Saturday, March 23, 2019

Practice Retirement Update

Before I bring you up to speed on my wife’s Practice Retirement, I thought I’d provide an update to my WTF blog post of 15 January:

In the nine and a half weeks since that post—highlighting the absolute lack of real progress on Brexit in the two years and seven months since the Referendum—here is what has happened: Nothing. We are, if anything further from Brexit than when we started, and there has been no actual progress toward an actual solution since…well, ever.

To be fair, if you call getting everyone in the country pissed off at one another and so frustrated with the government’s inability to govern that they are wishing they would do anything—crash out, make a deal, hold a water-pistol fight in Horse Guards Parade with the last MP standing getting to decide the future of the country, anything—other than point fingers, blame each other for their own failures and fritter away time as if it was as endless a commodity as EU migrants waiting to invade Blightly, then I guess you could say there has been progress, of a sort.

But that has little to do with my wife, other than she is also facing a cliff-edge date in about a week’s time.

As you know, my wife began her Practice Retirement on the first of April last year. The idea was, she could sample the retirement lifestyle and then decide if she wanted to return to work or not. It was an ideal scenario, because my wife liked her job and I was certain she would feel lost without it and would want to run back to it before autumn set in. As it turned out, she took to the life of leisure, and discovered she really wasn’t as keen on this working for a living thing as she thought. It was, therefore, something of a mixed blessing when, during her absence, they abolished her job.

Now, by law, her office had to offer her a comparable job, or redundancy, or something, so, as the deadline neared, she began querying her office to see what they intended to do with her. Due to her need to provide three months’ notice, her decision had to be made by the first of January, so she began her enquires in November. By the end of December, she had heard nothing.

The deadline came and went, and still no word. When she at last managed to get a meeting (only by accidentally running into her boss’ boss at an unrelated gathering) they came to the table with no deal in place and no idea what to do about her situation. (Sound familiar?)

An offer of a comparable—though, unsatisfactory—job was hinted at but no other contingency plans were mooted, so my wife decided to make it easy for them and sent them a letter of resignation in mid-February. The only issue with that was, it meant her three-month notice period would end in mid-May, requiring her to return to work for six weeks. The supposition was, when they got her letter of resignation, they would advise on what they wanted her to do concerning the stray six weeks.

So, she waited.

And waited.

Nothing.

No decision, not even an acknowledgment that her resignation had been received.

So, she sent a reminder, and received a response that made it clear that nothing at all had been done concerning her resignation.

At length, and not so long ago, she received a letter asking if she would be happy to simply not come back, and not be paid for any excess time she might have been required to work. Incredibly, my wife was happy, genuinely happy, to do just that. She sent off her final letter, accepting their offer of nothing, and has yet to receive an acknowledgment that her acceptance letter has even been received, much less acted on.

And so, as her cliff-edge date approaches, she does not actually know—via any official letter or acknowledgment—if she is actually required to return to work on the first of April or not.

You may draw any parallels between this and Brexit that you like, I’m merely concerned with whether or not I need to get my wife up for work next Monday and send her off with a packed lunch to an unknown job that she has agreed to not be paid for.


Brexit Chart
(Big Government Decision Making)
Just realized this is last week's Brexit indecision chart but, really, there's little difference.

Job Offer Chart
(Little Government Decision Making)
Still no word.