Author Topic: Epic FU money stories  (Read 1819267 times)

bluebelle

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3350 on: October 16, 2020, 08:38:03 AM »
Wow - I'd venture a guess you weren't doing government contract work @SwordGuy. Or this might have been back when there was adequate supply of fairly good programmers to meet the demand (because of the low demand - the supply was severely limited I'm sure, but we didn't always have platforms that made everyone with 2 weeks of downtime and $1,000 to become a "coder"), and stuff like quality was valued over meeting the deadline.

It was back when pagers were in use, not cellphones. :)   So yes, this was back in the day.

And it certainly wasn't government contract work, I've done that too.   That's a totally different work environment than working in private industry.

I was just damn good at my job, I had good programmers working for me and I made sure folks used good methods and techniques so our quality was high and our delivery times were decent.   95% of our programming effort went into producing new functionality, 5% went into dealing with issues that cropped up -- and most of that was in one 3rd party software package.

And, equally important, my boss knew I was damn good at my job.  He wasn't likely to get that kind of results from my replacement.   

FWIW, I've never seen a surplus of really good programmers in my industry.    Or even competent ones.   And I've been working in the industry since 1982.
and this was why I ended up on call...........fixing other's  incompetence.....all too common a theme

dandarc

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3351 on: October 16, 2020, 10:31:11 AM »
Good programmer - key skills have nothing to do with technology really.

Observant enough to see when code you wrote didn't work quite right. Tenacious enough to figure it out. Diplomatic enough to not get yourself fired. Secure enough to ask the questions to get clear on what they want before you start writing your code.

techwiz

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3352 on: October 16, 2020, 10:40:35 AM »
Good programmer - key skills have nothing to do with technology really.

Observant enough to see when code you wrote didn't work quite right. Tenacious enough to figure it out. Diplomatic enough to not get yourself fired. Secure enough to ask the questions to get clear on what they want before you start writing your code.

If we knew want they want before starting to code(and that didn't change) it would be too easy.  Working in the government with many changes to the policies/politics on the fly,  ends up making programs so illogical and complex over the years even with good programmers it's a challenge.   

jinga nation

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3353 on: October 16, 2020, 10:55:19 AM »
Remember, there's only 2 industries that call their customers 'users'.....IT and Illegal drugs! LoL
And in both, never consume your product.
Drug dealers are just Value-Added Resellers. They offer complementary and complimentary add-ons.

dandarc

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3354 on: October 16, 2020, 11:13:02 AM »
Good programmer - key skills have nothing to do with technology really.

Observant enough to see when code you wrote didn't work quite right. Tenacious enough to figure it out. Diplomatic enough to not get yourself fired. Secure enough to ask the questions to get clear on what they want before you start writing your code.

If we knew want they want before starting to code(and that didn't change) it would be too easy.  Working in the government with many changes to the policies/politics on the fly,  ends up making programs so illogical and complex over the years even with good programmers it's a challenge.   
Trust me I know . . . but I'd characterize most of the problems I see as "bad programming" and not the fault of changing regulations.

blurkraken22

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3355 on: October 17, 2020, 08:30:13 PM »
I was so excited when I found this thread that I immediately wrote up an old story to share. That was five days ago. Since then I've managed to read about 20% of the thread (up to page 13).

I'm feeling therapized!

I've had a troublesome run in my current position over the past two years, first working under a manager who meant well, then absorbing a number of his responsibilities, then being rejected when I was stupid enough to apply for his job when he left. Eventually it all adds up to another FU story, but I have not reached the end of it and I probably don't have the perspective to write it up well just yet. My main lesson for the summer is HR always sides with management.

My question for today: why should I put in the effort to be honest in my exit survey? It's not (yet) an interview, they have a long-ass survey I'm meant to fill out on the HR portal. Should I tell them where I will work next? Surely I have no obligation to do that. But more importantly, is there any reason for me to spend time explaining their problems that they should already know about?

My supervisor was in his role for about 4 years. He had been there and proven himself incompetent for so long that people actually apologized to me about it when I arrived. He was there for another 1.5 years before moving to another role. The higher-ups kept talking about how the company had failed him. WTF!? Failed him? What about the 10-12 people who have to report to him?

[Aside: He's really an OK guy, but somehow completely incapable of making a decent decision as a manager of people. He always tried to find the one most important factor in every situation and would then make a one-factor decision based on that. I can see how that strategy could work wonders in some scenarios, but it rarely worked for what we do. He was also deeply cynical about people and their motivations. He tried not to show it, but inside, he really thinks people will take everything they can get away with and slack off as much as possible. I feel sad, because I don't think anyone could become a leader starting from that kind of belief system. Anyway, much to Mrs. BK's consternation, I do not blame him for this situation. He reached his Peter Principle job and was smart enough to walk away from it after 4 years of professional suffering.]

At a personal-level, the culture is pretty respectful here, which I'm thankful for. But the bureaucracy shows otherwise clearly. If the rules you have in place institutionalize a process of treating people like you cannot trust them, the message gets through.

A fairly simple message to corporate leadership: if you're spending a lot time time repeating "we value our employees" it's most likely because you have not done the things that would SHOW you value your employees.

BUT, back to the base question, is there any reason I should try to share this in an exit interview? I do not need an emotional release at this point, I'm moving to a better situation. I could lean FIRE today, but I'm holding off because the market highs have me feeling nervous. So I'm starting a new job at a new company in the next couple of months. What good will it do to spend my time and effort trying to tell HR things they either already know or would already know if they cared enough to pay attention?

