Tuesday, September 13, 2016


I was forced into retirement in August when I was laid off. It was no surprise. Oil companies were cutting budgets and cancelling projects. Therefore there was no need for engineering services. Since I had no projects to charge my time to it was only a matter of time before I joined the ranks of the unemployed. And since no one wants to hire an engineer whose age matches the numbers of a famous cross country highway, I pulled the trigger on the retirement account.

And the timing is serendipitous for other reasons. The company had announced a change in management which meant the younger generation was taking over. I would have been working for a young guy that I had some history with. One of my side duties was as quality control "manager". My job was to make sure that the staff followed the quality processes that the company had instituted to be in line with ISO 9001 (If you don't know what that is, you are lucky) I had to write up this guy a couple of times for deviating from procedures for checking and record keeping. And now, in a classic example of the Peter Principle, he was going to be the department manager. Therefore, it was a good time to leave.

Here are some of the changes (mostly positive) I've noticed to my life:

  • Lowe's and Home Depot are empty during the week
  • I use a lot less gasoline
  • Traffic is light but there are a lot of old people that keep getting in my way
  • I don't need to worry about staying up late on a "school night"
  • I don'r need to get up at the crack of dawn but it's hard to reset the internal clock
  • I'm busier now than I was when I was working


JayNola said...

Sorry to hear you got the heave. Have you thought about putting out the consulting shingle? I know a lot of older engineers that have gotten the "excess to current workload speech" then turned around and got contracted in as a consultant.

Peripatetic Engineer said...

A few folks that I like and trust know that I am available for the right assignment. At this stage in my life I can afford to be choosy. The job would have to interesting and preferably include Europe or Asia. I no longer go to places where I need an armed guard.

Ed Skinner said...

The kids are gonna mess it up bad while they learn, if they can, what you already know. Turn your back and face the world in front of you. That's where life is.

Peripatetic Engineer said...

Ed....No worries. I walked away with no regrets. The job had stopped being fun and I was frustrated by the inexperience of the project managers.

Old NFO said...

Yep, those last two for sure... sigh... And the Peter principal is alive and well. We're dinosaurs and the sooner we realize it, the better the millennials like it... sigh

Peripatetic Engineer said...

NFO......Yep. But the last half of my career has been spent parachuting into problem projects in order to bring them back to some sense of cost and schedule. That's something they can't do yet. I was taught by WW II veterans and that is something that I now appreciate. They were a group of people that gave you freedom to operate as long as you got results and had your back when you ruffled a few feathers.