Content-type: text/html Ray Manning

Monday, September 23, 2013 10:00 PM

The Counter-Offer

The Tuesday through Thursday workweek slips by very quickly. There is a lot of discussion and thought going into the reduction in force (RIF) offer by Northrop Grumman. A number of people have picked up on my idea to negotiate the final date by demonstrating that they are needed past the end of this year but should still be allowed to take the retirement incentive. When I spring the thought that I am considering taking the offer, my functional manager doesn't speak for quite a few seconds because he says he was shocked by the possibility of me leaving. And other people, knowing that I am writing a rationale for staying longer but still being entitled to the package, ask me for words to help them write their packages.

Nonetheless I get in some good work during the short workweek with models and simulations and a far-ahead looking script to semi-autonomously build the simulation for the user. I don't quite spring this idea on the boss because he wouldn't let me leave until it is finished.

On Tuesday after work I just go walking - it seems that Tuesdays are the days where I'm recovering from lifting weights on Monday and all of the weekend's cycling such that it is an easier workout day. I lift the same weights on Wednesday and Thursday as I have for a couple weeks now. I shouldn't lift two consecutive days, but the shoulder only hurts a bit during lifting and not at all after icing it down. And later on Thursday I fill out a lot of paperowrk for will and trust transfers.

I don't sleep well on Thursday night and into Friday morning, but Friday starts with an early morning ride as Derrick wants to finish before the day gets too hot. I meet up with Derrick and today I am feeling strong so I do most of the pulling (especially for the last half of the ride together). After the ride I get cleaned up and go to two banks to try to name my newly formed revocable trust as my beneficiary (with only a 50% success rate today). I then drive down to the main Long Beach library and get three more books to read, stop off at Home Depot for an unsuccessful visit for metal tubing, and then do some grocery shopping. After a short break I get out and mow and edge the lawn and then cool down with a shower to relax for the rest of the day.

I water the impatiens and lawn before getting out cycling to the pier and back on the mountain bike. Today it is very foggy along the ocean but it provides respite from the recent heat wave. As I'm finishing up my ride I see Terry's van parked at my Del Amo exit so it is good that he is out cycling again but earlier for cooler temperatures. After a shower at home I clean the bathroom fan vents, try to glue my cycling shades back together (as the nosepiece broke after the last ride), clean up the kitchen a bit, cook some vegetables for the week, and pull my old ice hockey equipment out of the closet and dust it off. I'll be taking it to a sports consignment store where they will try to sell it. I guess this means that after not playing ice hockey for about 8 years, I have decided that I am completely finished with it.

Saturday afternoon is a disaster as Person Ti_Ca and some ofhis friends and I go to a Ramen Fest in Torrance. When we get there there is a ridiculously long line and we try to decide whether to put up with the line or go somewhere else. We finally ecide by default to stay and it takes 90 minutes to get into the ramen fest. I walk around to the various booths and cannot find anything to eat because it all has meat in it. SO I go over to just have some ice cold water and they have run out of water. There is only diet Coke left. So as Person Ti_Ca and his friends try to enjoy their ramen dishes, which turn out to be not that good, I sit with a smile on my face and have a diet Coke. Afterwards we stop in at a hobby store to buy a few supplies for a special project that I'm working on and then I drop my ice hockey equipment off for consignment sale. When Person Ti_Ca and I get home we finally watch "City of Ghosts" which I've been after him to watch for a long time since it takes place in Cambodia and at some ancient ruins that are supposedly haunted (which I have not been to yet). And then we do some homework.

I get up and almost decide to skip today's bicycle ride or ride later, but I put on my cycling clothes and get out the door. I meet up with Derrick and we're riding along and he eventually says, "Can we catch up with that guy in yellow?" So pretty soon I'm leading the charge and we catch up with the guy in yellow well before the end of the Los Angeles river trail. We proceed to the pier and take a quick re-hydration break and head back north. We run into Terry and his brother and we have to stop and talk with them because Terry is back on the bicycle after fainting twice last week and because we are friends. After the break Derrick says, "That guy up ahead is going pretty fast" so pretty soon I'm leading the charge at 22 mph or greater and Derrick says, "I can't lead because you're going too fast". But we easily catch up to many riders in front and at some point we separate ways and each head for home. My legs are tired by now and I'm fighting a headwind back home, but it feels good. When I get home I run a quick errand and stop at Subway for a takeout sandwich and watch an exciting MotoGP race from San Marino, Italy. Person Ti_CA and I do homework for a bit and when he leaves, I watch the Moto2 race from San Marino and watch the Manning Bowl - Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos against Eli Manning of the New York Giants.

