- How retirement snuck up on me
I had been on a new job for less than three months in 2008, when the Fortune 50 company that I worked for offered a separation incentive for managers that had been with the company for 20 years or more. I had worked there for 34 years. I had also been promoted from a job as a skilled trades welder and fabricator after applying and being rejected for over 40 other positions. I liked my welding position where I had become the expert on drawing and operating a CNC cutting machine, as well as bending and welding fabrications. It was a good job! I was at the top of the scale for union employees and had recently worked a lot of overtime.
But, the new job had its advantages, too (a pay raise, matching 401k, incentive pay, advancement possibilities), not to mention that I was getting older and looking for a less physically demanding job that I could do more easily as I aged. The new job was being an IT Analyst, specifically, working on a Voice team that supported a new voice over ip (VOIP) system of telephones for employees, suppliers, contractors, call centers all around the world. I worked in a building with other employees that set up WANs, LANs, and firewalls, but ours was the only section that dealt directly with the end users (EU), the actual phone users.
Specifically, I did name changes, set up new phones and “soft” phones (phones that work from your computer screen), voicemail, and billing. I was level 1.5, which meant that I did not have to physically go any of the phones that I was working on. I could change settings on a phone in another hemisphere or reset a server from my cubicle. Perhaps, I could have shaved the walls of my cubicle for more space as a promotion reward.
Another advantage was that I could work at home when I sick or the weather was bad. I had VPN software on my laptop, would plug in my skype phone, and it was the same as sitting at my desk at the office, sans all the meetings. I was on my way to my own 4 hour workweek (http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/).
I think that is enough technical talk for now. I will give some more family work history and my background to show how I developed my interests and work ethic in my next post.