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I want to pull a Steve Slater
Old 08-13-2010, 10:14 PM   #1
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I want to pull a Steve Slater

Ok, ever since reading about the JetBlue flight attendant who'd had it up to here with the stresses and BS of the job, grabbed a beer, said sayonara and slid down the emergency chute, I've been thinking "why can't I do that too?" Now granted, I would not go out in such a flamboyant way because I don't want to burn bridges or spend a night in jail, but hey why not retire when you want?

So, here are my details: 40 year old SINK but do help out the aged parents with their mortgage and monthly bills, saved $1.1 m in liquid assets, another 300K in 401(k) and IRAs... one rental property that's negative cash about $150/month... otherwise no other debt besides miscellany on the credit card... live in CA (currently renting) but would relocate to somewhere cheaper (maybe to the rental when the tenant moves out)...

Hate my job. Most days fantasize about just quitting but it's hard to walk away from six figures.

So, what can I do? I don't have patents or other form of royalties to live off of. Rental property is negative cash. But, I have lived within my means other than spending my money on travel and marathon running (which if you're a runner you'd know is more costly than investing in running shoes)...

Suggestions, thoughts? Honest assessments? Can I take the job and tell them to shove it?
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:30 PM   #2
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Maniac, welcome. What are your annual expenses?
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:32 PM   #3
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Your question is a familiar one on this forum. The response seems to boil down to three questions:

- Have you calculated your annual expenses in retirement?
- How will you handle health insurance coverage?
- Have you run your numbers through FIRECalc? (See link near the bottom of this page)
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:38 PM   #4
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Darryl, thanks for responding to my first post ever. Currently, my annual burn runs about $40k a year (including helping the folks with mortgage)... I could pay off their mortgage ($175K) tomorrow but that's a chunk of change locked up.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:44 PM   #5
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Thanks REWahoo -- I haven't run my numbers thru FIRECalc yet but I will now... still fumbling my way thru this site and all its offerings.

And yes seems everyone here wants to find the secret equation but of course the variables are different for everyone.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManiacRunner View Post
Hate my job. Most days fantasize about just quitting but it's hard to walk away from six figures.
You're in a club of millions...

Like others have said, FIRECALC can give you a probability of success on the $ aspect, but there is no certainty at any age. Retirement at age 40 involves more uncertainty so it requires a bigger leap of faith than average but it's certainly possible. At 40, you'll have to have more options in your hip pocket if things go south.

Probably the more realistic answer is to find another job, same line of work (same pay?) or something else. When to make the change only seems hard when you're not really ready yet, it will become easy eventually - when you really hate the job enough that the economics don't matter any more, you will make a change.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:17 PM   #7
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You're in a club of millions....
Until May 28 of this year, I was also in that club. It just came to the point where I said life is too short and not worth giving up anymore of what remained of my precious hours on Earth for a fistful of extra dollars. I could live on what I have saved so far. And, down the road, after I have sat back, relaxed, enjoyed myself, woke up and went to bed whenever I chose, I could decide whether I want to work part-time, or full-time for a few months or so, for extra spending money. So far, almost three months into my ER, I am not regretting my decision. I know it's still early, but I smile when I awake, and when I go to bed, and thank the Lord each time for another day of life.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:19 PM   #8
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Yeah, but Steve Slater wants his j*b back now. I don't want to be in *that* situation.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
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I doubt that Mr Slater will be getting his job back. Among the more important but rarely needed duties of flight attendants are directing passengers in time of real emergency. Since he has proven himself unable to handle the stress of routine flights and (possibly) rude passengers, there is no reason to believe he would perform better under real stress in a real emergency. The airline would be inviting huge liability should they have a flight with an actual emergency during which passengers could claim that Mr Slater again failed to perform professionally.

The escape slide is a great metaphor for what many would like to do with their jobs, but as a practical course of action it likely ends his current career permanently.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:36 PM   #10
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I doubt that Mr Slater will be getting his job back. Among the more important but rarely needed duties of flight attendants are directing passengers in time of real emergency. Since he has proven himself unable to handle the stress of routine flights and (possibly) rude passengers, there is no reason to believe he would perform better under real stress in a real emergency.
True. I suspect he can parlay his cult hero status into a job offer somewhere, but probably not in the area of customer service...
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 08-15-2010, 12:09 AM   #11
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The guy has become a folk hero, and I expect he'll be able to make $$ from talk shows and maybe a book deal.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:14 AM   #12
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I think the guy is a no class idiot, show boat attention whore. Just my opinion though.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:46 AM   #13
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True. I suspect he can parlay his cult hero status into a job offer somewhere, but probably not in the area of customer service...
I'd actually appreciate a customer service rep making it crystal clear that they aren't going to help me. I'd know where I stand, and can move on with my life and the problem. That's preferable to hours of time on hold, being transfered numerous times, repeating the problem, my name, phone number, model #, being lied to and more time wasting nonsense, and for a little salt in the wound, having to hear "your call is important to us, please stay on the line....." and never get the problem solved anyhow.

The standards for most of what is called 'customer service' is so low, he shouldn't have a problem. I think the approach of most companies is that it must be cheaper to annoy and evade the minority of customers who would dare complain/question anything, than it is to solve the problem (no matter how small) and gain some customer loyalty. It must be a conscious decision. I don't think you could make customer service this bad unless you actually were trying.

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Old 08-17-2010, 05:01 PM   #14
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Just heard on CNBC that Steve Slater has been offered his own reality TV show, in which he's to advise disgruntled employees on how to depart their j*bs in "creative" ways.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:18 PM   #15
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Here you go: A Steven Slater reality show?

I don't see it, myself ... he is a one-trick pony. And I don't think that cursing, and abusing your employer's property (i.e., activating an escape slide), is any way to "quit your job with style".
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Old 08-19-2010, 05:58 PM   #16
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Maniac

Technically you have enough money to retire very soon in my opinion if you can keep your expenses at 40K. If you take your liquid investments of 1.4MM and buy T-Bills (wait for the rates to go back above 4.5%) you will have an annual tax free interest income of $63,000. Continue to reinvest the $23,000 extra after your $40,000 'salary.' This should give you every 3 years an inflation raise of about 6%.

This is all of course without tapping your equity in your rental home. And of course you could always find a more enjoyable lower paying job on the side if you WANTED to. Something to think about...
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:22 AM   #17
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I think the guy is a no class idiot, show boat attention whore. Just my opinion though.
I'm with you on this one, frayne.
I had similar thoughts when I first saw it on the news channels.
Steve
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