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Old 01-15-2014, 08:43 PM   #21
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The feeling I've gotten from this board so far seems to be that it's not working that's bad, it's the fact that someone else is making you do it that gets the mood down, even if you'd choose to do the same thing they'd make you do.
Absolutely! I read a study a few years ago about orchestras. Apparently the life expectancy of conductors is longer than that of musicians in the orchestra, and the researchers postulated that this was due to the fact that the conductors had more control. But many management positions have a lot of responsibility and authority, the worst of both sides.

Anyhow, it's a delight to have a bright young person like you on the forum and I really appreciate your perspective. Whatever happens, keep your sense if fun!
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:43 PM   #22
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Now that I think about it, I seem to remember that when I first discovered this forum, I was both impressed with the accomplishments everyone had, but surprised that there did seem to be an overwhelming bias toward thinking about work in a negative light. I believe that I rationed it made sense, given that this was the "Early Retirement" forum. I figured if everyone here loved their job, they probably wouldn't be hanging out on this forum. I didn't have any particular judgment about it, just an observation that it seemed like the forum had a fairly heavy tilt toward this way of thinking.

So it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of folks here generally agree with the topic in this thread. I suppose the difference between the folks here and the general population is that this community found a way to make the best of it, make enough money to live on, and then retire early enough to create freedom for themselves.

I wasn't sure I would fit in when I first joined this forum, because I really did enjoy most of my career, and I wasn't sure that I was ready to hang up my hat. I'm still not completely sure. I love my freedom, but I also do miss some of the challenges I faced in my career. So I'm going to finish up my 12 month "vacation" here in the next few months, and then decide if it's back to work for me, or OMY of ER.

Can we fall victim to OMY of being ER'd before we go back to work anyway, or does it only work the other way around?
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Old 01-15-2014, 08:51 PM   #23
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I guess I'm in the minority here. I enjoy what I do now, and most of my career I have enjoyed. At times it has been like a hobby. I did get promoted to a point where I did not like it, but took the risk to change back to a more enjoyable challenge and ended up making more than I ever expected. While I wouldn't work for free, I thought my peak earnings doing what I'm doing would be less than half of what I have been able to earn. I'm not going to complain about a career that gave me an opportunity to reach FI.

This doesn't mean I don't want to retire - I do plan to, to give myself more control and flexibility over whatever life I have left. If after retirement someone wants to pay me for to do part time work for a "hobby", as long as I could control the hours I would consider it.
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:09 PM   #24
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I know a musician who has toured assorted countries and has a recording contract, a jewelry designer, a professor who travels and does mostly research, a writer, a rock enthusiast who owned a rock shop / museum and got to go on a NASA expedition in Antarctica and other people with careers they enjoyed.

There are many independently wealthy people who plan to never retire -

http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2010/09/...-never-retire/
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:44 PM   #25
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I actually loved my job for the first 20 years. Would I do it for free ? No. But I awoke with grand plans for my workday, arrived early and worked late because I felt like I was making a diffference. Then reality set in and I realized that I was just a tiny cog in a giant wheel - I settled for staying where I was because it wasn't horrible. Then I hit FI and thats when I started to resent and dislike my j*b. Instead of seeing whatever good I might be doing all I can see is the BS and wasted time.
58 mondays to go !
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:07 AM   #26
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That sounds pretty similar to my experience. I generally enjoyed my positions very much, but that commute to LA just plain sucked. I still have nightmares just thinking about it. Sometimes it added as much as five hours to my day. That's almost like a whole extra job in itself.

If we ever invent the bullet train to LA that gets me there in 15 minutes, I just may reconsider all of this.
I remember telling the HR flunkie who did my long exit interview that I was so burnt out from the commute that even if they offered me my old telecommute deal which included 1 day a week on the trains to NJ I would have turned it down. It was a non-starter because they had ended all open-ended telecommuting 5 years earlier. I would have considered a one-day-a-month going to NJ if they also let me buy into their group health plan, even at 100% of premiums (another non-starter from their side).

I once told some friends when I began the telecommute deal, "They can have my mind, but not my body!"
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:10 AM   #27
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I think it more likely that they are simply deceiving themselves and/or their interlocutors. The interviewer asks "Will you continue to work after retirement?*. You say "Yes, I will." The interviewer asks "why?" At that point a fairly large number will say "Because I'll need the money." But there are certainly still a substantial number (perhaps even 16%) who will be embarrassed to admit that they have not saved sufficiently and will need the money. So they say "Oh, I want to stay connected" or "I enjoy what I do." It's simple human nature.

