Wednesday, April 15, 2020

It took four months

Last December, I wrote a post suggesting that it was time for my boss to retire. Yesterday, he did.

It was a plot twist I didn't see coming.

We aren't at work. I didn't know you could quit a job remotely. (You can.)

He started at the agency even before I did in 2004. This means he's entitled to 16 weeks+ severance (not to mention unemployment)  if let go. He and I talked about this a couple months ago. He said that, even though he wasn't enjoying the job/the commute/the industry anymore, it's too much money to walk away from and so he was going to hang on.

Some things changed his mind.

•  Last week ended with an email from the chairman of the multinational corporation our agency is part of. He told us that the pandemic has had a negative impact on our clients' businesses, and therefore on ours, and that layoffs could be expected. He started this week by reiterating that, but that the organization was working to see if they could cushion the blow with extended medical coverage.

My boss will qualify for Medicare in October. Extended medical doesn't mean as much to him as it does to other people. His salary (I'm guess it's $150,000) would be a relief to get "off the books." It might save other people's jobs. Like, maybe, mine.

•  This month of being home and away from the office has re-emphasized how little he misses work.

When he called me yesterday to share the news, I asked him what changed his mind about walking away from the compensation. He said that he and agency's management team "worked something out."

This news has upset me. I really don't know why. My boss and I have clashed often over the years, so I honestly don't think I'll miss him, though I was used to him. Maybe it's that I don't like change. Or perhaps it's what he told me on yesterday's call -- that he thinks my job is safe through the end of the year. I admit that I had made my peace with never returning to the office again, either. But I need the money. (Oh, yes, I do!)

Or maybe it's that he knowingly took the bullet for me.

This time of virus has been so surreal for so many reasons. I guess this is just another.