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Bucket anology
Old 04-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #1
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Bucket anology

I really love the following anology. Was it Nords who first thought it up?

"You're carrying two buckets in your hands as you go through the workplace. One is labeled "FI" and the other is labeled "BS". As your financial independence bucket starts to fill up, the BS bucket usually begins to fill up at an ever-accelerating rate".

First off, did I properly quote it or is there more?

One comment I would make is that the main reason my BS bucket filled up so quickly is that it was only after my FI bucket started to fill that I could properly identify the BS for what it was. Earlier in my career (before my FI bucket began to fill up), I thought the BS was a normal part of the j*b.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:43 PM   #2
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There's something else about the BS bucket. Early on, the handle loop is well lubricated, and when some BS gets in there, it is really easy to just tip it out.

As time goes on, that loop corrodes and becomes sticky. BS is very reactive and creates a lot of damage. This makes the bucket harder to tip. So, in later years, BS gets in but rarely gets tipped out.

I'm not a good writer, but I think you get the analogy.

When I was young, things at Megacorps used to really tick me off, but I would just blow them off and forget about it. But as my career has gone on, I don't get ticked off as much, but I also don't forget. You know, after the 30th memo about "sacrificing" for the shareholders (or whatever, name your own pet peeve), you finally just can't let it go. The BS then really fills in.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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Be especially careful not to drop the FI bucket. In fact, put a watertight lid on it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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Be especially careful not to drop the FI bucket. In fact, put a watertight lid on it.
Not so fast! A watertight lid could reduce the FI that might just happen to fall into your bucket. Can't live life scared all the time.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #5
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A one way valve, then!
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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The way I tell it, when both buckets are full, it is time to go.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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Unfortunately for many people the FI bucket has a hole in it and the BS bucket is much larger than the FI bucket. This is the reason so many people have poor posture.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:09 PM   #8
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The bucket analogy was first expressed here by the board founder, Dory. It is to his credit that the analogy has remained so firmly embedded in so many of our minds as we make our way to FIRE. I first read it when I registered here in 2005, and it is still just as relevant today as it was when he said it, way back when.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:21 PM   #9
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The bucket analogy was first expressed here by the board founder, Dory.
Yep, it was dory36, not Nords - on April 10, 2006:
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Originally Posted by dory36 View Post

At my last employer (overseas), folks said that people started out there with two buckets, one in each hand.

One bucket started empty, and gradually filled with b.s. as you worked there.

The other started out with your net worth, and it too continued to fill as you worked there.

Eventually, the b.s. will outweigh the net worth, and you'll know it's time to go.

If you aren't there yet, enjoy what you're doing and keep filling that other bucket.

In the meantime, be careful about reading too much stuff from folks here, as it might make you less and less tolerant for the weight of that b.s. bucket!
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:59 AM   #10
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I find this quite interesting because a very similar expression has been thrown around in the Middle East by expats for quite some time. I can still remember one 'lifer' who I met early on who had been slogging away in Saudi for decades. He was pushing 60 and he pulled me aside one day and said. 'Look, think of your time here like a scale. On the one side you have the money, and on the other is the BS you have to put up with. Once the BS outweighs the monetary benefits and your scale tips, it is time to get out!'

I always liked that analogy. Unfortunately (at least over here) there is a tendency to push on a little bit longer, and try and make it a little bit further, and then people snap. I don't want to be one of these people who eventually reach financial security but the alure of more money keeps them doing something they don't enjoy to the point they really become permanently affected. In the case of the gentleman mentioned above, his wife divorced him a few years later, he doesn't speak with his children anymore, he lost his business, and now his physical health has really deteriorated. In some ways, I think the window of opportunity was missed ...
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:47 AM   #11
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BigBang, funny you should mention that, as I believe that's where Dory worked prior to FIRE so it is probably why he used a similar analogy.

We all push the BS bucket as far as we can, for sure. I've had jobs that only lasted a couple of months, and a few for much longer, but I only stayed on as long as I could stand them.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:00 AM   #12
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I find this quite interesting because a very similar expression has been thrown around in the Middle East by expats for quite some time. I can still remember one 'lifer' who I met early on who had been slogging away in Saudi for decades. He was pushing 60 and he pulled me aside one day and said. 'Look, think of your time here like a scale. On the one side you have the money, and on the other is the BS you have to put up with. Once the BS outweighs the monetary benefits and your scale tips, it is time to get out!'

In the case of the gentleman mentioned above, his wife divorced him a few years later, he doesn't speak with his children anymore, he lost his business, and now his physical health has really deteriorated. In some ways, I think the window of opportunity was missed ...
When you work in places like Saudi, after a while you become unemployable in the real world. Working for big tax free bucks in an insulated environment gives you a "big fish in a small pond" sense of comfort which is hard to leave, especially if you went to Saudi early on in your career.
I know many people who worked in the region, and yes there are many scars and sacrifices. Funny enough many leave Saudi as alcoholics. Imagine that in a country where alcohol is banned
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:07 AM   #13
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I never worked in the Middle East, did work up and down the Americas and found it applied everywhere I went. The BS bucket analogy transcends cultural boundaries.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #14
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I really love the following anology. Was it Nords who first thought it up?

"You're carrying two buckets in your hands as you go through the workplace. One is labeled "FI" and the other is labeled "BS". As your financial independence bucket starts to fill up, the BS bucket usually begins to fill up at an ever-accelerating rate".
I like this analogy and I find it quite true.

PS. When I read it, different words for "FI" popped into my head though . I think it's because on someone's blog (could it be MMM? cannot recall), the FI bucket is called F-U
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:44 AM   #15
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Imagine that in a country where alcohol is banned
That says a lot about the futility of legislating social conduct.
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