Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 8771979 times)

cripzychiken

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8650 on: June 12, 2015, 07:04:23 AM »
No exactly overheard at work, but I was speaking with a friend/coworker the other day and complaining a bit about how we spend so much on groceries and how I need to get a handle on it. He asked me what I wanted to spend the money on that I wanted to free up by spending less on groceries.

It took me a moment to process before replying that I wanted to save the money, not spend it on something else. The response I got back was pretty dismissal, along the lines of "why would you want to do that?".
I went to an end-of-the-school-year beach thing yesterday. Well, my spouse took the boys, I showed up at 6:20 after getting out of work.  Not many people left.

Anyway, was talking to a man there.  I've met his wife a few times.  He's 54 with a kindergartener.  He talked about how he's in "cloud computing" and he's been very careful to pay attention to the industry all his career and make sure that he's relevant and up to date - this keeps his skills new and needed and means that the longest he has ever been unemployed is 3 months.

He said "it's important at my age so that you don't age out due to being..." I said "obsolete" and he said "no, unhireable.  It's different.  You can be relevant but unhireable because you are too old and too expensive.  But if you are very skilled, you can stay employed."  We then discussed my work and the fact that "are there any semiconductor fabs left in the US?"  Yeah, not many, hence why I'm frugal (one of the many reasons).

But I brought the subject up at lunch today, as we were eating free leftovers from the business meeting.  And my former boss (late 50's) was agreeing completely.  He said "I can run divisions and companies, so I don't suffer as much from the ageism, but it's a real thing".  And it's true for him - he's been a VP and is totally awesome.  For me though, at almost 45 - I am seeing the effects of being female (glass ceiling), being in a dying industry (very few places to move up), being a mother (not willing to work 50-60 hour weeks), and not being willing to move.  Even the very experienced and awesome people that I know, in their 50's, have taken at least 6 months to find a job, sometimes longer.  And these are people who are well known with a lot of connections.

It hit fast, too.  At 40, I realized I was protected from age discrimination and it felt silly.  It doesn't feel very silly anymore.  Companies are like the military - pyramids.  There aren't that many spots at the "top", so if you are "just an engineer", you may have 30 years of experience, but you are competing with dozens of people with 15-30 years experience.  So, do I want to be a "worker bee" known for my solid, fast, quality work?  Or do I want to try to climb the ladder?  Or what?

Interesting topic all around, and a bit depressing (you can NEVER assume that your salary will go up and up, or even hold steady, especially after 55).  I don't think most people quite work that into their retirement plans.

Thank you for sharing this. I'm only a few years older than you and am aware that I'm wandering into this job-insecure demographic. This is why I'm hoping to hang onto the current job I have, warts and all, as long as it lasts and is tolerable. Due to my not beginning saving for retirement until I was almost 30, and not doing so fairly aggressively until about 8 or 9 years ago, I can't foresee retiring for at least another 9 years, barring some unforeseen windfall or major bump in salary.


This is interesting and important. While it happens in every industry, it seems to me that tech is more prone to age discrimination than many, and it also seems to change frequently (so that everyone gets laid off at some point). It's a field where it's possible to earn the kind of salary that leads naturally to early retirement, but also one in which "early" retirement may not be a choice but an unplanned inability to find work at some point that is decidedly not yet old (just ask Social Securtiy - old is getting older).


Seems to me that working toward FI if not RE is a necessity rather than a luxury in many cases. That's why you would want to do that.

I think the reason people think that Tech is prone to ageism is that they expect to get paid for experience that doesn't relate to the job they are applying for.  If you have 30 years total xp, but only 5 years working with a given program/language/etc; how does that make you any different than a guy with 5 years xp in that language?  Sure you probably have more 'business skills' and stuff that you can only get by working, but when looking at who is the best fit for that spot, picking the guy making 30% less with the same xp - that's not ageism.

My field (Mech Engineering) is facing a similar issue.  The gray guard is starting to realize that due to how advanced the programs we use are, their 40yrs xp working out stuff by hand that can now to solved in 5minutes if you know how to use the software doesn't count the same anymore. It isn't ageism to pay a guy 30% less that can do the work just as well, that's good business.  Now  that said, a lot of the older guys have taken a slight pay cut to keep competitive, and when it gets to only a 5-10% premium, then the older guy tends to win that battle - after all, just seeing a problem before makes you that much of a better engineer.

partgypsy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8651 on: June 12, 2015, 07:17:58 AM »
"I wish I could eat what you eat, but I have low glycemic index (self-diagnosed) sugar so I need to eat less carbs"



LOL

JAYSLOL

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8652 on: June 12, 2015, 07:23:28 AM »

I'm not sure I can even sum up the trainwreck i heard yesterday, but here is my best try. 

New CW mentions he is happy to get this job, which is at minimum wage, because he is broke.  He is 30 years or so older than I am.  He then says until this job he has been unemployed for over a year, to which I think to myself that it's pretty bad at that age to blow through all your savings after just one year, BUT then i find out he has been on employment insurance up till only 2 months ago!  Even worse! 
We drive past one of our company work trucks (a 2012 F150) and CW asks: what year is that one, i say 2012, CW: it has a different grill than my 2012.  he then says he hasn't made the last few payments on his (dealer financing from new, of course!).  I ask what kind of work he was doing before, he replies he worked as a baker!  AGGHHH!  I keep silent.  He also said he used to have some old 60's boat of a car as a project vehicle, that he paid $4000 for, and then spent another $4000 to keep in storage for 2 years, couldn't find anyone who could bring it out here for him so he had to let it go. 
New CW also complains about how bad his neighbour is with money, saying she goes to the casino often and will go through 200-300 in a night.  I say, yeah those casinos really suck money out of people, i don't go.  He says, he goes with her sometimes, but will only spend 20-30 each time and only buy 1 beer.  AGGGHHH!  I keep silent again.  All this time though out the day, he is taking smoke breaks to burn through some cigarettes, and then complains that his knees are sore.  I ask why.  He says its the stairs at his place, he has to go up 14 steps and down 7 steps and back for every smoke break.   

