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Jailbreak or ER
Old 12-12-2007, 09:13 PM   #1
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Jailbreak or ER

As I get closer to working out my detailed plans for FIRE, I'm noticing that my tolerance for the worst aspects of my j*b is diminishing. I'm much more frustrated with time wasting corporate edicts unexpected new policies, clueless managers, changing product goals and difficult people than I used to be. I don't think the corporate culture is getting any worse. I think I'm getting more sensitive - maybe more sensitized. I'm increasingly frustrated by the stuff I have to put up with, that is part of my work environment, and pretty much always has been.

Anyone else notice work seems worse as retirement plans seem more real? Any advice for how to survive this for the forseeable future (probably years) until my FIRE is ready? I feel like I'm on the verge of chucking it all, even though I am NOT ready, just because I'm going to reach the point where I can't stand it anymore.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:17 PM   #2
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Alcohol seems to work best for me!
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:23 PM   #3
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Been there, wearing the t-shirt. When you see things at their worst, patience wears thin. You want to run amok through the halls, pointing out all of the craziness, thinking that if they could just see how nutty it is, they would all straighten up. And, you would give anything just to escape. It is a phase, your perceptions will calm down, but the feeling that you are living in the theater of the absurd doesn't seem to really go away. I try to look at it as though merely an observer and find the humor. Somedays it actually works.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:50 PM   #4
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As my favorite blues vocalist Keb Mo might say, watch out, you're in a "dangerous mood."

Once I verified that FIRE was plausible and not too far off, it actually made the more frustrating parts of my job easier - I could distance myself and shrug my shoulders more easily. I became less reactive and let it roll off my back more readily.

Maybe that mindset will set in for you, too.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:53 PM   #5
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I was just talking about some aspects of this with a co-worker who is going to be out a year behind me. He said his view on some of the meaningless overhead work we have to do is that if they want to pay for it, that's what he'll do.

If the process calls for 10 steps instead of what used to be 2, he'll do the 10 steps. Changing product direction just threw out 6 months of work? Eh, you got paid for those 6 months, so just start over, and you'll get paid for that too.

No overtime though, that's the key. The work will take longer, but it's not your problem. As you near retirment you care less about raises and aren't looking for a promotion (unless it somehow helps your pension, whatever that is in today's corporate world). And any loss of productivy is offset by being a team player, doing what they ask rather than fighting it. That alone should keep you from getting canned before you're ready to go.

It probably doesn't help with the difficult co-workers, but it does help with some of the other frustrations.
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:57 PM   #6
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I reached FI in 2004, but worked an extra 2 years, retiring last year from a programming job. Those
two years were the most relaxing years out of an admittedly relaxing career. There was no more stress
about being laid off, and the minutea bothered me much less. Knowing I could walk out whenever I
wanted to made all the difference.
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Old 12-12-2007, 11:31 PM   #7
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Interesting. I wonder if I knew I had reached FI, but was still working because I choose to (improving SWR, qualifying for better pension/insurance, getting enjoyment from work) then I would be more tolerant of the petty annoyance. In that case, I would know that I COULD leave, but was choosing not to. Instead, I am still dependent on the paycheck to reach FI - but am getting closer - so I seem to be more alert to and more affected by the inane. Frustrating, as now seems to be the very time I should be settling down and just cranking out the short time to go.

Maybe reaching that state of detachment could be possible. I probably shouldn't really care so much that the company does well or that it's products make sense. I do care, but perhaps that is the thinking of someone planning a longer future with the company. I'm more a short timer now. I could care just that I do a good job in doing what they ask. If they ask for the absurd - maybe I can see the humor and feel good enough that I meet the requests with integrity. I didn't expect this to get harder now.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
Anyone else notice work seems worse as retirement plans seem more real?
It's strange, I cycled through two different phases as I slowly approach FIRE. Initially, I had decided that I would FIRE by eoy this year as I hit my savings target. At that point, I was in the same boat as you, getting annoyed by every little thing at work. Then I decided to stay in for another year or so to get my SWR down a little bit, and now I have the reverse feeling, which is that few things at work bother me now. I smile at the latest office politics and ignore the BS. Figure sooner or later I'll get found out for not paying attention to these distractions at work, but so far, so good!
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:52 AM   #9
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Personally I have enough of a nestegg to retire, but since I will qualify for lifetime medical in 23 months I still have the "golden handcuffs" on. It's hard, because so much of what goes on at work is seemingly senseless and like you, I am finding so much of it to be difficult to tolerate.