* (yes, I am well aware of the non-sequitur)
I suspect there's some truth to that and it probably explains the 'enjoy spike' in the "sixties" group. But how would that explain "twenties", "thirties" even " forties?" Maybe you didn't notice the age groups...
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:05 AM   #28
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In other news, 16% of workers are full of crap.
84% of workers hate their jobs, and the rest are lying...
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:49 AM   #29
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84% of workers hate their jobs, and the rest are lying...

Funny..... But sad too.

So many folks without the moxy to manage their most important asset, "time". We all have (had) to do what we have (had) to do to support ourselves and I certainly understand selling your life's "time" to meet responsibilities such as family. Been there, done that. But I tried to focus on the positives of my experiences earning a living and not be miserable while waiting for some point in the future when things would be better.

For those still working and feeling miserable, think about your alternatives, if you have any. Decades spent unhappy aren't reversible. What can you do to manage your situation?
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:02 AM   #30
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It is sad but probably true that only 1 out of 6 people enjoy their jobs. Why is that? I believe it is most likely because the modern work environment intrudes to much into other parts of the worker's life. Technology is part of that, since we are reachable on and off the job. But, employers now expect us to put work first, family second, with god and country coming out a distant third. We are expected sacrifice our families, health, and general well being for the good of the company. And, there is little loyalty in return.

Combine the above with policies and procedures that make doing the job, we supposedly were hired to do, very difficult. Another source of frustration.

Oh, in the USA add in the miserly vacation benefits as compared to the rest of the world.

Like many I enjoyed the basics of my job. It was the garbage that came with it, that was had to deal with.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:16 AM   #31
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It is sad but probably true that only 1 out of 6 people enjoy their jobs. Why is that? I believe it is most likely because the modern work environment intrudes to much into other parts of the worker's life. Technology is part of that, since we are reachable on and off the job. But, employers now expect us to put work first, family second, with god and country coming out a distant third. We are expected sacrifice our families, health, and general well being for the good of the company. And, there is little loyalty in return.

Combine the above with policies and procedures that make doing the job, we supposedly were hired to do, very difficult. Another source of frustration.

Oh, in the USA add in the miserly vacation benefits as compared to the rest of the world.

Like many I enjoyed the basics of my job. It was the garbage that came with it, that was had to deal with.
But if you go back a few generations, wasn't earning a living even more intrusive on your life? In an agricultural based society, you woke up every morning totally immersed in your job from dawn til dusk. Tradesmen, shopkeepers and industrial workers all had a much more day-to-day outlook and less ability to control their own fate, IMO. Are jobs more difficult/unpleasant today or are we just getting whimpier? Or is it just a matter of timing and relative comparison? Jobs today are frequently tougher/less pleasant than those of the Post WWII boom era but infinitely better than the early industrial revolution and before.

I can understand certain unhappy employment situations. A coal miner in Ky knows no other life and, growing up in impoverished circumstances, has little education. Tough, dangerous work turns into layoffs and worse. Hard roots to pull out of the ground and transplant. But my feeling is those cases are the exception in our country. For most, there are choices in employment and lifestyle. Standing still and whining doesn't solve employment unhappiness.

While I'm going to receive a modest DBP pension from MegaCorp, I'm kinda glad to see pensions, and other job handcuffs, disappear. Portable pensions, while likely less lucarative, give people the chance to pull themselves out of unhappy employment situations and get on with spending their precious lifetimes in more favorable circumstances.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:35 PM   #32
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It's comical those who want to dispute that anyone "enjoys what they do." While I don't know if it's really 16% or 10-26%, of course there are people who enjoy what they do, though undoubtedly a minority.

I'd bet there isn't anyone here who has never known anyone who enjoys/enjoyed their work. 1 in 10, or 1 in 6, maybe. I certainly have, wish I could have been one of them longer...
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:09 PM   #33
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Out of 25 years at Megaconglomocorp, I "enjoyed" about half of them. The rest were riddled with management shenanigans, most decidedly not designed to enhance my enjoyment...
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:34 PM   #34
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There are times I like my job. I like my co-workers. I like many of my responsibilities. But 29 years at an M-corp with many additions, consolidations, reorganizations and management that has removed most of the gravy (stock, bonuses) it's just not as fun.

