Not an FU Money story or even a literal FU! story, but more of a hindsight FU-ish story. Worked at a large law firm between second and third years of law school. Back then the expectation was you'd get an offer for employment at the end of the summer, for the following year (i.e., after graduation). I hated everything about that job, about the corporate law firm existence, the white-shoe suit-and-tie set. And it obviously showed. At one point, I was given a ridiculously stupid assignment by a 4th or 5th year associate. I asked him what the deadline for completion was, and he told me, no hurry, before the end of summer. Several weeks later (well short of the end of summer), he calls me to his office and asks where the project is. I tell him it's only about 30% complete. He tells me he wanted it today. I politely tell him, no you didn't. A back and forth ensues that ends up with me going off on the guy, dropping a few F bombs and generally telling him he's full of shit, all heard by others in the vicinity. This was just one of the many little idiotic typical law firm episodes I had that summer. Did I mention I hated it? And I REALLY hated the idiotic billable hour system, where you had to keep track of client billing in six-fucking-minute increments!! WTF? I was miserable, and more than a few of my friends noticed it. Nevertheless, I anticipated getting an offer and taking that job. It's basically what I'd been programmed to do in law school (and I'd taken this summer position over several others I'd been offered -- times were good). And it paid really well. And it was "prestigious." Classic golden handcuff situation.
And then the offer didn't come. I was politely told over the phone that I wouldn't be getting an offer. Stunned (though in hindsight, I'm not sure why), I asked if the caller could expound upon the reasons why. He said, "Some of the Committee members thought you lacked a seriousness of purpose." In other words, I didn't play the game like a good soldier is supposed to.
It took me a couple days to get past this rejection -- but once I did, I had this overwhelming feeling of liberation. I'd been freed from taking that shitty job that I would have taken for no other reason than that it paid good money. Weeks later, I interviewed for my current job with the federal government, and had an offer just a month later. Turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. 16 years later, I'm looking at FIRE in another 5 years and change, and have had a really good career thus far. No asshole bosses, no make-work B.S., plenty of autonomy, mostly interesting work, a sane work schedule, a shitload of money frankly (not like the law firm job but more than enough), and a pension when I retire. In short, I hit the career jackpot. All because I didn't get that offer, thank God. Not a day goes by when I'm not thankful for the way things turned out.
So the FU here is more of a hindsight FU to the corporate legal sector, and to my law school for steering me there, and to those Hiring Committee members who apparently thought I'd never amount to much. But even then, I have to temper the FU with a 'thank you,' for the reasons stated above.
In short, life is good. -)