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Coasting Observation
Old 01-10-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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Coasting Observation

I'm in a coasting mode, continuing the j*b as long as it feels right. The funny thing is that my coasting approach seems to make me more appreciated. If something is dumb I don't do it. If something has value I explore and share. I'm not afraid to call BS and be the voice of reason up the org chart because I don't worry about perceptions and future impact.

Yep, sounds like Office Space. The Bob's love me....
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:37 PM   #2
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Maybe they will give you stock options!
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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I coasted for 7 to 8 years. Didn't seem to make a difference. Did my job but didn't push. No point.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:53 AM   #4
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Actually had a conversation with HR woman about coasting. She told me that works for some. In the same conversation I explained to her that going back to previous boss would be like prison. After that talk, things have improved so much, I recommend pushing back on just about everything. It's as if the boss is doing penance because I pointed out his many problems.

Instead of coasting, we refer to floating, and floaters, at our megacorp.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:05 AM   #5
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I've peaked and am coasting too.

I don't raise my hand and grab problems anymore. I ask for and get targeted assignments. I call bs on some things. I tend to avoid anything requiring politics, as that is just a huge black hole.

Not getting and not asking for huge raises and promotions. I don't care anymore about that stuff if is going to cost me time and stress. Actually apologized to the boss recently, and he says he doesn't understand what I'm talking about, I'm doing great! Ha ha, way too Office Space for me.

Have a work buddy still climbing over people. He has a second house and a few new cars to pay for. He can have it.
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:34 AM   #6
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I never realized there were actual names for this.

I'm not so sure that it really is where I am right now. We've suffered from poor management decisions for a decade: Inadequate cross-training; refusal to hire staff with my level of technical capability. As a result, the company cannot legitimately hope to support a hundred corporate customers without me. Also, they've categorically refused to spend any money on professional development of staff - so our skills are now pretty consistently ten years out-of-date - so as much as we're trapped by how old our skills have gotten, they're trapped by how old our technology is. No one would really want to come work here, anymore, especially once they get wind of how poorly the company has addressed professional development, and how the company has failed to increase salaries above 2001 levels.

Regardless, it would take someone suitably qualified three years of working side-by-side with me for that person to be able to replace me, but of course, if they're going to do that, then why bother? Then they'll be dependent on that person, saving what? $10k? $20k maybe? The cost of doing that, at this point, exceeds the value of replacing me. And replacing me with two less expensive staffers would take even longer to accomplish, kicking that can even further down the road, and wouldn't save any money until their more up-to-date skills come into play. That's pretty far down the road, from where we are now.

And even if they do decide to do something, along either of these lines, it'll probably take them from one to three years to make that decision. I figure that I'm relatively "safe" for perhaps up to six years.

And I don't actually have any reason to think that my safety in that regard is in question, in the first place. I'm not actually stepping back so much as asserting myself in terms of forcing management to make better decisions from now on. No longer will I just take assignments that reasonably require different (or more up-to-date) skills from those we have on staff. I am now doggedly adhering to rational staffing expectations, and pushing any gaps back onto management as their failing (in clear, albeit more polite, terms). No longer will I let them fall back on, "Any engineer can do any engineering" idiocy, but rather say, "Yes, we can do that - I'll put out a req for the six new people we'll need to have on staff to do it." (I think it is very important to start a "no" with the word "Yes".)

The end result of my reasonable pushing-back is less work for us to do, i.e., more of my time is spent waiting for QA to find bugs for me to fix, rather than bouncing back and forth all week between bug fixing and new development. It seems like "coasting" to me.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker View Post
I never realized there were actual names for this.

<frightengly familiar engineering development story followed>
My goodness, bicker, are you working down the hall from me at my Megacorp!??

Everything you say in your story, and I mean everything, is so familiar. Training (lack of), decisions (lack of), skill matching (lack of), QA bugs, etc.

Let's just say this has become so common. I really stressed over this up until about 2 years ago. Then I woke up and I "switched into glide."

The Bobs don't even seem to notice.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:33 AM   #8
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Joe!?!?! Is that you!?!?!?

Kidding.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:46 AM   #9
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I asked boss for $250 so that we could install a fully-working demo of a software solution our competitor has proposed to our customer. This would include classroom training for 10 hours.