EDITS: Clarity, missing words.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 09:35:43 PM by blurkraken22 »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3356 on: October 17, 2020, 09:51:05 PM »
No, I would not tell your current employer where you're going.  I think it would be appropriate in your exit survey to state things like "Lack of autonomy" or "Lack of opportunity for professional growth," or even "poor project management" but having been down that path before, it's a Sisyphean task.  HR won't care what you write--they're only doing it because it's part of the procedure, and they're not the decision-makers, so your feedback is irrelevant to them.  And Management  is unlikely to care, either--they're too wrapped up in other things to read an exiting employee's feedback.  From what I've seen/read/heard, the only way to force a change is to either A) get into management yourself, or B) become such a key employee (i.e. indispensable AND known and respected a couple layers up) that you have some leverage, and even then, you're unlikely to effect any change.

What I'd suggest is 1) document EVERYTHING, and store it offsite, 2) network with the people who ARE competent.  Who knows, maybe your new employer will be awesome, and also need to hire more people, and you could help your new employer snipe/rescue some people from your old workplace.

former player

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3357 on: October 18, 2020, 02:42:35 AM »
You don't share any of it.    You go completely bland: "I have enjoyed being able to make a contribution to the success of [project] and wish the company well for the future."

2sk22

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3358 on: October 18, 2020, 04:51:01 AM »
You don't share any of it.    You go completely bland: "I have enjoyed being able to make a contribution to the success of [project] and wish the company well for the future."

Completely agree. There is no advantage to be gained by being honest in an exit interview, no matter how angry you feel about the company you are departing.

NorCal

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3359 on: October 18, 2020, 07:00:24 AM »
You don't share any of it.    You go completely bland: "I have enjoyed being able to make a contribution to the success of [project] and wish the company well for the future."

Completely agree. There is no advantage to be gained by being honest in an exit interview, no matter how angry you feel about the company you are departing.

Agree. If you feel the need/desire to share, you can do it anonymously on a site like Glassdoor. In my experience, management will actually pay more attention to this than the silly exit interview surveys.

saguaro

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3360 on: October 18, 2020, 07:34:15 AM »
You don't share any of it.    You go completely bland: "I have enjoyed being able to make a contribution to the success of [project] and wish the company well for the future."

Completely agree. There is no advantage to be gained by being honest in an exit interview, no matter how angry you feel about the company you are departing.

Agree. If you feel the need/desire to share, you can do it anonymously on a site like Glassdoor. In my experience, management will actually pay more attention to this than the silly exit interview surveys.

Yep, exactly what I did when I left the Big Company.   I kept things pretty bland in the exit interview, which was over the phone because the Big Company outsourced even that function by then and the person on the other end was obviously pretty disengaged with the whole thing.  Some time later I posted on Glassdoor addressing the basic issues at the company, but gave no specific details to my situation.

Also when I left, even when people try to guess my real reasons (such as my boss, who could be pretty difficult) I kept it to the blandest reason possible.

ETA: Nobody believed that I was leaving without a job lined up, which I was.  2 months later, when I was hired by the division spun off from the Big Company, some were convinced that had been my plan but wasn't. 
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 11:39:00 AM by saguaro »

Sibley

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3361 on: October 18, 2020, 09:56:59 AM »
And also - just forget to do that survey thing. Seriously. What are they going to do, fire you?

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3362 on: October 18, 2020, 10:06:47 AM »
And also - just forget to do that survey thing. Seriously. What are they going to do, fire you?

"Why did you leave your last job?"

"I was fired because I didn't show up for the exit interview."

"...."

blurkraken22

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3363 on: October 18, 2020, 08:49:52 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I have indeed gone super bland in filling out their forms.

A funny, but not funny addition to my exit interview story. The subject of HR portal task is:

Subject: Terminate: blurkraken22

Is there some repressed agression hidden there? LOL. My last mission is to explain to HR why that is a terrible subject to ever send to a human being.

Long gone are the days of idealism when I thought it was HR's mission to treat us like humans.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2020, 11:10:15 PM by blurkraken22 »

Adventine

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3364 on: October 19, 2020, 01:58:34 AM »
I work in HR and on behalf of all those trying to treat employees like human beings and not like pixels on a screen, I am sorry. How awful.

Enjoy your new found freedom!

Thanks for the advice. I have indeed gone super bland in filling out their forms.

A funny, but not funny addition to my exit interview story. The subject of HR portal task is:

Subject: Terminate: blurkraken22

Is there some repressed agression hidden there? LOL. My last mission is to explain to HR why that is a terrible subject to ever send to a human being.

Long gone are the days of idealism when I thought it was HR's mission to treat us like humans.

blurkraken22

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3365 on: October 19, 2020, 02:37:44 AM »
I work in HR and on behalf of all those trying to treat employees like human beings and not like pixels on a screen, I am sorry. How awful.

Enjoy your new found freedom!
How does HR experience impact your read on this entire thread?

LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3366 on: October 19, 2020, 03:37:40 AM »
Thanks for the advice. I have indeed gone super bland in filling out their forms.

A funny, but not funny addition to my exit interview story. The subject of HR portal task is:

Subject: Terminate: blurkraken22

Is there some repressed agression hidden there? LOL. My last mission is to explain to HR why that is a terrible subject to ever send to a human being.

Long gone are the days of idealism when I thought it was HR's mission to treat us like humans.

Could have been worse. Like "Terminate and hide" or "...cut off".

Adventine

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3367 on: October 19, 2020, 03:54:14 AM »
I work in HR and on behalf of all those trying to treat employees like human beings and not like pixels on a screen, I am sorry. How awful.

Enjoy your new found freedom!
How does HR experience impact your read on this entire thread?

I've been avidly following this thread for years, not through an HR lens, but through a FIRE lens. I'm off-duty when I'm on the MMM forums :)

Dicey

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3368 on: October 19, 2020, 04:17:32 AM »
I work in HR and on behalf of all those trying to treat employees like human beings and not like pixels on a screen, I am sorry. How awful.

