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BS Bucket Overflowing--What to do?
Old 02-26-2013, 08:26 PM   #1
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BS Bucket Overflowing--What to do?

Followed this wonderful site since last summer, have read and learned so much and am grateful for the expertise, candid opinions, and willingness to help others that is prevalent here. Plan to FIRE in December 2013. Work as an educator in a public school. Deal with hundreds of students, teachers, parents, etc. and have enjoyed my work for the most part. I am ready to move on to have the freedom to do what i want all the time. The last few months have been difficult ones. It seems that the crazies have hit and the BS Bucket is spilling over way too much. I have been doing quite a bit of smiling, nodding my head, trying not to say much, etc. simply to survive a number of very stressful situations. It is getting harder and harder. Suggestions on how to cope or survive would be most appreciated.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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" I have been doing quite a bit of smiling, nodding my head, trying not to say much, etc. simply to survive a number of very stressful situations. It is getting harder and harder. Suggestions on how to cope or survive would be most appreciated."

well, I think we could all use some suggestion because I'm in the same boat but don't have enought to retire, 40 years old and saved $420k so far. Job is stressful beyond belief and seem to get worse everyday. Trying to keep my mouth shut so I don't get fired as opening my mouth didn't work.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:06 PM   #3
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Make sure you reflect each day on a positive thing that happened. Specifically the kids. It is easy to let the 10-20% take its toll on you. If that doesn't work, you always have spring break and summer to recharge.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:49 PM   #4
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Healthyand fun....remember the end game is about you and your financial security not them and that this too will one day pass. Just a few more months really since you say you will retire Dec 2013.

Take every sick day and vacation day you can take between now and then, including as Mulligan indicated, holiday breaks to recharge.

I don't know what time you get there but consider getting there just as the bell rings and leave ASAP at the end of the day.

Look at the sun every day and say, "Not that long, not that long now".....

Sending you encouragement...
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:40 PM   #5
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Unfortunately, the "system" has not made life as an educator easy. And yet you and your colleagues are shaping the future of our society. I'm sure there are kids and colleagues that you have a positive influence on every day - take the time to look for, acknowledge, and enjoy that. And hopefully that will help the rest of it roll over you like rain on a duck's feathers...act like a duck we used to say at my Megacorp when it got really bad. Hang in there and thank you for your service!
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:41 AM   #6
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As a teacher (now former) I tried to refocus from all the negativity of my colleagues/administration to students who truly needed my support and care. Perhaps you could get involved as a mentor in a student club or area that is of interest to you and invest better energy in the young people. They may remember it and be grateful for their entire lives. You are on your way out: what do you have to lose by doing so?
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:44 AM   #7
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In my prior position, I had a serious falling out with my boss (the then executive director) and it became clear there was no future for me there. I wasn't quite ready to leave yet -- had some major projects I wanted to finish and also wanted to line up my exit strategy. So after a meeting where he told me to suck it up or leave, I started smiling and nodding nicely at work, continuing to do my job to the best of my ability while focusing all my energies on doing an AWESOME job on those last two projects, all the while daily making entries into a spreadsheet I worked up that showed the amount I was earning to the penny by staying each extra work day. I deliberately spaced some PTO into the plan so I would have "free days that they pay me for" to look forward to. If I had taken a large block of vacation at that point I probably wouldn't have come back, so I tried to keep breaks short. I managed to hang on about 6 months between the meeting from hell and the day I submitted my resignation. That was the day after I had a very positive interview for my next opportunity, which the interviewer told me was pretty much a sure thing.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #8
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Since your retirement plans are so close, my advice would be to focus on that, and do not burn any bridges before then. I have seen folks turn downright ornery when they became "short timers" but it is best to stay pleasant and "above the fray". Nothing they are doing will affect you after December 2013, so look to that. In he short run, don't kill yourself - do your job but be sure the take the time you are entitled to to destress.

One lesson I have learned was that at times like these, you never know who is watching, and that can be a future benefit if you stay calm and manage the BS as best as possible.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
Make sure you reflect each day on a positive thing that happened. Specifically the kids. It is easy to let the 10-20% take its toll on you.
I wasn't an educator, but I suspect most workplaces have that potential so but reminding myself of the above was essential IMO. May sound pollyanna, but it's not IMO.

The bad actors/issues will find you guaranteed, especially leaders (incl teachers), they will actively seek you out and many will harp on their "issues" endlessly. The good actors/results will not. I knew that if I didn't seek out all the good things going on around me (there are tons but you have to look), I'd get a very distorted view of my workplace, overwhelming bad news. You MUST be proactive IME...

Also, as much as possible don't fall into the trap of engaging the bad actors and their issues any more than necessary. I had some who seemed to think if they told me the same bullshit enough times, I'd come around to their bullshit, usually imaginary woe is me POV. Listen, act if warranted, but don't dwell on issues with no merit or those you really can't influence. It's too easy to be consumed by the 20% bad to the exclusion of the 80% good.

