You are about to read a short story about four people, the story is about three men and one woman who either made or almost made Retirement a Death Sentence. The characters in this story are 65-year-old Len, 68-year-old Fred, 79-year-old Mark, and 62-year-old Caroline, the one thing they all had in common was they were all retired, but they all lived life during retirement much differently.
Len – 65 years old – Worked as a Network Technician
Len is the first one I want to tell you about because he worked on a job for 32 years, now he is 65 and the company gave him an ultimatum, either resign with a special payout or get terminated, because he is getting to the point where the job is too demanding as he do not finish his duties on a regular basis. Even though he couldn’t keep up he was still the first person at the office. He arrived every morning at 6am even though he was not supposed to be there until 8am.
He didn’t want to retire because he felt like working was his life, I have always believed the old saying that “some people work to live while others live to work” and Len was one of those people who live to work. Len was married to a woman who was 20 years younger than him so I know in the back of his mind, if he retired, she might look at him as an old man. Len told his Wife about the amount of money he would receive if he accepted the retirement offer and she encouraged him to take the money and to retire. Len retired then 30 days after his Wife called to let us know that he passed away peacefully in his sleep. I was wondering what happened to him because he would still come to the job during lunch break to talk to everyone then one day he didn’t show.
Fred - 68 years old – Worked as a Custodian
Fred had been a Custodian for different companies over the years, but he never had any extended periods of unemployment there were always a job waiting if he got laid off, terminated, or quit. He loved working because it made him feel useful. Fred had a hard life because the women he chose always used him and never really loved him, they loved that he worked a full-time job as a Custodian then mow yards and maintain lawns on the weekends. The women he had been married to or long term relationship with never worked so Fred was always the one who worked so being retired was going to be both a mental and financial issue for him.
Mark – 79 years old – Worked as a City Bus Operator
Mark is a married man, but he loves to flirt with younger women, he had the perfect job to meet lots of women. As a city bus operator, he would come in contact with over 30 single or unhappily married women per day. Mark had a good Wife because for over 30 years she was waking up at 2:30am to cook his breakfast that she would serve with coffee so he could leave at 3:30am, he shift started at 5:00am and his job was about one hour away from where they lived.
Mark was very slick because he would split his check into money going to the credit union, checking account and an actual check that he shows to his Wife who had no idea about the three way split. He would use the hidden money to take women he met out to dinner. He was lucky that he was allowed to continue to drive the City Bus and receive his Social Security Benefits until one day he ran in the back of another bus because he was preoccupied looking at a woman walking on the sidewalk, he tired to lie about the situation but the cameras on the bus told the whole story.
Fred didn’t want to tell his Wife what happened, so he committed suicide in his car with the gun he kept in the glove compartment for protection from carjackers.
Caroline – 62 years old – Worked as a Teacher
Caroline’s Husband had left her for a younger woman and after he left it was hard for her to concentrate as a Teacher so at 62 years old, she decided to retire early. Caroline thought once she was retired, she would have more time to spend with her family especially her grandchildren, it started out that way but then everyone had something else to do. It got so boring for her, so she got some cats, I don’t know where she got the cats from but the last time I counted, she had over 15 cats.