I wonder what today will bring?

Threshkin

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8653 on: June 12, 2015, 08:21:25 AM »
CW with probably $70K in consumer debt frequently mentions wanting to pare that down. He's collecting his order of two $8 sushi rolls in the next cube...

I have been craving sushi. I might go to a Asian grocery story for lunch one of these days, it isn't cheap but it is cheaper than going to a good place to get my fix.

Even cheaper is to make it yourself.  Sushi is amazingly simple to make.

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8654 on: June 12, 2015, 08:36:04 AM »
CW with probably $70K in consumer debt frequently mentions wanting to pare that down. He's collecting his order of two $8 sushi rolls in the next cube...

I have been craving sushi. I might go to a Asian grocery story for lunch one of these days, it isn't cheap but it is cheaper than going to a good place to get my fix.

Even cheaper is to make it yourself.  Sushi is amazingly simple to make.

I agree! I have a few friends that will make sushi together with. It's more fun that way cause you can get a variety of fish to play with. By yourself you lose the social aspect, and only use a fish or two. I still might this weekend.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8655 on: June 12, 2015, 08:48:24 AM »
Quote
I think the reason people think that Tech is prone to ageism is that they expect to get paid for experience that doesn't relate to the job they are applying for.  If you have 30 years total xp, but only 5 years working with a given program/language/etc; how does that make you any different than a guy with 5 years xp in that language?  Sure you probably have more 'business skills' and stuff that you can only get by working, but when looking at who is the best fit for that spot, picking the guy making 30% less with the same xp - that's not ageism.

My field (Mech Engineering) is facing a similar issue.  The gray guard is starting to realize that due to how advanced the programs we use are, their 40yrs xp working out stuff by hand that can now to solved in 5minutes if you know how to use the software doesn't count the same anymore. It isn't ageism to pay a guy 30% less that can do the work just as well, that's good business.  Now  that said, a lot of the older guys have taken a slight pay cut to keep competitive, and when it gets to only a 5-10% premium, then the older guy tends to win that battle - after all, just seeing a problem before makes you that much of a better engineer.

Very good points.  In my industry, experience is very important - but it totally depends on the company.  My former boss is awesome because he's moved around a lot - so he has a lot of DIFFERENCE semiconductor experience in all sorts of devices and processes. 

As a smallish startup doing something new - we only have the experience gained (mostly) from people getting their PhD in a lab.  That's not totally true, but partially true.

So my own personal experience that I bring to the table is 15 years of this particular device processing, operation, design, etc. - and I know at my last company what kind of things broke and how to fix them.  I had a minimal amount of high volume experience prior to that.

What my ex-boss brings is a good solid knowledge of device physics and decades of process flow design and process experience (we would not have qualified our first part without him).

My current boss is a device physics nerd.

You can be a good solid process engineer with 10 years experience.  Junior engineer with 2-3 years.  When we were growing, however, we seriously needed a handful of the 30 years experience folks to do the things that we didn't know, like detailed process information on dry etch, photolithography, etc.

In this small town I've found it hard to find a new, equivalent position because it's such a small town.  I interviewed for a position that was perfect (for me).  It used all of my skills and experience, but was a new device - which would give me the opportunity to expand my device knowledge.   I didn't get it.  They ended up not filling the position, but I noticed that it's open again (they have two positions open).  I'm really  not sure what they are looking for - but the few conversations that I've had with friends indicate that maybe they are being super picky (also hard to do in this town, you end up hiring people from Bay Area who commute).  I realize, though, that I cannot control that. 

And now I understand something else - when the company I worked for in 1999 went under, we all scattered to different places.  The vast majority of my coworkers - probably 80% - are still at the same companies where they went in 2000 or 2001.  But most of my coworkers are in their 50's now.  Originally I thought maybe their companies are awesome.  Maybe they are just hunkering down!

GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8656 on: June 12, 2015, 09:01:07 AM »
I think the reason people think that Tech is prone to ageism is that they expect to get paid for experience that doesn't relate to the job they are applying for.  If you have 30 years total xp, but only 5 years working with a given program/language/etc; how does that make you any different than a guy with 5 years xp in that language?  Sure you probably have more 'business skills' and stuff that you can only get by working, but when looking at who is the best fit for that spot, picking the guy making 30% less with the same xp - that's not ageism.

My field (Mech Engineering) is facing a similar issue.  The gray guard is starting to realize that due to how advanced the programs we use are, their 40yrs xp working out stuff by hand that can now to solved in 5minutes if you know how to use the software doesn't count the same anymore. It isn't ageism to pay a guy 30% less that can do the work just as well, that's good business.  Now  that said, a lot of the older guys have taken a slight pay cut to keep competitive, and when it gets to only a 5-10% premium, then the older guy tends to win that battle - after all, just seeing a problem before makes you that much of a better engineer.

If the experience you're talking about is related to programming, there is tremendous carryover related to design.  The guy with 5 years experience will usually not design his code as well, think of special cases as well, or be able to solve his problems as quickly.  Long term maintenance of the code base produced by the guy with 5 years experience will be more costly.  Programming is a logical mindset . . . language specifics are very easy to learn.  I can teach you to code in a couple weeks.  It takes a lifetime to learn to code well.

theknitcycle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8657 on: June 12, 2015, 12:13:28 PM »
I just had to declare myself on break so that I could come share this...

Yesterday:  CW complains she's already (as of the 11th) in the hole $300 for the month because it's her anniversary and she had to pay for the anniversary trip last weekend (two nights at nice hotel outside of town, dinners, fancy drinks all weekend) plus buy a $200 anniversary present.

