Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Did our forefathers have BS buckets?
Old 06-06-2018, 02:15 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Mdlerth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: The Shire
Posts: 1,253
Did our forefathers have BS buckets?

So many of the Clocking-Out posts here say something along the lines of "My BS bucket just got too full to keep w*rking." There are variations:
  • Megacorp has become dominated by trendy buzzword programs-of-the-month and I'm sick of them so I'm leaving;
  • I used to enjoy coming to w*rk, but it's so bureaucratic now it's no fun;
  • I knew it was time to retire when I realized I own socks older than the VP they just appointed;
but the underlying premise is that their w*rkplaces evolved into unfamiliar and disturbing territory.

Only a tiny fraction say "I hated w*rk from day one and my whole existence was geared towards getting out asap." Most ER types enjoyed their j*bs at least for a while. Some enjoyed their jobs for decades before they eventually left.

It got me to reflect on previous generations of retirees from my own employer. I don't remember any of the folks who went out thirty and forty years ago voicing any of the above frustrations. Could it be that mine is the first generation who retires because we feel left behind?

If I had a time machine and could interview people retiring thirty, sixty and ninety years ago, I wonder whether how many of them would say "I wanted to retire because it's not the same environment I hired into" and "It used to be okay but it's become intolerable." (On the contrary, I suspect most of my ancestors would say that w*rk got EASIER over time as machines began to do more of the heavy lifting.)

Might it be true that the pace of technological/competitive/demographic change really has accelerated - and in unsatisfying ways - compared to my parents' and grandparents' day? Or have big changes always been the rule, only I didn't notice because our predecessors didn't complain about it as much as we do today?

It occurs to me that if w*rking for a living has genuinely become more unpleasant than it used to be, what happens when this trend continues? Eventually nobody will be able to put up with w*rking, therefore every business will go out of business, therefore my retirement portfolio will tank, therefore I'll have to go back to w*rk, but it will be too awful to endure so I'll quit again, and all of society will collapse and there will be riots and plagues and 40 years of darkness... Well, you get the picture.

Anyway, here's the question again. Is it true that w*rk keeps getting more distressing through the decades, or is it merely a perception promoted by today's retiree?
__________________

__________________
Paying it forward is the best investment.
Mdlerth is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-06-2018, 02:20 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,002
My Dad retired at 62 and that was over 30 years ago. I don't think I ever heard him complain about work, but he was also part of what people call "the Silent Generation". Survivors of the Great Depression. I think he was happy to get a paycheck and have food on the table. Work was a honor because he saw so many as a kid without a job.
Maybe we all need a reset on what it means to be employed. No one ever promised you a rose garden.
__________________

COcheesehead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 02:29 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 22,786
My grandfather was self-employed like most farmers. Many farmers making their living off the land back then.
__________________
Retired since summer 1999.
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 02:32 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
MRG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 8,164
My DF retired at 61. I recall him complaining about the pressure to do more, actually selling more. Back when he was retiring there wasn't age discrimination. I remember hearing threats of being replaced with a younger person.
MRG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 02:33 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 211
The mega Corp I work for uses the buzz words of the month, one year I saved them all and incorporated them into my review at the end of the year.

They also want to be trendy and attractive to young engineers, by moving from the burbs to downtown. If I wanted to work downtown I would be working for someone else, they want to be Google, facespace ext, but we are a boring regulated business.

My reason bailing out early is to RV full time, don't hate work will probaly need to work on the road some, but I want to have some fun before I get old or die early and never have fun.
ransil is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 02:35 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 45,506
My forefathers were lucky to have a bucket, much less one designated for BS. (Stand by for the Four Yorkshiremen who will appear shortly.)
__________________
Numbers is hard

Charter resident of the lumpen slums of cyberspace

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 02:36 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
GalaxyBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 1,612
DF retired in 1986 at age 60 and I definitely got the impression his BS bucket was full. He was a computer programmer from 1964 on, and his megacorp merged (was taken over by) a competitor. He complained about the new ways of doing things and told stories of less than competent, younger managers.

When I retired last year I asked him how long it took to get used to retirement. His answer was “not quite as long as it took to get to my car!” He enjoyed 31 years of retirement.
GalaxyBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 02:38 PM   #8
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,176
I disagree a bit with your description of what the BS bucket means. I've seen many posts here where the issue wasn't that the organization had changed... rather that the ability to tolerate the organization had changed.

My dad retired at 62 - because he was tired of the rat race... the same work, same beauracracy... but he had a lower tolerance for it. His BS bucket got full.

