Author Topic: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave  (Read 8366 times)

Monerexia

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Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« on: October 04, 2019, 10:23:00 PM »
Acquaintance has known for a few months after I mentioned it in passing that I'll be able to retire in about five years. I have watched them delight in buying $1000 rims for their bicycle and a new eight cylinder vehicle in the recent past. Today we were talking and I mentioned something about saving money and they said, "yeah, but you're saving because you're worried about...retirement...right?" With the tone that they of course have no need to worry about such trivialities. It's evidently just some irrelevant thing I'm into. And so that moment of clarity (perhaps) awaits this person, some unknown time in the future, when the penny drops and eyes open with a silent WTF.

ysette9

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 06:49:17 AM »
How did you respond to te question?

Malcat

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2019, 08:05:11 AM »
I don't get it, does this person just not plan to retire?

Brianmcg321

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2019, 08:41:36 AM »
Maybe this guy has $2mil in the bank already.

prudent_one

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2019, 11:14:39 AM »
Maybe this guy has $2mil in the bank already.

Or is expecting it via inheritance.

BlueHouse

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 11:16:03 AM »
Is there a vast age difference?

The_Big_H

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2019, 09:06:30 PM »
As much as we can find many many examples of white collar workers being terrible with money.
Its not any better on the blue collar side.

js82

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2019, 02:52:12 PM »
I don't get it, does this person just not plan to retire?

Sometimes when someone's mindset is sufficiently different from your own, they simply just don't "get" certain things that are obvious to you.

For instance, I mentioned very casually and openly at work that I was taking my Professional Engineering licensing examination.  Everyone was like "oh, that's cool, good luck!", without recognizing the fact that someone doesn't pay $377 and voluntarily lock themselves in a room for 8 hours on a Saturday to take a test because it's a fun thing to do and they get to add a couple letters to their business card - they do it because they're seriously considering taking their career in a different direction.

I suspect the guy in the original post is pretty much the same.  Many(Most?) people will save whatever their 401k is set to automatically withhold, but saving a substantial portion of post-tax/post-401k income is relatively rare, to the point of being completely outside the mindsets of many people.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2019, 03:31:31 PM by js82 »

mies

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2019, 05:24:37 AM »
Most people, regardless of their job and income level, don’t really think about how their current spending impacts their future. One or two of my immediate coworkers sort of get that concept. Most will just give you a blank stare or empty rationalization if you propose a better way to spend or save money. The better way often includes some discomfort, changing a habit, or delayed gratification. Most people want what they want now and they want it to be easy regardless of the long term cost.

I wish I could figure out how to convince people they could do better by tweaking some spending habits, but that usually means they have to admit they are wrong. People hate to do that.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2019, 05:46:46 AM »
Your acquaintance just thinks you are saving up extra for your retirement, because you obviously think that whatever you saved in your retirement fund until now is not sufficient to cover your lifestyle. I think your acquaintance has investigated his own pension and concluded that it is enough to cover his normal retirement, and has therefore decided not to worry. Maybe he also expects an inheritance or whatever else sources of money. The concept of retiring many years earlier is very alien for most people.

What I heard in the lunch today, is that a co-worker wondered if she could have the option of retiring at 62, instead of the standard 67. There are many people here in Norway who retired at 62. Their employers had a special arrangement and you get a lower pension for the rest of your life. I told her to just call our general state pension fund (which will pay out the majority of our pensions) and ask them to calculate it for her. I personally don't understand why people only want to follow the standard pension rules. I am not following them. But I guess they all want to be financed by "the system" while they retire earlier and then you would have to play by their rules.

jinga nation

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2019, 07:21:51 AM »
I don't get it, does this person just not plan to retire?

Sometimes when someone's mindset is sufficiently different from your own, they simply just don't "get" certain things that are obvious to you.

For instance, I mentioned very casually and openly at work that I was taking my Professional Engineering licensing examination.  Everyone was like "oh, that's cool, good luck!", without recognizing the fact that someone doesn't pay $377 and voluntarily lock themselves in a room for 8 hours on a Saturday to take a test because it's a fun thing to do and they get to add a couple letters to their business card - they do it because they're seriously considering taking their career in a different direction.

