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Old 03-13-2014, 06:29 AM   #21
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Jäger, that post was so well written that I think you have a future as an author. The visual imagery of the early morning is highly evocative. Even the title is intriguing!

A long time ago, when I was just getting started, I stuck up for my principles at work, putting my career at risk in the process. Fortunately, I was not alone, the problem was addressed, and I suffered no consequences. Later, when I was FI, I took a principled stand again. On that occasion I became a target. But I could hold my head high knowing that they could FIRE me, but they could not hurt me. That is power.

Although decisions from the big office eventually require buy-in from the worker bees, I've seen corporate ignore the voices of experience and/or reason time after time.

Sometimes those actually doing the work know something...
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Old 03-13-2014, 08:26 AM   #22
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Jager, you sir, (or Ma'am??), are awesomely articulate. This is the most well-expressed thought that I have read in a while. Thank you for composing this.

I figured out the concept expressed in your last few lines over the last year or so... although I'm incapable of expressing it so well...

I simply stopped being afraid. My quote that I often repeat to myself,... sort of a "Mantra", is:

"I'm bulletproof".

The realization that I am indeed FI was the most liberating sensation for me... I really enjoy this realization every day. Today I started work at 3 AM, but it was because I want to.... and that, makes all the difference.

Thanks again,

JerryinPA
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:04 AM   #23
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Your Avatar appears to show you tickling another Dragon's tail or was it tickling you.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:30 AM   #24
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Jäger, that post was so well written that I think you have a future as an author. The visual imagery of the early morning is highly evocative. Even the title is intriguing!
+1 Be sure to let us know if you do decide to write a book!
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:41 AM   #25
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Thanks for the kind words, everyone. Indeed, being able to be frank and honest (albeit ever professional - that goes without saying) is wonderfully freeing. It also has a sense of good karma about it.

A few quick comments...

Texas Proud: Aye, I'm familiar with Sarbanes Oxley. In this case the report in question does not materially affect risk or fiscal integrity. Had the CFO made that case, the appropriate thing would have been to request formal sign off from my boss (the CIO), not me (I'm a director).

ls99: Your crumpled resignation letter is priceless!

Ready: My commute is, indeed, toxic. I spend 2.5-3 hours every day on the road. Ugly as that is, it doesn't begin to compare with the fifteen months I was unemployed back in 2001-2003. Talk about a soul crushing experience. The good news is that I'm almost free.

imoldernu: I couldn't agree more about the sad shift in corporate culture. I began my career with the old Bell System. Back then companies cared - and employees paid that caring back with loyalty and commitment. Not so much, anymore...

Bikerdude: You are exactly correct! That avatar is a pic of me riding through Deals Gap a couple summers ago. Motorcycling is one of my avid passions and one of the things I most want to enjoy more of during retirement.


As for the drama my little email precipitated...

The CFO, as expected, took exception to my refusal to acquiesce. He sent a nasty little message to my boss last night, the last sentence of which read "you don't want to pick this battle with me." This morning, bright and early, he was down in the COO's office.

We shall see where things lead... ;-)
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:43 AM   #26
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Nicely written, but there have always been CFO's, managers, lobbyists, etc. - even in the 'good old days' or Megacorps. What changed them?
Good question. In my opinion things has become more urgent and results are expected in much shorter timeframes. Results are now expected and measured in days, weeks or months, rather than years.

There is excess labor supply, and many companies are viewing workers as commodities rather than assets much more so than in the past. So the attitude is more about squeezing what you can out of your commodity before you discard it, than valuing an asset you want to preserve.

Externally, Wall Street is driving more companies to focus on quarterly improvements, every quarter must be better than the previous even for a very profitable company. Otherwise the stock falls and executive management gets blamed.

So... the pressure (or whatever you want to call it flows downward).
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:00 AM   #27
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.....As for the drama my little email precipitated...

The CFO, as expected, took exception to my refusal to acquiesce. He sent a nasty little message to my boss last night, the last sentence of which read "you don't want to pick this battle with me." This morning, bright and early, he was down in the COO's office.

We shall see where things lead... ;-)
Messages like that made me much more inclined to pick battles. I guess I never did like bullies.

Keep us posted.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:04 AM   #28
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When I read your title and then saw the bike in your sig I thought you were talking about tail of the dragon, Deals Gap. What a ride!
Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, motorcycle and sport car two lane tourism serving Tail of the Dragon at Deals Gap, Cherohala Skyway, Moonshiner28, Devils Triangle, and Six Gap North Georgia.

Nice read - I remember the feeling I had when I realized I had enough to walk away....priceless and all weight was lifted

Please keep us posted on how your Dragon responds...
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:49 PM   #29
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Not to be negative... some folks do need to be reined in.
A possible backfire of this would be if other employees see you being walked to the door, and them not knowing all the details... thus giving a bullie more power over them. ie look at what happened to that guy that didn't Kowtow.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:19 PM   #30
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That could certainly be a legitimate concern some places, springnr. But, nah, I'm not at all worried about being fired. I'm actually very well thought of by the senior management around here, including the COO.