For me - it was similar - same company for decades (sort of - various buyouts/acquisitions/mergers changed the stock ticker and who cut the paycheck but my work, coworkers, etc didn't change.) Like my dad, my ability to just roll with the random unreasonable request was fading. The recurring travel request - which I would have enjoyed when I was younger, single, no kids - was the final drop in my BS bucket... (The travel wasn't going to serve any productive purpose other than impressing the customer.) The company hadn't changed... my willingness to take on stupid assignments that took me away from my family had.
__________________
Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
micro pensions 7%, rental income 18%
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 02:52 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
easysurfer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,751
I think our forefathers were just happy to have a job. Of course, that probably led to imbalance where if the employer said you work for 70 hours in a week shoveling dirt, you did that or else good luck feeding yourself and family. My guess is the imbalance probably then lead to unions ("We just ain't gonna take this anymore!" mentality).

disclaimer: just me thinking aloud.
__________________
Have you ever seen a headstone with these words
"If only I had spent more time at work" ... from "Busy Man" sung by Billy Ray Cyrus
easysurfer is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:05 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Tadpole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,271
Our original forefathers had a humongous BS bucket resolved by the Revolutionary War and endowment of the right to BS buckets to everyone.
Tadpole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:06 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tampa
Posts: 4,364
My father quit his job at 59 y.o. after feeling he was treated unfairly. He did a couple of consulting jobs, then hung it up at 61. He does have a healthy pension though.
__________________
TGIM
Dtail is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:08 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Country Living
Posts: 3,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
My Dad retired at 62 and that was over 30 years ago. I don't think I ever heard him complain about work, but he was also part of what people call "the Silent Generation". Survivors of the Great Depression. I think he was happy to get a paycheck and have food on the table. Work was a honor because he saw so many as a kid without a job.
Maybe we all need a reset on what it means to be employed. No one ever promised you a rose garden.
This echos my Dad's sentiment (he is almost 91 and retired at 62). He owned his own business for the last 12 years or so of his w*rking days and if wasn't for some crappy employees that had very little devotion to the w*rk, I think he would have kept going. He often talks about the days when he was an airplane mechanic and later an airline pilot...and although that period of time was a very small fraction of his life...he absolutely loved it. Ultimately, he left that line of work because of union politics. But, I think because of his adversities in life (such as living and W*RKING in an ophanage in the 1930's)...he most certainly could deal with much, MUCH more BS that today's average w*rker. Certainly more than I would put up with.
__________________
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40
Founder and Head Lounger @ The Life of Leisure Institute
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:10 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
flintnational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Atlanta Suburb
Posts: 1,350
I loved my j*b before I was FI. Then I became FI and my j*b satisfaction went way down. I think there may be a cause and effect relationship. We should fund a study.

More directly to your point, I suspect we are the first generation where large numbers are financially able to walk way from our j*bs. As mentioned above, FI may cause the problem.
__________________
"Oh, twice as much ain't twice as good
And can't sustain like one half could
It's wanting more that's gonna send me to my knees" - John Mayer
flintnational is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:11 PM   #14
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 20,003
Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
My guess is the imbalance probably then lead to unions ("We just ain't gonna take this anymore!" mentality).
Oh, absolutely! One of the more enlightening short trips we went on was a two-day tour with Coal Country Tours several years ago. Unions started in West Virginia for exactly that reason. There's too much to write about in full here, but the degree of control exerted by the coal companies over worker's daily lives was by today's standards amazing. It got pretty rough at times, including the only time that U.S. Army troops fired upon U.S. citizens.

If anyone has the time and inclination I highly recommend going on one of those tours. Lots of history that affected the entire country there.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:21 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 5,926
No personal family experience as they all retired early (great-grandpa and grandpa) or died early (Dad) but I do know that over the years, I'd read about this or that guy who had essentially 'made his pile' and decided to retire at 40 or 45. This is around the mid-1800's and they were usually 'the richest man in town' sort of stories; the guy who owned a factory or newspaper or something.

As someone noted, I think that RE for the general masses is a more recent phenomenon and I suspect back then most people didn't have many options.
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:22 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Red Badger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Piedmont Region
Posts: 1,746
My parents owned a restaurant and a catering business. They never got rich. They did sell the business and retired on their terms.

I had my first job at 10 YO (paper route) and had a job of some sort for the next 50 years. Fifty years of extrinsic motivation is quite sufficient for one lifetime.

Also, I suspect that over the years, the routine (global travel, weeks in hotels, the endless [and often pointless] meetings, etc) ground me down lake water on a rock. It took a long time, but as I arrived at my late fifties, I obsessed a lot more about FI than any work related items.

