Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stress, Planning and How To Love The Bomb

So, I'm retiring from the Air Force effective 1 Oct of this year.  While that's awesome and quite the achievement, for the next two weeks or so, my life is gonna be STRESSFUL.

There's three major things and one minor thing that's causing all this internal ruckus.

The first is the transferring of my duties at work. In my usual style, I've taken WAY too long to do it. It's coming down to this coming week to finish it all off. The time just slipped by faster than I could realize. I always thought, "I have plenty of time." and I don't. I know things will work out and I just need to press on and do it. But this isn't transferring duties because I'm moving to a new place.  It's because I'm FRICKIN' LEAVING THE AIR FORCE!!! <breathes> Okay...transfer duties.  Make sure they at least get a walk-through how to do it. (Which is actually more than I got but that's a story never needing be told.)

The second is the thing that's been tripping me up with number one. Trying to out-process/retire from my current location is logistically difficult. I'm not assigned to the installation I work on. I'm just a tenet. Depending on what I need, I could have to talk to people at Patrick AFB, MacDill AFB, or our HQ up in DC. I think I've got it all figured out and the proper people are responding. It IS going to be awful close. Why? Well, it took a while for the Air Force to be sure they could let me retire. Now I mentioned 1 Oct as my retirement date.  That's a long way off.  A good two months and some change.  As they say in the Hertz commercials, "Not exactly." One of the benefits of retiring is taking what we call Terminal Leave. In short, I completely out-process of everything and for the most part am actually retired, except I'm on leave until 1 Oct. I am hoping to start that leave on the 28th. Of July. Yes, the day that 11 days from now. It's going to be a challenge to ensure my entire 22 year career is wrapped up properly. Again, I think it can be done. I have the checklists and I know what to do. Five work days this week.  Well, 4 and a half. More about that later. Then I have three or so days next week.  Then...I'm done. I do my final out-processing on the 27th. <deep breath>

Which then leads me to my third stressor: a new job. While it's call retirement, it really isn't. It's just time to move on to a new job. And for that you need a resume. I have discovered that writing a resume has been the hardest thing I've done in a while. Not because I don't have information to fill it but because...well, it's just different than what my performance reports were like.  They were simple. Simple bullet statements. What did you do, how much did you do, and what was the impact? Now convert those to civilian prose with little or no jargon or acronyms. Thank goodness for my wife, who's helping with her previous experiences with hiring and what HR is looking for, etc.  Also, she's not military so even the word "standup" is foreign to her.  So maybe it's three and a half major stressors because the third is really finding a new job. Admittedly, I am behind in some respects because the majority of people have jobs lined up before they even start their Terminal Leave. (OBTW, you can work a regular job on terminal leave and earn two paychecks.) Me? Yeah, I'm finishing up my resume right about the time my Terminal Leave starts.  I'm not stressed about finding a job. With my experience and other qualifications, it should be fairly easy. What is stressing me is the process of finding the job and getting hired.  So, in a couple days, I'll be spamming my resume out to any one with an email address or a hand to put paper in.  :)

Oh, and that minor thing?  Well, this Friday will be my Retirement Ceremony. I'm the personality type to forgo pomp and circumstance. I'd just assume say, "See you guys later" and head out the door after finishing my paperwork.  BUT in one of those instances that it's more for them than it is for you, I'll having a ceremony albeit a bit less formal than some others. At this point, I just have to show up.  :)

There's a phrase, "Fortune favors the prepared." I think that it also favors the lucky. I have had my share of luck in my life and hope to go to the well one more time and have everything work out smoothly.  I still have a full paycheck until 1 Oct, then my retirement pay starts. We won't be destitute but it would be nice to start a job sometime in August or September.

Maybe we'll win the lottery. I'd rather not use up that much luck at one time, though.  I might need some later. :)

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