Enjoy your new found freedom!
How does HR experience impact your read on this entire thread?

I've been avidly following this thread for years, not through an HR lens, but through a FIRE lens. I'm off-duty when I'm on the MMM forums :)
Nice to see you posting outside the journals section, @Adventine! I'm used to "seeing" you there and it made me smile to see your posts on this thread today. Go, you!

rockstache

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3369 on: October 19, 2020, 04:20:02 AM »
I work in HR and on behalf of all those trying to treat employees like human beings and not like pixels on a screen, I am sorry. How awful.

Enjoy your new found freedom!
How does HR experience impact your read on this entire thread?

I've been avidly following this thread for years, not through an HR lens, but through a FIRE lens.
+1 I'm in HR too, but both here and at work, I'm basically always rooting for people, even when I have to do my job around them. We had a guy leave a toxic manager last month, for a great position and I was privately thrilled for him. Although I gave him the standard line, "We wish you all the best in your future endeavors," I really meant it. I did my job in a professional manner, but I don't run HR or the company. Everyone knows that manager is toxic, and there are 3 more good employees getting set to leave because of him too, but he's got the backing of some high level execs that love him and there's not a thing I could ever do about it.

Adventine

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3370 on: October 19, 2020, 05:03:02 AM »
I work in HR and on behalf of all those trying to treat employees like human beings and not like pixels on a screen, I am sorry. How awful.

Enjoy your new found freedom!
How does HR experience impact your read on this entire thread?

I've been avidly following this thread for years, not through an HR lens, but through a FIRE lens. I'm off-duty when I'm on the MMM forums :)
Nice to see you posting outside the journals section, @Adventine! I'm used to "seeing" you there and it made me smile to see your posts on this thread today. Go, you!

Oh, I'm always lurking in this thread. It's one of my all time faves ;)

I work in HR and on behalf of all those trying to treat employees like human beings and not like pixels on a screen, I am sorry. How awful.

Enjoy your new found freedom!
How does HR experience impact your read on this entire thread?

I've been avidly following this thread for years, not through an HR lens, but through a FIRE lens.
+1 I'm in HR too, but both here and at work, I'm basically always rooting for people, even when I have to do my job around them. We had a guy leave a toxic manager last month, for a great position and I was privately thrilled for him. Although I gave him the standard line, "We wish you all the best in your future endeavors," I really meant it. I did my job in a professional manner, but I don't run HR or the company. Everyone knows that manager is toxic, and there are 3 more good employees getting set to leave because of him too, but he's got the backing of some high level execs that love him and there's not a thing I could ever do about it.

Exactly right - I do my job as professionally as I can. But I don't set policy, I don't make hiring/firing decisions, and I try to put myself in the other person's shoes as much as I can.

BuffaloStache

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3371 on: October 19, 2020, 12:51:17 PM »
No, I would not tell your current employer where you're going.  I think it would be appropriate in your exit survey to state things like "Lack of autonomy" or "Lack of opportunity for professional growth," or even "poor project management" but having been down that path before, it's a Sisyphean task.  HR won't care what you write--they're only doing it because it's part of the procedure, and they're not the decision-makers, so your feedback is irrelevant to them.  And Management  is unlikely to care, either--they're too wrapped up in other things to read an exiting employee's feedback.  From what I've seen/read/heard, the only way to force a change is to either A) get into management yourself, or B) become such a key employee (i.e. indispensable AND known and respected a couple layers up) that you have some leverage, and even then, you're unlikely to effect any change.

What I'd suggest is 1) document EVERYTHING, and store it offsite, 2) network with the people who ARE competent.  Who knows, maybe your new employer will be awesome, and also need to hire more people, and you could help your new employer snipe/rescue some people from your old workplace.

I know I'm late to this game but I really like @zolotiyeruki 's response- ditto. When I left my first company, I also didn't officially tell the company where I was going. It became sort of a game in the days leading up to my departure: people would run up to my cube and kept guessing where they thought I was going. Most were wrong, and I only confirmed where I was actually going about a month later. Even then I only confirmed it with the competent people that I was/still am close with (#2 above). 

jinga nation

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3372 on: October 19, 2020, 02:09:09 PM »
I work in HR and on behalf of all those trying to treat employees like human beings and not like pixels on a screen, I am sorry. How awful.

Enjoy your new found freedom!
How does HR experience impact your read on this entire thread?

I've been avidly following this thread for years, not through an HR lens, but through a FIRE lens.
+1 I'm in HR too, but both here and at work, I'm basically always rooting for people, even when I have to do my job around them. We had a guy leave a toxic manager last month, for a great position and I was privately thrilled for him. Although I gave him the standard line, "We wish you all the best in your future endeavors," I really meant it. I did my job in a professional manner, but I don't run HR or the company. Everyone knows that manager is toxic, and there are 3 more good employees getting set to leave because of him too, but he's got the backing of some high level execs that love him and there's not a thing I could ever do about it.

Been in that situation, been that engineer who was the first of many to walk out the door. This was young me, in my 2nd full-time job, in a Fortune 500.
The high-level exec was protected because he was doing what was required of him, to get rid of the talent, after ensuring process were documented and people had been cross-trained in Puerto Rico and Bangalore.
People don't matter if the focus is solely on the bottom line to deliver shareholder value. At all short-term costs.
Gave a lot of (useful, to me) information to my director during the exit interview. My team lead told me it was waste of time, management would use it as proof they're on the right track to outsourcing our work.

