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Old 05-05-2010, 09:13 PM   #41
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I'll see your @$$h0le boss and raise with one who called the day of your father's funeral to offer sympathy talk business and 'suggest' the best way to deal with your loss was to immediately return to work. This is the same boss who called you a few hours after you had surgery (still groggy from the general anesthesia) to wish you a speedy recovery complain about your office manager and insist you fire her...
And I'll also raise the #$%^ boss who didn't know crap about computers but just knew that as a female I must be screwing up and didn't believe anything I told him & would call up the guy who did maintenance to check my work?
Maintenance guy would tell $%^& boss he was full of it.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:35 AM   #42
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And I'll also raise the #$%^ boss who didn't know crap about computers but just knew that as a female I must be screwing up and didn't believe anything I told him & would call up the guy who did maintenance to check my work?
Maintenance guy would tell $%^& boss he was full of it.
Uh oh.......... what have I started?

Sure don't miss those folks!
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:40 AM   #43
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And I'll also raise the #$%^ boss who didn't know crap about computers but just knew that as a female I must be screwing up and didn't believe anything I told him & would call up the guy who did maintenance to check my work?
But you did make the coffee before calling, yes? [ducking]
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:03 AM   #44
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Great points. The "perfect ultimately fulfilling job" is just not that common. We know too well. There are too many things that need to be done that aren't that pleasant - it takes lots of grunts to run our economies and bureaucracies. And it's not just the job either, obviously, it's the people you work for! Too many not-so-great bosses out there.

There is a reason why people are paid to work! Why does that fact seem to get lost so often when discussing some kind of "ideal" of work?

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Old 05-06-2010, 10:06 AM   #45
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There is a reason why people are paid to work!
Precisely. And it's also why a lot of occupations that many people find personally fulfilling have crappy pay (even if it requires a lot of skill and/or education). The less people want to do something, the more you have to pay them to do it.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:16 AM   #46
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As mentioned by a few previous posters, we all need a certain amount of purpose and a sense of accomplishment to feel good about ourselves.

Personally, I need to do "stuff" and I like to be busy for at least part of the time or I get antsy and start feeling guilty about it. This is exactly how my job makes me feel. My position and the company is currently in a state of limbo. I have nothing worthwhile to do and generally surf the internet all day. So at the end of the day I feel bad for accomplishing nothing and I go home and do 'something' to feel alive again.

So for me...I need to ER to get busy! Funny how that is. Anyway, letter of resignation ready to be sent at the end of the month and done 30 days later.

E86
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:16 AM   #47
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I think a big part of the conversation is:

Do you want your life to be self-directed? Or other-directed.

In a career - half your waking life is other-directed. In the more demanding professional careers where you are expected to put in way more than a 40 hour work week, it may be way more than half.

Even if you are the boss - your work is directed by paying clients. You may have a lot more control over your work life than do your employees, but your customers ultimately direct your work.

The beauty of financial independence is that you no longer are beholden to someone else's direction because you no longer need to earn your living. At this point you can pick and choose assignments and clients if you run your own business. If you are still an employee you may have a little more flexibility, but you would probably have to change careers if you wanted a lot more autonomy over your work life. There is still the high degree of "hassle factor" associated with most careers.

Most people don't work because they love it. Most people work because they have to. For most people, work is mostly about earning a living until they don't have to any more.

I get the feeling a lot of folks are uncomfortable about the idea of having a self-directed life (beyond choosing the career or job). I suppose that this is understandable considering that we are trained from birth to do someone else's bidding.

But one thing I really don't understand is how anyone can feel there is something morally wrong with "doing your own thing" rather than doing what you are assigned by someone else. That's the struggle the author of this article really seems to have. Well, it's basically just a twist on the old protestant work ethic.

Ultimately, he is saying that you can only "reach your full potential" if your activities are directed by someone else. And there are no requirements for how "evolved" or "superior" the boss or hiring organization need to be in order to create the environment that lets you achieve this ultimate fulfillment.

