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Old 10-06-2010, 08:23 PM   #1
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ihatemyjobihatemyjobihatemyjob

I work for a control freak and today has been the pits.

I've had many days like this before but until about six weeks ago I didn't know about this site and had no idea how that we could retire "early".

Now that I know our FIRE date my attitude toward work has gotten worse. It was already marginal due to my megacorp being bought out by a worse mega. I even took positive action and changed jobs but discovered that I've traded a nut job boss for a control freak boss.

Retirement date is September 1, 2016 and unless a windfall comes that is the date (I'll be 55 + 1 day, DH will be 51).

Thanks for listening to the whine...not anything I can do about it but suck it up and say thank you ma'am, may I have some more since we have to be in a job for 18 months before we can look again.

BUT, thank you for being here....there is a very bright light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train!
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:34 PM   #2
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I even took positive action and changed jobs but discovered that I've traded a nut job boss for a control freak boss.
Grasshopper - learn to let go. Let the control freak control - find out everything the guy wants you to do - how, when, etc. Let him enjoy controlling. Take satisfaction in his control. Welcome his control. Be happy for his control.

After you have succeed with that your next step would be to learn how to guide the boss.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:13 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your crummy day Lisa...
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:51 PM   #5
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No problem with blowing off steam. People tell me it's healthy.

Six years is going to feel like a loooooong time in that sort of environment.

I'll be handing in my notice sometime between Feb 2012 and Feb 2014 which leaves me with a maximum of about 3 years, 4 months and 21 days to go. Even working for a good employer with mostly decent people and having a reasonable degree of autonomy, time is moving at a glacial pace and coming up with ways to keep my head in the game between now and FIRE is, in itself, a full time occupation. Focusing on the positive and inventing ways to keep busy are key....that and leaving the firearms collection at home.....

I even volunteered to be responsible for the fit out, decoration and planning of an office move that will take place next year. I'm still at a loss to understand why they put a guy who is partly colour blind in charge of choosing the colour scheme
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Old 10-06-2010, 10:20 PM   #6
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Po: Maybe I should just quit and go back to making noodles.
Oogway: Quit, don't quit? Noodles, don't noodles? You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present."

I don't mean to be flip since I have worked for some real real real defective specimens. But if the job is inside work, with no heavy lifting, not going to kill you and you can have a cup of coffee most times of the day , it is better than the work about 95% of humanity has do to make its daily bread.

Document what the jerk wants and then do what the jerk wants, (in the line of duty). Most companies value the people who put up with the jerks. The key is to document the tasks. In any case if you have to work for one don't fight the person or make unwanted suggestions. It's a waste of time. Just keep saying "I just want to make sure I know EXACTLY what you want me to do. Control freaks are incapable of resisting the urge to spell out orders in great detail. When the project fails , those order are your salvation.

If the freak says " Just get it done" politely say, Can you spell "it" out ? I certainly don't want to misunderstand you. Etc Etc Etc

I drove an idiot boss nuts that way


Fairly good piece at Dealing With Control Freaks

I'm in academia where control freaks are usually imported from outside at the whim of non academic boards, or more rarely to impose stronger management controls on the usual herd of cats. It almost never works. The ones who succeed are generally personally jerks but have a very very clear idea of what they are trying to do and can articulate it.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:44 AM   #7
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My jobs pays fairly well. As a result we are supposed to have a lot of autonomy and decision making ability. Recently we got rid of a supervisor who's sole purpose in life was to micro-manage us. People started whining and complaining that we were being micro-managed. I started pointing out that because of this persons style, we were being paid several pay grades above our job and we had little chance of screwing up enough to get fired. So the end result the supervisor took all of the responsibility and we took most of the pay. Now we have a boss who lets us do the work we are paid to do and life is good, until next year.

The DW on the other hand works for a psycho control freak. Her work life couldn't be much worse. One day the order comes down that she must do her job this way. A week later an order comes down that she must do it that way and is told the first order never happened and is yelled at for doing it the first way. Now the order is coming down for a background investigation for a new employer and she will be sending in her resignation to her current one when it is complete.
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Old 10-07-2010, 11:11 AM   #8
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Document what the jerk wants and then do what the jerk wants . . .
Requires the jerk to know how to read and write.

Experienced one that did not.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:21 PM   #9
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Requires the jerk to know how to read and write.

Experienced one that did not.

Actually not. You just write down what the jerk says and send it as a memo to confirm. The more illiterate they are, the more likely to ignore it.

qui tacet consentire videtur

(who is silent consents)

I had great fun this summer with a memo to two senior academic administrators who kept insisting that there was a certain "policy" which existed only in their heads. I said I was absolutely following what they claimed to be a policy to the letter, even though in my 30+ years I had never seen such a policy and in fact had debated at the University senate that we did not have such a policy, and certainly might need one. I actually like and respect these two people very much, but like all management they have a tendency to confuse their desires and expediency with the rules.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:27 PM   #10
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Lisa, boy do I know how you feel. It does help to know you have an exit strategy and a plan for your life outside these walls.