Always say nice things on your way out, not the real truth. You want the new employer to get a good feedback about you. Never ever voluntarily tell your old employer where you're going.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 08:24:12 AM by jinga nation »

blurkraken22

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3373 on: October 21, 2020, 06:37:17 PM »
It could be that this is the first time she ever saw her behavior through another person's eyes.  You might be the catalyst that makes her change the way she treats people for the better.  If not, you have likely been the first chink in the wall that will eventually come crumbling down around her. 

Good for you!
I really like this response because it assumes that the antagonist can change. In fact, the most epic story of all would be the one where the office bully woke up, realized what they were doing, and changed their behavior.

I did not grow up with good role models at home for providing constructive feedback and helping people improve their behavior. I also worked mostly alone for the first few years of my career (it was the nature of that role). Eventually, being a top performer in my group, my manager began asking me to mentor and coach newer engineers. Alas, at first I was clumsy and overly critical when I started trying to teach. I have rubbed people the wrong way. In retrospect, I can even say I was the ass hat. As often happens (particularly to young engineers), I thought being technically correct was more important than my colleague's feelings. It's a sort of "let's talk facts and keep feelings out of it" mindset. How naive to think that people can really do that. Eventually I learned that if you're trying to teach someone and they're not "getting it", as the teacher it's your responsibility to package the message in a format the learner can consume.

I was lucky to meet a very very good mentor right around the time I started working in a more team-oriented environment, but my path could have been quite different. Sometimes people are just being ass hots because they see something wrong, want to fix it, but don't have the communications skills to address it well.

By no means am I suggesting we enable bullies. That's not the solution at all. But to go and professionally explain to them why their behavior is not making the situation better might trigger a better story line. And if it does not, a documented conversation along these lines will be a great thing to submit to supervisor or HR down the road if this person cannot improve.

TLDL: If you're calm and a good communicator, you can put the office bully on a PIP. :D

EDIT: I always find ways to improve clarity after hitting the post button.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2020, 06:32:55 AM by blurkraken22 »

jamaicaspanish

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3374 on: October 21, 2020, 07:58:27 PM »
I teach Spanish and English as a retirement side gig.
One of my clients taught me one of the greatest lessons ever. Truly perspective-shifting.
She asked me to rephrase my feedback question from 
Do you understand?
to
Am I explaining it well?

I try to embrace the responsibility of reaching the student, not just expecting the student to make progress.
Kind of Mountain and Mohammed stuff.
I hope I explained that well.

AO1FireTo

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3375 on: October 21, 2020, 08:04:50 PM »
I teach Spanish and English as a retirement side gig.
One of my clients taught me one of the greatest lessons ever. Truly perspective-shifting.
She asked me to rephrase my feedback question from 
Do you understand?
to
Am I explaining it well?

I try to embrace the responsibility of reaching the student, not just expecting the student to make progress.
Kind of Mountain and Mohammed stuff.
I hope I explained that well.

Love it!!!  I am going to start using that with my daughter.

LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3376 on: October 22, 2020, 04:31:35 AM »
I teach Spanish and English as a retirement side gig.
One of my clients taught me one of the greatest lessons ever. Truly perspective-shifting.
She asked me to rephrase my feedback question from 
Do you understand?
to
Am I explaining it well?

I try to embrace the responsibility of reaching the student, not just expecting the student to make progress.
Kind of Mountain and Mohammed stuff.
I hope I explained that well.

Love it!!!  I am going to start using that with my daughter.
It even gets a bonus point because it "creates" the option of "you explained well, but I still don't understand". Which means that not the same information in a different way, but additional information is needed.

RWTL

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3377 on: October 24, 2020, 08:40:34 AM »
I teach Spanish and English as a retirement side gig.
One of my clients taught me one of the greatest lessons ever. Truly perspective-shifting.
She asked me to rephrase my feedback question from 
Do you understand?
to
Am I explaining it well?

I try to embrace the responsibility of reaching the student, not just expecting the student to make progress.
Kind of Mountain and Mohammed stuff.
I hope I explained that well.

I've always said "Does that make sense?" but I think I'm going to switch to this above.

SereneOne

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3378 on: October 24, 2020, 05:35:36 PM »
This thread has entertained me greatly over the past few weeks. I created an account just to submit my story. It didn't seem epic at the time but it felt BA to type it out.

Here's a story from many years ago...more about FU skills than FU money. This experience taught me alot about myself and work/life balance. Some bridges deserve to be burned and the earth salted.

I'm a school psychologist in a school. This position is in major demand in my state because there is no one else in the district who can do a part of our job (test students to help determine if there is a disability). I leave District A as the only psychologist because the then superintendent who was retiring refused to give me a raise I requested. I loved the culture at District A and the people but felt I needed to make the move for my career. District B had a higher salary scale and more opportunity for upward mobility. 

August: I made the move to District B after their two psychologists retired. I was hired and they were working on hiring another person. The school district is too big for just one of us and the state has rules limiting how many students I can serve. All is going well until I start being asked to do additional work beyond my contracted day. 

September
: Usually, "extra work" is expected in my role but they still hadn't filled the other psychlogist's spot as yet so I could see they were aiming to have me do the job of two people. I emailed the superintendent and told her I'd be more than happy to contract with them after my hours to do any additional work they needed. This was the beginning of the craziest school year of all time. This incident was when apparently I poisoned the superintendent against me. In September!!! I was told there was absolutely no way they would contract with me, I was relieved of several other responsibilities and told to prioritize my day appropriately. I'll admit to being flabbergasted but I continued to do my work (not the extra and went on about my day). I'll admit to being a little naive since I thought this was over and I'd stay in my corner. 

October: I got the flu and took several days off. My wife and kids all got the flu and I took more days off. In my state, sick time is a state provided benefit (it transfers with you from school to school) and I was actually sick so I took a total of 8 days off in a 14 day period. My job is very deadline driven (federal requirements), so I did work while sick, came in for half days and missed ZERO deadlines. 