Someone here on the ER forum (was it RetireeRobert? I have forgotten) suggested that I write down every date between now and the day when I can retire, on paper. Then, every day, cross one off.

It does seem to make my mornings more pleasant.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:20 AM   #10
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I didn't find myself getting irritated, I was more amused at the BS. The thing that made me decide I needed to go was that my enthusiasm for achieving the organization's goals waned. I didn't think I was doing my employees (or me) any favors by retiring on the job.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:16 AM   #11
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LOL - I have 13-18 more years to go in the workforce, and after getting burned out in a previous occupation, I reached the minimal tolerance for BS! In addition, the attitudes of people who truly believe they are irreplaceable fascinates me. I do love what I do (and my clients appeciate it!), but the beauracratic "red tape" working for the gov't is the only downfall of my j*b. Like Rich said, "I could distance myself and shrug my shoulders more easily. I became less reactive and let it roll off my back more readily." Best advice I live by at the office!
Hang in there!
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Old 12-13-2007, 09:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post

Someone here on the ER forum (was it RetireeRobert? I have forgotten) suggested that I write down every date between now and the day when I can retire, on paper. Then, every day, cross one off.

It does seem to make my mornings more pleasant.
I have something like that...I have some tasks that I do every few years and have a little party when I say "I wont have to do that again" based on the current plan

Yeah, I agree with idea that stuff generally goes in one ear and out the other knowing that I have options....
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:51 AM   #13
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I've found that the more I was longing for retirement when it was almost in reach, the more I wanted to lose the office drama and confusion.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:01 PM   #14
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As I approached ER, I realized that my mindset changed from being in a "career" to being in a "job," and one I internalized that I could let a lot of the annoying BS just roll off my back. I was no longer there to build relationships that would help me to the next level in my career (i.e., promotions, raises, etc.) -- now I was there for me and for my next phase of my life.

All of a sudden, most of the typical office politics became quite humorous as I was becoming more of an observor rather than a full on participant.

And once I was fully FI'd, it was just a matter of putting in the time, crossing off the days, going through the motions necessary to do the job, but not much more. (Didn't retire on the job, though.)
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
I wonder if I knew I had reached FI, but was still working because I choose to (improving SWR, qualifying for better pension/insurance, getting enjoyment from work) then I would be more tolerant of the petty annoyance. In that case, I would know that I COULD leave, but was choosing not to. Instead, I am still dependent on the paycheck to reach FI - but am getting closer - so I seem to be more alert to and more affected by the inane. Frustrating, as now seems to be the very time I should be settling down and just cranking out the short time to go.
Quite possible.

Many years ago, DW felt trapped in a job (her boss was a card-carrying male chauvanist (spelling) pig who used her, a trained professional in her field, as a secretary) and didn't know whether she should come home crying or ready to take a baseball bat to his knees (not literally). She was relating a typical day to me and finished with "...but I can't quit!"

I told her, "Yes, you can."

:confused:

I said, "We both have good jobs, no debts (paid off cars and renting at the time, so no mortage) and can live off of one salary, so go in tomorrow and tell him you're quitting, if you want to!"

Well, the switch from thinking "I am trapped" to "This idiot goofball is paying me good money to do tasks that he could hire someone for much less money" shifted her thinking, and she was much less stressed.

Of course, I was prepared for her to come home any day and tell me that she had quit. To which I would have replied, "Good for you! Let's look for another job that suits you. No rush, let's find the right one."

DW returned the favor years later when I was burned out in my job, and facing the prospect of staying at a job that I hated or swinging for the fences and getting the job I wanted - but if I missed, being layed off. She told me to swing for the fences...

...I missed, and was laid off. And got a better job at another company.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:07 PM   #16
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I didn't find myself getting irritated, I was more amused at the BS.
I don't know, but I suspect you mean bemused rather than amused.

It is usually difficult to find genuine amusement in office politics and similar work nonsense.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:17 PM   #17
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I don't know, but I suspect you mean bemused rather than amused.

It is usually difficult to find genuine amusement in office politics and similar work nonsense.
Actually, I might disagree with the above...depending on the persons involved, I can find quite a bit of amusement in the office nonsense. If I'm in a playful mood, I might even try to discretely cause more shenanigans. It's really sort of a game I try to play...I know - I should probably move on if that's my attitude...but then what would I complain about all day?
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