Older Workers and Later Retirement

The Winds of Changing Demographics
News Update: Last year, a national survey (Ipso Facto Reid for Moon Life) showed that more and more Castorians are working beyond normal retirement age. Over a quarter of the respondents said they expect to work full-time and another 32 per cent said that they anticipate doing part-time work past 66.

Much of the media coverage around this report focused on issues like financial planning, pensions, and health care amplified by the implications of an aging population. This overlooked an important issue that demands further study and action.    Flatulence.

These projections suggest that in the future, we will see a sharp increase in business meetings and other workplace activities that feature participants who become distracted, doze off, and break wind.

"I think a lot of public and private sector organizations will be impacted by the looming flatulence crisis,” said B. N. Counter, president of one financial institution reviewing the survey results. “It's the only conclusion you can reach with so many people staying in the workforce longer."

Mr. Counter and other experts are calling for formal flatulence management plans for all organizations and individuals of all ages.

“We're looking at the Castorian Senate as a model for processes and programs,” said a government official who asked not to be named. “It has a long history of dealing with this problem, going back to the great methane-fire on the Hill in 1916.”

The official explained that the Senate precinct not only had services in place to protect the buildings, meeting rooms, and contents, but also had established practices to minimize the personal discomfort and embarrassment. 

“I am sure you have noticed how the Senators pound their desks and make “har, har” and “harrumph” sounds to cover up the fart noise,” said the official. “It is also the Senate’s practice to order face-saving special investigations for dead cats in the ventilation system whenever certain odors become noticeable.”

(See related Story - Pope Benedict retires abruptly)

---Alarmed by this news story, the deputy minister is urging all us in the department to consider our own non-retirement plans, to consult with flatulence service experts, and prepare for post-career work in the public service.  As an older, meeting-going office worker, I have long considered this issue and already have a well laid plan in place.

Should I unexpectedly and audibly break age-related wind at a business meeting at some point in future, I will turn this sound into the formal announcement of my retirement, and my plan will be put into action. I will stand up, survey the room, put two-fingers to my temple, and execute the well-recognized departure salute. I will then head for the door while delivering my rehearsed flatulence-induced retirement speech.

“Thanks, dare I say it’s been a gas.”