November: I come into work and was handed a letter of reprimand by my supervisor. I'm the straightest of the straight arrows out there so this was a bit shocking. After the shock I ask about my rights as an employee and ask pointed questions about why I was being treated significantly different than any other employee regarding a state benefit. These questions did nothing to endear me to the superintendent (S), assistant superintendent (AS) or my supervisor. I wrote a letter of appeal outlining why what was being done was discrimination and potentially illegal. I was asked to get a doctor's note for every instance of illness. Annoying but easily done and no one else had to do this. Just me. 

I remember clearly meeting with S and telling her that I didn't want a fight. I just wanted to be allowed to do my job and do it well since I was good at it. After all I had missed zero deadlines and every objective measure was positive. She said she didn't want to fight either. I thought she softened but then she said I "would do what she told me to do, no questions asked." I laughed and said, "ok, so it's going to be a fight then." I do nothing outside of contracted hours and stay late 

***The reader may be asking themselves why I didn't quit at this point. I considered it but in my state you can have your license suspended for up to a year (no work) for leaving in the middle of a school year. I had babies at home and my wife was stay at home. I didn't have THAT much FU money***

December: Another letter of reprimand this month, I can't remember what about. Most likely insubordination because I flat out said "no" several times. They couldn't fire me because they needed me. They were just trying to make me miserable.

No additional psychologist has been hired. The S, AS and supervisor start to realize that I will reach my caseload maximum soon. I've been tracking every single student I have contact with and realize I'll be done in January at this pace. My role is significantly limited at this point, I have to share a weekly calendar with them and they give me additional responsibilities (!!!!) that were pretty much BS paperwork and busywork. At this point my direct supervisor begins to realize that I'm good at my job and I've done everything that's been asked of me. He gives me a positive mid-year evaluation!!! :D S and AS are pissed. This positive evaluation becomes a giant hammer I use to beat back any negative thing S or AS say against me.

January: I get emailed a laundry list of new tasks for me to complete. I email back and say I won't be doing any of those. What is being asked of me is unethical and potentially illegal. I was asked to supervise a teacher. Something I had never done was not qualified to do. This is when I started to cc the school board on everything and get the teacher's union involved (I am non union). S requests a meeting with the AS and my direct supervisor to go over my new tasks. At this point I had a two year contract with the school. Although employees cannot break contract in the middle of a school year we can leave between school years. I clarified with a state education department lawyer in September. In our meeting I make the mistake (at the end of the meeting while I was getting up) of saying that I'd get them through to the end of the year following all the rules and laws, without missing any deadlines.

The superintendent set her jaw and stated I had a two year contract and they were not releasing me. I laughed and said what I stated above about leaving between years per the state education department lawyer. The superintendent said again that she would refuse to release me. I looked around, stood up, laughed incredulously and said, "I'm not sure what about I just said you didn't understand. I. WILL. NOT. BE. HERE. NEXT SCHOOL YEAR." I did it slowly enough like I thought she didn't understand English then walked out.

I leave this meeting and file a complaint with the Office of Civil rights (OCR) and the equal opportunity commission (EEOC) about withholding of a state issued benefit (sick leave). There was a time limit on when I could complain from the time the incident happened.

February: Turns out my old district A superintendent did retire and hired my friend, a former principal who knew me and my work well. The new psychologist was not working out well for them. They posted my old job again so I applied and got it with a small raise. :) AS and S hear about this through the area grapevine and they are pissed. 

Superintendent receives the official OCR and EEOC complaint. From this point there is ABSOLUTE radio silence. It was eerie. There was zero contact from S or AS. I'm assuming their lawyer recommended it.

March-May: I get to do my job (just my part) with no extra work. AS tells me they wish they had taken me up on my offer to contract with them. Me too. They had to hire a local clinical psych who charged them an arm and a leg. I turn my letter of resignation into the district on the absolute last possible day. :D 

One year later: The school board changed. The superintendent was demoted to being a teacher. Not even kidding. I think there was something in her contract about guaranteed employment so they demoted her. The AS was demoted to principal. My supervisor resigned after it was found out he was sleeping with a teacher he supervised. He was married. I'm thinking I wasn't the issue here.

This has just been a bad memory since then. I'm still at District A for the time being. I see another FU moment shaping up. My friend, the current superintendent is training me in a school finance area that only she and I know how to do. She is planning on retiring this year. :)

RWTL

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3379 on: October 24, 2020, 05:43:18 PM »
This thread has entertained me greatly over the past few weeks. I created an account just to submit my story. It didn't seem epic at the time but it felt BA to type it out.

Here's a story from many years ago...more about FU skills than FU money. This experience taught me alot about myself and work/life balance. Some bridges deserve to be burned and the earth salted.

I'm a school psychologist in a school. This position is in major demand in my state because there is no one else in the district who can do a part of our job (test students to help determine if there is a disability). I leave District A as the only psychologist because the then superintendent who was retiring refused to give me a raise I requested. I loved the culture at District A and the people but felt I needed to make the move for my career. District B had a higher salary scale and more opportunity for upward mobility.

August: I made the move to District B after their two psychologists retired. I was hired and they were working on hiring another person. The school district is too big for just one of us and the state has rules limiting how many students I can serve. All is going well until I start being asked to do additional work beyond my contracted day.

September
: Usually, "extra work" is expected in my role but they still hadn't filled the other psychlogist's spot as yet so I could see they were aiming to have me do the job of two people. I emailed the superintendent and told her I'd be more than happy to contract with them after my hours to do any additional work they needed. This was the beginning of the craziest school year of all time. This incident was when apparently I poisoned the superintendent against me. In September!!! I was told there was absolutely no way they would contract with me, I was relieved of several other responsibilities and told to prioritize my day appropriately. I'll admit to being flabbergasted but I continued to do my work (not the extra and went on about my day). I'll admit to being a little naive since I thought this was over and I'd stay in my corner.

