Author Topic: Epic FU money stories  (Read 2283505 times)

bbqbonelesswing

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3400 on: November 22, 2020, 12:43:25 PM »
Did I mention that his on-call shift was also set to start in 4 days, and no one else was scheduled for that overtime for the next 2 weeks - just my husband? So they had to scramble to have their small team cover 2 weeks of extra work because they made an ultimatum. Later the manager privately asked, 'isn't this short notice for letting us know you are not continuing in the job?' Uh, yeah. But it's exactly the same 4 days you gave us.

I love this and I have no sympathy for your husband's previous employer. I've heard similar things from managers in the past when quitting. My response has always been, "well, then why did you push me to quit?" So dumb.

halftimer

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3401 on: November 22, 2020, 12:58:03 PM »

Did I mention that his on-call shift was also set to start in 4 days, and no one else was scheduled for that overtime for the next 2 weeks - just my husband? So they had to scramble to have their small team cover 2 weeks of extra work because they made an ultimatum. Later the manager privately asked, 'isn't this short notice for letting us know you are not continuing in the job?' Uh, yeah. But it's exactly the same 4 days you gave us.

I think my response would be "Oh! I'd be happy to continue the job! When will you have the contract ready for me to continue the job instead of changing the terms of work?"

We did consider having him work the new contract schedule until they could find a replacement. But there was zero incentive for him to do so - those would be the worst 2 weeks ever! It would have all the on-call overtime plus missing 2 appointments that were previously set for his days off, and I'm sure all the garbage assignments since they knew he was leaving. Instead he had a few weeks off before even starting to look for a new job.

Adventine

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3402 on: November 22, 2020, 05:40:21 PM »
@halftimer I'm glad you and your husband made the choices that you did. Well done!

AMandM

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3403 on: November 22, 2020, 07:55:59 PM »
Later the manager privately asked, 'isn't this short notice for letting us know you are not continuing in the job agreeing to be screwed over?'

FTFH

bmjohnson35

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3404 on: November 22, 2020, 08:25:07 PM »
At the beginning of COVID, it looked like my job was in jeopardy so we did some quick forecasting and reassured ourselves that without changing any spending we had enough on hand for 6-8 months of expenses, and if we went to a bare bones budget and accessed saving deposits we could easily make it through 2 years of expenses without touching retirement funds. A few months pass and our financial situation is slightly improved as our expenses are naturally reduced with less travel, commuting, eating out, etc and at the same time the reality of job loss is still there (a few coworkers were laid off) so we stayed cautious.

At the end of summer, my husband was called into a meeting at work and presented with a new employment contract set to take effect in 4 days. The new terms would eliminate the weekly day off, severely limit sick days, and had a few other unappealing clauses. They said it was so they could ensure coverage during covid in case anyone got sick, but it really had no provision for isolating if you had symptoms, only if you had a positive test (no days off while waiting for results of test - what?!) This was presented as a take it or leave it - either it takes effect in 4 days or you have no contract and no job. Well, they had no idea that we were not as dependant on the job as they thought so it was an easy choice on our end to "Leave it".

Did I mention that his on-call shift was also set to start in 4 days, and no one else was scheduled for that overtime for the next 2 weeks - just my husband? So they had to scramble to have their small team cover 2 weeks of extra work because they made an ultimatum. Later the manager privately asked, 'isn't this short notice for letting us know you are not continuing in the job?' Uh, yeah. But it's exactly the same 4 days you gave us.

Less than 2 months later and he had 3 job offers - all with his preferred 0.8 FTE schedule, and accepted the one closest to home that just happens to have zero on-call shifts and it's working out great. The job he left had an 'urgent' job posting online until about a week ago.

Congrats.  So many become too dependent on their jobs because of not saving and making poor financial choices.  Employers appear to assume this and their policies often reflect it.  CEO's can drive companies into the ground and walk away with millions when asked to leave, but employees in lower position are often taken for granted.   

alcon835

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3405 on: November 23, 2020, 07:03:13 AM »
That's exactly what FU money was meant for! Great job holding to your guns!

People don't believe me when I tell them money = freedom. Pointing folks to the stories in this thread has really opened a lot of eyes to how the world would look if folks would handle their funds a bit more responsibly!

LightTripper

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3406 on: November 23, 2020, 07:19:43 AM »
Great story @halftimer : as the PP said, that is exactly what FU money is for!  Sounds like your OH has really landed on his feet with the new job too - great outcome!

halftimer

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3407 on: November 23, 2020, 06:19:43 PM »
Later the manager privately asked, 'isn't this short notice for letting us know you are not continuing in the job agreeing to be screwed over?'

FTFH

Haha! Yes, I'm so glad we were not in a desperate position to have to accept those screwy terms.
I don't think I mentioned it above, but our forecasting included 2 years of expenses covered even if we both lost our jobs. So it was very easy to turn down the new contract.

On the other hand, he is not used to changing jobs so there was definitely some mental stress. It was mitigated knowing that we could wait until the right offer came along, and our finances would be ok. The first offer he got came really fast, but it sounded like a stressful position, had a few red flags about the team he would be working with, and was a long commute away. He declined and waited another 2 weeks until the position he wanted came through.

In the meantime, I have 4.5 weeks of vacation time to use up soon and no where to go. I might just take a mini sabbatical myself.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3408 on: November 24, 2020, 01:53:03 PM »
Echoing what others have said above, you and your husband did an excellent job, @halftimer

...
I don't think I mentioned it above, but our forecasting included 2 years of expenses covered even if we both lost our jobs. So it was very easy to turn down the new contract.