This morning:  Same CW comes in saying she's a little hung over because happy hour got out of hand last night.  Describes to me the seven (SEVEN!) different cocktails she had at three different bars.  Mixed drinks at the places she mentioned go for $8-$12 each, maybe $7 if she managed to drink all of them before 6pm.  Plus dinner at one of the stops.

Just before I logged on: She was digging through the company's supply of thank you cards to find one she can re-purpose as a birthday card, because she's going to a birthday party tonight and has to bring a card but is too broke to buy one.

Right now as I'm finishing up typing: She is on the phone ordering a $10 takeout lunch.

cripzychiken

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8658 on: June 12, 2015, 12:19:52 PM »
I think the reason people think that Tech is prone to ageism is that they expect to get paid for experience that doesn't relate to the job they are applying for.  If you have 30 years total xp, but only 5 years working with a given program/language/etc; how does that make you any different than a guy with 5 years xp in that language?  Sure you probably have more 'business skills' and stuff that you can only get by working, but when looking at who is the best fit for that spot, picking the guy making 30% less with the same xp - that's not ageism.

My field (Mech Engineering) is facing a similar issue.  The gray guard is starting to realize that due to how advanced the programs we use are, their 40yrs xp working out stuff by hand that can now to solved in 5minutes if you know how to use the software doesn't count the same anymore. It isn't ageism to pay a guy 30% less that can do the work just as well, that's good business.  Now  that said, a lot of the older guys have taken a slight pay cut to keep competitive, and when it gets to only a 5-10% premium, then the older guy tends to win that battle - after all, just seeing a problem before makes you that much of a better engineer.

If the experience you're talking about is related to programming, there is tremendous carryover related to design.  The guy with 5 years experience will usually not design his code as well, think of special cases as well, or be able to solve his problems as quickly.  Long term maintenance of the code base produced by the guy with 5 years experience will be more costly.  Programming is a logical mindset . . . language specifics are very easy to learn.  I can teach you to code in a couple weeks.  It takes a lifetime to learn to code well.

Completely agree that xp help you know 'how to do right' rather than just 'what to do'.  My main point was if a guy has 5 yrs xp and is ~90% of a guy with 40 yrs xp, it be worth the 30% pay savings for the company. 

As for coding, I had to do it in college for a class, survived it and realized it's not for me.  So I'm not near knowledgeable if there is a correlation there.  But, I can say that in manufacturing and mech design after about 5 yrs of good xp, I can't see too much of a difference between employees based on technical knowledge.  Now when it comes to leadership skills, management skills , personal time management, etc - there is a difference.  I feel tech is out pacing xp very quickly and making people who know how to use the software as good as people who know the science/engineering behind it.

I know there is a lot more that goes into it, but if I end up as a manager before FIRE, I won't really care about xp after the 5 yr mark for everything that isn't a project lead role.  I know that there is a good deal of skill with older employees since they have just seen more problems and know how to fix them, but I also think that paying 30% more for that is probably not worth it. I would only value the extra xp for leadership and management reasons (since software hasn't found a way to replace that yet).

dorothyc

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8659 on: June 12, 2015, 12:21:16 PM »
I can't say for sure I've read the whole thread, because I don't always know where I've left off and may have missed bits and pieces. But, in general, I've read the thread, foamy parts and all.

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

Hunny156

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8660 on: June 12, 2015, 12:33:34 PM »
Just wanted to chime in that I too, have ready every page of this thread, almost exclusively while at work.  It's one of my favorite guilty pleasures.

Not sure I've mentioned this before, but it was overheard at work:

CW: I saw you listed your car for sale! (FB post of Craig's List ad)
Me: Actually, I already sold it!  Right out of the parking lot here, under 24 hours!
CW: Cool!  What are you gonna get now?
Me: (confused, since she knows I'm frugal) A bigger bank account!  I'm gonna drive hubby's old car.

Boss:  Literally LOL's at my bigger bank account comment.  :)

MrMoogle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8661 on: June 12, 2015, 01:14:33 PM »
I feel tech is out pacing xp very quickly and making people who know how to use the software as good as people who know the science/engineering behind it.

It's been my experience that knowing how to use engineering software without understanding the science behind it means you're likely to misuse the software.  Although people with 5 years of experience typically understand the basics of what it can and can't do. 

I do agree that there's diminishing returns that go along with experience.  And intelligence can be more valuable than experience, to the company at least.

eljefe-speaks

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8662 on: June 12, 2015, 02:32:55 PM »
CW lives about an hour of pure traffic hell away from downtown, where we work. Her husband just landed a job dowtown. Hooray, now they can carpool right!? Nope. That would mean CW would have to get here at 8 AM. The kicker: our work schedule is 8 AM - 5 PM. She is going to drive seperately because otherwise she would have to get here ON TIME! 

dycker1978

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8663 on: June 12, 2015, 03:07:25 PM »
Talking to a Co-worker this morning about parking down town at work.

A couple background things first.  We live in a small city.  You can get anywhere in 20 minutes by car.  We work right in the center of the city.  Easy to get to from just about anywhere.

CW: My God is parking getting expensive down town.  It now costs me $175 a month to park.
me: The bus only costs $75 a month.  You don't have to worry about parking then.
CW: I am not taking the bus, a bunch of low lives take that.
me: You could Always ride your bike.  They give bikers a free parking spot downstairs in the parkaide
CW: That is to far to ride every morning.  I would be to sweaty to work.
Me: face palm

He lives about 3 blocks from me.  I ride every day.  There is a shower facility here.  He wonders why he is broke.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8664 on: June 12, 2015, 04:16:54 PM »
I have also read the whole thing (like eating an elephant, a bit at a time). I didn't read it at work since I am retired (evil laugh).  Does make me happier to be retired, although I have to say my coworkers were not this extravagant.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8665 on: June 13, 2015, 09:16:21 AM »
I just had to declare myself on break so that I could come share this...

