Friday, May 18, 2018

Un-retired, a 3 week perspective, and orange

Zoom! This has been interesting, if somewhat tiring. Last you heard I was happily retired, puttering with my camera and novel, and other stuff. What the heck, you ask?

It's been a story a long time in the making. The last time I worked full time hours was back at Penn West, late 2015 or so. Sometime shortly after the Great Purge at the beginning of September I started working part time hours there. My buddies went on to find other jobs. Several of them at Keyera, where I went to work for a while.

One of them landed at AltaGas, and promptly started to pitch me, and them. She thought they needed my skills, and she was right. That was about 2 years ago. There was a short term contract at Keyera, and I thought the race was on to see if AltaGas or Keyera would get an offer to me first. I knew people from both organizations and I was interested to see how it turned out.

Keyera's project has a lot of moving parts. I'm pretty sure if I'd been willing to sign up for a 3 year full time gig, I'd have become one of the people moving those parts around. A part time role never jelled, and thats the way it goes sometimes.

AltaGas started getting serious late last year, and it's been a bit of a slog. Sometimes it seems to take organizations a long time to do what seems to be a simple thing. Within the last month another buddy from Penn West started pitching me a role with yet another guy I knew from Penn West (we're everywhere now!). There's no harm in talking, because you never know if the wheels will get bolted onto the wagon, or stay bolted on. In the end the offers came at the same time, and after a stressful day thinking about it, I picked AltaGas and started May 1.

Turns out that part way up the chain of command above me is a guy I worked with at BP all these many years ago. Just down the hallway from him is a guy from Talisman that I knew somewhat, though I didn't actually work with him.

New projects are always a bit of a blur. There's the routine stuff, getting shown your office (cubicle), where the washroom is, the printers, office supplies and such. Being dragged around introduced to everyone you might work with. Finding the meeting rooms. Getting oriented to the project, and trying  not to be too horrified at what was done by people who are no longer there.

In my case, getting used to working a 40 hour week again. Its been a while, almost 3 years. There are two main paths to working part time. One is to work some set number of hours or days a week. At Keyera it was 3 days a week, and the last year or so Penn West it was 4 days a week. That was great. The other model is to work full time, for a short term contract. That's AltaGas. I'm there till Oct 31, and boy do I have lots to do!

It's funny how different organizations find certain things hard. At Penn West whiteboards were easy. Mention wanted one, and they'd ask how big, and shortly later a couple guys would show up to screw it into the walls. BP had magnetized whiteboards that were totally the bomb. I requested a whiteboard the first day at work, and it took AltaGas 3 weeks to deliver. On the other hand, I requested a third big monitor, and it showed up a few hours later. Gotta love that.

Once upon a time, back in the early 2000's, one of my work buddies told me that his goal was to schedule his working life the way most people scheduled their vacations. As in, about a month a year. He does lots of traveling doing things for Habitat for Humanity, and good for him. That gave me lots to think about, and started working towards working part time. My thinking was that between 55 and 65 I'd like to work about half the time, maybe working more in the earlier part of that, and less in the later part. That brings in income to defer living on investments, pays cash for new toys or trips, and gives time to enjoy the toys and trips. I think I'm about on track for that.

There are lots of people working late in life, not because they enjoy it, but because they need to. That's sad. It's true that some people have expensive unplanned adventures, but lots of people just have no clue how to manage money. Of course, there are some people working because they enjoy it. That's mostly me. It's an interesting project, and there's lots I can contribute to it, and that's fun.

I'm still swimming 3 days a week, and that feels pretty good. My run and bike have fallen off the edge of the world, though. Sigh. It's the long weekend and the weather is nice, I suppose I could run tomorrow, if I really wanted. I suppose I should. But will I? Probably not. I'm feeling a bit run down.

The photography has been going pretty well. In fact, photographs have been the main part of the blog for several weeks now. Those that like my words might have been having withdrawl symptoms or something, so I thought I'd get a little more wordy.

That's not to say you have to do without a photo. The tulips have been lovely this year! Here's some orange ones.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear the new gigs working out. Tough going back to full-time, I bet, but at least you know it's just until fall. Good on ya for continuing to find time for other stuff - especially photographing tulips. Love all the images but especially the purple one from a few days ago. And that shot of the plum blossoms is gorgeous!


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