Continuing with the seemingly never-ending saga of my resignation, my director called me in on Wednesday to say that he was "worried" about my resignation letter. When I asked him why he said because I had used the word "resignation" rather than "early retirement". So I asked what difference that made to the end result and he said that he thought that in the private sector "resigning" meant you lost all you repatriation benefits (I have expat benefits) and also your pension! What a crock of BS! I just looked at him and said "I wouldn't know what happens with people's repat benefits in the private sector but I find it hard to believe that someone would lose their pension rights because they resigned rather than retired. I mean, even the Swiss courts can't touch your pension fund. But in any case, aren't we lucky we work in the public sector"!
So I'm starting to smell a rat at this point but bloody hell, don't try to intimidate me - or baffle me with bullshit as we say - in an area that I spent the past 20 years working in! The upshot is that he wanted me to change the word "resign" to "retire", but "of course if you resign, the big boss can't refuse you - but you know, you might lose your repatriation benefits and your pension, whereas if you retire you maintain your rights to your repat benefits and your pension but here the big boss could refuse your request to take early retirement"!!!! WTF. Is that the best crap you can come up with!
When I pointed out that our chief economist took early retirement and even the last Pope got to "retire" early, I couldn't see why a little old secretary like me leaving would pose a problem. In reply to that I got "work exigencies"!!!! Oh for Pete's sake. So I pointed out that I had verbally forewarned him in July that I wanted to leave, that I had given them the requisite three months' notice and that by Christmas my heavy workload would be over and done with until it started picking up again in March/April. Now in April I do have a piddly little meeting but I told him that just working with S - the main economist for this meeting - was enough to make me want to leave as he is a bully and a twat. Moreover I told him that it was inadmissible that S could make girls cry and have them refuse to work with him in future. He doesn't bother me because I will tell him where to shove it, but did he realize that S was harassing people, to which my director replied "I know". So bloody hell - eye roll here please - I said "you know he is harassing people and you do nothing about it! What does that make you look like"! At this point he nearly slid under the desk, but when he got up he asked me if I would "speak to S about it"!!!!! What the flip! To which I replied "you're the director, that's not my job"! Bloody hell, will someone please stop me from banging my head against the wall or even just shoot me to put me out of my misery!
Anyway, the moral of the above is don't try to intimidate someone who knows more about the subject than you do and especially don't try to BS a menopausal woman! I was fit to explode when I left his office so I told my supervisor that even if he came in and offered me full-time working from home he could shove it where the sun don't shine - intimidate me. That'll be the day!
On an only slightly related noted, remember my friend Ian who died suddenly in April - well I got the thumbs up from him on Wednesday night too! Seriously. I'm seemingly at the unfortunate stage in my life where I pretty much have to get up once a night to go to the loo. Well on Wednesday night (or more correctly, Thursday morning I suppose) I woke up around 3 a.m. because I needed to use the bathroom. So I leaned over and tapped my phone to see what time it was and saw that there was a message there. A FB message of some kind but I needed my glasses to see who it was from. So I put the light on, dashed off to the bathroom, put my glasses on and picked up my phone - and it was a message from Ian! I kid you not! I have no idea how that happened but I remember writing a message to him on FB which got "zapped" somehow. So I wrote him again and said "sorry, my message disappeared into cyberspace somehow" or words to that effect and Ian's thumb's up/smiley face emoji came back as the response AT 3 A.M. LAST THURSDAY MORNING. He was buried on 4 May! Good grief. I suppose it somehow got caught up in some kind of time warp as I don't think anyone would be in his FB account so many months later or if so, why at 3 in the morning? But you know what, it was actually a real pleasure to get that message from him - weird of course - but a pleasure. I wasn't dreaming/drunk/drugged at all - I was wide awake and that message stayed on my phone for about a minute before it disappeared. Wow, I can't find it on FB messenger but I know I sent the incoming message to him. Anyway, my take on that is he was giving me the thumbs up for resigning (or should that be "retiring") because he took that leap of faith and left England with just his van and his tools in 2011 in order to escape the rat race. He loved his life in Bulgaria and had no intention of moving back to England. I'm sorry he didn't get to live that life longer but I'm so glad that he did indeed get to "live that life". So if you're "reading" this Ian, thanks for the encouragement mate!