I suspect the guy in the original post is pretty much the same.  Many(Most?) people will save whatever their 401k is set to automatically withhold, but saving a substantial portion of post-tax/post-401k income is relatively rare, to the point of being completely outside the mindsets of many people.

Not only does a PE add letters to your card, it makes you more valuable, the ability to sign off designs and contracts. Short term pain for long term gain.

And good luck on the exam.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2019, 01:06:00 PM by jinga nation »

Ann

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2019, 02:41:37 PM »

....
For instance, I mentioned very casually and openly at work that I was taking my Professional Engineering licensing examination.  Everyone was like "oh, that's cool, good luck!", without recognizing the fact that someone doesn't pay $377 and voluntarily lock themselves in a room for 8 hours on a Saturday to take a test because it's a fun thing to do and they get to add a couple letters to their business card - they do it because they're seriously considering taking their career in a different direction.
Yeah, but I’d cut them some slack based off that example alone.  What do you want them to say?  They’re sending you positive wishes even if they’re not that invested in your personal life. Sounds fair.  If you announced you were retiring and they said “That’s cool, have fun!” - it wouldn’t acknowledge all the work FIRE involved but you didn’t do it for the accolades.

I’m sure the bigger picture and interactions with your coworkers would put it all in perspective.

prudent_one

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2019, 06:07:48 PM »

Not only does a PE add letters to your card, it makes you more valuable, the ability to sign off designs and contracts. Short term pain for long term gain.

Valuable indeed. I once had a job where the company had to get schematics for a customer project PE stamped and signed off by a PE with credentials from the customer's state. There were 800+ schematics. My job was to hand him the 2' x 3' drawings one at a time while he sat there with his stamp and pen, and stack them up as he did them. The PE charged $50 per drawing. Took him a day and a half, and took home over $40K.

scottish

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2019, 07:54:52 PM »

Not only does a PE add letters to your card, it makes you more valuable, the ability to sign off designs and contracts. Short term pain for long term gain.

Valuable indeed. I once had a job where the company had to get schematics for a customer project PE stamped and signed off by a PE with credentials from the customer's state. There were 800+ schematics. My job was to hand him the 2' x 3' drawings one at a time while he sat there with his stamp and pen, and stack them up as he did them. The PE charged $50 per drawing. Took him a day and a half, and took home over $40K.

Up here if I stamp/sign a drawing, I have a liability under tort law if it turns out something was wrong with that drawing.    If that PE was unfamiliar with the work, not only was he acting unethically, he is also liable for civil damages if something is wrong.

Just Joe

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2019, 07:37:11 AM »
Maybe the PE spent the week before verifying each and every detail and now it was time to stamp it. I'd like to think that anyhow - those schematics could be for something for life and death topics.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2019, 10:56:45 AM »
I wish I could figure out how to convince people they could do better by tweaking some spending habits, but that usually means they have to admit they are wrong. People hate to do that.

Exactly.
There are people who's manner of speaking automatically puts people at ease, they have a natural word choice that is non-threatening and non-judgmental. I'm trying to hone that skill.
Anyone have an example of someone who was able to talk about a touchy topic while keeping people engaged and open?  Maybe a Don't-Do-That, Do-This example?

Malcat

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2019, 04:51:08 AM »
I wish I could figure out how to convince people they could do better by tweaking some spending habits, but that usually means they have to admit they are wrong. People hate to do that.

Exactly.
There are people who's manner of speaking automatically puts people at ease, they have a natural word choice that is non-threatening and non-judgmental. I'm trying to hone that skill.
Anyone have an example of someone who was able to talk about a touchy topic while keeping people engaged and open?  Maybe a Don't-Do-That, Do-This example?

I literally talk about touchy subjects all day, and have taught other professionals techniques, but I don't do it by being non threatening or calming, I'm painfully direct and deeply sarcastic, and oddly, it very much puts people at ease. I love watching them go from guarded to shocked, to totally comfortable.