It is hard to get started at work on Monday morning, but a long series of meetings actually gets the ball rolling. After the meetings I make a lot of progress on some work that I got assigned from the meetings and work on documenting the results also. There are many side conversations today about retirement and I end up leaving work very late. By the I get home I am tired and just watch the exciting Moto3 race from San Marino and cheer my favorite younger rider on to victory. I guess this week Monday is my day off from working out.

On Tuesday at work I am very productive outside of meetings and during meetings. And I also turn in signed paperwork indicating a negotiated attempt at early retirement. I am not hopeful of my offer being accepted, but it's worth a try. When I get home I lift weights with the same weight as last week except the bench press is a bit light because that is the exercise that hurts my shoulder the most. After the workout I trim, feed, and water the roses, have a teleconference for next week's volunteer day at a middle school, and then help Person Ti_Ca with homework.

On Wednesday and Thursday I have reasonable days at work though I am a bit overwhelmed by the thought of retiring and have realized that the company will probably not give me the negotiated date that I want. Thus I have pretty much decided to rescind my application for the retirement incentive package, but I don't quite do it. In between the nail-biting I get some work done and participate in meetings and have discussions with my bosses about what they will have to do without me. I get in a very windy Wednesday afternoon mountain bicycle ride to the pier and back and then a great session with the weights on Thursday where I drop all of the weights a bit but increase the repetitions.

On Friday I get to work, make some good progress on tasks, and then call the Human Relations lady and tell her that I have to rescind my request for retirement because I didn't get the extension and exit date that I tried to negotiate. She takes me off the list of early retirees. The rest of the day, though I am productive, is a bit of a letdown because I start counting over the working days left to retirement. I leave work a bit early and go for a mountain bicycle ride down to the aquarium and the vicinty of the Long Beach Red Bull Flugtag event scheduled for tomorrow. Some of the entries are present and I take a quick look at them as I turn around and head back for home. I mow the lawn when I get home, grab a shower and food, and then help Person Ti_Ca with homework.

Saturday starts atypically without a bicycle ride as Person Ti_Ca gets extra credit in his biology class if he volunteers to help clean up an area of the Bolsa Chica wetlands. Which means that I am also involved because I can't say no to a good cause. We drive down to the wetlands and get our tools and start de-weeding and leveling areas for new planting. There are quite a few people volunteering today (for the extra biology class credit or otherwise) and so we complete the intended task a bit early. Person Ti_Ca's biology teacher (who happens to be the mayor of Huntington Beach also) gives us a one hour tour of the area and points out hawks and natural plants and imported plants. It is an informative and productive 5 hours. I have brought extra clothes so I change into them and Person Ti_Ca and I go have a late lunch at Olive Garden. I end up having multiple bowls of salad and I don't even touch my pasta (which I box up and take home). When I get home I go work on the roses and then take a shower to relax for the day.

On Sunday I ride up the Los Angeles river, meet up with Derrick, and turn around and ride down to the pier. It's a fast ride as we catch up to other riders and and just keep going. After the ride I watch the Formula One race from Singapore where my favorite driver wins again by a large margin. Throughout the rest of SUnday I help Person Ti_Ca with some homework, do some cleaning, watch some football, and just be a vegetable.

Monday is a good day. I get to work and be productive in the face of not retiring and hearing about those people who are retiring. After work I get in a great workout with the weights with the same weight levels but more repetitions. And the shoulder barely hurts at the end of the workout when some ice makes it feel better. Later on Monday night I start putting together the things that I need for Tuesday's volunteer day at Orville Wright middle school in Los Angeles as we try to help them restore/restart a community garden. More playing in the dirt!