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Old 02-19-2010, 07:33 AM   #41
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That's my theme song!

Great story, scrabbler1. Easy to relate to, since I am same age as you and also a telecommuter (till retirement at the end of this month). I also loathe commuting.

FIRE as a realistic goal was the only thing that allowed me to endure work these past years. (I don't have a family.) I don't know what people do who have to face the grind every day without an escape route, or at least a realistic plan for one. I guess they go shopping.
They get on with the grind by telling you that you are a no-good playboy or playgirl and that family life is the only true fulfillment in life. Then of course they immediately segue into what a PIA their wives are or how burdensome their mortgages and real estate taxes are.

When I see such situations, I handle it one of two ways: Smile and say, hey, great, I'm really happy that you are happy, but you don't need to convince me because you have got yours, and if that doesn't placate them, I tell them I'm retiring in 4 years and watch them really blow a gasket.
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Old 02-19-2010, 10:50 AM   #42
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I haven't described my situation as "retired" to anyone outside this board. I've always said, and still believe
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Even more than they hate their captors, prisoners hate an escapee.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:03 PM   #43
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I haven't described my situation as "retired" to anyone outside this board. I've always said, and still believe
Yes, hence it's a weapon to be used only in extreme situations.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:15 PM   #44
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Prisoners hate escapees because they wish they could escape as well, and it forces them to reexamine the choices they made in life that brought them to where they are today. Someone who is truly secure in his/her life situation wouldn't need to brag or complain about it.
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Old 02-19-2010, 04:05 PM   #45
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I just had a conversation with a coworker at my sinking ship of a company. She said something like "if there were just someone here who didn't really care any more and were financially independent, then they could speak up and tell management how they really feel about X, Y, and Z". I mentioned that I'm in that position right now basically. I'm sure she thinks I mean I just don't really care anymore, but I really don't need the job at all to pay bills right now, and our family would get along just fine without the income for quite a while (indefinitely as long as DW keeps working ). But I'm 29 so the idea that I could be in this position is a foreign one to my coworker who apparently lives month to month and has a mortgage payment significantly bigger than her take home pay.

I have started voicing my opinion strongly about some particular aspects of mismanagement. Not in a rude way, just tired of being a yes man to ineffective uninformed opinions.

Among the other guys here at the company, every one is either up to their eyes in mortgage debt, and/or has a stay at home wife. I think they all need this job in order to meet their monthly obligations. Hence they can't voice their opinions too strongly.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:10 PM   #46
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I just had a conversation with a coworker at my sinking ship of a company. She said something like "if there were just someone here who didn't really care any more and were financially independent, then they could speak up and tell management how they really feel about X, Y, and Z". I mentioned that I'm in that position right now basically. I'm sure she thinks I mean I just don't really care anymore, but I really don't need the job at all to pay bills right now, and our family would get along just fine without the income for quite a while (indefinitely as long as DW keeps working ). But I'm 29 so the idea that I could be in this position is a foreign one to my coworker who apparently lives month to month and has a mortgage payment significantly bigger than her take home pay.

I have started voicing my opinion strongly about some particular aspects of mismanagement. Not in a rude way, just tired of being a yes man to ineffective uninformed opinions.

Among the other guys here at the company, every one is either up to their eyes in mortgage debt, and/or has a stay at home wife. I think they all need this job in order to meet their monthly obligations. Hence they can't voice their opinions too strongly.
Unfortunately, your words will likely fall on deaf ears. Management NEVER likes to be told it is mismanaging. You're better off taking your FI and going out on your own, or going to a different company where your opinions will be valued.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #47
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How so?
O1 to O2 is 24 mos from date of rank (02Jun2011) provided I don't royally screw up.
O2-03 is month following 24 mos from that date of rank (01Jun2013)

All is per the USN instructions IAW Title 10 - works for me!

Promotion to O4 is based on a selection board.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:23 PM   #48
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I just had a conversation with a coworker at my sinking ship of a company. She said something like "if there were just someone here who didn't really care any more and were financially independent, then they could speak up and tell management how they really feel about X, Y, and Z".
In the military this is referred to as "Screw you, I got my retirement orders."

But in my training command I was mainly used by my own CO/XO to tell the "truth" to other commands and to those higher in the training chain of command. My boss was always free to later "clarify" or "rein me in" if the truth proved to be too difficult to handle.

The most compelling reason I've ever read to keep ER plans quiet is MB's example. IIRC he was just about to surprise everyone by giving his notice, the absolute minimum required by corporate policy, when his boss called him in to give him the news that they were laying him off. So his ER was accompanied by a nice severance package, unemployment benefits, and even a free laptop.