On the other hand, he is not used to changing jobs so there was definitely some mental stress. It was mitigated knowing that we could wait until the right offer came along, and our finances would be ok.
...

This is an important thing that many people minimize; having momentum in a (even a crappy) job can cause people to stick around much longer than they should. The good news here is that it gets easier the more you do it. I switched jobs ~3 years ago and it was very hard for me to do, since I had a false belief that some portion of my identity was tied up in that specific company. Now my eyes are more opened, and I'd be able to leave much sooner if things started getting bad. 

Catbert

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3409 on: November 26, 2020, 10:31:37 AM »
Not me and not exactly epic, but...

I have a friend who is a veterinarian and in the Before Times worked 32 hours a week (Fridays off).  In March when schools went on-line she switched to working just 2 days a week.  She worked Mondays and Fridays which are the worst days in a vet office as a trade-off.  In the Fall she decided to home school her middle-schoolers rather than continue on-line.  The owner allowed her to since he knew she had options (aka FU money).

Now we come to last week.  Case rates are up and continuing to rise in our area.  Many of the employees in the practice are young female vet techs who have Covid fatigue.  They are continually partying and out for drinks after work.  All the things none of us should be doing.   There is nothing the practice can or is willing do about their outside activities.  My friend went to the owner and is now on LWOP until she feels comfortable coming back.  She was aiming to FIRE in a couple of years and her boss knew it.  Maybe she'll go early.

mm1970

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3410 on: November 27, 2020, 10:47:58 AM »
Later the manager privately asked, 'isn't this short notice for letting us know you are not continuing in the job agreeing to be screwed over?'

FTFH

Haha! Yes, I'm so glad we were not in a desperate position to have to accept those screwy terms.
I don't think I mentioned it above, but our forecasting included 2 years of expenses covered even if we both lost our jobs. So it was very easy to turn down the new contract.

On the other hand, he is not used to changing jobs so there was definitely some mental stress. It was mitigated knowing that we could wait until the right offer came along, and our finances would be ok. The first offer he got came really fast, but it sounded like a stressful position, had a few red flags about the team he would be working with, and was a long commute away. He declined and waited another 2 weeks until the position he wanted came through.

In the meantime, I have 4.5 weeks of vacation time to use up soon and no where to go. I might just take a mini sabbatical myself.
This was pretty glorious, I must say!

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3411 on: November 28, 2020, 01:05:27 AM »
Received a trial brief I didn't like. I'd previously told the solicitor how to prepare it for trial and she didn't follow my instructions. I didn't realise this till 3pm the day before the trial when I went to read the brief.

In another time when I was younger and dumber, I would have felt bad for the solicitor, who by now had only 1-2 hours to replace me with another counsel, and I would have just accepted the brief.

This time I called in sick and returned the brief. The solicitor can go find someone who's desperate enough for work that he or she will accept a last minute hand me down.

I was happy to forego the money and the goodwill in return for not having to save someone's hide. My job isn't to do someone else's dirty work.


AMandM

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3412 on: November 28, 2020, 12:02:27 PM »
I think the smaller-scale stories like Catbert's and BloopBloopReloaded's are important. They show that FU money isn't only for all-or-nothing quit-your-job events, but also gives you freedom in situations like a bad brief or lax safety.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3413 on: November 29, 2020, 08:35:44 PM »
Yes. It's a virtuous cycle.

Putting up your fees can sometimes mean that people think it's a marker of quality - it may or may not be. If you are not fussed about the risk of getting less work you have the option to arbitrarily set your fees a bit higher than what true market rate might dictate. If you're lucky, the market will see that as 'the market at work' and you will actually develop your reputation a bit - as long as you can produce the goods. In this manner, your work lags behind your fees, rather than your fees lagging behind your work.

My own mentor told me "you are worth what you think you are worth" and that kind of holds true in all industries in which customers have asymmetric information (and that would be essentially all professional services industries).

I frequently talk to my colleagues and tell them to up their fees - it's good for us as a whole and I genuinely think those counsel are undercharging - but not everyone listens to me. Some do, though.

malachite

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3414 on: December 02, 2020, 12:48:21 PM »
I can't believe I've never noticed this thread before. Only about three pages in, but had to post my own story:

A few years ago I am working as a software architect. I finish one major assignment and start on my next, helping out a different group (same boss but different coworkers). This group already has a lead architect.

For a time things go okay. I think this is largely because I was new to the project and still 'deferential' to the lead because I didn't really know the system yet. It doesn't take too long for things to go downhill. Over the course of the next year situations become increasingly intolerable. Some highlights:
1) I both stay late and work through lunch for a week to get an urgent feature designed, written, and tested. I check in the new code late on Friday and go home. The next Monday I find out the lead has reverted my changes calling them 'wrong' and 'irredeemable' but offering no more concrete critique. He then decides to redo them himself. His 'better' changes take twice as long to write, miss the deadline, and require several tests to be waived when they still fail even after completion.
2) Lead is offended that my boss left a meeting lead by the lead when the time for the meeting ran out. The lead marches up to my boss's office, interrupts the next meeting that is just starting, and proceeds to chew him out (despite being massively outranked by my boss). The shouting gets so loud that half the people in the cube-farm are poking their heads above the cube walls, staring.
3) Lead frequently attempts to 'win' discussions by the attrition tactic, simply refusing to budge until the other party gets tired and goes away.

Many other people report the Lead's behavior, and at one point I am called into a meeting with the lead, my boss & the head of HR to discuss how to 'smooth things over'.  Nothing much changes.

