TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: 50 Year Unisys Employee Retires

Re: 50 Year Unisys Employee Retires

Tony P. (
Wed, 29 Jun 2005 17:15:23 -0400

In article <>, says:

> In article <>,
> says:

>> The Philadelphia Inquirer did a feature article on a man, age 68, who
>> was retiring from Unisys after 50 years of service. (He started with
>> Unisys precedessor Burroughs).

>> It's extremely rare today for someone to work 50 years for the same
>> corporation. In 1986 Unisys had 123,000 employees, now it has 36,400.
>> Only 15% of Americans 65 and over are still working and the average
>> person retiring today has been with his employer 10 years, not 50.

> I'm a state employee. Our legislature just handed us a bon mot that says
> most of us won't be able to retire until 70, and at that we won't get
> the same benefit as those before us.

> It's funny -- our director of finance is retiring end of this year. We
> were joking about it. I said she should be happy that we're financing
> her retirement. My boss said she should invite us over for the dinner
> we paid for. It was too funny but demonstrated that retirement systems
> are in fact Ponzi Schemes.

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: One important reason companies do not
>> keep around 40-50 year employees any longer is because that employee's
>> benefits package is usually so extravagant. For example, I recall one
>> fellow who had worked for Standard Oil more than twenty years back in
>> the 1960's, when I was there. Working there that long, he was
>> entitled to five weeks paid vacation every year, and first choice of
>> the available times for vacation. He _always_ managed to parlay that
>> five week vacation into _six_ weeks by scheduling his vacation times
>> around weeks which had holidays in them, which entitled him to an
>> extra vacacation day. For example, vacation during the week which
>> contained Memorial Day, also the week which contained Independence Day
>> and Labor Day got him _three extra days_ right there. So he would then
>> take those three extra days vacation and either use them for the
>> Monday <-> Wednesday of Thanksgiving Week when the entire office got
>> two days (Thursday and Friday) off anyway. Or, depending on how the
>> calendar worked out that year, maybe he would take those three days
>> during Christmas/New Years week.

>> Needless to say, Standard Oil got quite annoyed at having to legally
>> pay him for not being there for large gaps of time. Eventually, they
>> had a whole bunch of people in that situation and of course, if you
>> can find an excuse for letting the person go, then you also have to
>> pay them for the _company's share_ of their 401-K plan or whatever,
>> _plus_ their severance pay, _plus_ their pension, etc. And there is
>> absolutely no reason a good supervisor cannot find an excuse -- _any_
>> lawful excuse will do, to can you if they wish to do so. That is one
>> reason most companies do not like to have employees around that long;
>> to their way of thinking, the person has gotten just to expensive for
>> them.

> Hell, with the comp time I generate I get about 6 weeks a year. U.S.
> employers are very stingy about time off. All comes down to that
> Calvinist work ethic.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I think you meant to say the
> 'Protestant Work Ethic' instead of 'Calvinist'; but anyway, don't
> be so harsh with John Calvin. He was an 'okay' guy <wink>! PAT]

No, it was Calvin who gave us that work ethic and stark lifestyle.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Well, John Calvin was a protestant and
big in the Reformation movement in 16th century Switzerland, and
considered to be the father of the modern day 'Christian Reformed
Church' as it is known in the USA today. He did have a very stark
lifestyle to be sure, and encouraged it among his followers. PAT]

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