Thursday, January 15, 2009


Jeanie says that in Britain legally they couldn't terminate my employment while I was on leave. Well, technically they can't fire me here while on leave, either. Actually, I wasn't sacked, but fell victim to a real comedy of errors. First Boeing decided to sell our division. Our division management found a buyer so we could be a stand alone company—Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.—owned by Onex, a Canadian holding company.

Those of us with a certain amount of time-in-service and at least 55 years old were allowed to retire from Boeing with a Boeing pension and retirement benefits (health insurance, very important here as there is no National Health in the US). However, Spirit would transition those of us who wanted to work for the new company into their workforce with our Boeing “hire date,” thus giving us the same salary, benefits and retention ratings. I thought that sounded good: get paid a pension and a salary and get the same benefits as though I'd been working at the new company for 25 years.

The catch for me was that I had to be in hospital (surgical removoal of intra-uterine cancer, which was uneventfully successful, thank God) when the actual change-over happened. Before the changeover, I asked specifically if being on leave of absence was going to mess up things for me. Representatives from both old and new companies assured me that there would be no problem. I was to set things up on-line for my retirement, and nothing would happen until I “pressed the button” to start retirement when I got back to work. Everything else was to happen seamlessly. When I received the doctor’s release, I would go through Medical for their release, and then back to work at Spirit.

So I got my doctor’s release and went through Medical, who said they would see the paperwork through the Leave of Absence Office. At the badge office, I exchanged my Boeing badge for a Spirit badge.

On Monday morning, I went in to work. The time charge system would not allow me to enter my time. My boss had a pointed conversation with the Payroll people, who fixed things. The next Monday, I went out at lunch to feed Lloyd. When I came back, the computer was locked up; I couldn’t get it to respond. Off I went to the Boss, who has a few pointed conversations with several offices. He came back and said, “Looks like you aren’t employed at Spirit. Boeing retired you, and as you were on leave, Spirit didn’t pick you up in the “snapshot” of employees to transition.” The humor of the situation was not apparent at the time. Before I left work that day, I had been reinstated.

Although my computer access was up and running the next day, it took them two weeks to get the financial aspect sorted out. I ended up with a “Day One” hire date, but got all my benefits except my vacation/sick leave, which Boeing cashed out, rather than reserving as with everyone else. It took Spirit more than a month to get all my computer systems reinstated. So now I am doing the same job, for the same boss, at the same desk as three and a half years ago.

The word of the day for January 15, 2009 is "termination" — Pronunciation: \,tər-mə-'nā-shən\
Function: noun
Date: circa 1500
1: end in time or existence : conclusion [the termination of life]. 2: the last part of a word ; especially : an inflectional ending. 3: the act of terminating. 4: a limit in space or extent : bound. 5: outcome , result.

Our quote for the day is from Gaius Sallustius Crispus (c. 86–35/34 B.C.), Roman historian. Jugurtha, LXXXIII:

It is always easy enough to take up arms, but very difficult to lay them down; the commencement and the termination of war are not necessarily in the same hands; even a coward may begin, but the end comes only when the victors are willing.




  1. Thank goodness that your Termination was not exactly termination !! but I still thing like ADB say's it is an appalling way to treat any good employee...
    Hope your wound is healing
    Much Love Sybil xx

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