One day over lunch I am working on a personal programming project on my computer. It is written in Java. Lead comes over to my computer with a problem: "I am having trouble figuring out what this section of code is doing. It looks like it was written by a Java programmer."
The pejorative use of the term 'java programmer' was unmistakable. Leaving aside the fact that I was just writing Java code myself, I am also surround by people who are full-time Java developers. I hear at least one of them start to protest, but I override them and interrupt the lead, calling out his unwarranted (although frequent) judgemental stereotyping.

Rather than rephrase or apologize, he doubles down, saying 'what do you expect, C++ is just a superior language'. Before the snarc filter could stop it, I replied "Well as long as we are just declaring things, Java is a superior language'". His face looked like it would explode and he immediately proceeded into a continuous stream of reasons why C++ is better. After about twenty seconds of this I simply go back to my own work, as it is still lunch I just can't put up with this guy's behavior anymore. After several attempts to get me to continue the argument he gets the hint and goes back to his own computer.

Once I calm down I realize that this is it. I have taken so much of this guy's nonsense & abuse that I literally have no patience remaining. If I have to put up with even one more of his condescending remarks I might loose all composure and explain to him just what kind of person I think he is. As soon as my boss gets back from lunch I am in his office, outlining what happened, that it was the last straw & I am done, and that I need to be on a different project. My boss, who is generally a good guy, asks 'how quickly'? I respond with 'now'.

Only the confidence of knowing I was financially secure allowed me to be bold enough to make these demands as I did.

Afterward: I was transferred to another project the next day (fortunately my company always has plenty of things to work on). The lead 'resigned' from the company less than 6 months later. When he left his team was down to a professional tester & 3 developers with less than 3 years of combined experience. Literally everyone else on the team had left the company rather than speak up about the way they were being treated. As the person with by far the most experience with the project, I was brought back in as lead. After a few weeks of working with them, one of the team members confided to me "LEAD used to say you were overrated, but what you are doing with the code makes so much more sense." I'll have to say, it was pretty cathartic being able to joke with these other devs about how mad the LEAD would be as we systematically undid all of the flaws he had insisted on building into the product.

SwordGuy

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3415 on: December 02, 2020, 02:10:59 PM »
@malachite , Awesome story!   Been there, felt your pain.    FU money is a glorious thing.   Sometimes all it takes is an FU attitude!    Here's a totally different situation but hopefully a story that will amuse you.


Years ago I went to work for a Pop software company.  (Too small to be a Mom & Pop.)  Owner drinks and snorts coke and goes broke.   With his permission we take over the software and then we sell a conversion of it to a different computer operating system for a new client.

We're delivering a new module every few weeks.   We did the basic student registration module, then the alumni module next (because we got paid the same per module and it was simple and easy).

The #2 guy at this school ran the alumni department.   He would tell the #1 guy that our software "just didn't work" but could never give a single specific instance of a defect.    We came to believe that he had never used it and was afraid of the computer.  (A not uncommon problem back in the day!)

It was a DEC VAX computer.   A weird feature of the DEC terminals (screens and keyboards) was that the keyboard came with a hard, opaque plastic dust cover.     We snuck into the guy's office after hours and stole his keyboard but left the dust cover in place on his desk.

Two weeks later we pulled up to the school, parked in front of the window to the conference room so we could be seen to arrive, and went into the meeting room where people were already starting to arrive.  We got the usual vague song and dance about the alumni software not working.   

After the meeting we asked the #1 guy to stay back for a moment.  After the room cleared out, we explained to the #1 guy that we were tired of hearing that our alumni module didn't work.  It worked.  It worked just fine.   We believed that the #2 guy had never even tried to use it.   And this is where it got fun.  "We believe that so strongly that the last time we were here two weeks ago, we stole his keyboard and left the dust cover in place.  We're willing to wager, sight-unseen, that he doesn't know it's gone."    At that point my wife pulled his keyboard out of a big bag she had been toting.

#1 guy looked at us in total surprise.    He walked out of the room at a brisk pace and came back a few minutes later.   We never discussed that subsystem again.   It was perfect.

We didn't have FU money.  We were just tired of putting up with shit being tossed on our professional reputation.   

Alternatepriorities

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3416 on: December 02, 2020, 03:12:44 PM »
@malachite , Awesome story!   Been there, felt your pain.    FU money is a glorious thing.   Sometimes all it takes is an FU attitude!    Here's a totally different situation but hopefully a story that will amuse you.


Years ago I went to work for a Pop software company.  (Too small to be a Mom & Pop.)  Owner drinks and snorts coke and goes broke.   With his permission we take over the software and then we sell a conversion of it to a different computer operating system for a new client.

We're delivering a new module every few weeks.   We did the basic student registration module, then the alumni module next (because we got paid the same per module and it was simple and easy).

The #2 guy at this school ran the alumni department.   He would tell the #1 guy that our software "just didn't work" but could never give a single specific instance of a defect.    We came to believe that he had never used it and was afraid of the computer.  (A not uncommon problem back in the day!)

It was a DEC VAX computer.   A weird feature of the DEC terminals (screens and keyboards) was that the keyboard came with a hard, opaque plastic dust cover.     We snuck into the guy's office after hours and stole his keyboard but left the dust cover in place on his desk.

Two weeks later we pulled up to the school, parked in front of the window to the conference room so we could be seen to arrive, and went into the meeting room where people were already starting to arrive.  We got the usual vague song and dance about the alumni software not working.   

