I'd better keep you up to date with the retirement process if only because the knock-on effect is that it's all seriously eating into sane,settled and calm reading time at the moment with a trillion and one things to do both at home and at work.
Most importantly and of highest priority we have been moving the entire house around to re-accommodate my "sock knitting quilting" empire in readiness for the "used to be a community nurse in her spare time" moment. This has involved walking a marathon as all the books, notions and accoutrements from the spare bedroom shift to one end of the lovely warm wood-burner-heated sitting room. I've also purloined other bits of furniture on the way but more about that soon.
You'd think with the number of NHS employees who must be
grabbing the dosh and running retiring and taking their pensions right now (I hope to goodness the NHS didn't dabble in Iceland) that management would know exactly what to do. Advise you about the paperwork, what's required, who signs what, who needs photocopies of what, where to send your inside leg measurements that sort of thing. But this is the very fledgeling Devon PCT which after two very unsettled years still seems to be shaking down and please don't ask me what all this must have cost because I get cross. With offices constantly moving to scattered locations around the county, one minute Personnel Human Resources is in Exeter, the next minute they've moved to the airport (the airport?) Pensions was in one place, now it's somewhere else entirely and with new phone numbers.
Malcolm in Pensions has been marvellous with his forecasts and general advice, he and I became good phone buddies when I actually declared a vague undecided intention to retire back in June, just to start the paperwork ball rolling, with the proviso that I could stop the ball rolling if it all gathered too much momentum and I panicked about things like how we'd pay the gas bill. And yes true to say it has been a tortuously hesitant and difficult process in the deciding of, and then once you've made the decision you want to leave yesterday, can't bear to work another minute.
I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time going back over the forms yet again, more phone calls, more photocopying of birth and marriage certificates, more signatures from witnesses, finding a manager to complete the Termination of Employment form that says officially that I will be leaving and then there's the annual leave entitlement.
Good grief and heaven forfend, has she taken too much of the year's April to March entitlement? You can only keep one week until after Christmas so it's inevitable that by October it's whittling down.
The granted sum is 175.5 hours including pro-rata 27.5 hours for Bank Holidays.Divided by 12 and multiplied by 7 gives a figure beyond which I must not have exceeded by the end of October.
But here in my diary is a careful log of all the extra hours I've worked in the last six months which you owe me.
I think it might have been far simpler to just go off sick on full pay and stay off sick until I'd accrued enough annual leave to clear the balance sheet.
Then things get really complicated because as a "gift" I get £10 for every year of selfless and dedicated (!) service which will arrive in the form of vouchers of my choosing. This is usually M&S, John Lewis or Gardening vouchers and you have only yourself to blame if you don't declare a preference otherwise someone buys you a "picnic set for your caravan" . I've already selected John Lewis so that at least I can keep myself in Rowan wool for the forseeable future but now there's the thorny issue of 'exactly how many years count'.
The upshot is some poor soul is going to have to locate my personnel file and rummage through it and heaven knows where that's ended up.
It will have started it's West Country life back in 1977 with my health visitor training sponsorship and subsequent employment by Devon Area Health Authority (based at HQ Exeter), which then begat a smaller baby named Plymouth Community Services NHS Trust (based at new HQ in Plymouth, new management structure) which then begat an even tinier baby (tiny has definitely been best, happy valued staff providing an outstanding local service) named South Hams and West Devon Primary Care Trust (based at new HQ in Totnes, new management structure ) which then begat a great big behometh-like whopper of a baby named Devon Primary Care Trust (back where it started, based who knows where but at new HQs sprawled all over the county, new management structure). Next year it will begat something else entirely as the whole provider split happens (I really haven't been paying much attention to this knowing I'm going) but I gather we could be managed by Boots PLC (bound to be new HQ, new management structure).
Bless the little file probably now dog-eared, rusting paper clips holding together tissue thin sheets of paper, bursting at the seams and wrapped in rubber bands, it's been roving around for thirty years and I wonder what happens to it next?
Do they toss it on a bonfire and say good riddance? Is it placed in a museum of ancient NHS artefacts? Heavens just look at this a carbon copy typewritten letter, good lord.
My word a Gestetner print out.
Quit while I'm winning? I think I've escaped in the nick of time meanwhile talking of tiny babies, here's me right back at the start of my nurse training and doing something I clearly enjoyed, he was called Fred and he really was very very tiny indeed.