So funny. It's the absolute opposite of the Greek philosophers who strongly believed that work (for hire) corrupts achievement, and that it's only through activities done in leisure time that one can reach their full potential.

Audrey
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Old 05-06-2010, 11:33 AM   #48
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Well, it's basically just a twist on the old protestant work ethic.
This is likely true. However, there is a reason that Germany is bailing out Greece, and not the other way around.

Also, the US as it was in the past is a stunning achievment of people with the Protestant work ethic.

Ha
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:30 PM   #49
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This is likely true. However, there is a reason that Germany is bailing out Greece, and not the other way around.

Also, the US as it was in the past is a stunning achievment of people with the Protestant work ethic.

Ha
Not to take the conversation in a new direction, but the basic fact is that 80% of Greeks don't pay their taxes.

The protestant work ethic has achieved more...but IMHO not what made the US great. "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" doesn't mean a 40+ hr work week to everyone.

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Old 05-06-2010, 12:31 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
I think a big part of the conversation is:

Do you want your life to be self-directed? Or other-directed.

In a career - half your waking life is other-directed. In the more demanding professional careers where you are expected to put in way more than a 40 hour work week, it may be way more than half.

Even if you are the boss - your work is directed by paying clients. You may have a lot more control over your work life than do your employees, but your customers ultimately direct your work.

The beauty of financial independence is that you no longer are beholden to someone else's direction because you no longer need to earn your living. At this point you can pick and choose assignments and clients if you run your own business. If you are still an employee you may have a little more flexibility, but you would probably have to change careers if you wanted a lot more autonomy over your work life. There is still the high degree of "hassle factor" associated with most careers.

Most people don't work because they love it. Most people work because they have to. For most people, work is mostly about earning a living until they don't have to any more.

I get the feeling a lot of folks are uncomfortable about the idea of having a self-directed life (beyond choosing the career or job). I suppose that this is understandable considering that we are trained from birth to do someone else's bidding.

But one thing I really don't understand is how anyone can feel there is something morally wrong with "doing your own thing" rather than doing what you are assigned by someone else. That's the struggle the author of this article really seems to have. Well, it's basically just a twist on the old protestant work ethic.

Ultimately, he is saying that you can only "reach your full potential" if your activities are directed by someone else. And there are no requirements for how "evolved" or "superior" the boss or hiring organization need to be in order to create the environment that lets you achieve this ultimate fulfillment.

So funny. It's the absolute opposite of the Greek philosophers who strongly believed that work (for hire) corrupts achievement, and that it's only through activities done in leisure time that one can reach their full potential.

Audrey
Very well put!
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Old 05-06-2010, 12:41 PM   #51
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So funny. It's the absolute opposite of the Greek philosophers who strongly believed that work (for hire) corrupts achievement, and that it's only through activities done in leisure time that one can reach their full potential.
Or Ben Franklin, whose "putzing" during 40+ years of ER easily outstripped anything he achieved as a printer...
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Old 05-06-2010, 01:19 PM   #52
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Or Ben Franklin, whose "putzing" during 40+ years of ER easily outstripped anything he achieved as a printer...
There are many historical figures in this category. Darwin is another.

Pre 1900, a great deal of the scientific discovery and advances were made by people who had the means to pursue their own interests and didn't need to earn a living. In fact, there wasn't really such a thing as a "professional scientist" until fairly late in the 1800s or thereabouts.

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Old 05-06-2010, 01:55 PM   #53
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But you did make the coffee before calling, yes? [ducking]
Actually I did make coffee as I was usually the first person in the office. I did not serve it.
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:05 PM   #54
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As mentioned by a few previous posters, we all need a certain amount of purpose and a sense of accomplishment to feel good about ourselves.
Didn't Freud say "to love, to work, and to play"?
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:54 PM   #55
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The beauty of financial independence is that you no longer are beholden to someone else's direction because you no longer need to earn your living. At this point you can pick and choose assignments and clients if you run your own business. If you are still an employee you may have a little more flexibility, but you would probably have to change careers if you wanted a lot more autonomy over your work life. There is still the high degree of "hassle factor" associated with most careers.