Yesterday:  CW complains she's already (as of the 11th) in the hole $300 for the month because it's her anniversary and she had to pay for the anniversary trip last weekend (two nights at nice hotel outside of town, dinners, fancy drinks all weekend) plus buy a $200 anniversary present.

This morning:  Same CW comes in saying she's a little hung over because happy hour got out of hand last night.  Describes to me the seven (SEVEN!) different cocktails she had at three different bars.  Mixed drinks at the places she mentioned go for $8-$12 each, maybe $7 if she managed to drink all of them before 6pm.  Plus dinner at one of the stops.

Just before I logged on: She was digging through the company's supply of thank you cards to find one she can re-purpose as a birthday card, because she's going to a birthday party tonight and has to bring a card but is too broke to buy one.

Right now as I'm finishing up typing: She is on the phone ordering a $10 takeout lunch.
oh god

crazy jane

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8666 on: June 13, 2015, 10:34:07 AM »
I just had to declare myself on break so that I could come share this...

Yesterday:  CW complains she's already (as of the 11th) in the hole $300 for the month because it's her anniversary and she had to pay for the anniversary trip last weekend (two nights at nice hotel outside of town, dinners, fancy drinks all weekend) plus buy a $200 anniversary present.

This morning:  Same CW comes in saying she's a little hung over because happy hour got out of hand last night.  Describes to me the seven (SEVEN!) different cocktails she had at three different bars.  Mixed drinks at the places she mentioned go for $8-$12 each, maybe $7 if she managed to drink all of them before 6pm.  Plus dinner at one of the stops.

Just before I logged on: She was digging through the company's supply of thank you cards to find one she can re-purpose as a birthday card, because she's going to a birthday party tonight and has to bring a card but is too broke to buy one.

Right now as I'm finishing up typing: She is on the phone ordering a $10 takeout lunch.

These gems are the reason  I've read every word in this thread. I've never posted, due to working with frugal teachers, but thank you to everyone for sharing your experiences. It's my daily comic relief and I have loved all of it. Please keep sharing

nobodyspecial

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8667 on: June 13, 2015, 11:44:13 AM »
Quote
If you have 30 years total xp, but only 5 years working with a given program/language/etc; how does that make you any different than a guy with 5 years xp in that language
Because the specifics of the language is the least important part of software engineering.
This statement is precisely why software engineering isn't engineering.

----------------- The famous interview a carpenter like a developer sketch -----------------

Interviewer: So, you're a carpenter, are you?
Carpenter: That's right, that's what I do.

Interviewer: How long have you been doing it?
Carpenter: Ten years.

Interviewer: Great, that's good. Now, I have a few technical questions to ask you to see if you're a fit for our team. OK?
Carpenter: Sure, that'd be fine.

Interviewer: First of all, we're working in a subdivision building a lot of brown houses. Have you built a lot of brown houses before?
Carpenter: Well, I'm a carpenter, so I build houses, and people pretty much paint them the way they want.

Interviewer: Yes, I understand that, but can you give me an idea of how much experience you have with brown? Roughly.
Carpenter: Gosh, I really don't know. Once they're built I don't care what color they get painted. Maybe six months?

Interviewer: Six months? Well, we were looking for someone with a lot more brown experience, but let me ask you some more questions.
Carpenter: Well, OK, but paint is paint, you know.

Interviewer: OK. Hang on let me check off the box...
Carpenter: Go right ahead.

Interviewer: OK, one more thing for today. We're using Rock 5.1 to bang nails with. Have you used Rock 5.1?
Carpenter: [Turning white...] Well, I know a lot of carpenters are starting to use rocks to bang nails with since Craftsman bought a quarry, but you know, to be honest I've had more luck with my nailgun. Or a hammer, for that matter. I find I hit my fingers too much with the rock, and my other hand hurts because the rock is so big.

Interviewer: But other companies are using rocks. Are you saying rocks don't work?
Carpenter: No, I'm not saying rocks don't work, exactly, it's just that I think nail guns work better.

Interviewer: Well, our architects have all started using rocks, and they like it.
Carpenter: Well, sure they do, but I bang nails all day, and -- well, look, I need the work, so I'm definitely willing to use rocks if you want. I try to keep an open mind.

Interviewer: OK, well we have a few other candidates we're looking at, so we'll let you know.
Carpenter: Well, thanks for your time. I enjoyed meeting you.

NEXT DAY:

Ring...


Interviewer: Actually, we have. We liked your experience overall, but we decided to go with someone who has done a lot of work with brown.
Carpenter: Really, is that it? So I lost the job because I didn't have enough brown?

Interviewer: Well, it was partly that, but partly we got the other fellow a lot cheaper.
Carpenter: Really -- how much experience does he have?

Interviewer: Well, he's not really a carpenter, he's a car salesman -- but he's sold a lot of brown cars
Carpenter: [click]

 
« Last Edit: June 13, 2015, 11:45:56 AM by nobodyspecial »

Sam E

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8668 on: June 13, 2015, 12:49:02 PM »
----------------- The famous interview a carpenter like a developer sketch -----------------

This was hilarious. I think it applies to my line of work as well, fixing computers. I currently work on industrial computers, but computer hardware is computer hardware. What's in the box of a factory "HMI" is pretty much the same as what's in a laptop, desktop, etc. But for some reason you can't convince an interviewer of that for some reason. I have nearly 5 years of professional experience fixing industrial PCs, so that means I'm woefully ill-equipped to fix an office PC or a home PC, or so I've actually been told by potential employers.

Rollin

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8669 on: June 13, 2015, 09:57:30 PM »
CWr makes about $120,000/year in a not so bad COL area.  No kids, modest house, old Toyota, just not very spendy.  30 years and fully vested in great pension.  62 years old.