Currently on my lunch break I am perusing this site and enjoying all of your comments, that's pretty fun.
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Old 01-16-2014, 02:09 PM   #35
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But if you go back a few generations, wasn't earning a living even more intrusive on your life? In an agricultural based society, you woke up every morning totally immersed in your job from dawn til dusk. Tradesmen, shopkeepers and industrial workers all had a much more day-to-day outlook and less ability to control their own fate, IMO. Are jobs more difficult/unpleasant today or are we just getting whimpier? Or is it just a matter of timing and relative comparison? Jobs today are frequently tougher/less pleasant than those of the Post WWII boom era but infinitely better than the early industrial revolution and before.

I can understand certain unhappy employment situations. A coal miner in Ky knows no other life and, growing up in impoverished circumstances, has little education. Tough, dangerous work turns into layoffs and worse. Hard roots to pull out of the ground and transplant. But my feeling is those cases are the exception in our country. For most, there are choices in employment and lifestyle. Standing still and whining doesn't solve employment unhappiness.

While I'm going to receive a modest DBP pension from MegaCorp, I'm kinda glad to see pensions, and other job handcuffs, disappear. Portable pensions, while likely less lucarative, give people the chance to pull themselves out of unhappy employment situations and get on with spending their precious lifetimes in more favorable circumstances.
Your comments on going back a couple of generations really hit home. My fraternal grandfather was killed working on the railroad(brakeman) in 1929. Low bridge, guy ahead of him forget to yell duck. My maternal grandfather worked in coal mines, later as a janitor. Neither one had any retirement.

My DF worked in factories till after WWII. Later he sold insurance. He put in many hours to get ahead. He got 34 years of retirement benefits. All but the last 5 years were good to him.

I got to RE at 56. I enjoyed quite a few good years at Megacorp, and 5 crappy ones. However the workplace was different in my time. I know my DF worked long hours, but never worked a 100 hour week or 40 hours straight. He never was paged in the middle of the night.

So to your point, it's different, so many things have changed. Most for the better for sure. I don't think 50-100 years ago that survey would have been any better, perhaps much worse. So maybe we are a bunch of wingers.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:41 AM   #36
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I remember telling the HR flunkie who did my long exit interview that I was so burnt out from the commute that even if they offered me my old telecommute deal which included 1 day a week on the trains to NJ I would have turned it down. It was a non-starter because they had ended all open-ended telecommuting 5 years earlier. I would have considered a one-day-a-month going to NJ if they also let me buy into their group health plan, even at 100% of premiums (another non-starter from their side).

I once told some friends when I began the telecommute deal, "They can have my mind, but not my body!"
Interesting point on commuting. I drove at least 40 miles to work for about 25 years. In the end, the effort to get to work was about as taxing as the job itself.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:08 PM   #37
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Interesting point on commuting. I drove at least 40 miles to work for about 25 years. In the end, the effort to get to work was about as taxing as the job itself.
Serious question; why wouldn't someone move closer to work if this was the case. I've never worked far from work. Always moved closer if need be.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:28 PM   #38
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Serious question; why wouldn't someone move closer to work if this was the case. I've never worked far from work. Always moved closer if need be.
People live in the suburbs for good schools, lower cost housing, yards and parks. If you work in a downtown high rise, there often isn't any affordable housing close by with good public schools and places for the kids to play.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:30 PM   #39
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I enjoyed the heck out of what I did (network security and computer forensics), to the extent that I still keep up with the topic 7 years after I retired. However, I didn't like the people I worked for/with, and the politics and BS made me happy to FIRE. I'd probably have FIREd anyway because even though I enjoyed the work and even if the politics and people hadn't been there, I enjoy retirement more. Just because you prefer one situation doesn't mean you didn't enjoy another one too, just not as much. I'm not sure where that would put me in the poll, but I enjoyed myself when it was just me and solving a problem. Sadly, it's never just that in a work situation.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:15 PM   #40
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Serious question; why wouldn't someone move closer to work if this was the case. I've never worked far from work. Always moved closer if need be.
I endured a punishing commute driving from central NJ to Greenwich, CT for 3 and a half years. I had the opportunity to learn a ton and make a truckload of money. Why didn't I move? First, I did not know how long the job would last. It was a risky leap for me that lasted longer than I expected, but ultimately came apart in a messy fashion. Second, it was in Greenwich. There was nowhere I could move within a 45 minute commute that would have cost less than 750k or so (and don't ask about real estate taxes). There was no way I was doing that.
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