After the meeting we asked the #1 guy to stay back for a moment.  After the room cleared out, we explained to the #1 guy that we were tired of hearing that our alumni module didn't work.  It worked.  It worked just fine.   We believed that the #2 guy had never even tried to use it.   And this is where it got fun.  "We believe that so strongly that the last time we were here two weeks ago, we stole his keyboard and left the dust cover in place.  We're willing to wager, sight-unseen, that he doesn't know it's gone."    At that point my wife pulled his keyboard out of a big bag she had been toting.

#1 guy looked at us in total surprise.    He walked out of the room at a brisk pace and came back a few minutes later.   We never discussed that subsystem again.   It was perfect.

We didn't have FU money.  We were just tired of putting up with shit being tossed on our professional reputation.   

This is amazing!

malachite

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3417 on: December 02, 2020, 05:06:37 PM »
<highly fulfilling story of software development justice>   

This is amazing!

I agree, I'm sure it was infuriating at the time, but it sure makes a good story now.  I can just visualize the scene where guy #1 realizes guy #2 has been 'using' a computer without a keyboard for 2 weeks.

scottish

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3418 on: December 02, 2020, 07:35:23 PM »
Yeah, that's a great ending.   And you folks must have had nerves of steel to pull it off!

Dicey

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3419 on: December 02, 2020, 09:04:53 PM »
Yeah, that's a great ending.   And you folks must have had nerves of steel to pull it off!
OMG, @scottish, I love your siggy line!

Zaga

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3420 on: December 02, 2020, 09:42:08 PM »
That is a delightful story!  I remember the first year of college all our email was on a Vax system.  It was weird, it was 1997, far too late for Vax to still have been a thing, yet there we were.

LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3421 on: December 03, 2020, 04:32:35 AM »
<highly fulfilling story of software development justice>   

This is amazing!

I agree, I'm sure it was infuriating at the time, but it sure makes a good story now.  I can just visualize the scene where guy #1 realizes guy #2 has been 'using' a computer without a keyboard for 2 weeks.

Amazing story!

And if I were #1 guy, I certainly would not have fired you. Not so sure about #2. I might have shoveled him out with the keyboard.

achvfi

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3422 on: December 03, 2020, 08:13:20 AM »
@malachite , Awesome story!   Been there, felt your pain.    FU money is a glorious thing.   Sometimes all it takes is an FU attitude!    Here's a totally different situation but hopefully a story that will amuse you.


Years ago I went to work for a Pop software company.  (Too small to be a Mom & Pop.)  Owner drinks and snorts coke and goes broke.   With his permission we take over the software and then we sell a conversion of it to a different computer operating system for a new client.

We're delivering a new module every few weeks.   We did the basic student registration module, then the alumni module next (because we got paid the same per module and it was simple and easy).

The #2 guy at this school ran the alumni department.   He would tell the #1 guy that our software "just didn't work" but could never give a single specific instance of a defect.    We came to believe that he had never used it and was afraid of the computer.  (A not uncommon problem back in the day!)

It was a DEC VAX computer.   A weird feature of the DEC terminals (screens and keyboards) was that the keyboard came with a hard, opaque plastic dust cover.     We snuck into the guy's office after hours and stole his keyboard but left the dust cover in place on his desk.

Two weeks later we pulled up to the school, parked in front of the window to the conference room so we could be seen to arrive, and went into the meeting room where people were already starting to arrive.  We got the usual vague song and dance about the alumni software not working.   

After the meeting we asked the #1 guy to stay back for a moment.  After the room cleared out, we explained to the #1 guy that we were tired of hearing that our alumni module didn't work.  It worked.  It worked just fine.   We believed that the #2 guy had never even tried to use it.   And this is where it got fun.  "We believe that so strongly that the last time we were here two weeks ago, we stole his keyboard and left the dust cover in place.  We're willing to wager, sight-unseen, that he doesn't know it's gone."    At that point my wife pulled his keyboard out of a big bag she had been toting.

#1 guy looked at us in total surprise.    He walked out of the room at a brisk pace and came back a few minutes later.   We never discussed that subsystem again.   It was perfect.

We didn't have FU money.  We were just tired of putting up with shit being tossed on our professional reputation.   

Reading this I burst out laughing. You must be so frustrated to pull off such crazy stuff @SwordGuy

Fru-Gal

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3423 on: December 03, 2020, 08:15:03 AM »
What a fantastic story, @SwordGuy!

Chris@TTL

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3424 on: December 03, 2020, 09:15:48 AM »
My FU money story (a snippet from my post on FU money):
...
It was the first time I was making over $100K/year. Not a feat I’d thought I’d manage on a liberal arts degree and no certificates to speak of—certainly not at 25 years old.

I had something to lose.

After several months of very positive feedback and a generally good experience, I was called in for an earlier-than-expected review.

They offered me a full-time position with a slightly higher salary, performance bonus, and huge benefits package.

I was already saving about 50% of what I earned, but the retirement benefits would greatly speed up my financial independence path.

I had about $50,000 to my name at the time with no debt.

As we were finishing up the meeting, they had one very unexpected caveat to the offer I’d need to accept.

“You’ll need to cease operations of your business.”

Now mind you, at the time, my little side consultancy was basically nothing. I might have earned a few thousand dollars from it in the same year. Just from existing clients—maintaining the service I’d offered them in years prior. These were small organizations in an entirely different sector with tiny budgets.

I certainly didn’t compete with the Beltway bandits.

I said thank you very much. Once I had time to look through the benefits package and consider everything, I’d follow up with my answer.

I sent an email shortly after the meeting asking for clarity about the business:

“In regard to my side business, I haven’t taken on a new client since I started working with the company. It’s hardly active, really just taking payments to continue to offer existing services to fulfill contract obligations. I’m not sure how reasonable it is to cancel those existing contracts.”

