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Old 05-03-2016, 09:33 PM   #21
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Some of the suggestion could help you get through this. I feel your pain. I recently went through the same thing. I put up with the crap untill they offered me a package. I have (had) a 34 year career in the oil e&p industry as an mid level manager & engineer. I had seen the writting on the wall for several years and kind of slacked off knowing that I was prepared financially. Hopefully you can find an exit route and maybe get some severence. Good luck. If you are spiritual, pray for guidance!
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:24 PM   #22
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You asked for opinions, here's mine...

I feel like you might think that you are failing if you don't make FIRE on the date you chose. The stress and anger that comes through your post reminds me of a bad marriage. Putting up with the hell you are feeling until the kids are older until you hit your set goal date can really take a toll on a person. I offer the suggestion of finding another job and change your FIRE date. You've already shown that you can adjust your lifestyle to work toward that goal. Perhaps it may take a few more years to get to where you want to be but at least you would be able to enjoy the journey.

Good luck,
Lizzy

PS - My boyfriend takes Ambien every night and has been doing it for 3 years. (Cancer dr prescribes it) He's been sleepwalking an awful lot lately and remembers nothing that happens during his adventures. Be careful.
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:49 PM   #23
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All, thank you for the feedback. It's helpful to have outside perspectives. There is definitely some recurring themes. I think I've got some good next steps. 1) planning small vacations this month and next. 2) getting therapy going ASAP. 3) taking a step back from the work for myself and to bring more heat to my hiring justification 4) updating LinkedIn and putting feelers out.

The NatGeo stress documentary was interesting and informative, too.


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Old 05-04-2016, 02:57 PM   #24
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Sounds horrible. As others have said, no job is worth that. Assuming you can provide for yourself and your family - get out of there!
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:53 PM   #25
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Bert Cooper .. I hope you were able to save for some Fk U Money, because I think you need to take another job. If you can't afford it now, you need a break .. even a vacation with out pay for at least a month.
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Old 05-05-2016, 10:03 PM   #26
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I didn't see where you say how many hours/week you work, but if you're like I was it could exceed 60 pretty easily. If you take another, lower stress job where you work fewer hours, you could end up with a per hour raise even if you take a 30% pay cut. And never forget, time > money.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:41 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert Cooper View Post
The work is intense. Unrealistic deadlines, small budgets, not enough resources, client politics, internal politics, demanding account people, incompetent project managers.... [H]alf the people I work with ... are @$$holes.... I'm drowning.... The politics between departments are at all-time low. I'm getting circumvented a lot ... I stopped sleeping well a couple of years ago. Now, I can't sleep without Ambien.... I'm constantly stressed out. Nearly every day is a bad day, with heated discussions and conflict. I'm carrying around a knot in my stomatch that doesn't go away, even at night. My breathing is shallow and doesn't feel like it's enough sometimes.... I feel like my mental health is starting to slip a bit....

I do have a 6mo emergency fund. The big barrier is finding another job that I enjoy with comparable comp. I don't think I can find it in the area (haven't been looking) but I know I'm paid aggressively for the area and could see a 30% paycut happening, and who knows if I would enjoy the work. And I'm scared of the grass not being greener.
(1) A therapist can likely suggest some copying strategies, but it's difficult to believe that any advice or counselling they can provide will have a substantial impact, given all the workplace stressors you've described;

(2) Your current employment sounds so hellish that it seems you wouldn't be taking a real risk trying something different: it pretty much has to be better. 'Out of the frying pan and into the fire' doesn't apply if you are already thoroughly burned (out);

(3) I wouldn't get hung up on the possibility of a 30% pay cut. You are currently being "paid aggressively", so the prospect of scaling back to a more modest salary should still leave enough for your day-to-day needs plus reasonable savings.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:43 PM   #28
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[QUOTE=Milton;1728270](1) A therapist can likely suggest some copying strategies, but it's difficult to believe that any advice or counselling they can provide will have a substantial impact, given all the workplace stressors you've described;

(2) Work current employment sounds so hellish that it seems you wouldn't be taking a real risk trying something different: it pretty much has to be better. 'Out of the frying pan and into the fire' doesn't apply if you are already thoroughly burned (out);

(3) I wouldn't get hung up on the possibility of a 30% pay cut. You are currently being "paid aggressively", so the prospect of scaling back to a more modest salary should still leave enough for your day-to-day needs plus reasonable savings.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:18 PM   #29
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Let me ask you this - Haven't you tried to apply for another job ? A job that my not necessarily be less stressful, but at least your voice and suggestions are taken seriously.
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Old 05-08-2016, 08:52 PM   #30
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Burnout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert Cooper View Post
I've put work above a lot of things.
You made the choice to climb the ladder, probably of your own volition, so take the reins again and make a different choice for yourself. I've been there in bad management and it stinks. Hoping others will change is usually a waste of time. It really sounds like your health is at stake and that is scary territory. You've been there nine years, which is a highly-respectable tenure in a field, as I understand it, in which there is high turnover and in which there are always opportunities on both the agency and client side. Why not talk with a few head hunters? They'd probably love to hear from you.

Everything and everyone moves right by you like a sand storm instantly once you're on the sidelines and all the toxicity that seemed so important and made you miserable vanishes once it's firmly in your rearview mirror. Also, after departure, you'd be surprised at how little you have in common with the "half" of the people there you think you like. Don't stay for them. You'll find new people.

Take care of yourself first - just like organizations always do, each and every time. We are all just temporary contractors in this modern economy, whether we realize it or not. Good luck to you.
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Old 05-08-2016, 11:01 PM   #31
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Burnout.

[QUOTE=Markola;1728612] [\QUOTE]
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:25 AM   #32
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Having problems?
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:44 AM   #33
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Having problems?
Looks like another victim of burnout...
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:15 PM   #34
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Never mind me. I had too much to say last night in sympathy to the OP's situation and probably blew a fuse in the forum's servers. Probably a good thing.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:23 AM   #35
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Goodness, that was like reading my diary. I'm 3 years in to FIRE, and still recovering. I'll tell you, you need a change. I still have dreams/nightmares related to my work, and I was a very successful sr exec. I suggest the change, because you need something else to distract you from the toxicity you now face daily. Without redirection, I fear you will face illness as a result. On the other hand, there have been a few suggestions to abandon ambien. I don't agree with that 100%. I ended up with what the doc said was stress induced tinnitus (ringing in the ears). I have good days (hardly noticeable even though always there) and bad days (high pitched jet engine in my head for days on end). Thankfully, long bouts of intolerable episodes have somewhat diminished, but I'll tell you, I would have gone nuts, literally, without an occasional ambien, sometimes several times a week. That said, I would not take it every day. If you do, I suggest you seek help to back off of the daily dose, but don't hesitate to take it when you really need it.

Back to your job situation, for the sake of your health and sanity, find a way out of the over-stressed situation, even if it means a move, reduced salary so you can hire a #2, etc. Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2016, 02:09 PM   #36
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Cooper, I was there with you. Although not management I burned out of a producing job within a marketing agency. They say typical shelf life for marketers is like one year.

I had ringing in my ears, but at a different job. I was finally let go which I think was best for me....and I was highly successful but I think management understood I was having issues with stress beyond what they might even be able to comprehend.

Fast forward, I spent three months looking for a job..I thought being unemployed would be more stressful for me since I am always anxious and looking to the future. It was actually a relief. It centered me being away from a "job" for a few months. I landed a new job, I have no more ringing in my ears and I don't have to take Ambien...although I do smoke a j on occasion. Perhaps that is adolescent of me but it helps me.

My SIL ended up getting stress-related addiction to ambien. She was taking dozens throughout the day. Night-shift VA Hospital nurse, I do not envy her. She moved on to a new job and eventually went on Short Term Disability and is now trying to tackle the ambien addiction. It has caused her to experience seizures on a regular basis.

Be very practical and methodical in acting on your stressors...and please look for a new job.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:34 PM   #37
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Wow, that was tough to read. Your life sounds like hell. Maybe I can help a tiny bit. Here are some things I do to reduce my stress:

(1) I like to listen to "ASMR" videos on youtube while at work. Just log onto youtube and search for "asmr" and you'll find thousands. I find them very relaxing to listen to.

(2) I found that changing my investment style towards building up cash flow as opposed to total return, reduced stress. I use closed end funds, etfs, and individual stocks (although I don't have any at the moment) to build up income. I then focus/track the monthly income that my investments generate. Its very comforting to see that I have $XYZ income coming in every month and very satisfying to see that amount grow larger each year.

(3) I'd increase your emergency cash. When I was really stressed (like during great recession) I built my emergency cash up to two years living expenses. That was a big psychological comfort.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:28 PM   #38
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Hello. Sorry for the pain you are going through but good for you that you have put it all out there for us to see and hopefully offer you words of wisdom that you can use.

I was where you were 8 years ago. I went on a holiday with my husband and was so zoned out...not on drugs....but I was in a space where all my thoughts were on work and I could not sleep because of all the thoughts in my head. I honestly believed that if I slept I would lose control over my thoughts and would go insane....I could not let go.

When I returned from holidays it was like I was paralyzed...do I go back or do I retire early? It was so bad I sought help from my doctor and a few days later I went on stress leave. But before that I wrote a letter of resignation and then wanted to rescind it.....thankfully the person in central office was a former colleague and he pulled my letter and allowed me to go on leave.

