It’s My Retirement Party So Piss Off

If one more person tells me how to celebrate my retirement I may have to hurt someone!  Seriously people, it’s my retirement so why does everyone else keep projecting their wants onto me and telling me I should take everyone in the department out for drinks, have the entire department out for lunch, have a retirement tea or a big party at a hotel? Pardon?!?!

I suppose they mean well since they want me to celebrate the event but they just can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact I’m not a big party kind of guy.  I’m more of a low key celebration type of guy and as such I’ve already decided my retirement celebrations will be modest.  There will be no epic party, huge guest list or flashy celebration.  I will not be inviting the media to attend.

Instead, what I actually have planned this next week is just two events.  The first is I’m going out to lunch with my immediate work group of eight people at a restaurant a block away.  One last lunch with my co-workers to celebrate with those that I work the most with.  I actually have no desire to have the entire department come as it may come to a shock to some people but I don’t like everyone that is in my department so I would rather not have them there.

The second event is also low key.  Just dinner at home with my wife and sons.  I will even be cooking that supper because I want to eat an old favorite recipe, pepper steak, that I haven’t made in years.  Then afterwards I’m going to open the 18 year scotch that I bought for this event and have a drink of a liquid that is older than my engineering career. That’s all folks.  Like I said, modest celebrations.

Why? Because that is what I want.  You personally might like a big party with lots of people, a big meal out, a nice trip or a grand party hosted at a hotel.  Any of those are fine.  The trick here is to know yourself and what you want and make that clear to the other people involved on what you will be doing.

It’s your retirement so celebrate it the way you want and don’t feel guilty for knowing what that is and being firm with other people around you.  There is no right way to celebrate a milestone, just instead your way.  So channel your inner dictator and feel free to tell others to piss off if you have to, but at least try to be nice about it to start with.

So how did you or would you celebrate your retirement?

5 thoughts on “It’s My Retirement Party So Piss Off”

  1. Oooh, I think Mr. Adventure Rich and I will join you with a scotch celebration of retirement (likely Lagavulin 16 year) and go for a long hike… maybe camping if it isn’t the dead of winter 🙂

  2. Tim, I had a very low-key final day at work and afterward back in 2008.

    I had already declined to have any big luncheon. I very rarely attended the final-day luncheons of other coworkers in the 23 years I worked there, and had no desire to one of my own. My best friend at the office took me out to lunch to a diner, as we had often gone out for lunch there.

    I spent most of the day trying to complete the one main project I had been working on for over a year. Having been working only 2 days a week for the last 17 months, I wasn’t in the office very much so most of the time in the office was spent working on it. I barely got it done, about 45 minutes before I left.

    They did have a small gathering at my desk for the well-wishers. And they gave me a blob of cash they would have spent on my lunch, about $160, which was nice. I made a short speech and that whole gathering took about 10 minutes.

    There was no sendoff at the end of the day when it was time for me to leave. I packed up my personal items and headed to the elevator. I needed my ID card to get through some turnstiles in the lobby, so after that I turned the card over to the lobby security team.

    The train ride(s) home were tough. I struggled to keep my composure on the train, as I was nearly in tears as I got off the train for the last time and walked home. But when I entered my apartment, I dropped my stuff, threw my arms into the air, and yelled, “I’M FREE!!!!”

    Later that evening, my ladyfriend came over and my best friend Steve also came over. We (Steve and I) had our usual Friday night Scrabble games. I told them about my last day but we didn’t have any big celebration, as they both knew about this for several months.

    That was nearly 9 years ago and it has been a great 9 years since then.

  3. I was the boss and while I wouldn’t have made that big a fuss I felt it would have been rude to refuse the dinner party at the country club the company hosted for me. In fact it seemed more like their party, a chance for friends to wish me well and to punctuate a major change in their work lives since the next boss would surely shake things up a bit. I loved my career and though I never miss it at all it was kind of nice to officially end it on the companies tab! But that’s just me, I agree you did it perfectly for you.

  4. I suspect I’ll kick off our retirement by going on vacation somewhere. Then again I want to retire to travel so really I guess I plan to just jump in. I’m not much for celebrations. I can’t remember the last real celebration party I went to that didn’t involve toddlers. Everyone has there own ways of these types of things. I see it at work all the time. Some people get off on big work parties. Others prepare to shuttle off almost unnoticed.

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