I have to believe some work situations could be salvaged if the employee could keep the 80/20 rule in mind, hard as it can be.

Trying to just tune out the bad and focusing on retirement won't be nearly as effective IME, best of luck...
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:57 AM   #10
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I left when the BS factor became too much to bear....if you are able, then do so. If you have to wait till the end of the year, then work on distancing yourself from the BS and focusing on the good that is part of your job
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:18 AM   #11
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Followed this wonderful site since last summer, have read and learned so much and am grateful for the expertise, candid opinions, and willingness to help others that is prevalent here. Plan to FIRE in December 2013. Work as an educator in a public school. Deal with hundreds of students, teachers, parents, etc. and have enjoyed my work for the most part. I am ready to move on to have the freedom to do what i want all the time. The last few months have been difficult ones. It seems that the crazies have hit and the BS Bucket is spilling over way too much. I have been doing quite a bit of smiling, nodding my head, trying not to say much, etc. simply to survive a number of very stressful situations. It is getting harder and harder. Suggestions on how to cope or survive would be most appreciated.
Hang in there and remember you will have the last laugh come January. And at least you have several days and weeks off, don't you, as a public school educator? Use that time to recharge.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:24 AM   #12
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Hi Healthyandfun,

Was in your position a few years back. Found those last several months flew by relatively quickly. When I started teaching in the mid-70s, I remember a few burnout veterans that were sick of the increasing BS then. Nothing changes.

There is nothing that you need to worry about any more. Enjoy the remaining time you have with the kids. That sly smile you will feel coming on more and more is the realization that it is all water off the back of a duck. You are golden. Trust me. You only need to do what you would like to do anyway, which is probably the best teaching work with the kids because the rest doesn't add up to anything.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:43 AM   #13
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Thank you all for your comments. You reminded me why I FIRED when I did. I occasionally think I might have worked another year or two, perhaps using the extra money to fix up the house or take lavish holidays. This thread has reminded me why I left and how much better off I am in terms of my mental, physical and emotional health.
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:14 PM   #14
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I know someone for whom the BS got so bad their doctor prescribed medication -- only for the short duration, and since retiring, the individual has discontinued it as it's no longer needed.

That is an extreme case. Others I know practice meditation/relaxation techniques 2 or more times a day.

Normally, I'd say leave work at work -- as soon as your day ends -- but I know a teacher's day often continues beyond the normal day with reading & grading etc. I hope the BS doesn't spill over into that.

If there's nothing they (the BS pilers) can do to harm you (fire you early) then keep that in mind. They cannot hurt you; you're a short-timer.

I agree with others to look forward -- not dwell on the present. The end is in sight; keep your eye on the prize!
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:18 PM   #15
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I think you will find that as your time gets shorter, things will not be as bad as you used to think they were. That's because the important things become more in focus and you see the movie for what it really is. Laughter really IS the best medicine. I have been laughing a lot lately. And I have noticed it sometimes becomes contagious.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:45 PM   #16
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...(snip)... I have been doing quite a bit of smiling, nodding my head, trying not to say much, etc. simply to survive a number of very stressful situations. It is getting harder and harder. Suggestions on how to cope or survive would be most appreciated.
Some people have gotten a lot of benefit from getting in regular exercise routines to relieve stress. Possibly even during lunch or at least before/after work and on weekends.

I used to do a lot of running before going to work and sometimes during lunch hours. Walks are good too. Maybe a punching bag at home?
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:47 PM   #17
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During a really stressful period, I built a countdown spreadsheet. It calculates days, weeks, and years I've been witn this employer. Same measurements are made for time remaining.

I also have a countdown phone app. It displays the days remaining, a beach chair, and "I'm out!"
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:12 PM   #18
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Lsbcal beat me to it -- exercise
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:16 AM   #19
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Seems to be a recurring theme in similar threads about the BS bucket(s). Seems to me as folks reach or surpass FI and/or near ER, the BS bucket becomes full. For me I don't think the bucket had more BS, it was just my level of tolerance changed.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:26 AM   #20
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Seems to be a recurring theme in similar threads about the BS bucket(s). Seems to me as folks reach or surpass FI and/or near ER, the BS bucket becomes full. For me I don't think the bucket had more BS, it was just my level of tolerance changed.
+1, you nailed it.

I'm going through some BS at work right now, as upper management argues over empires, we are "on hold." In the past, this only mildly bothered me. Today, I have little tolerance for it.

If management keeps dragging their feet, then the company will falter (again), and they'll probably offer a RIF-layoff-package. Hope I'm eligible for one of them.

I guess I could quit today, but part of the issue is syncing up with the spouse. I guess that's another topic.

Meanwhile, I'm taking all that vacation I have. And, I'm NOT taking any stress medicine anymore. I was because it was precipitated by job anxiety a few years ago (like tyro mentions above).
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