The response: “You’ll need to dissolve the actual LLC.”

That night, I spent a lot of time thinking about what was being asked of me. Initially, I thought I might need to cease ongoing operations—but they were asking me to dissolve the entire company. A business I’d started years before and genuinely meant something to me.

At the time, I still had ongoing service contracts with every single client I’d ever had. Sure, it wasn’t much money—but the point was to keep those relationships alive. Remember all those concrete contracts I talked about earlier?

I’d have to break those contracts—it’d hurt my reputation and have some financial consequences. At the same time, it just seemed wrong.

The next day I went into the office like normal. I set up a brief morning meeting with my supervisor.

I explained that I wouldn’t be able to break my existing client contracts, that I was obligated to keep to the terms. Once my client contracts were up for annual renewal, I offered to not renew them. However, the LLC would not be dissolved.

My supervisor thanked me and said he’d follow up shortly. I went back to my desk and awaited the outcome.

Not long after, my supervisor showed up at my desk. He looked upset, apologized, and said that not only was my offer rescinded but that they were canceling my contract.

Right then.

As in—”Get your stuff—we’re walking out right now. Give me your security badge.”

I shut down my workstation, grabbed my bag and a few personal items, then walked out the door with the supervisor right behind me.

I drove home stunned, but happy with my decision.

FU money let me do what I thought was right. And I wasn’t the least bit worried about paying my bills until I found a new job.
...
Full source: This Is the Power of FU Money (and How I Was Escorted Out)

BicycleB

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3425 on: December 03, 2020, 10:22:45 AM »
@malachite , Awesome story!   Been there, felt your pain.    FU money is a glorious thing.   Sometimes all it takes is an FU attitude!    Here's a totally different situation but hopefully a story that will amuse you.


Years ago I went to work for a Pop software company.  (Too small to be a Mom & Pop.)  Owner drinks and snorts coke and goes broke.   With his permission we take over the software and then we sell a conversion of it to a different computer operating system for a new client.

We're delivering a new module every few weeks.   We did the basic student registration module, then the alumni module next (because we got paid the same per module and it was simple and easy).

The #2 guy at this school ran the alumni department.   He would tell the #1 guy that our software "just didn't work" but could never give a single specific instance of a defect.    We came to believe that he had never used it and was afraid of the computer.  (A not uncommon problem back in the day!)

It was a DEC VAX computer.   A weird feature of the DEC terminals (screens and keyboards) was that the keyboard came with a hard, opaque plastic dust cover.     We snuck into the guy's office after hours and stole his keyboard but left the dust cover in place on his desk.

Two weeks later we pulled up to the school, parked in front of the window to the conference room so we could be seen to arrive, and went into the meeting room where people were already starting to arrive.  We got the usual vague song and dance about the alumni software not working.   

After the meeting we asked the #1 guy to stay back for a moment.  After the room cleared out, we explained to the #1 guy that we were tired of hearing that our alumni module didn't work.  It worked.  It worked just fine.   We believed that the #2 guy had never even tried to use it.   And this is where it got fun.  "We believe that so strongly that the last time we were here two weeks ago, we stole his keyboard and left the dust cover in place.  We're willing to wager, sight-unseen, that he doesn't know it's gone."    At that point my wife pulled his keyboard out of a big bag she had been toting.

#1 guy looked at us in total surprise.    He walked out of the room at a brisk pace and came back a few minutes later.   We never discussed that subsystem again.   It was perfect.

We didn't have FU money.  We were just tired of putting up with shit being tossed on our professional reputation.   

LOL!!!!

alcon835

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3426 on: December 03, 2020, 12:18:01 PM »
Not long after, my supervisor showed up at my desk. He looked upset, apologized, and said that not only was my offer rescinded but that they were canceling my contract.

Right then.

As in—”Get your stuff—we’re walking out right now. Give me your security badge.”

I shut down my workstation, grabbed my bag and a few personal items, then walked out the door with the supervisor right behind me.

I drove home stunned, but happy with my decision.

FU money let me do what I thought was right. And I wasn’t the least bit worried about paying my bills until I found a new job.
...


WOW! Did you ever find out why they were so gung ho about shutting down your side hustle?

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3427 on: December 03, 2020, 12:47:36 PM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.

okisok

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3428 on: December 03, 2020, 05:21:26 PM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.

I agree on the loyalty test. The industry I just left after almost 20 years was huge on that stupid shit. For jobs that averaged less than $30k a year with few benefits. It also has a low entry threshold, so it's really easy to get a job. The only leverage a lot of companies have is this imaginary 'loyalty to the company'.
When we had trouble attracting and keeping good staff, I constantly said we need to pay more. That's the bottom line--better salary or better benefits. The owners and upper-level management refused to do it. After beating my head against this wall for a few months of middle-level management, I left the industry completely. Our here in the real world, the company I work for understands that good benefits, good salary, and a good working environment *create* loyalty, not some rah-rah crap being spouted by HR.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3429 on: December 03, 2020, 07:12:58 PM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.
When we had trouble attracting and keeping good staff, I constantly said we need to pay more. That's the bottom line--better salary or better benefits. The owners and upper-level management refused to do it. After beating my head against this wall for a few months of middle-level management, I left the industry completely. Our here in the real world, the company I work for understands that good benefits, good salary, and a good working environment *create* loyalty, not some rah-rah crap being spouted by HR.
A couple years ago, I nearly left my employer for another job.  I work for two partners, and have a good relationship with both.  My salary had basically stayed stagnant for a few years.  One of the partners is convinced (and I actually agree) that salary increases don't make people more productive.  But the realization I came to (and subsequently shared) is that salary increases *do* help your productive people to stay.  Transition costs, whether it be replacing an employee or relocating a business, are really stinkin' high, especially in a small and highly technical business such as ours.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3430 on: December 03, 2020, 08:59:53 PM »
One of the partners is convinced (and I actually agree) that salary increases don't make people more productive.  But the realization I came to (and subsequently shared) is that salary increases *do* help your productive people to stay.

