Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Nominally, I've been retired from my career at the Prosecutor's Office since March 1st.

As a practical matter...I've never had so much work-related stress in my life!

While retirement incentives are all well and good, from the perspective of the employer, there is one major downside: the more successful it is, the better the odds of brooming out everyone who knows what he's doing. In many respects, this is exactly what Wayne County has done: their executive retirement package was so successful it netted them the entire management of our appellate department---which meant that if we all left, there would be nobody to run the department. As a result, we're all back as "consultants"---effectively half-time employees, for the next year or so.

Unfortunately, my assignments haven't kept pace with the times: instead of working to help bring the "next generation" up to speed, I'm engaged in business as usual. And---what is particularly frustrating for me---I can't do the work I'm getting without coming in full time! Rather than backstopping the rest of the department, and working on things that can be accomplished in the two-to-three days per week I should be working, my assignments are long and complex, giving me the option of working half-time and accomplishing nothing, or devoting the time I need to the tasks I have, and blowing through my time in nothing flat.

The department head---Tim Baughman, who's also a personal friend---wants us to stick around until after the first of the year. But I'm already way ahead on the amount of time I've put in...and if the assignments don't change, I'm likely to be done by Thanksgiving.

All in all...it seems that retirement has increased my work-related stress.

JEFFREY CAMINSKY, a veteran public prosecutor in Detroit, Michigan, specializes in the appellate practice of criminal law and writes on a wide range of topics. His books include the science fiction adventure novel The Star Dancers, the exciting second volume in the Guardians of Peace-tm series, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, and the acclaimed Referee’s Survival Guide, a book on soccer officiating. All are published by New Alexandria Press, and are available on Amazon, as well as directly from the publisher.

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