The discussion has now morphed from the original (minor, in the scheme of things) request for me to formally attest to that report to the much more clearly inappropriate "you don't want to pick this battle with me" comment he made to my boss. This is not the first time he has made such threats. My boss decided to use this latest episode to raise the issue both with the COO and with HR. Rather a bit of drama today!

My boss and the CFO now have a meeting tomorrow morning to discuss this. My guess is 1) he'll 'apologize' for any perceived threat she might have taken from his message (he'll claim he never meant it as a threat, notwithstanding his longstanding pattern of bullying behavior; and 2) I'll be asked to attest to the report, as he originally requested.

If I leave now, it'll be because I resign. An option I'm clearly considering.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:50 PM   #31
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That could certainly be a legitimate concern some places, springnr. But, nah, I'm not at all worried about being fired. I'm actually very well thought of by the senior management around here, including the COO.

The discussion has now morphed from the original (minor, in the scheme of things) request for me to formally attest to that report to the much more clearly inappropriate "you don't want to pick this battle with me" comment he made to my boss. This is not the first time he has made such threats. My boss decided to use this latest episode to raise the issue both with the COO and with HR. Rather a bit of drama today!

My boss and the CFO now have a meeting tomorrow morning to discuss this. My guess is 1) he'll 'apologize' for any perceived threat she might have taken from his message (he'll claim he never meant it as a threat, notwithstanding his longstanding pattern of bullying behavior; and 2) I'll be asked to attest to the report, as he originally requested.

If I leave now, it'll be because I resign. An option I'm clearly considering.
We used to have a ladle that got passed around to whoever was doing the best job of stirring the pot. Methinks you could be the honorary recipient.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:01 PM   #32
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Keep us posted and keep on writing. Great post.
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:02 PM   #33
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Excellent, good to know Jager.

Pretty sure the ladle was retired due to wear and tear, and a new one purchased when I retired. ;>)
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:03 PM   #34
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....My boss and the CFO now have a meeting tomorrow morning to discuss this. My guess is 1) he'll 'apologize' for any perceived threat she might have taken from his message (he'll claim he never meant it as a threat, notwithstanding his longstanding pattern of bullying behavior; and 2) I'll be asked to attest to the report, as he originally requested. ...
Sounds from your OP that you would not have any issue attesting to the report if your boss asked you to do it but were put off by the fact that the request did not follow your proper chain of command.

If I was your boss, I would be a little PO'd that the CFO didn't follow the chain of command as well and would probably accept his apology and decide that there is no need for you to attest to the report (unless the CFO had some extremely good reason that it needs your attestation).
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Old 03-13-2014, 04:08 PM   #35
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Jager

Best for me is for you to write one killer novel a year, released just before my annual trip to the beach.

You know, kind of the John Grisham approach.

Kindest regards.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:28 AM   #36
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Monday and Friday. Bookmarks to the workweek for those of us still on the treadmill.

For me, this week, they offer a different mirror. Early mornings wrapped in contemplation. A bit of self-reflection to see if I can discover ‘the right thing’ – that simple, or sometimes not so simple, guiding light that I have always looked to.

At 4am the world is quiet. A good time to remember the blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

A cold 23 degrees here in the mid-Atlantic. They’re calling for another ‘wintry mix’ in a couple of days. I’m thinking we’re pretty close to being done, though. The boys of summer are in spring training down in Florida and over in Arizona. Opening Day is just a few weeks away. The seed catalogs have been arriving in the mail. And it won’t be long before I’m back out on the Harley.

Not long at all.

In the meantime, with the promise of winter soon slipping away… I have a confession: I’ll miss a little part of it. The part wrapped up in a morning like this very one. Twenty-something degrees outside while you sit in front of the woodstove, hot cup of coffee in hand. A good book on the table beside you. And the house still asleep, except for you. The only sounds an occasional tick from the stove.

That’s a gift.

When I think about retirement, the prospect of being able to do that everyday, like everyday were a Saturday, is one of the glistening lights I have long held to. Perhaps. Perhaps soon. We shall see.

Since I’m off today, the drama at work will have to continue to unfold without me. All that can wait. Today I have the pleasant chore of delivering one of my prints to a gallery downtown, where it will be part of a photographic exhibition opening next week. I’m excited about that. Another blessing.

And another reminder that there’s more to life than that elephant in the room that we all call ‘work.’ The ladle can wait...
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:08 AM   #37
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Thanks Jeff,
Your words have started my morning off with a smile.

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Old 03-14-2014, 09:28 AM   #38
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Fortunately I worked in IT and always had another job in the offing. This gave me a sense of independence that FI gives to "company men". It worked for me most of the time with only 2 exceptions.
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