Yea, I would agree with both those statements.  Raises are satisfying for 2-3 paychecks, then it goes away.  But getting paid adequately and having a pleasant working environment keeps me where I'm at.  Doesn't have to be an amazing working environment.  We don't have a free snack table and coffee bar and ping pong area and video game room.  But I don't mind going in to work, and am comfortable when I'm there (and I like the people I work with, which is probably most important).  I could make more elsewhere, but not significantly more, and I know I might chase more money and dislike where I end up.  So I stay, confidently and happily.

Plina

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3431 on: December 03, 2020, 11:12:38 PM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.
When we had trouble attracting and keeping good staff, I constantly said we need to pay more. That's the bottom line--better salary or better benefits. The owners and upper-level management refused to do it. After beating my head against this wall for a few months of middle-level management, I left the industry completely. Our here in the real world, the company I work for understands that good benefits, good salary, and a good working environment *create* loyalty, not some rah-rah crap being spouted by HR.
A couple years ago, I nearly left my employer for another job.  I work for two partners, and have a good relationship with both.  My salary had basically stayed stagnant for a few years.  One of the partners is convinced (and I actually agree) that salary increases don't make people more productive.  But the realization I came to (and subsequently shared) is that salary increases *do* help your productive people to stay.  Transition costs, whether it be replacing an employee or relocating a business, are really stinkin' high, especially in a small and highly technical business such as ours.

I had a workplace were I basically was angry every year after my so called salary negotiation. First year, I was pissed for two weeks because the increase was less than inflation and due to factors outside of my control so I basically got a decrease. Next year, I put the meeting in the beginning of the week because I didn’t want to disturb my weekend. Those meetings were a real demotivating factor in my job satisfaction and did contribute to the fact that I left the company. I have also been in a place were I asked for a salary increase, I didn’t think I would get because it was in a government position even though I deserved it. The manager pulled that off. That was a big loyalty boost from my point of view.

LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3432 on: December 04, 2020, 04:14:12 AM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.
"Loyality Tests" like those are complete BS. Not only you make your people unhappy (which is a sure way to lower loyality), but you also tend to end up with people in vulnerable positions (as in "I can't afford to go!!"), wich are prime targets for "secret side hustles", bribery or theft.


Chris@TTL

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3433 on: December 04, 2020, 08:25:26 AM »
Not long after, my supervisor showed up at my desk. He looked upset, apologized, and said that not only was my offer rescinded but that they were canceling my contract.

Right then.

As in—”Get your stuff—we’re walking out right now. Give me your security badge.”

I shut down my workstation, grabbed my bag and a few personal items, then walked out the door with the supervisor right behind me.

I drove home stunned, but happy with my decision.

FU money let me do what I thought was right. And I wasn’t the least bit worried about paying my bills until I found a new job.
...
Full source: This Is the Power of FU Money (and How I Was Escorted Out)

WOW! Did you ever find out why they were so gung ho about shutting down your side hustle?

Surprisingly, not really. I kept in touch with a couple of the non-management creative and tech folks. Apparently it was a requirement from upon high—not from anyone I interacted with on a daily basis.

The strange part is that the only way they'd even know about my little agency was by way of my original resume and then Googling for the company. It's not like it was something I talked about at work (primarily because, again, it barely made any money as I was just maintaining existing relationships).

It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.
"Loyality Tests" like those are complete BS. Not only you make your people unhappy (which is a sure way to lower loyality), but you also tend to end up with people in vulnerable positions (as in "I can't afford to go!!"), wich are prime targets for "secret side hustles", bribery or theft.



Some folks mentioning it was likely a sort of "loyalty test".

It could have been.

If I had to guess, it was some weird HR rule that had zero flexibility—or the one person who might have been able to overturn it (boss's boss) was indeed testing for loyalty when I initially asked for some time to think it over and followed up with questions about maintaining the business.

It was an altogether strange experience. This is a company with its own on-site museum exhibiting their military & tech advances. You'd recognize their name—they're big. My little side hustle was not any competition.

They offered me the position a couple of months ahead of when they were supposed to evaluate the contract-to-hire (1 year). And they offered more money than I was making under the contract position with a full benefits package (usually you make a little less as W2 than 1099).

They had pretty strict "levels" within the org where everyone starts at the bottom unless you're something akin to partner level where you get profit-sharing etc. They were offering to start me out a level higher than the lowest.

Lots of things pointed to them being happy with my performance. Really strange to lose it all over such a small thing.

Then again, I'm pretty happy with how things turned out! I switched over to higher ed which I quite enjoyed—even taking on an adjunct position at one point. Some years later, I left the "big city" for a slower pace and restarted my business full-time. And that's what really got me to FI.

Thanks, FU money. :-)

Tigerpine

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3434 on: December 04, 2020, 09:47:55 AM »
I interned for a short time at a company that had you sign a contract stating that you agreed that all of your earned income had to be from the company.  There was no flexibility in their policy.  Knowing about that policy was a major factor in why I never applied for a permanent position there.  They're basically requiring you to be completely financially dependent on the company.  Oh, and they had a non-compete clause, too.