Whined and complained in front of the bosses about being underpaid, at a time when they were considering promotions for CWr (and me).

Bosses changed their collective minds and went a different path.  No raises, no promotions.

CWr upset.

Me fine since FIRE is in October at 54 years old (if all goes according to plan)

Hmm. Maybe he is FI but just thinks his time is worth more? I'm surprised that he's not spendy but acted this way. Maybe he has sick or otherwise dependent family members?

Yes, there must be more to the story than meets the eye.  The only other explanation is that CW is simply greedy.  One of our bosses took me aside a few weeks later to tell me how pissed off that made him when CW did that.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8670 on: June 14, 2015, 12:28:22 AM »
CWr makes about $120,000/year in a not so bad COL area.  No kids, modest house, old Toyota, just not very spendy.  30 years and fully vested in great pension.  62 years old.

Whined and complained in front of the bosses about being underpaid, at a time when they were considering promotions for CWr (and me).

Bosses changed their collective minds and went a different path.  No raises, no promotions.

CWr upset.

Me fine since FIRE is in October at 54 years old (if all goes according to plan)

Hmm. Maybe he is FI but just thinks his time is worth more? I'm surprised that he's not spendy but acted this way. Maybe he has sick or otherwise dependent family members?

Yes, there must be more to the story than meets the eye.  The only other explanation is that CW is simply greedy.  One of our bosses took me aside a few weeks later to tell me how pissed off that made him when CW did that.

Another possiblity is that CW has another set of major expenses that aren't obvious. An addiction or a gambling habit, for example, can eat through "disposable" income quickly.

Daisy

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8671 on: June 15, 2015, 11:55:59 AM »
You clearly haven't read this entire thread ;)

Nobody's read the entire thread.  It's officially longer than a Proust novel.

You clearly haven't read my signature ;)

Also here is where "foam" started (and is defined, we have NoraLenderbee to thank):
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/antimustachian-wall-of-shame-and-comedy/overheard-at-work/4500/

I didn't realize I was one of the ones that had contributed to the original definition of foam. It makes me feel good...like I've really contributed something of value on these forums. ;-)

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8672 on: June 15, 2015, 12:02:01 PM »

Carpenter: Really, is that it? So I lost the job because I didn't have enough brown?

Reminded me of the movie "Catch me if you can," where the newish doctor asks himself, "Why didn't I concur?"

Fuzzy Buttons

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8673 on: June 15, 2015, 01:59:36 PM »
I can't say for sure I've read the whole thread, because I don't always know where I've left off and may have missed bits and pieces. But, in general, I've read the thread, foamy parts and all.

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

The orange "New" is a button?!

I've been going by memory this whole time!  /slapsforehead

infogoon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8674 on: June 15, 2015, 02:21:49 PM »
The orange "New" is a button?!

I've been going by memory this whole time!  /slapsforehead

It's commonly called a Black Button in news reports.

stevedoug

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8675 on: June 15, 2015, 02:22:35 PM »
I was talking to one of my cube-mates about upcoming summer plans, and how busy the summer is.  I've got a weekend in NYC this month, a a week in Germany in July, and 2 full weeks in Hawaii in September.  He literally said, "What are you, a millionaire?"  I started to explain about gaming credit cards for airline miles, and VRBO, and the ridiculously good deal I got by patiently Pricelining a car in Honolulu.  And I very pointedly did not explain that after the husband and I save/invest 50% of our take home we budget our vacations separately (because that's not anyone's business).  But people really assume that you can't do both. 

...

are you me?
I get the same stuff at work (I'm 32, in engineering). I took 2.5 weeks around Christmas to go to Hawaii, and got so much "How can you afford that! you are so lucky!"
I'm like, I live in a small condo in a sub-par area and drive old cars. Your F150 alone is worth about 10x my Hawaii vacation

merula

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8676 on: June 15, 2015, 02:27:30 PM »
I can't say for sure I've read the whole thread, because I don't always know where I've left off and may have missed bits and pieces. But, in general, I've read the thread, foamy parts and all.

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

The orange "New" is a button?!

I've been going by memory this whole time!  /slapsforehead

Ditto. Thank you, dorothyc!

Fuzzy Buttons

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8677 on: June 15, 2015, 02:34:20 PM »
I can't say for sure I've read the whole thread, because I don't always know where I've left off and may have missed bits and pieces. But, in general, I've read the thread, foamy parts and all.

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

The orange "New" is a button?!

I've been going by memory this whole time!  /slapsforehead

You are not the only one. Thanks dorothyc!

I just used it to read your post!

It's a crazy new world out there, folks.  :D

Tallgirl1204

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8678 on: June 15, 2015, 03:29:22 PM »

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

The orange "New" is a button?!

I've been going by memory this whole time!  /slapsforehead

You are not the only one. Thanks dorothyc!

I just used it to read your post!

It's a crazy new world out there, folks.  :D

Wow, it's like magic!

i hate to join in the foam, but, uh, me too.  Life is so much easier when you know how to do stuff like this... and now I do. 

Cherry Lane

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8679 on: June 15, 2015, 04:05:29 PM »

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

The orange "New" is a button?!

I've been going by memory this whole time!  /slapsforehead

You are not the only one. Thanks dorothyc!

I just used it to read your post!

It's a crazy new world out there, folks.  :D

Wow, it's like magic!

i hate to join in the foam, but, uh, me too.  Life is so much easier when you know how to do stuff like this... and now I do. 
Just a warning:  it doesn't always work exactly right.  On most threads the button does as intended, but on this one specifically it takes me to a few posts later than the oldest unread post.  (Since sometimes I may forget to scroll up, I can't definitively say I've read every post in this thread, but I'm at least close!)

Rural

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8680 on: June 15, 2015, 04:16:28 PM »

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

The orange "New" is a button?!