The key is that people seek me out and pay me for my opinions. What's difficult is trying to impose your well meaning "help" on someone who doesn't want it.

If you go into a conversation with the intention of demonstrating to someone that they are wrong, they won't appreciate it, mostly because it's a douche position to enter a conversation from, which will never put anyone at ease unless you have a pre-established position of trust and authority.

Basic rule of thumb: put more energy into being interested in what's going on with other people rather than interested in influencing other people. Focus more on what they want to say and why than on what you want to say and you will always yield more influence.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2019, 10:21:41 AM »
I wish I could figure out how to convince people they could do better by tweaking some spending habits, but that usually means they have to admit they are wrong. People hate to do that.

Exactly.
There are people who's manner of speaking automatically puts people at ease, they have a natural word choice that is non-threatening and non-judgmental. I'm trying to hone that skill.
Anyone have an example of someone who was able to talk about a touchy topic while keeping people engaged and open?  Maybe a Don't-Do-That, Do-This example?

I literally talk about touchy subjects all day, and have taught other professionals techniques, but I don't do it by being non threatening or calming, I'm painfully direct and deeply sarcastic, and oddly, it very much puts people at ease. I love watching them go from guarded to shocked, to totally comfortable.

The key is that people seek me out and pay me for my opinions. What's difficult is trying to impose your well meaning "help" on someone who doesn't want it.

If you go into a conversation with the intention of demonstrating to someone that they are wrong, they won't appreciate it, mostly because it's a douche position to enter a conversation from, which will never put anyone at ease unless you have a pre-established position of trust and authority.

Basic rule of thumb: put more energy into being interested in what's going on with other people rather than interested in influencing other people. Focus more on what they want to say and why than on what you want to say and you will always yield more influence.

I have found a technique I like: during a conversation on the subject-- one I do not initiate-- I ask the person who initiates the discussion whether they'd like a suggestion from me that I have tested and found useful. If the answer is yes, I dish the details. Otherwise not. This helps me determine whether the other person is simply venting, or whether they want a practical solution.

prudent_one

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2019, 03:55:38 PM »
Maybe the PE spent the week before verifying each and every detail and now it was time to stamp it. I'd like to think that anyhow - those schematics could be for something for life and death topics.

The system has a lot of safety-related features and the guy had a 35-year career designing such systems and is considered an industry guru. He was involved as a design consultant throughout the project at a pretty good cost. By the time it got to stamp/sign he knew them as well as anyone on the project.  All the consulting work on the project was $-per-hour, but for sign/stamp he charged per drawing (very wise on his part, and if I was a PE that's how I'd do it.)

JAYSLOL

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2019, 08:47:27 PM »
Maybe the PE spent the week before verifying each and every detail and now it was time to stamp it. I'd like to think that anyhow - those schematics could be for something for life and death topics.

The system has a lot of safety-related features and the guy had a 35-year career designing such systems and is considered an industry guru. He was involved as a design consultant throughout the project at a pretty good cost. By the time it got to stamp/sign he knew them as well as anyone on the project.  All the consulting work on the project was $-per-hour, but for sign/stamp he charged per drawing (very wise on his part, and if I was a PE that's how I'd do it.)

That’s awesome, and it reminds me of when I worked at a car dealership when I was younger, the mechanics that were fully trained were paid a flat-rate per job, and every repair or service had a specific number of minutes they would get of their pay rate on completion.  From what I remember, doing a pre-delivery inspection on a new car before it goes on the lot pays the mechanic 1.25hours.  Well, there was a guy that knew how to get through those super quick and one time we got in like 6 car carriers full of cars for a fleet purchase and this dude stayed late and worked until like 9pm (so like 14 hours straight) and did “37.5 hours” worth of work that day. 

pecunia

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2019, 07:40:45 AM »
The NSPE has some sort of Code of Conduct for Ethics that many are required to review when they do the two year renewal of their license.  Here's a suggestion - After you obtain your PE and require the Professional Development Hours (PDHs), do a quick search on the internet.  There is some very low priced on-line renewal classes out there.  Do you learn anything?  Probably not, but the money is saved.

