!

        I’m going to FIRE no later than 50, so I still have 9 years and 5 months left. It seems like a lifetime away, but I’m sure it will be here before I know it.

        — Jim

        Liked by 1 person

      • The last ten years went very fast for me. My plan was retire by fifty, but I probably could have done it ~3 years ago. Enjoy each day as it passes – there is a lot about work we’ll probably all miss once it is done.

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    • Happy to have you along – it’s an exciting time right now at the FIRE Station. I’m betting you’ll find out how much fun goofing off can be!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. CONGRATS! There’s not really a whole lot to say other than “it’s lovely to meet you and see your face” and “CONGRATS!” Hard earned time deserves a hard-earned celebration!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks – it’s a nervous thing to think about, but he is a good guy and MegaCorp is a (well known) good company.

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  7. Congrats! I am glad it went well. A reccomendation for you over the next few weeks. Keep the notes people send, jot down the words they say. I found I needed them about 2-3 months after retirement & created a wonderful scrapbook with them. When the lows of transition hit (and they will), it was helpful to recall my strengths in other people’s words. The last days will fly by! What is the plan for April 2?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks & great idea. While it feels good now, I know I’m going to have the blues at some point. I’ll also post some of the reactions I’ve gotten.

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  8. This is fantastic!! I am so happy to hear your boss had a supportive & positive response to your announcement of retirement. πŸ™‚ I also appreciate the reference to Mad Men, that is pretty surreal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I love Mad Men and the idea of going rogue from corporate life seems apropos for Don Draper. No doubt he would come back to advertising at some point – he needed the work to make him tick.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It went really well, thanks for the well wishes. It’s been a week now since I talk to him and a formal announcement has gone out. I am feeling great – but I am amazed at the range of reactions I get.

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  9. While I have only been around the WordPress community and following you for the past two months, it’s a privilege to be along for your journey and I am incredibly excited for your accomplishment. Your success is another “it can be done!” story that propels the rest of us to achieve FIRE, as well. You are truly an inspiration. Congratulations Sir!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much! It has been fun to see all of the traffic that my blog has been getting the last couple weeks. It is certainly a surreal time!

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. I am quite literally overflowing with jealousy, Mr. Fire Station. Well done, good sir – super, hard-core well done. I will be in your position very soon…not soon enough, though πŸ™‚

    I am definitely featuring this post in this week’s Friday Feast. I want as many people seeing your success as possible. This is how you kick ass in life!

    Like

    • Thanks, Steve! I was at the Minneapolis RV Show this weekend (just bumming around) and thought of you when I saw the Airstream trailers/RVs. What kind of unit are you planning to get?

      Like

      • Hey MrFireStation – we are thinking a 30′ Airstream at the moment. We have one picked out at a local dealer that we might put an offer on before the end of the month. It is a 2005 Airstream Classic Limited. That should give us enough space to comfortably live, but still be small enough to maneuver into some of the smaller campsites. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats on the retirement announcement! I remember when I was changing jobs and had signed my offer, I had those lean back moments, even though I was still going to be working.
    I’m looking forward to reading more about the transition as it gets closer and then begins!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! It has been a lot of fun. I’ve worked pretty hard over the last two weeks – but I am looking forward to gradually leaning back more and more as the final weeks close out. I also have a spring break to Florida planned in March.

      Like

    • It’s a big moment and filled with a lot of drama & uncertainty. Kind of like proposing marriage. Thanks for stopping by MrFireStation!

      Like

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    • Thanks – I have a lot of things I’d like to do. My wife believes I am addicted to busy. At the same time, I’ll be able to pick & choose now. What’s your timeline?

      Like

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