October: I got the flu and took several days off. My wife and kids all got the flu and I took more days off. In my state, sick time is a state provided benefit (it transfers with you from school to school) and I was actually sick so I took a total of 8 days off in a 14 day period. My job is very deadline driven (federal requirements), so I did work while sick, came in for half days and missed ZERO deadlines.

November: I come into work and was handed a letter of reprimand by my supervisor. I'm the straightest of the straight arrows out there so this was a bit shocking. After the shock I ask about my rights as an employee and ask pointed questions about why I was being treated significantly different than any other employee regarding a state benefit. These questions did nothing to endear me to the superintendent (S), assistant superintendent (AS) or my supervisor. I wrote a letter of appeal outlining why what was being done was discrimination and potentially illegal. I was asked to get a doctor's note for every instance of illness. Annoying but easily done and no one else had to do this. Just me.

I remember clearly meeting with S and telling her that I didn't want a fight. I just wanted to be allowed to do my job and do it well since I was good at it. After all I had missed zero deadlines and every objective measure was positive. She said she didn't want to fight either. I thought she softened but then she said I "would do what she told me to do, no questions asked." I laughed and said, "ok, so it's going to be a fight then." I do nothing outside of contracted hours and stay late

***The reader may be asking themselves why I didn't quit at this point. I considered it but in my state you can have your license suspended for up to a year (no work) for leaving in the middle of a school year. I had babies at home and my wife was stay at home. I didn't have THAT much FU money***

December: Another letter of reprimand this month, I can't remember what about. Most likely insubordination because I flat out said "no" several times. They couldn't fire me because they needed me. They were just trying to make me miserable.

No additional psychologist has been hired. The S, AS and supervisor start to realize that I will reach my caseload maximum soon. I've been tracking every single student I have contact with and realize I'll be done in January at this pace. My role is significantly limited at this point, I have to share a weekly calendar with them and they give me additional responsibilities (!!!!) that were pretty much BS paperwork and busywork. At this point my direct supervisor begins to realize that I'm good at my job and I've done everything that's been asked of me. He gives me a positive mid-year evaluation!!! :D S and AS are pissed. This positive evaluation becomes a giant hammer I use to beat back any negative thing S or AS say against me.

January: I get emailed a laundry list of new tasks for me to complete. I email back and say I won't be doing any of those. What is being asked of me is unethical and potentially illegal. I was asked to supervise a teacher. Something I had never done was not qualified to do. This is when I started to cc the school board on everything and get the teacher's union involved (I am non union). S requests a meeting with the AS and my direct supervisor to go over my new tasks. At this point I had a two year contract with the school. Although employees cannot break contract in the middle of a school year we can leave between school years. I clarified with a state education department lawyer in September. In our meeting I make the mistake (at the end of the meeting while I was getting up) of saying that I'd get them through to the end of the year following all the rules and laws, without missing any deadlines.

The superintendent set her jaw and stated I had a two year contract and they were not releasing me. I laughed and said what I stated above about leaving between years per the state education department lawyer. The superintendent said again that she would refuse to release me. I looked around, stood up, laughed incredulously and said, "I'm not sure what about I just said you didn't understand. I. WILL. NOT. BE. HERE. NEXT SCHOOL YEAR." I did it slowly enough like I thought she didn't understand English then walked out.

I leave this meeting and file a complaint with the Office of Civil rights (OCR) and the equal opportunity commission (EEOC) about withholding of a state issued benefit (sick leave). There was a time limit on when I could complain from the time the incident happened.

February: Turns out my old district A superintendent did retire and hired my friend, a former principal who knew me and my work well. The new psychologist was not working out well for them. They posted my old job again so I applied and got it with a small raise. :) AS and S hear about this through the area grapevine and they are pissed.

Superintendent receives the official OCR and EEOC complaint. From this point there is ABSOLUTE radio silence. It was eerie. There was zero contact from S or AS. I'm assuming their lawyer recommended it.

March-May: I get to do my job (just my part) with no extra work. AS tells me they wish they had taken me up on my offer to contract with them. Me too. They had to hire a local clinical psych who charged them an arm and a leg. I turn my letter of resignation into the district on the absolute last possible day. :D

One year later: The school board changed. The superintendent was demoted to being a teacher. Not even kidding. I think there was something in her contract about guaranteed employment so they demoted her. The AS was demoted to principal. My supervisor resigned after it was found out he was sleeping with a teacher he supervised. He was married. I'm thinking I wasn't the issue here.

This has just been a bad memory since then. I'm still at District A for the time being. I see another FU moment shaping up. My friend, the current superintendent is training me in a school finance area that only she and I know how to do. She is planning on retiring this year. :)

Glad you joined to post that.  What a crazy story.

LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3380 on: October 25, 2020, 02:03:15 AM »
Yeah. Holy shit.

2sk22

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3381 on: October 25, 2020, 03:45:16 AM »
@SereneOne Thats truly epic and definitely belongs in the hall-of-fame! And welcome to the forum!

bbqbonelesswing

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3382 on: October 25, 2020, 08:48:03 AM »
Totally badass first post!

Psychstache

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3383 on: October 25, 2020, 09:17:02 AM »
snip of awesome story of school district shooting themselves in the foot from their own pettiness.

Excellent story @SereneOne. Also, another male School Psych with an interest in personal finance? It's like two unicorns meeting!!


August: I made the move to District B after their two psychologists retired. I was hired and they were working on hiring another person. The school district is too big for just one of us and the state has rules limiting how many students I can serve. All is going well until I start being asked to do additional work beyond my contracted day.