I've been going by memory this whole time!  /slapsforehead

You are not the only one. Thanks dorothyc!

I just used it to read your post!

It's a crazy new world out there, folks.  :D

Wow, it's like magic!

i hate to join in the foam, but, uh, me too.  Life is so much easier when you know how to do stuff like this... and now I do. 
Just a warning:  it doesn't always work exactly right.  On most threads the button does as intended, but on this one specifically it takes me to a few posts later than the oldest unread post.  (Since sometimes I may forget to scroll up, I can't definitively say I've read every post in this thread, but I'm at least close!)


Also if someone edits a post, it sometimes shows up as "new"again. But still it's a fine tool.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8681 on: June 15, 2015, 04:45:46 PM »
I can't say for sure I've read the whole thread, because I don't always know where I've left off and may have missed bits and pieces. But, in general, I've read the thread, foamy parts and all.

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

Incidentally, the orange "new" button is actually called a "black button".

ender

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8682 on: June 15, 2015, 04:53:48 PM »
I can't say for sure I've read the whole thread, because I don't always know where I've left off and may have missed bits and pieces. But, in general, I've read the thread, foamy parts and all.

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

Incidentally, the orange "new" button is actually called a "black button".


Aww someone else beat me to it!

GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8683 on: June 15, 2015, 04:59:11 PM »
I can't say for sure I've read the whole thread, because I don't always know where I've left off and may have missed bits and pieces. But, in general, I've read the thread, foamy parts and all.

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

Incidentally, the orange "new" button is actually called a "black button".

 . . . more of an orange box than a button.

dorothyc

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8684 on: June 15, 2015, 05:09:45 PM »

That is what the orange "new" button is for :)

The orange "New" is a button?!

I've been going by memory this whole time!  /slapsforehead

You are not the only one. Thanks dorothyc!

I just used it to read your post!

It's a crazy new world out there, folks.  :D

Wow, it's like magic!

i hate to join in the foam, but, uh, me too.  Life is so much easier when you know how to do stuff like this... and now I do. 
Just a warning:  it doesn't always work exactly right.  On most threads the button does as intended, but on this one specifically it takes me to a few posts later than the oldest unread post.  (Since sometimes I may forget to scroll up, I can't definitively say I've read every post in this thread, but I'm at least close!)


Also if someone edits a post, it sometimes shows up as "new"again. But still it's a fine tool.

I didn't know either for the longest time. I think it was Rebel Spy who I first heard it from.

forummm

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8685 on: June 16, 2015, 01:47:19 PM »
A coworker just spent $2400 on food and souvenirs for 4 people at Disney World last week.

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8686 on: June 16, 2015, 02:44:37 PM »
CW with probably $70K in consumer debt frequently mentions wanting to pare that down. He's collecting his order of two $8 sushi rolls in the next cube...
Sushi is comparativily expensive, but for 16$ you could make enough sushi yourself to be stuffed two times and still have a few pieces to share.

I agree, every once in a while me and a few friends will get some good quality fish and make sushi together. It really doesn't cost all that much, around $10 per person, and maybe more if we have wine or anything else, and it is a lot of fun to do.
I love sushi, and I like making sushi and sushi-like stuff for parties. I can whip up a damn good batch of inari, musubi, or dolmades for like $5 though.
If I were in a no-shit-hair-on-f*($!ng-fire debt situation like CW, the last thing I'd have for lunch is sushi.
Especially after saying it's time to get out of debt and I want to eat $1 soup and maybe some salad every day.
$16 a workday = over $4K per year!

sheepstache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8687 on: June 16, 2015, 02:47:59 PM »
CWr makes about $120,000/year in a not so bad COL area.  No kids, modest house, old Toyota, just not very spendy.  30 years and fully vested in great pension.  62 years old.

Whined and complained in front of the bosses about being underpaid, at a time when they were considering promotions for CWr (and me).

Bosses changed their collective minds and went a different path.  No raises, no promotions.

CWr upset.

Me fine since FIRE is in October at 54 years old (if all goes according to plan)

Hmm. Maybe he is FI but just thinks his time is worth more? I'm surprised that he's not spendy but acted this way. Maybe he has sick or otherwise dependent family members?

Yes, there must be more to the story than meets the eye.  The only other explanation is that CW is simply greedy.  One of our bosses took me aside a few weeks later to tell me how pissed off that made him when CW did that.

Another possiblity is that CW has another set of major expenses that aren't obvious. An addiction or a gambling habit, for example, can eat through "disposable" income quickly.

Well, and also, if my pay were, say, disproportionately lower than what I'm worth on the market or how much value I bring to the company (e.g., if I were already doing extra/higher level work but it wasn't being officially acknowledged through a promotion), I'd be pissed about that regardless of how much money I actually needed. Although I infer from details of the story that that's not how it came off, that it was more linked to desperation. I just pipe up because I dislike the attitude which employers rely on sometimes that anyone asking for more money must be greedy.

LoveStache

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8688 on: June 16, 2015, 03:18:30 PM »
My old coworkers were constantly befuddling me (and this was before I discovered MMM!) Here are some of the better ones...

CW: Hey, will you do me a favor?
Me: Sure, what do you need?
CW: Well, I want to surprise my husband with a hunting trip for our anniversary but we don't have the money for it right now. Can you type up a letter and pretend to be my landlord, stating that I am $4000 behind on my rent? If I send in a letter like that, I can withdraw from my 401k without penalty.
Me:....*brain exploding* Um, sure I guess.

THE HUNTING TRIP IS COSTING CLOSE TO $4000. Actually, it's closer to $3000, but she's going to go shopping for some new clothes. Granted, she just lost over 100 pounds from gastric bypass, but she's already gotten a ton of clothes from friends and only has to wear scrubs to work.

