LONG... perhaps not 'Epic', but FU money played a HUGE role. Unprecedented. Monumental. Big League. FU First... (sorry)
It sure was interesting to 'experience'... I'll use letters (A, B, C, etc) to represent company names to protect the innocent.
Two weeks ago, my manager at wireless company T dropped by to tell me that my contract date was up due to new tenure restrictions. (Been in my current role for 3.5 years - new rules say only 18 months allowed). [At the 1-year mark in this position, I decided to do an arguably un-mustachian thing, and purchase a house close to T so I could bike to work AND my son could stay in the right school district, but that's another story]. I contacted my account representative, and she added me to my firm's 'available list' immediately. I brushed up my resume, and was sent a bunch of bench-guide documentation - since I was likely to be on-the-bench / or between gigs. As a point of reference, the last time I was on-the-bench 3.5 years ago, I was between gigs for 3 months(!) - during that time I received a small salary, but no hourly compensation (the bread-and-butter of management consultant contractors).
That night, I went home, and crunched numbers... With a FIRE date 14 months away, I worked with the numbers to see if I could pull the date in sooner. With lots of belt tightening, I could ACTUALLY PULL IT OFF, and FIRE with around a 6% withdrawal rate for the first 3 years. Still sounded risky.
BUT... if I could SELL MY HOUSE, I'd be at or above my FIRE number TODAY. Problem is, I didn't really want to sell the house.
The next day, joined a weekly call for people on-the-bench to hear about current job prospects, and network with other bench warmers. I found out the average 'bench time' for my firm currently averages only 3 weeks. Not bad - maybe time for a little rest & relaxation?? I researched flights to sunny climes, and pictured palm trees, and sand between my toes... ah! I buffed up the resume, removed things from 10 years ago, and things looked very up-to-date.
Thursday, I was sought-out via email about a job opportunity at coffee roaster S. It would be a great fit, I would really like the culture, blah, blah, blah. So my resume got submitted.
That Friday, I was called during my drive to work about a 'perfect fit' job at culture-less wireless company A. Good money, I could save a project that was wallowing, etc. There was also discussion about positions opening soon at software company M who had wanted to hire me 3 years ago, but weren't willing to pay the right $$. Now things were different, and that was again a real possibility.
Last week, Monday... Tues... Weds... nothing. No word. No calls. No emails. I called my realtor on Tuesday about SELLING MY HOUSE, and starting geographic arbitrage earlier than planned. In Seattle's overheated housing market, I could net ~$200K if I sold today. 50% appreciation in just over 2 years!! More to think about.
Weds I missed the weekly bench call - I was on a project related call. Noon: finally heard that A would not 'show me the money', and the account rep there knew I would take a 'long sabbatical' rather than accept a lower rate. I expressed my thanks, and realized I'm literally in One More Year syndrome - but I'll only work if the $$ is right.
Weds afternoon, after a party at T headquarters, I bumped into another account rep in-the-elevator. He said hi, and mentioned he had recommended me for a new gig, and asked for my updated resume. He said, "Please send it", and got off the elevator. No dummy here, I got off WITH HIM instead of going to my destination. We chatted for 5 minutes about a project manager role that would keep me at T in a new role that wouldn't be subject to any tenure / time limits. Since it would be at the headquarters building (instead of 11 miles away in hilly Bot Hell), I would again be able to bike to work. [Yea rolling gym!]
Thursday morning, 'elevator account rep guy' said he'd reviewed my resume, and wondered if I could pump it up to make it look more 'Project Manager-y'. I went through, and changed the words Program Manager to Project Manager in several key places, and sent an update. PERFECT!, he said. When are you free to work in a new role? March 1st, I said, but I could start immediately if I could give my current team ~10% of my time between now and Mid-March. He said, Great. When can you interview tomorrow/Friday?. I says: Friday Anytime After 1pm. He set up a Friday 1pm this-is-the-role meeting with him, and a 4pm interview with the hiring manager.
My Friday started with a traffic slog to Bot Hell to do my current role work, followed by a lunch-time trip back home, and a bike-ride into headquarters. On the ride in, I literally had to avoid running into my CURRENT manager on the sidewalk. I told him why I was there, and that if it went well, I would be starting in a new role sooner than expected, giving 10% of my time to his team. He said he was ALREADY AWARE of this plan(?), and gave me the green light.
The 1pm get-up-to-speed meet went smoothly. Rep guy gave me a heads up on which parts of my resume would pluck the right strings for the hiring manager - that Quality Manager role at retailer A... oops... (not to be confused with wireless A) - as an example.
At 1:30, I the hiring manager emailed
Can you meet earlier than 4pm?
How about 2:30?
Great. Thanks for being flexible. See you then.
At 2:30, hiring manager bought me a nice soy-chai consumer-sucka-cuppa-pricey coffee drink, and we chatted.
I'm a get sh***tuff done guy. Project Management isn't rocket science - a box for every thing, and every thing in it's box, blah, blah.
When were you at retailer-A? I was there too you know.
2005-2007. A little over 2 years. I built a team from one person - me - to 8 people. A team that's now 85+ people spread across five continents.
Did you know person-X?
I've heard the name. I knew person-Y.
I know person-Y as well. Small world. Well... I'm not gonna lie. We're up against a wall on this one. We want it to ship in 15 working days, so I need you to start right away. There's a 3pm meeting to review the project, can you make it?
Sure. When do I start officially.
Start? You started when I saw your name on the resume. Welcome to the team.
This weekend, I called my realtor, and told him I'd be staying put for the foreseeable future. Gotta love the flexibility of FU money.
But it looks like I'll only have time for a weekend stay-cation... oh well. 14 months (or less) to go!
[NOTE: earlier references to 'dog years' removed - it was a reference to working at retailer A where one year seemed like 7 years out of your life in a real cut-throat environment.]