On balance, I had a successful career and enjoyed most of it. But once I was confident in our FI situation, it didn't take much to pick up my chips and cash out.
__________________
Never let yesterday use up too much of today.
W. Rogers
Red Badger is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:22 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
TimeMeasure's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mdlerth View Post
Is it true that w*rk keeps getting more distressing through the decades, or is it merely a perception promoted by today's retiree?
What a fascinating question!

We know, really, so little of other generations. For most people, personal knowledge of people in other generations extends back at most two generations. People of three or more generations ago are completely unknown, their real personalities completely forgotten, except perhaps for a few anecdotes, and the texture of their daily lives completely buried, except inasmuch as we can educate ourselves by hearing stories or reading history. Everyone reading this will likely be utterly forgotten by the time their grandchildren's grandchildren are born.

One suspects, though, that work has always brought its irritations, but that the way of responding to those irritations changes over time, as culture changes.

Within the very narrow span of just the past few generations, the culture seems to have shifted a bit. Even when past generations were clearly under stress from work or finances, there seemed to be a notion of duty, of providing for the family without complaint. It was what was expected, and anything less would be a sign of weakness or unfitness. Contrast that culture with current culture. Complaining is commonplace, even about the most trivial of inconveniences, even when a substantial part of the world's population would be grateful to exchange places with the complainers.

Why should this be? Maybe in part because work is more distressing, in the sense that people have little control over their own work and station - but then again, often they had little control in past generations, too.

Some impressions of other likely candidates for distress with work in the current age:

A lack of perspective. Although it's easy, with a little curiosity, to educate oneself about "how the other half lives," few do. Even fewer seem capable of empathy. Lacking both knowledge of and empathy for others, preoccupation with self follows.

A shift in culture. In many circles, it is no longer seen as bad form to whine, to insult, to use crass language, to boast. Self-gratification is seen as a right, rather than a luxury. And when people do still hew to the outward forms of duty, it is because of a desire to avoid "looking bad," rather than because of an inner moral compass.

An increase in wealth and possibilities. When financial independence, or retirement, are completely inconceivable to the common person, there is less point in complaining about work, and also the risk to one's survival is greater by doing so. With the advent of the possibility of retirement, it becomes possible to imagine a life other than work.

An increase in knowledge. With television, Internet, etc., it becomes easier to form a vision, correct or not, of the lifestyles of others, of both higher and lower station. With a little bit of knowledge comes comparison, and - forgetting the source - one only becomes miserable through comparison.

All of this is painting with a broad brush, so there are many exceptions, both individuals and groups. And these are impressions, not data. It would be interesting if there were actually a book with historical perspective on this!
TimeMeasure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:23 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ExFlyBoy5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Country Living
Posts: 3,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
No personal family experience as they all retired early or died early but I do know that over the years, I'd read about this or that guy who had essentially 'made his pile' and decided to retire at 40 or 45. This is around the mid-1800's and they were usually 'the richest man in town' sort of stories; the guy who owned a factory or newspaper or something.

As someone noted, I think that RE for the general masses is a more recent phenomenon and I suspect back then most people didn't have many options.
That's a good point too. I have a great-great grandfather that had a mercantile store that he sold to J.C. Penny way, WAY back in the day. As I understand it, this occurred when he was in his early 40s and after the deal...he never w*rked again. I guess ER is in our family blood.
__________________
Retired in 2014 at the Ripe Age of 40
Founder and Head Lounger @ The Life of Leisure Institute
ExFlyBoy5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:26 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Red Badger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Piedmont Region
Posts: 1,746
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
Oh, absolutely! One of the more enlightening short trips we went on was a two-day tour with Coal Country Tours several years ago. Unions started in West Virginia for exactly that reason. There's too much to write about in full here, but the degree of control exerted by the coal companies over worker's daily lives was by today's standards amazing. It got pretty rough at times, including the only time that U.S. Army troops fired upon U.S. citizens.

If anyone has the time and inclination I highly recommend going on one of those tours. Lots of history that affected the entire country there.
Here's a Cliffnotes version.

__________________
Never let yesterday use up too much of today.
W. Rogers
Red Badger is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 03:35 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 15,295
I think the people in the previous generations had it much tougher than we did... and there was little that could be done about it either..


I would bet that if you moved someone from 60 to 90 years ago to one of our jobs they would wonder what heaven they had arrived...


I actually never did get a BS bucket full... heck, usually it was pretty empty.... only a few times did I get upset at how things were going at work and before it got big I would fix the problem one way or another... sometimes that was to move on....
__________________

Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ray Lucia may have hole in "Buckets of Money" strategy REWahoo FIRE and Money 24 09-08-2012 11:33 AM
Children: You did or did not have them poll? Orchidflower Other topics 184 11-25-2009 12:06 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:59 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×