Boss took it to his manager. I was walking by and got pulled into it. Answer was NO. There are bigger priorities. He's working on how to get charge numbers upgraded so our building rent can be paid.

LOL. I floated away.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:48 AM   #10
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I think what sometimes happens when one is coasting is that you can filter the BS from the valuable and focus on the valuable and the hundreds of little decisions each day are based on what is best for the organization and your clients/customers rather than what is best for you or some niche/fiefdom of the organization. All of which make you a more valuable employee. Odd, eh?
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:30 AM   #11
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I keep telling myself I'm in coasting mode but I wonder. With FI behind me I find myself very open in discussion and may actually be of considerably more value than all the yes men and women out there. Recently we've had a big project going on and I spoke up gave my opinion, and now everyone is coming to me for guidance. Working outside the head shed at Megacorp has always been good for me. I really don't want to play a leadership role at this point but it keeps coming back to me. Maybe I'll have to dial back a notch, but I don't think it's in my makeup.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:36 AM   #12
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I gave four months notice when I left. The max that they would accept prior to retirement. I then refused any new assignments on the grounds that I would not have time to finish them. Which was true. I told management, Let me concentrate on finishing the projects that I already have so you won't have to find someone to finish them after I am gone. I did finish them. It worked out well.

You don't need to worry what people think. You are not going to work there any more. Or at all hopefully.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:42 AM   #13
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I envy you guys in the coasting mode. I believe I'm FI and am just trying to get up the nerve to pull the trigger, but I'm drowning in w*rk and being thrown a jug of water by management. When I got some "help" recently it reminded me of this Dilbert cartoon.

I guess what keeps me here in the short term is the feeling that I don't want to be a quitter and let the rest of the project team down. Plus, while I can't go into details, it's a really important project that hopefully one day I will feel really proud to have been a part of.

Once I get past this deadline coming up I'm either going to have to learn to adopt a major attitude adjustment or FIRE (emphasis on the alternate definition of "FI"). Thanks to you all above for inspiring me.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I think what sometimes happens when one is coasting is that you can filter the BS from the valuable and focus on the valuable and the hundreds of little decisions each day are based on what is best for the organization and your clients/customers rather than what is best for you or some niche/fiefdom of the organization. All of which make you a more valuable employee.
+1
Yrs ago when I was in military there was a truism that 90% of valuable change was initiated by ROADies. They could get important things done by (respectfully & within channels) speaking their mind without sig fear of retribution.

ROADie=

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Old 01-11-2013, 01:19 PM   #15
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some might say I coasted for 30 years. However, for my last year. I just showed up did my j*b and went home. No need to make waves... that was left to the younger folks... Might have been the the best year of my career....
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #16
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I am in a situation where I am coasting/phoning it in. The organizational mire has made it abundantly clear that I would not even be considered for a promotion for years (unless I wanted a manager role) no matter how well I perform, and the financial rewards of killing myself are infinitesimal. So I do what is asked of me no matter how silly, don't volunteer for stuff, and answer questions fairly honestly when asked. And the moment the clock hits a vaguely acceptable time I blow out of the office.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #17
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The last years I went though the motions on the review processes. They had their reviews and infinitesimal pay raises. My 401k balance went up and down daily more than their raises for the year. And the theory was I was suppose to work harder for a .1% improvement in pay.

Far easier to give my self a raise by not working as much or as long.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:04 PM   #18
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The last years I went though the motions on the review processes. They had their reviews and infinitesimal pay raises. My 401k balance went up and down daily more than their raises for the year. And the theory was I was suppose to work harder for a .1% improvement in pay.

Far easier to give my self a raise by not working as much or as long.
Sounds like you are reading my mind. Adjust your level of effort to the level of pay.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:27 PM   #19
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The last years I went though the motions on the review processes. They had their reviews and infinitesimal pay raises. My 401k balance went up and down daily more than their raises for the year. And the theory was I was suppose to work harder for a .1% improvement in pay.

Far easier to give my self a raise by not working as much or as long.
Well I suppose I have to be grateful that my company doesn't go through the fiction. My last performance review was ... at my prior employer, twelve years ago.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:38 PM   #20
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For my entire working career I questioned everything that did not help the company. Maybe it was one of the bennies of LBYM, but I never thought of it that way. To me it was just part of doing a good job.
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