Companies are like people.  Some are controlling by nature.  Best to avoid them if at all possible.

Boll weevil

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3435 on: December 04, 2020, 10:42:58 AM »
I read the story as the person’s job and side hustle were in the same (or at least related) industries, and the concerns there are potential leakage of intellectual property and working the side hustle on company time (programming windows look the same from far away... is the person working on company stuff or side hustle?).

Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.

NorCal

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3436 on: December 04, 2020, 10:53:37 AM »
Most likely, someone did something entirely unethical and/or illegal with a side hustle in the companies history.  Some exec got upset and the company put "no outside employment" in the company handbook, and no provision for exceptions.  This mentality is pretty common in anything government/contractor related.


DeepEllumStache

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3437 on: December 04, 2020, 11:09:33 AM »
Or they really hate people schilling MLMs in the workplace and went overboard.

Chris@TTL

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3438 on: December 04, 2020, 11:20:23 AM »
I read the story as the person’s job and side hustle were in the same (or at least related) industries, and the concerns there are potential leakage of intellectual property and working the side hustle on company time (programming windows look the same from far away... is the person working on company stuff or side hustle?).

Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.

Perhaps. The side hustle was mostly in digital support on the web. For example, the primary client at the time that remained was involved in giving scholarships to needy children. I provided some web-related guidance for them.

The work I did at the company was internal facing and more technical as part of a large communications project.

The only real relationship was that both types of work were digital. A little like if suggested you couldn't run a side gig that built mountain bike trails in your local parks because your primary work was in geological analysis of mineral deposits in the Congo. They're both outdoors. :-)

Most likely, someone did something entirely unethical and/or illegal with a side hustle in the companies history.  Some exec got upset and the company put "no outside employment" in the company handbook, and no provision for exceptions.  This mentality is pretty common in anything government/contractor related.



This is the sort of reasoning I would lean towards.

And to be clear (and supporting what @Boll weevil was saying), I don't necessarily disagree with what the company did or why they did it. I'm sure there is some sort of explanation and historical good reason for it. And more importantly, they can make hiring decisions based on whatever they wish (within legal bounds).

I was sharing the story to highlight a good reason to have FU money, and a fun escorted "walk of shame" out of the office. :-)

bmjohnson35

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3439 on: December 04, 2020, 01:31:34 PM »
I read the story as the person’s job and side hustle were in the same (or at least related) industries, and the concerns there are potential leakage of intellectual property and working the side hustle on company time (programming windows look the same from far away... is the person working on company stuff or side hustle?).

Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.

Perhaps. The side hustle was mostly in digital support on the web. For example, the primary client at the time that remained was involved in giving scholarships to needy children. I provided some web-related guidance for them.

The work I did at the company was internal facing and more technical as part of a large communications project.

The only real relationship was that both types of work were digital. A little like if suggested you couldn't run a side gig that built mountain bike trails in your local parks because your primary work was in geological analysis of mineral deposits in the Congo. They're both outdoors. :-)

Most likely, someone did something entirely unethical and/or illegal with a side hustle in the companies history.  Some exec got upset and the company put "no outside employment" in the company handbook, and no provision for exceptions.  This mentality is pretty common in anything government/contractor related.



This is the sort of reasoning I would lean towards.

And to be clear (and supporting what @Boll weevil was saying), I don't necessarily disagree with what the company did or why they did it. I'm sure there is some sort of explanation and historical good reason for it. And more importantly, they can make hiring decisions based on whatever they wish (within legal bounds).

I was sharing the story to highlight a good reason to have FU money, and a fun escorted "walk of shame" out of the office. :-)


I had less than a favorable opinion of my company's HR department.  Policy usually is grounded in legal precedent or lessons learned. Although these stories are entertaining, I agree that their main purpose is to illustrate the value of FU money. 

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3440 on: December 04, 2020, 01:50:42 PM »
Even in a company where a central part of HR’s job is to develop people and cultivate company culture, their foundational basis is to ensure legal compliance and protect the company. If you’re working for Megacorp, or even Mediumcorp, you need to remember that and accept it.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3441 on: December 04, 2020, 02:01:04 PM »
Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.
Sadly, too often it's a blanket policy of "no outside businesses, period."  I know a couple of guys who worked for a huge multinational oil company with such a policy.  They started a web-based side business.  There was absolutely no overlap between the two industries, and yet the policy applied.  At first they just didn't mention they had a side gig, and then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

techwiz

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3442 on: December 04, 2020, 02:52:43 PM »
then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

That might be the reason right there!

Uturn

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3443 on: December 04, 2020, 03:07:13 PM »
then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

That might be the reason right there!

Holding someone back to force loyalty. Not really the person I would want to work for.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3444 on: December 05, 2020, 05:19:12 AM »
Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.
Sadly, too often it's a blanket policy of "no outside businesses, period."  I know a couple of guys who worked for a huge multinational oil company with such a policy.  They started a web-based side business.  There was absolutely no overlap between the two industries, and yet the policy applied.  At first they just didn't mention they had a side gig, and then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

HR/businesses are stupid. They don't know how to harness the power of employees. Businesses think they have power but it is the workers who have all the power. Businesses are rooted to the spot. Employees, if they're good and talented, can work for anyone in the world, including themselves (even more so in today's knowledge-based economy). Businesses have to give into good employees' demands otherwise it's all over, red rover. Particularly in this day and age of retrenchment payouts and sick leave, employees can really screw around with employers if they want to (though it pays to not burn bridges).