Most people don't work because they love it. Most people work because they have to. For most people, work is mostly about earning a living until they don't have to any more.

I get the feeling a lot of folks are uncomfortable about the idea of having a self-directed life (beyond choosing the career or job). I suppose that this is understandable considering that we are trained from birth to do someone else's bidding.

But one thing I really don't understand is how anyone can feel there is something morally wrong with "doing your own thing" rather than doing what you are assigned by someone else. That's the struggle the author of this article really seems to have. Well, it's basically just a twist on the old protestant work ethic.

Ultimately, he is saying that you can only "reach your full potential" if your activities are directed by someone else. And there are no requirements for how "evolved" or "superior" the boss or hiring organization need to be in order to create the environment that lets you achieve this ultimate fulfillment.

So funny. It's the absolute opposite of the Greek philosophers who strongly believed that work (for hire) corrupts achievement, and that it's only through activities done in leisure time that one can reach their full potential.
Great post, Audrey!
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:22 PM   #56
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Most people don't work because they love it. Most people work because they have to. For most people, work is mostly about earning a living until they don't have to any more.

Audrey
While everything you say is true, there are those who actually like what they do. I can think of a few examples in my family:
  • GGF was a farmer. I was born on his 100'th birthday. DF went to wish him happy birthday and tell him about me. Found him shovelling sh*t out of the barn.
  • GF was a farmer. Sold the farm and retired at 79. Got bored and took my ner-do-well cousin farming (on a farm he owned but rented) at 81. Fininshed harvest at 86, packed GM in the car and headed for SoCal to spend the winter. Didn't make it.
  • GF's brother was a lawyer, retired at 96 or 97. Died shortly thereafter.

None of these people needed employment income. They had some reason to work and it wasn't money. I can only assume it was because they were doing what they wanted to do.

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Most people don't work because they love it.
I'm pretty sure some do.
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:32 PM   #57
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This is likely true. However, there is a reason that Germany is bailing out Greece, and not the other way around.

Also, the US as it was in the past is a stunning achievment of people with the Protestant work ethic.

Ha
Yes - I grant you that a lot of the history of success of the US as a nation was due to the Protestant work ethic.

But I think that the last 60 years were driven not by the protestant work ethic directly, but by rather by "The American Dream" which is a consumerist philosophy, not a religious one. That still generated a lot of productivity.

Audrey
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Old 05-06-2010, 08:36 PM   #58
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I'm pretty sure some do.
Kumquat - I hope you noticed that I specifically said "most people" - not "all people". That leaves plenty of room for your "some people" - which I also know exist.

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Old 05-11-2010, 06:59 AM   #59
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Not to take the conversation in a new direction, but the basic fact is that 80% of Greeks don't pay their taxes.

The protestant work ethic has achieved more...but IMHO not what made the US great. "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" doesn't mean a 40+ hr work week to everyone.
Unfortunately, the basic fact is that the vast majority of Americans - perfectly legally - don't pay as high taxes as government spending actually requires. They also don't save much money and can't afford to buy a significant quantity of government debt. So as this article points out, both countries are overly dependent upon borrowing from foreign investors.

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The citizens of aging rich countries with low savings rates, including the U.S., have a choice. They can go along with higher taxes, spending cuts, reduced pensions and the like, to put government finances on solid ground. Or they can cut their own spending and save more - quite a bit more - themselves. What they can't do is expect foreigners to pay for them to live beyond their means forever. That is the clear lesson of Greece.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:26 AM   #60
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There is probably several bell curves in retirement. Some are really good at it, and some aren't. The good thing is that nobody gets to define the bell curve for us. Just like I admit to being a below average napper, some are proud to excel at it! Not that there is anything wrong with that!

The focus should be on FI and not RE. Everyone should be aiming for FI (right?). Once they achieve it, working for da man become an optional activity which they may or may not continue to pursue. It is about having options.

Choosing what to do every day is tremendously liberating. What I choose to do will be different than you and nobody will be trying to say which one is "correct". (Except maybe some hack writers.)
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