I feel kind of bad for her because she just simply doesn't understand what she's doing to herself. She gets her nails done every 2 weeks, gets waxes, goes out to dinners with her husband where she can't even eat very much (she just recently she got a medical card stating she's had gastric bypass so she can order off the kids menu or get senior citizen prices on buffets, thank God), spends hundreds on each grandchild for Christmas (she has 3), and she really doesn't make very much money. One day I was discussing how poorly teachers are paid in my home state (South Dakota) and how they are lucky if they make more than 30k....She said "Well I don't even make that much." Oooops, foot in mouth! Thankfully I was able to save myself by adding that they frequently (as in always) have to buy their own classroom supplies and work very long hours....That made her feel better.

Another coworker has filed for bankruptcy, has 2 vehicles AND a motorcycle, spends upwards of $100 per month at Victoria's Secret (she must wear matching bra and panties EVERY DAY), pays $200 per month for Comcast, owns season tickets to the local NFL team, is taking out loans for school (she already has $30,000 and is only 1/3 done with her online business degree), and has numerous other store credit cards that she pays the minimum payment on. Oh did I mention that she lives at home with her mom so she doesn't have to pay much in rent? She also has no children. Every time we are going to meet up for a drink, it has to be right after payday so she can spend her money...D'oh!!!!!

dandarc

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8689 on: June 16, 2015, 04:05:23 PM »
CW: Well, I want to surprise my husband with a hunting trip for our anniversary but we don't have the money for it right now. Can you type up a letter and pretend to be my landlord, stating that I am $4000 behind on my rent? If I send in a letter like that, I can withdraw from my 401k without penalty.
Me:....*brain exploding* Um, sure I guess.
The correct answer here is "no, I am not going to commit fraud for you".  Or "no, I don't want to enable your bad decision".  Basically anything that starts with the "No" works.

iamlindoro

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8690 on: June 16, 2015, 04:10:22 PM »
The correct answer here is "no, I am not going to commit fraud for you".  Or "no, I don't want to enable your bad decision".  Basically anything that starts with the "No" works.

+1!  And if she's going to commit fraud anyway, why can't she forge it herself?!?

DTaggart

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8691 on: June 16, 2015, 06:44:59 PM »
One of my colleagues, let's call him Tim, is an employee of the federal government. Several years ago, when Congress was doing their annual budget shenanigans and there was a threat of a government shutdown, Tim was facing the very real possibility of being furloughed. As the deadline got closer and closer, Tim began to panic. At one point he said, "So, I guess this is why they say you should have 3-6 months of expenses saved up." Apparently Tim had no emergency fund.

Miraculously, Tim did not get furloughed and was saved. But he decided that he should probably improve his financial situation a little bit and get his shit together. He decided that he would sell his car and buy a motorcycle, so his commuting costs would be less. He managed to sell his car and pay off the outstanding loan. He then managed to get another loan to buy a motorcycle. He said he was saving lots of money on gas and toll pass, and now he no longer had to pay for an extra parking spot at his condo. Sounds like a great deal, right? But in addition to the motorcycle itself, he had to buy ALL. THE. GEAR. He bought the helmet, the leather jacket, the gloves, the yellow safety vest. OK sure, necessary things. Then he needed a rain suit for when it rained. Then he had to buy a new backpack to carry his crap while he was on the bike. Then decided he needed hard-sided luggage containers (sorry I don't know the proper term). At some point he got a side car so he could take the wife and/or kids on adventures.

Then, he was having so much fun with his motorcycle, his wife decided she wanted one too so they could have fun together. So they bought her  a motorcycle. And helmet. And leathers... etc, etc. Then Tim found another motorcycle he liked better, and traded up for it.

Tim transferred to another department and I didn't see him much for a year or two. The next time I saw him we got to chatting and he mentioned that he was saving even more money now because he was leasing a Nissan Leaf and driving that to work instead of the motorcycle. Now he didn't have to pay the $200 a month on gas he had been spending with the motorcycle.

"So you sold the motorcycle, right?" I asked.
"Hell no! I'm never selling that thing."
"How much is the Nissan lease?"
"It's only $250 a month!"
"Sooo.... you're spending $250 a month to save $200??"
He paused momentarily, and appeared to be thinking.
"Dangit!!"

Now he's talking about transferring to a lower COL area so his money will go further, even though he'll get paid less working at that office.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 08:44:47 PM by DTaggart »

Metta

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8692 on: June 17, 2015, 07:57:51 AM »
Conversation:

CW: I need to leave early today. I'm helping my brother find a house and we think we've found one!
Me: That's great! Where is it? Will he be able to afford it? (Her brother is not well-paid and has very little saved.)
CW: It's not too far from his job. It's just the most adorable tiny little place. I think it will be perfect for him.
Me: How tiny?
CW: Just a an itty-bitty little place.
Me: Square footage?
CW: 3,000 sq ft

MgoSam

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8693 on: June 17, 2015, 08:04:46 AM »
CW: Well, I want to surprise my husband with a hunting trip for our anniversary but we don't have the money for it right now. Can you type up a letter and pretend to be my landlord, stating that I am $4000 behind on my rent? If I send in a letter like that, I can withdraw from my 401k without penalty.
Me:....*brain exploding* Um, sure I guess.
The correct answer here is "no, I am not going to commit fraud for you".  Or "no, I don't want to enable your bad decision".  Basically anything that starts with the "No" works.

Does hunting cost that much? I've never gone so I don't know how much tags and other things cost, but that seems excessive.

cripzychiken

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8694 on: June 17, 2015, 08:04:56 AM »
Another coworker has filed for bankruptcy, has 2 vehicles AND a motorcycle, spends upwards of $100 per month at Victoria's Secret (she must wear matching bra and panties EVERY DAY), pays $200 per month for Comcast, owns season tickets to the local NFL team, is taking out loans for school (she already has $30,000 and is only 1/3 done with her online business degree), and has numerous other store credit cards that she pays the minimum payment on. Oh did I mention that she lives at home with her mom so she doesn't have to pay much in rent? She also has no children. Every time we are going to meet up for a drink, it has to be right after payday so she can spend her money...D'oh!!!!!

