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Posts Tagged ‘work-life balance’

Our financial situation is not very healthy here at the little newspaper. We all know it. We’re looking over the edge of the canyon of financial doom, wondering if a bridge will appear or if we’ll get pushed in.

Several of us have worked here for more than 20 years. Others have been here long enough to become part of this caring circle of coworkers. We’ve shared family deaths, serious illness, weddings, births and hundreds of birthday cakes together. I care about these people, and consider them my extended family. They were all there, waiting to give me hugs, at my father’s funeral.

So is it wrong to make a big personal decision in part because it might help one of them?

There’s a chance I can take early retirement next fall. It’s a financial risk. But if I can return to work part time as a retiree (a cheaper employee) I think I can make it.  And that leaves dollars which would have paid me available to pay someone else. A person who can’t retire yet, who would lose health insurance and desperately needs it.

I had a long talk with my boss about it. He says he has to look at it purely from an operational standpoint. Okay, but we’re not General Electric. We’re a small group of employees and he knows each of us pretty well. He knows who will suffer most. There’s no pureness about his decision.

Yes, it won’t be great for him without me here full time.  But he said if my decision to retire is purely personal, then he’ll figure out how to make it work. If my decision is based at all on our budget, or on another employee’s needs, then he is totally against it.

There’s no pureness in my decision either. I want to retire, and return to work part time. I need to be able to help out my elderly mother more than I can now.  But I also want to save a job for someone who needs it and doesn’t have the same option I have. And – no sainthood here – I don’t want to take on more work because others have left. But would I do early retirement if it didn’t save a job? I don’t know.

Yet I can’t tell him that protecting others is a part of my decision because he’s against that reasoning.

I don’t feel any doubt that my decision is morally right for me, and it’s topped by the personal reward of more free time.

A decision based only on what’s “good” operationally without regard for the people who actually do the work cannot be right. Right?

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