I would love if you would share (or PM me) what state this is. I do some working with our state association and help with some lobbying efforts and we do not have anything like that state rule. Our state as a whole has about a 1:2800 psych:student ratio at the moment (with some regions being as bad a 1:16,000!!). Would be interesting to see how the state wrote that law.


SereneOne

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3384 on: October 25, 2020, 10:06:48 AM »
Ha! Thanks everyone who responded. It was quite the year and Iím glad to be on the forum.

And yes, not too many male school psychs to begin with. I shot you a pm. Your state ratio is something! Ours is nowhere near that high thankfully.

rpr

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3385 on: October 25, 2020, 11:44:09 PM »
@SereneOne -- welcome. What a story!

mm1970

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3386 on: October 26, 2020, 02:51:10 PM »
That was a glorious story!

blurkraken22

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3387 on: November 01, 2020, 01:56:06 AM »
I finally finished reading the entire thread! Wow! It has been EPIC. I want to thank everyone for their stories. On a personal level, I think this thread has helped me to better tell the difference between petty annoyances and serious work issues. I've been a lot luckier in my career than I realized. TBD: if I can keep the perspective I've learned from this thread or if I'm just getting cantankerous and cranky...

...
I'm really good at what I'm specializing in, but I'm not good in all aspects of my general job. Let's say I'm much better at designing high quality baskets than at fixing the looms for underwater basket weaving when they break. I'm trying really hard to becoming better at loom fixing, I watch youtube video's about it in my spare time, but trying to improve means I'm asking lots of questions to coworkers and I work slowly which they perceive as me being incompetent. And of course, I am not good at loom fixing, but hey, I'm not a loom mechanic, I never claimed to be, please let me design the fancy baskets that we can sell for $$$ because that's what I'm really good at. When I do get to design it's always a big success.

@Imma Did you make any moves? I was hoping you would manage to find a role that where your main duties would involve design and no obligation to fix looms.

It's a thing. I believe @couponvan is our longest running chain smoker smoke breaker.
Can you tell me more about this concept? I may have had a smoke break by already, but I want to be sure I understand the definition before I say that.

fuzzy math

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3388 on: November 01, 2020, 07:24:19 AM »
Bravo @SereneOne !!! We should all practice saying "I'm not sure what about I just said you didn't understand. I. WILL. NOT. BE. HERE. NEXT SCHOOL YEAR."  to our shitty employers!

Imma

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3389 on: November 01, 2020, 09:11:31 AM »
@blurkraken22 funny you ask today!  I'm officially starting a new job as a basket design auditor today! My previous employer decided to sell off their design devision due to Covid. I had heard rumours and put two and two together so when I was called into the office to be told they were going to let me go, I was able to tell them I had a job interview the next day. I was hired there and will start tomorrow. My previous employer was kind and offered me a generous deal - they acknowledged they had hired me for one thing and then let me do very different work. They agreed my new job would be a better fit and actually recommended me to my new employer.

Tomorrow is my first day of work. I'll be much better paid, better benefits, office is walking distance from home but right now we're 100% work from home. I was asked to defer my last year of grad school (I do evening classes on top of my job) but in return they'll pay my tuition next year and when I get Master of Basket Design degree I'll be able to apply for a better paid position as a senior basket design auditor. I'll still not be able to design myself but I think I will enjoy this job. I enjoyed the auditing parts of my previous job. And we're in the middle of a pandemic and the next few years will be challenging, so a steady, fulltime job with benefits is just what I need. Especially since my partner works in an industry heavily affected by Covid.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 01:05:23 PM by Imma »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3390 on: November 01, 2020, 09:52:59 AM »
@Imma, that's great news. Congratulations!

Imma

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3391 on: November 01, 2020, 02:06:48 PM »
@Imma, that's great news. Congratulations!

Thanks! I'm really happy with it too. I used to get tons of requests from recruiters on LinkedIn but that stopped as soon as the pandemic happened. I got this job through someone in my network, I didn't actually have to apply.

People tell me how lucky I was, and I am, but it's also been hard work. I've put a lot of effort in my work, I went back for a Master's degree in the evenings (and paid it myself) I put a lot of effort in making connections with people although that's not my natural talent. I was lucky that I was hired for this position but I also put myself in this position where this could happen to me.

SwordGuy

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3392 on: November 01, 2020, 02:32:21 PM »
@Imma, that's great news. Congratulations!

Thanks! I'm really happy with it too. I used to get tons of requests from recruiters on LinkedIn but that stopped as soon as the pandemic happened. I got this job through someone in my network, I didn't actually have to apply.

People tell me how lucky I was, and I am, but it's also been hard work. I've put a lot of effort in my work, I went back for a Master's degree in the evenings (and paid it myself) I put a lot of effort in making connections with people although that's not my natural talent. I was lucky that I was hired for this position but I also put myself in this position where this could happen to me.

It may be luck, but it's self-manufactured luck...

Good job!

My wife got a free ride to Emory University for her Masters and PhD, plus a stipend.    It took a bit of luck (she was choice #13 for 12 slots, someone ahead of her went somewhere else), but she did LOTS of extra work to get that #13 slot.   

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3393 on: November 01, 2020, 03:27:22 PM »
People tell me how lucky I was, and I am, but it's also been hard work.

Luck is what people call it so they don't have to feel bad for not putting in the work that lets people take advantage of, or create, the 'lucky' opportunity.

SwordGuy

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3394 on: November 01, 2020, 03:52:43 PM »
People tell me how lucky I was, and I am, but it's also been hard work.

Luck is what people call it so they don't have to feel bad for not putting in the work that lets people take advantage of, or create, the 'lucky' opportunity.