So $1200/yr for VS.  assuming no sales, even with matching bra and panties every day, that's still like 20 matching sets - a year!  My wife has VA bras (and the free panties they send coupons for every few months) and they last ~2 years with care (only hand wash) and normal use (2-3 days a week per bra).  How is this girl walking around with 40-60 good VS bras.  It's it wrong that that's what I'm upset at, screw that 3 vehicles and all her other issues - how do you 'need' 60 bras while shopping for more?!?!?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8695 on: June 17, 2015, 08:12:36 AM »
CW: Well, I want to surprise my husband with a hunting trip for our anniversary but we don't have the money for it right now. Can you type up a letter and pretend to be my landlord, stating that I am $4000 behind on my rent? If I send in a letter like that, I can withdraw from my 401k without penalty.
Me:....*brain exploding* Um, sure I guess.
The correct answer here is "no, I am not going to commit fraud for you".  Or "no, I don't want to enable your bad decision".  Basically anything that starts with the "No" works.

Does hunting cost that much? I've never gone so I don't know how much tags and other things cost, but that seems excessive.

It doesn't have to cost that much if you know what you are doing, or go with someone who knows. If it becomes a hobby, like any other hobby, you can spend lots of money on new tools (My brother is planning on spending $1000 on trail cams this year). Or you can pay a guide LOTS of money to take you out and hold your hand. My other brother used to work for a guide up in northern BC. Their clients were mostly rich Americans and some rich Europeans who spent insane amounts of money to go hunting.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8696 on: June 17, 2015, 08:13:44 AM »
Conversation:

CW: I need to leave early today. I'm helping my brother find a house and we think we've found one!
Me: That's great! Where is it? Will he be able to afford it? (Her brother is not well-paid and has very little saved.)
CW: It's not too far from his job. It's just the most adorable tiny little place. I think it will be perfect for him.
Me: How tiny?
CW: Just a an itty-bitty little place.
Me: Square footage?
CW: 3,000 sq ft

That is absolutely ridiculous. Not buying a house that size, but not recognizing it to be what it is: a large house.  I live in a house that is a similar size (I don't actually know the square footage, but I'd bet it is about that). I recognize my house is absurdly large.

Unless they are a family of 12 or more, calling that itty-bitty is absurd.

cripzychiken

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8697 on: June 17, 2015, 08:15:26 AM »
CW: Well, I want to surprise my husband with a hunting trip for our anniversary but we don't have the money for it right now. Can you type up a letter and pretend to be my landlord, stating that I am $4000 behind on my rent? If I send in a letter like that, I can withdraw from my 401k without penalty.
Me:....*brain exploding* Um, sure I guess.
The correct answer here is "no, I am not going to commit fraud for you".  Or "no, I don't want to enable your bad decision".  Basically anything that starts with the "No" works.

Does hunting cost that much? I've never gone so I don't know how much tags and other things cost, but that seems excessive.

Well this is a hunting TRIP!  So I'm assuming possible airfare to get to a good hunting spot, 2-3 days in a high end hotel, renting an 'awesome weapon' since your normal rifle isn't good enough (or just buying a new one), you 'of course' need some ammo for target practice beforehand for the new weapon, new camo/outfit since the old one is last season (and that will scare away the deer or something), paying someone to show you where to go, paying fees to hunt on private land...

I hunt locally, and it only costs maybe $15 per trip (weapon already paid for, hunting on friends land).  Most of that is gas to get there and ammo.  The only extra costs I have is if I pay someone to help me clean/butcher a kill - and that is usually a portion of the meat rather than cash.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8698 on: June 17, 2015, 08:47:55 AM »
CW: Well, I want to surprise my husband with a hunting trip for our anniversary but we don't have the money for it right now. Can you type up a letter and pretend to be my landlord, stating that I am $4000 behind on my rent? If I send in a letter like that, I can withdraw from my 401k without penalty.
Me:....*brain exploding* Um, sure I guess.
The correct answer here is "no, I am not going to commit fraud for you".  Or "no, I don't want to enable your bad decision".  Basically anything that starts with the "No" works.

Does hunting cost that much? I've never gone so I don't know how much tags and other things cost, but that seems excessive.

It doesn't have to cost that much if you know what you are doing, or go with someone who knows. If it becomes a hobby, like any other hobby, you can spend lots of money on new tools (My brother is planning on spending $1000 on trail cams this year). Or you can pay a guide LOTS of money to take you out and hold your hand. My other brother used to work for a guide up in northern BC. Their clients were mostly rich Americans and some rich Europeans who spent insane amounts of money to go hunting.

I always rip on a family member for the money he spends on hunting (every gadget known to man inc. ATVs and such, etc etc) BUT he once pointed out the 100 acres of hunting land he bought for about $80k is now worth almost $300k.  So he's basically getting PAID to hunt. 

Metta

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #8699 on: June 17, 2015, 08:51:29 AM »
Conversation:

CW: I need to leave early today. I'm helping my brother find a house and we think we've found one!
Me: That's great! Where is it? Will he be able to afford it? (Her brother is not well-paid and has very little saved.)
CW: It's not too far from his job. It's just the most adorable tiny little place. I think it will be perfect for him.
Me: How tiny?
CW: Just a an itty-bitty little place.
Me: Square footage?
CW: 3,000 sq ft

That is absolutely ridiculous. Not buying a house that size, but not recognizing it to be what it is: a large house.  I live in a house that is a similar size (I don't actually know the square footage, but I'd bet it is about that). I recognize my house is absurdly large.

Unless they are a family of 12 or more, calling that itty-bitty is absurd.

He is a family of one.