So don't give it away if you don't have to!
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:21 AM   #49
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Wow, automatic promotions.

Things work very differently in the Canadian navy.
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:12 AM   #50
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I think that I got into FIRE at the same time that I matured as a person overall, so it's hard to sort out why I feel the way I do, because of FIRE, & why I feel the way I do, because my outlook has gained more perspective.

For instance, I now know that in my current industry, the only way to get a good raise is to switch jobs, or interview around, find someone who will pay you a lot more, & then take that offer back to your company & tell them to match it or you go. If I know that, no matter what I won't get a great raise, then I'm not going to bust my butt for the company.

I also know that the company has 2 funds - 1 fund for all the raise money, & 1 fund for "talent that needs an incentive to stay". This is part of why the raises are crappy - it doesn't matter how well people do, and how much money they bring in, the fund for raises doesn't increase based on that. If everybody was a rockstar, everybody would get the same crap raise. They truly do only give you a big raise if they've decided that you're valuable & you tell them you're going to walk. If that's the way most companies feel, then they do not deserve my best level of work.

I also try to stay out of gossip, because I have this crazy thing called "a life outside of work". And the more dragged in to work politics & gossip I get, the harder it is to keep up with that outside life. So as I've gotten older, I tend to have a few very good friends at work, team members who have my back & I have their back, I enjoy talking to them, but otherwise, I want to get in, do my work, and get out.

Even once I get very close to ER/break, I doubt I'll "tell it like it is" much (at least where I am now), because I don't think it will make a whit of difference; this company has lost all of my respect, it's just a place that I know the ins & outs of, do a solid job at, and collect a paycheck for my troubles.

I do that think whether from FIRE or just experience people are suprised that someone my age (early 30s) cares so little about kissing butt, or putting in the extra effort to be a superstar. But I 've seen how superstars get treated - more work & responsibility piled on with no added benefits...why on earth should I want that when I know that the "raise" they dangle in front of me would be *years* in coming & I could get it *now* if I wanted, if I took the time to look for another company & switch?
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:02 PM   #51
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I'll admit, that as I've gotten more financially independent, I've taken my job less and less seriously. Now, to be fair, that little hiccup in late 2008/early 2009 did humble me a bit, but not for long. Back in 2007, the work situation here was getting really bad, with a few employees that did nothing but gripe and moan, try to get people they didn't like in trouble, and just make the office a miserable place. One of them tried to frame me, saying I created a "hostile working environment". I got called before management, and they wouldn't even let me get a word in edgewise, basically taking this woman's word as the gospel and trying to twist around everything I said. And then, a few hours later, I found out that it was this woman's birthday, so that made me think that she wanted to put a thorn in my side, just as a little gift to herself. As irrational as that may sound, I wouldn't put it past her.

Well, about two months later, this woman just went off on me for no reason, saying that I interrupted her when she was speaking and just kept going on and on. I love it how the ones that won't let you get a word in edgewise, and constantly interrupt YOU, are the first to pitch a fit when they, themselves get interrupted.

Well, I shut down my computer, left the building, got on my cell phone, called one of the bigwigs in my company, and pretty much told him and his cronies to take a flying leap at a rolling donut. Although I didn't use the word "leap". I forget exactly how the conversation went, but I told him I didn't need this crap anymore, and if it doesn't change pronto, I'm going to clock out, go home, watch Green Acres reruns all day while everything at work falls apart, and then when the remaining employees turn everything into a rat-nest (again, I didn't use the word "nest"), and they come crawling to me begging, on their hands and knees, I *might* consider coming back.

And I was ready to go through with it, too. But, somehow, I got one of my best raises ever that year, and that woman, and some of her other cronies, were suddenly a little extra nice to me, but in a fake, Betty White/Sue-Ann-Nivens sort of way. I have a feeling that the boss realized I was more than pulling my weight around the office, while some of the others are more or less just baggage. And our gov't customer would have his hide if he let me walk. So I'm guessing the nicer-than-normal raise was an incentive to get me to stay, and those employees got a talking to.

In general, I've just been taking the attitude lately that life's too short to deal with crap. But unfortunately, I don't think TVLand is re-running Green Acres anymore, so I think I'll stick around at the office until they have something worthwhile on the tube.
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Old 04-16-2010, 07:02 PM   #52
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I've always had to keep my perspective of work under wraps since it's not popular.

