Life’s Changes – Who, me?

Well – as of this past Monday (03 May 2010), I officially ended my career at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne; a career that began shortly before my 40th birthday and continued for 21 of the past 23 years. I had a half-hour exit interview with my boss, the Director of the Program Management Office, part of which involved my turning in my laptop, my SecureID token, and by BlackBerry. I then walked around and said some good-byes, after which I returned to my boss’s office, handed over my badge, and was escorted to the front lobby. When I walked out of that door, knowing I could not walk onto the campus again without seeking special permission, it was a very emotional moment. There was the exhilaration of knowing I was now headed into another life adventure, and there was the sadness of leaving behind so many people I’d grown close to and a life that provided both challenge and a semblance of security for over twenty years. I had to fight back tears for a moment.

I now somewhat officially start the next chapter of my life, though I’m really going to try and take a little time to be with my family, play and study with my girls, help my wife around the house some, and generally enjoy a little bit of leisure – something I’ve not had a lot of for some time. Time to wind down a bit. Soon enough I’ll have to do some heavy lifting. I can feel it!

About Rick Ladd

I retired nearly 13 years ago, though I've continued to work during most of the time since then. I'm hoping to return to work on the RS-25 rocket engine program (formerly the SSME) which will power our return to the moon. Mostly I'm just cruising, making the most of what time I have remaining. Although my time is nearly up, I still care deeply about the kind of world I'll be leaving to those who follow me and, to that end, I am devoted to seeing the forces of repression and authoritarianism are at least held at bay, if not crushed out of existence. I write about things that interest me and, as an eclectic soul, my interests run the gamut from science to spirituality, governance to economics, art and engineering. I'm hopeful one day my children will read what I've left behind. View all posts by Rick Ladd

4 responses to “Life’s Changes – Who, me?

  • Anil


    Best wishes for life after P&W. Enjoyed working with you during the early days of AskMe implementation – was real fun. Looks like you are continuing your passion and crusade on KM and Web 2.0 :-).


    • Rick Ladd

      Hello Anil:

      How nice to see you here. Yes, my passion hasn’t diminished in the least. What’s really changing, I believe, is I think I’ll have a better chance of seeing more done than in the past as I’ll have the choice of working with people and organizations that are actually seeking – not resisting – change.

      I trust all is well with you and your family. I’ll bet you got here through LinkedIn. Perhaps we’ll find a way to work together in the future. I surely hope so. BTW – It’s been right around 8 years since that first implementation and I maintain now that it was one of the first for social media – though we didn’t call it that (don’t think we even quite understood it, as “expertise location” was the mantra back then) at the time.


  • Lisa


    I just wanted to wish you well on this new journey. I have no doubt you will recreate your life to fit all of your unique and timely interests! Now go spend some time helping out your wife!


    • Rick Ladd

      Thanks, Lisa. I truly am excited about the possibilities ahead of me. Hopefully, some of them will actually bring income as well! So . . . How’d I do? Was I helpful enough? Probably not. It’s never enough IME (in my experience). 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: