Agony Aunt

Patricia Marie, MBACP qualified counsellor is a member of The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, practising in Harley Street, Essex and Scotland. She has many years experience of dealing with domestic violence, relationship problems, bereavement, depression, addictions, post traumatic stress and many other emotional issues. If you have a dilemma, please email

I want to retire

Posted by Patricia_Marie
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on Friday, 25 October 2013
Dear Patricia Marie

I have been reading The Lady for many years, in fact secured my present job through your classified column twenty years ago. Working for a professional lady in Mayfair as a housekeeper, seeing her babies grow up and flee the nest. I have shared the family's ups and downs and enjoyed many years of service. This job has been a way if life for me for so long now, I know it's going to be hard for me to come to terms with leaving, but I am determined to have some time for myself.

My problem is I now want to retire and have no idea how to approach my employer. I have dropped hints on many occasions which are always dismissed. I would really appreciate your help moving forward with this problem.

Partricia Marie says...

Congratulations on your many years of service in your post as housekeeper - a position secured through The Lady many years ago. What I'm finding interesting about your letter, is there appears to be a mutual denial between you and your employer.

You say you are dropping hints to her about wanting to retire to which she is not responding. You are not making your intentions clear, no more than your employer is not accepting what is being said, possibly because she doesn't want to accept the reality of the situation (just as you're struggling to come to terms with the ending of a job, that you say has become a huge part of your life for so long.)

If you can make a firm decision to deal with things in a positive manner, you can create a good ending to what has been a long and rewarding career. Unless you let your employer know how serious you are, you will be unable to move forward with this problem.

A meeting needs to be arranged and notice agreed. Perhaps you may suggest to your employer that you would like to be involved in helping her to find your replacement, this way she will feel more at ease knowing you will assist her in seeking the person best suited to the job. This process will also enable you to come to terms with the ending and create a better outcome for you both. You can then hopefully go off to enjoy your retirement with good memories.

Got a dilemma, please email
Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows
Telephone number: 020 7467 8389
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