To me it's just a necessary evil in life (hence I wish I was from old money or had a trust fund so as to not have to work in the first place) and I only work for a paycheck. I don't feel the need to hang around and gossip at the watercooler, or to go drinking with coworkers after hours. I do not find any kind of work satisfying or fulfilling; no one is going to pay me to do the things I love to do. And I don't see how "independence" = earning your own money. To me, independence has always meant not having to work at all.

*has flame shield at the ready*

But thankfully I'm getting better at faking enthusiasm for work, even though I couldn't care less. It's like learning how to be an effective actress. I'm working with a job recruiter to get my foot in the door at a place that'll have predictable hours and decent pay. I'm still struggling with the tradeoff issue that GoodSense mentioned a while back: "When you have free time (in your 20s) you have no money. When you have money (in your 40s and 50s) you have no time." To me it's like choosing between food and water - I want both in abundance, heh.
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:46 PM   #53
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I'm still struggling with the tradeoff issue that GoodSense mentioned a while back: "When you have free time (in your 20s) you have no money. When you have money (in your 40s and 50s) you have no time." To me it's like choosing between food and water - I want both in abundance, heh.
In my 60's, FINALLY I have both time and money. Unfortunately I am no longer young. You just can't win. I think my ideal would be to have money, time, and youth. Since that has eluded me, I would say that having time and money (as I have had for the past five months) is a really excellent second best.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:31 PM   #54
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I'm surprised noone's mentioned this yet, but you should consider making money the old-fashioned way: marry into it!

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I've always had to keep my perspective of work under wraps since it's not popular.

To me it's just a necessary evil in life (hence I wish I was from old money or had a trust fund so as to not have to work in the first place) and I only work for a paycheck. I don't feel the need to hang around and gossip at the watercooler, or to go drinking with coworkers after hours. I do not find any kind of work satisfying or fulfilling; no one is going to pay me to do the things I love to do. And I don't see how "independence" = earning your own money. To me, independence has always meant not having to work at all.

*has flame shield at the ready*

But thankfully I'm getting better at faking enthusiasm for work, even though I couldn't care less. It's like learning how to be an effective actress. I'm working with a job recruiter to get my foot in the door at a place that'll have predictable hours and decent pay. I'm still struggling with the tradeoff issue that GoodSense mentioned a while back: "When you have free time (in your 20s) you have no money. When you have money (in your 40s and 50s) you have no time." To me it's like choosing between food and water - I want both in abundance, heh.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:26 AM   #55
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Thanks for picking up this thread! I just loved reading everyone's thoughts. My work place is like Celany's. If my company wasn't only 10 people, I would have suspected that we were coworkers!

I think my somewhat arms-length attitude certainly helped me cope with the drama at work. One of my bosses was recently fired. I felt bad for the coworkers who have been kissing his butt for the last 2 years. As a culture, we spend so much of our energy and time worrying if we are pleasing our bosses. Most of it is completely useless.

I am having to fake enthusiasm at work, too. When I met with my boss a few days ago, we had the same old discussion about "where you see yourself in 5 years." Although we likely won't be at FIRE yet, I know it's highly unlikely that I will be with this company. Probably not the best thing to say at a performance evaluation!
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:40 PM   #56
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I'm surprised noone's mentioned this yet, but you should consider making money the old-fashioned way: marry into it!
Oh, the temptation! While I don't think I'd marry for money alone, finances would definitely play an overall factor.

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I am having to fake enthusiasm at work, too. When I met with my boss a few days ago, we had the same old discussion about "where you see yourself in 5 years." Although we likely won't be at FIRE yet, I know it's highly unlikely that I will be with this company. Probably not the best thing to say at a performance evaluation!
Can definitely relate. How ironic that we're supposed to be honest at interviews, performance evaluations, etc. and yet we can't say what we really want to do! It's all about developing and maintaining an effective smoke and mirrors routine.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:40 AM   #57
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I can definitly relate to what you are saying. I only turn 30 this month and I struggle daily with work. I do not play the "game" well and am a no bullshit kind of gal! Do I stay at the job that I make good money which will enable ER sooner, or do something else that will probably not pay as well. My main problem is I do not know what the "something else" would be.
I played the game well (a long time ago) and hated it. Moved to "something else" that I loved, made lots more money and then made FIRE happen.

The "something else" where my no BS trait was an asset took some brainstorming and trying different things.

Find what you love. In some cases, your love and dedication for it will result in more money which is only a side bonus because you love what you do.
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