Although it may be silly, I have two videos I watch whenever I think I might suffocate if I have to spend another minute trapped at my desk.

One is the Where the Hell is Matt video (I've linked to it a million times on here, I think) and the other Michael Franti's Sounds of Sunshine. Both just rock my world when it starts to suck.

At the risk of duplication:
Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) on Vimeo

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Old 10-07-2010, 02:55 PM   #11
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Thank you EVERYONE for the wonderful advice, the hilarious Dilbert cartoon and awesome Dance video. Sarah, the Where's Matt video went into my permanent collection of uplifting material. We plan to travel the world when we retire, so it is really inspirational.

And Emeritus, you're exactly right. I'm a project manager, get to work from home and make good money (north of $100k). I am better off than 99.99% of the people on this earth and I have a tremendous amount to be thankful for.

I'm a planner so I'm earnestly planning our retirement. I've re-discovered some passions, have the finances under control and now just have to wait until the accumulation phase is done. I know the six years will fly by, but some days I just yearn to be a member of this wonderful group who are doing with their day as they wish.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:36 PM   #12
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Thank you EVERYONE for the wonderful advice, the hilarious Dilbert cartoon and awesome Dance video. Sarah, the Where's Matt video went into my permanent collection of uplifting material. We plan to travel the world when we retire, so it is really inspirational.

And Emeritus, you're exactly right. I'm a project manager, get to work from home and make good money (north of $100k). I am better off than 99.99% of the people on this earth and I have a tremendous amount to be thankful for.

I'm a planner so I'm earnestly planning our retirement. I've re-discovered some passions, have the finances under control and now just have to wait until the accumulation phase is done. I know the six years will fly by, but some days I just yearn to be a member of this wonderful group who are doing with their day as they wish.
In the meantime, I hope you hang around here and chat a bit Lisa99. I have a feeling you have lots to add.
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:58 PM   #13
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Thank you so much Purr! I spend some time here every day reading and dreaming and even contribute on occasion
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:13 PM   #14
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I have experienced the control freak...didn't listen to him for long enough for me to show the success of my way of doing things...and long enough for him to be fired...and his successor. Most recent CEO is now sending delegations to my operation to find out why it is so successful, and he brought the Chairman to try to convince me to stick around past my agreed date at the end of 2012.

I realize I was lucky. Lots of folks don't survive the bastads, lose their jobs, and then the megacorp eventually sends the bastad away too, losing countless boatloads of money, and talent, along the way. Hope you can stick to your guns and survive, thrive and leave your mega a better place in the end. If the writing appears to be on the wall, however, try to find a new gig before you are forced to.

Good luck

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Old 10-08-2010, 09:11 AM   #15
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Hi Rambler, congrats on your success, sounds like they're really going to miss you.

I've been in the workforce now for 33 years if I count part time work in school. Even during the times of bad bosses I've still produced good work according to my evals. This time is no exception.

What has changed though is knowing our retirement date seems to be affecting my tolerance level for dealing with the cr*p even though retirement is 6 years away.

We're going on a cruise the 1st week of December and then have two weeks off at Christmas, so I'll have a chance to recharge the batteries and start fresh in January.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:37 AM   #16
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What has changed though is knowing our retirement date seems to be affecting my tolerance level for dealing with the cr*p even though retirement is 6 years away.
The DW has the same problem. The only reason she is still at work is because the public schools here are horrible. The private schools aren't too expensive so the kid is there. We could afford to keep him in that school if she didn't work, but we would have to get rid of cable, internet, most eating out, and much of the fun stuff that costs money. Neither one of us has a problem getting rid of those extras, but really don't want to give them up. So she is stuck there until another job comes through (which should be in a few weeks as soon as the background investigation is done).
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:48 AM   #17
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Understand your thought process completely. If we lived bare bones we could retire now, but we both enjoy cable, internet, traveling, dining out, Vegas shows, etc.

If we cut out the fun stuff it would feel like deprivation rather than frugality and since we save about 40% of our combined gross salaries, even with the fun stuff, we're good with having fun on the way to FIRE
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #18
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Iligitimus Non Carborundum, or some such thing. Hang in there Lisa. I've had over 30 years at mega corp with over 15 bosses. Good people make the organization work and the others come and go.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:08 PM   #19
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any options for ESR? maybe pick up part time work or finding something you enjoy more and/or has less stress? just thinking out loud.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:20 PM   #20
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Plans are to hang on until 55 because my employer subsidizes retiree healthcare and because we save my entire salary.

Not every day is bad and in fact most days are bearable. I was having a very bad day and was able to blow off steam by venting to a group that I knew would understand where I was coming from.

I'm hoping for an early retirement buy-out offer in the next couple of years that includes healthcare prior to my turning 55. My megacorp has +300,000 employees and does buy-outs and layoffs pretty often, so it could happen.

We'll see what the future brings...in the meantime it is a beautiful Friday afternoon and I'm cutting out early to go bike riding with hubby
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