Personal emancipation day

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Personal emancipation day

Post by Farm_or » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:21 am

Okay fellow story tellers, tell us about your last day working for the man. What do you remember and how did you feel about making the big change in your life?

I will go first. I spent a lot of time and effort preparing for that day. I moved the day up by about a month early after conflicting with my boss.

I was nervous and excited at the same time. My cohorts banded together to throw me a going away party. The gesture came as a complete surprise. Free pizza and cake and a $300 gift certificate. I was shocked by their generosity.

Most of the people knew me well enough to know what was going on. A few that I was guarded with were utterly confused about what I was doing.

Somewhat like a horse, their fear and anxiety made me a little unsure. One asked about my plan b.

"I don't have a plan b. It's sink or swim. I hope that I did my homework well enough." And I suddenly felt a bit unstable.

That feeling was soon replaced with elation as I slowly drove out of the parking lot for the last time. "Freedom!" Songs and music of celebration were playing in my head. I had worked for wages since I was sixteen years old. Financially free at 43.

It was a long and arduous process for me. All the sacrifice, trials and tribulations made the triumph all the more glorious!

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Re: Personal emancipation day

Post by halfmoon » Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:59 am

I've told much of this story in my journal, but I'll repeat some of it here because I think a thread on the subject is a great idea.

DH and I retired the first time when he was 55 and I was 34. We worked together in a restaurant and despised 98% of the job. When we told co-workers we were retiring, many of them asked how we could survive financially without working. I always replied that we were retiring poor, which was true enough. Everyone expressed envy (and some snark) that we could retire, but I was mentally rolling my eyes because most of them drove new cars, were in debt and went out partying every night. None of them would want to live the way we did -- let alone the way we planned to.

There was no going-away party. We'd been asked about one and vetoed it. I'm surprised they had to ask, because every time we were invited to a company picnic or party, DH would say: "I have to see you a**holes every night at work. Why would I want to see you on my time off?" :twisted:

We went to work for the last time on July 4th, which we felt was appropriate, though since we worked nights our actual Emancipation Day was July 5th at 6:00AM. We drove out of the restaurant parking lot in the morning sun, utterly relieved that we'd never have to go back there. I don't remember feeling any anxiety about our decision, though it was a long time ago.

When we arrived home, DH threw his white shirt and bow tie into the trash and said, "I'll never wear a white shirt again." He hasn't yet.

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Re: Personal emancipation day

Post by jacob » Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:08 am

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Re: Personal emancipation day

Post by Did » Fri Apr 14, 2017 12:35 pm

Have you read the quit series at

George the original one
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Re: Personal emancipation day

Post by George the original one » Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:59 pm

Party had been the day before, so I finished packing what I would take home, distributing what stayed behind, & wiping off the dusty corners of the cubical. Chatted with coworkers when it was opportune. Chatted with the boss a little extra before handing him my cardkey and leaving with my few treasures.

I'd been ready to leave for a couple years, but had to wait so the pension would be correct. Which means walking out the door with a light heart and a smile!

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Re: Personal emancipation day

Post by Did » Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:01 am

My last 6 months at work were quite horrible: a bit of an internal battle to screw me/force me out, for political and, if I am honest, financial performance reasons. In the end I put my hand up in my review to sell my interest in the business, which resulted in my salary being halved. It was still a fortune, but the damage was done and I was burnt out after being surrounded by enemies for so long.

The writing was on the wall.

After the review I took all my remaining leave, then at the end of it I resigned on the phone, saying my preference was never to return. That was fine by them and they couriered all my office crap to my home.

I can't say I felt wonderful or anything. It was more like I was shocked and uncertain. It took many months to unwind, as you can see in my introduction/journal.

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Re: Personal emancipation day

Post by Did » Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:07 am

A small tidbit I had forgotten: within days I had hacked at my hair with scissors. It looked appalling. Sounds silly but it was an act of sabotage/defiance to ensure I could not return to a legal environment, at least in the short term. I guess in that moment I related to all the weirdos around the world who do their hair in such a fashion as to say F*CK YOU to society.

That was my moment saying F*CK YOU.

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Re: Personal emancipation day

Post by saving-10-years » Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:07 am

My required period of notice was a year, but because of the long term project I was heading up I gave them over that. I also did quite a few last/leaving lunches with people around the organisation beforehand - those I had worked with in different projects. Some knew what I was planning and they were curious and/or envious that I could swing this. Others were so focused on staying on the payroll I think that I perplexed them. I was one of the less likely people to want to go - this was my dream job, maybe three years to position myself into getting it and then 12 doing it. But the job was changing and the problem with a dream job is that when it starts changing for the worse its doubly disillusioning. Main problems were within my own department, nice people but ideas that I was getting gradually disinterested in. I'd done all I wanted there and was really fortunate to be able to leave before I started to get seriously bored. Lots of happy memories intact.

So last day was anticlimactic for everyone. The leaving gifts at the surprise party were (mainly) pretty far from what someone who knew me well would have chosen. I've had last days at places where I was really in floods of tears (everyone was) but this was not one of those.

I probably expected to work somewhere else (at the time I thought that I needed some extra money but it turned out not). But I promised myself never to work for pay on the sort of projects I was doing at my last job. It would never be so good and I want new things to challenge me.

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