I'm constantly amazed by how conflict-avoidant many employees are. Sure, if you're a poor/average employee it pays to keep your mouth shut. But the stars and super stars are mostly short changing themselves. By making demands of their employer and skipping jobs they could get a lot more money in their pocket. FIRE aims to make that easier by removing any reliance you have on your employer, and thus evening the bargaining power.

I have found that when you no longer care about a business relationship's future, that is when you have the most power. And you should try to have that impartiality in all your business relationships.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 05:29:40 AM by Bloop Bloop Reloaded »

Zaga

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3445 on: December 05, 2020, 07:42:29 AM »
Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.
Sadly, too often it's a blanket policy of "no outside businesses, period."  I know a couple of guys who worked for a huge multinational oil company with such a policy.  They started a web-based side business.  There was absolutely no overlap between the two industries, and yet the policy applied.  At first they just didn't mention they had a side gig, and then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

HR/businesses are stupid. They don't know how to harness the power of employees. Businesses think they have power but it is the workers who have all the power. Businesses are rooted to the spot. Employees, if they're good and talented, can work for anyone in the world, including themselves (even more so in today's knowledge-based economy). Businesses have to give into good employees' demands otherwise it's all over, red rover. Particularly in this day and age of retrenchment payouts and sick leave, employees can really screw around with employers if they want to (though it pays to not burn bridges).

I'm constantly amazed by how conflict-avoidant many employees are. Sure, if you're a poor/average employee it pays to keep your mouth shut. But the stars and super stars are mostly short changing themselves. By making demands of their employer and skipping jobs they could get a lot more money in their pocket. FIRE aims to make that easier by removing any reliance you have on your employer, and thus evening the bargaining power.

I have found that when you no longer care about a business relationship's future, that is when you have the most power. And you should try to have that impartiality in all your business relationships.
Clearly you live in a country where workers have actual rights.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3446 on: December 05, 2020, 01:36:56 PM »
Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.
Sadly, too often it's a blanket policy of "no outside businesses, period."  I know a couple of guys who worked for a huge multinational oil company with such a policy.  They started a web-based side business.  There was absolutely no overlap between the two industries, and yet the policy applied.  At first they just didn't mention they had a side gig, and then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

HR/businesses are stupid. They don't know how to harness the power of employees.
I disagree.  Not with the outcomes--I agree with you there.  HR's job isn't to harness the power of employees.  Their job isn't to use common sense, nor to act in anyone's (the employee's or the business's) best interest.  HR's job, at least in large businesses, is to enforce the rules set up by management, no matter how nonsensical the rules are, or how much damage would be done to the company by enforcing bad policy.  One of those two guys was a high-performer, on the fast track to upper management, when he chose to leave instead.  Recently, he told me the story of a good friend of his, who used to work for one of the FAANGs, and was similarly a high-performer.  He did something that apparently ruffled some feathers, although it violated no written company policy, did not affect his job performance, and was in no way detrimental to the company.  He got fired.  Zero warning, zero opportunity to course correct, zero consideration for the high-five-to-low-six-figure cost to the company to replace him, no regard for the wishes of his chain of command.

Management, of course, sets the policies for HR to enforce, and, like most large bureaucracies, they can't consider every corner case, nor allow for the use of judgment, because that opens the door to unequal treatment of people under varying circumstances, or for varying enforcement of the rules depending on which HR person is doing the enforcement.  No-questions-asked enforcement of the policies is "safe," but highly efficient, and at the scale of a large business, it's sort of unavoidable in order to avoid chaos.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3447 on: December 05, 2020, 04:46:26 PM »
I know HR is in place to act as a cushion between employees and management. Just like real estate agents are there to cushion between renters and landlords. Both jobs are unimaginably dull. But while rules and policies should be applied consistently, pay should not. HR and management have plenty of discretion re: pay yet they constantly try to lowball employees. While this might be good policy in the main, when it comes to your star employees, if you don't give in to their pay demands there is a real risk of them leaving. For me that's what happened and now I work for myself and I am free to set my own exorbitant hourly rate which I now do. My old employers now sometimes contract with me at a much higher rate than I had ever asked when I was an employee. To me that makes no sense.

rockstache

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3448 on: December 05, 2020, 05:50:09 PM »
I mean...meh? Star employees do get to dictate a lot more than they probably realize. But also, 95% of our employees THINK they’re stars when only 5% or so would be hard to replace. When people bring us their ultimatums, we just tell them we wish them well. In the US we’re mostly at will employers so there are no real costs to letting them leave. If they leave of their own volition we don’t even have to pay unemployment. I don’t say this because I think it’s right, but because it’s reality. Most of our workforce have very little sway over their situation, except to choose to leave.

In the US, HR is not there to be a buffer between employees and management. They’re there to keep the company from being sued. In the meantime, they have other tasks, but that’s priority #1.

Zaga

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3449 on: December 05, 2020, 08:53:24 PM »
I mean...meh? Star employees do get to dictate a lot more than they probably realize. But also, 95% of our employees THINK they’re stars when only 5% or so would be hard to replace. When people bring us their ultimatums, we just tell them we wish them well. In the US we’re mostly at will employers so there are no real costs to letting them leave. If they leave of their own volition we don’t even have to pay unemployment. I don’t say this because I think it’s right, but because it’s reality. Most of our workforce have very little sway over their situation, except to choose to leave.

In the US, HR is not there to be a buffer between employees and management. They’re there to keep the company from being sued. In the meantime, they have other tasks, but that’s priority #1.
I would disagree with the bolded above, because this is horribly short sighted.  No, there are no immediate obvious costs, but training a new person every few months to a year is expensive!  It's much cheaper to pay a bit more or give other perks than to constantly lose people (and institutional knowledge).