I felt so alone, had a month to just rest a bit and then I decided to go back. But it was different this time because I had separated myself from all the demands......I learned to say no if I could not manage tasks....did the absolute best on the ones I thought I could manage.....and finally got control over my worklife. It was not easy but each year I managed to do a good job....not a perfect job.....and that was the difference. That was 8 years ago. Today I said good bye to my coworkers and am going to another position in a different location. I thank the powers above for allowing me to get back my dignity and sanity and continue in a career that I still love.

My words of wisdom are these.....the world of work has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. It is like the frog in the pot....little by little the heat increases but the frog does not notice because it is so gradual. However, the heat reaches the point where the frog is boiled to death but still is not aware.

I think work is like that...over the years our supports have eroded but the demands have increased.......and we are like the frog.....

I made the changes I spoke about but I also cut our expenses to the bone...and then we reevaluated what was needs and what was wants....that extra discipline gave me the experience of control along with the control I was reintroducing into my worklife....it worked for me. I hope you find wisdom here on this site to find a pathway to sanity.
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Old 07-03-2016, 03:06 PM   #39
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I'm pretty much in the same boat as the OP. The frog analogy I read about in a book (written by a member here) hits home. I've been trying to find another job but finding it hard to land something new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESRwannabe View Post
Wow, that was tough to read. Your life sounds like hell. Maybe I can help a tiny bit. Here are some things I do to reduce my stress:

(2) I found that changing my investment style towards building up cash flow as opposed to total return, reduced stress. I use closed end funds, etfs, and individual stocks (although I don't have any at the moment) to build up income. I then focus/track the monthly income that my investments generate. Its very comforting to see that I have $XYZ income coming in every month and very satisfying to see that amount grow larger each year.
I've thought about this but didn't know where to start (unlike the Bogleheads 3 fund portfolios). Can you share what you're investing in for cashflow and is that in your taxable accounts?
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:01 PM   #40
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I'm pretty much in the same boat as the OP. The frog analogy I read about in a book (written by a member here) hits home. I've been trying to find another job but finding it hard to land something new.



I've thought about this but didn't know where to start (unlike the Bogleheads 3 fund portfolios). Can you share what you're investing in for cashflow and is that in your taxable accounts?

Yes, I can tell you exactly what I am invested in (keep in mind its a work in progress).


19.37% .... Eaton Vance Tax-Advantaged Global Dividend Income (ETG)
19.30% .... Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Diversified Equity Income (ETY)
19.19% .... Eaton Vance Tax-Advantaged Global Dividend Opportunities (ETO)
19.18% .... Eaton Vance Tax-Managed Global Diversified Equity Income (EXG)
19.18% .... Eaton Vance Tax-Advantaged Dividend Income (EVT)
02.23% .... John Hancock Tax-Advantaged Dividend Inc (HTD)
01.52% .... UBS ETRACS 2xLeveraged Closed-End ETN (CEFL)
00.02% .... Cash


The ETG, ETO, EVT, and HTD are all "normal" equity CEFs, i.e. they have about 80% us/foreign stocks and 20% in preferreds/bonds. They all use leverage (around 20%-30%).

ETY and EXG are both option income CEFs trading against the s&p 500 and msci all world idx, respectively. These do not use leverage. Also note they have a high return of capital because of the options strategy, i.e. this is non-destructive ROC.

The last one, CEFL, is a 2x leveraged ETN based on the YYY index which is an index of CEFs, roughly 70% bond CEFs and 30% stock CEFs. The YYY index gets rebalanced every year and is based on discount to NAV, yield and liquidity of the CEFs.

Anyway, my newest addition is HTD which I plan to put a substantial amount into and bring it into line with the other CEFs. For the 2x levered fund, that one has some risk to it so I will probably leave it around 1.5% to 2% of portfolio. In the near-term future I plan to add MORL and BDCL which are 2x levered ETNs based on mortgage REITs and BDCs. Those will also be maxed out at 1%-2% range.

Doing all that will probably use up all my money for the rest of the year and next year. Most of it going into HTD.

I am probably one of the poorest people on these forums. I only make $60k a year as I work for a state government. The benefit though is I'm vested in a pension that will be worth around $1 million or so if I keep working another 15 years until I am 55. If I were to quit now and then start collecting on pension at 60, it would still be worth around $500k or so annuity. Actually given the interest rates are so low I am probably low estimating it.

Anyway, I would like to retire at 45. I'll have 20 years in the pension then. My investments above are all in my taxable account and throw off monthly income around $2,150ish ($25.8k something total). My current living expenses are around $28k including taxes. If I retire early I'm strongly considering expating in various inexpensive countries. In which case I'm sure I could live very comfortably off of $2k a month... i.e. I could early semi-retire right now but not completely retire as I do not have enough cushion to offset a recession just yet. I'd need to find a part-time telecommute IT job.

Oh yeah, I also have 401k (100% vanguard target retirement income fund) and Roth IRA (100% vanguard managed payout fund).
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