Yep.

I found this book to be really interesting.    The Luck Factor by Richard Wiseman.

Looks at luck and some studies he did to test the presence or absence of luck, and how to go about increasing luck.

https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Wiseman-Luck-Factor-New/dp/B00N4EXVW8/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=wiseman+luck&qid=1604271035&s=books&sr=1-1

blurkraken22

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3395 on: November 01, 2020, 05:03:08 PM »
People tell me how lucky I was, and I am, but it's also been hard work. I've put a lot of effort in my work, I went back for a Master's degree in the evenings (and paid it myself) I put a lot of effort in making connections with people although that's not my natural talent. I was lucky that I was hired for this position but I also put myself in this position where this could happen to me.

You recognized the parts of your job that you loved, separated those parts from the ones you didn't love, and took rational steps to train up and find a job where you could do more of what you love. That sounds like working smart to me, but maybe there's some luck thrown in there too. ;)

I'm glad you've found something that seems to fit so well!

markbike528CBX

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3396 on: November 01, 2020, 06:56:18 PM »
@blurkraken22 funny you ask today!  I'm officially starting a new job as a basket design auditor today! My previous employer decided to sell off their design devision due to Covid. I had heard rumours and put two and two together so when I was called into the office to be told they were going to let me go, I was able to tell them I had a job interview the next day. I was hired there and will start tomorrow. My previous employer was kind and offered me a generous deal - they acknowledged they had hired me for one thing and then let me do very different work. They agreed my new job would be a better fit and actually recommended me to my new employer.

Tomorrow is my first day of work. I'll be much better paid, better benefits, office is walking distance from home but right now we're 100% work from home. I was asked to defer my last year of grad school (I do evening classes on top of my job) but in return they'll pay my tuition next year and when I get Master of Basket Design degree I'll be able to apply for a better paid position as a senior basket design auditor. I'll still not be able to design myself but I think I will enjoy this job. I enjoyed the auditing parts of my previous job. And we're in the middle of a pandemic and the next few years will be challenging, so a steady, fulltime job with benefits is just what I need. Especially since my partner works in an industry heavily affected by Covid.

@Imma :  Please tell me that "basket design auditor" and "Master of Basket Design degree" are code words for another actual degree/job.
If not, I'll have to rework all my "underwater basket weaving" degree jokes.  Dangit :-)

former player

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3397 on: November 02, 2020, 02:33:09 AM »
@blurkraken22 funny you ask today!  I'm officially starting a new job as a basket design auditor today! My previous employer decided to sell off their design devision due to Covid. I had heard rumours and put two and two together so when I was called into the office to be told they were going to let me go, I was able to tell them I had a job interview the next day. I was hired there and will start tomorrow. My previous employer was kind and offered me a generous deal - they acknowledged they had hired me for one thing and then let me do very different work. They agreed my new job would be a better fit and actually recommended me to my new employer.

Tomorrow is my first day of work. I'll be much better paid, better benefits, office is walking distance from home but right now we're 100% work from home. I was asked to defer my last year of grad school (I do evening classes on top of my job) but in return they'll pay my tuition next year and when I get Master of Basket Design degree I'll be able to apply for a better paid position as a senior basket design auditor. I'll still not be able to design myself but I think I will enjoy this job. I enjoyed the auditing parts of my previous job. And we're in the middle of a pandemic and the next few years will be challenging, so a steady, fulltime job with benefits is just what I need. Especially since my partner works in an industry heavily affected by Covid.

@Imma :  Please tell me that "basket design auditor" and "Master of Basket Design degree" are code words for another actual degree/job.
If not, I'll have to rework all my "underwater basket weaving" degree jokes.  Dangit :-)
A friend of mine has a farm near the sea with a wetland that grows willow.  There is a right of common over it, from time immemorial, for fishermen to harvest the willow to make crab and lobster baskets, which they would weave.  So weaving underwater baskets is a time honoured occupation in my part of the world.

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3398 on: November 02, 2020, 12:46:35 PM »
But are they actually doing the weaving while underwater...?

😉

jeninco

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3399 on: November 02, 2020, 01:19:56 PM »
@blurkraken22 funny you ask today!  I'm officially starting a new job as a basket design auditor today! My previous employer decided to sell off their design devision due to Covid. I had heard rumours and put two and two together so when I was called into the office to be told they were going to let me go, I was able to tell them I had a job interview the next day. I was hired there and will start tomorrow. My previous employer was kind and offered me a generous deal - they acknowledged they had hired me for one thing and then let me do very different work. They agreed my new job would be a better fit and actually recommended me to my new employer.

Tomorrow is my first day of work. I'll be much better paid, better benefits, office is walking distance from home but right now we're 100% work from home. I was asked to defer my last year of grad school (I do evening classes on top of my job) but in return they'll pay my tuition next year and when I get Master of Basket Design degree I'll be able to apply for a better paid position as a senior basket design auditor. I'll still not be able to design myself but I think I will enjoy this job. I enjoyed the auditing parts of my previous job. And we're in the middle of a pandemic and the next few years will be challenging, so a steady, fulltime job with benefits is just what I need. Especially since my partner works in an industry heavily affected by Covid.

@Imma :  Please tell me that "basket design auditor" and "Master of Basket Design degree" are code words for another actual degree/job.
If not, I'll have to rework all my "underwater basket weaving" degree jokes.  Dangit :-)
A friend of mine has a farm near the sea with a wetland that grows willow.  There is a right of common over it, from time immemorial, for fishermen to harvest the willow to make crab and lobster baskets, which they would weave.  So weaving underwater baskets is a time honoured occupation in my part of the world.

That piece of information just made one more piece of the linguistic world click into place for me -- thanks!