GreenToTheCore

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2019, 07:58:56 PM »
I literally talk about touchy subjects all day, and have taught other professionals techniques, but I don't do it by being non threatening or calming, I'm painfully direct and deeply sarcastic, and oddly, it very much puts people at ease. I love watching them go from guarded to shocked, to totally comfortable.

The key is that people seek me out and pay me for my opinions. What's difficult is trying to impose your well meaning "help" on someone who doesn't want it.

If you go into a conversation with the intention of demonstrating to someone that they are wrong, they won't appreciate it, mostly because it's a douche position to enter a conversation from, which will never put anyone at ease unless you have a pre-established position of trust and authority.

Basic rule of thumb: put more energy into being interested in what's going on with other people rather than interested in influencing other people. Focus more on what they want to say and why than on what you want to say and you will always yield more influence.

I have found a technique I like: during a conversation on the subject-- one I do not initiate-- I ask the person who initiates the discussion whether they'd like a suggestion from me that I have tested and found useful. If the answer is yes, I dish the details. Otherwise not. This helps me determine whether the other person is simply venting, or whether they want a practical solution.

Agreed, giving unsolicited advice isn't going to go well. I'm thinking of a time where the topic is pre-chosen like a training or sometime when the audience knows what's going to be discussed, when there's a clear expectation that there will be a discussion. Thoughts on that?

ETA: @Malkynn  & @TheGrimSqueaker  you both write well and have a great voice in your writing. I'd put you both in the category of good communicators so thank you for responding earlier.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 08:03:28 PM by GreenToTheCore »

Malcat

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2019, 06:48:57 AM »
Agreed, giving unsolicited advice isn't going to go well. I'm thinking of a time where the topic is pre-chosen like a training or sometime when the audience knows what's going to be discussed, when there's a clear expectation that there will be a discussion. Thoughts on that?

ETA: @Malkynn  & @TheGrimSqueaker  you both write well and have a great voice in your writing. I'd put you both in the category of good communicators so thank you for responding earlier.

You're conflating unsolicited advice with unsolicited subjects. Just because someone goes into a situation knowing what will be discussed doesn't mean they care even the slightest about your personal input, unless you're the one teaching a course.

It doesn't matter what the context is or how the topic comes up, I wouldn't give anyone advice unless they've expressly sought it and/or already respect me as an authority on the matter.

Knowledge and expertise are pretty self evident in normal day to day conversation, so you really don't have to go out of your way to demonstrate it. If people recognize that you have knowledge, they will likely seek it out from you, and actively give you the authority you require in order to offer advice effectively. If they aren't asking, you aren't managing to demonstrate knowledge.

The best method BY FAR for establishing your knowledge is in the questions you ask, not the statements you make. So it all comes back to putting your energy into understanding the people involved.

If your goal is to establish your own intelligence in a conversation, assume that anyone you are talking to is smarter than you in some very important way and has something to teach you.

Extremely intelligent people are intelligent because they constantly seek information, not because they constantly seek to impart their own on others. They already know what they know, so it's not actually that interesting to them, and they will impose it only when asked or when it will enrich the conversation and their own subsequent learning.

The moment I encounter someone with behaviours that differ from what I think would be best, I try to understand what motivates them, I don't just assume that I know better than they do how they should behave in their own life.

Because at the end of the day, that's what advice is, it's a declaration that based on your own very limited personal experience, that you firmly believe that you know better how others should live their own lives.

You had better be damn sure that you're right before making that claim.

weston

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2019, 09:10:57 AM »
While I was at the court house yesterday I got into a conversation with another lawyer approximately the same age as me that I have known for many years.

 "You're stilling doing this too?" she asked.

" Yeah. I can afford to retire but I still haven't figured out what I would want to do with all that time" I replied sheepishly.

" I envy that you were able to figure out how to have enough to retire. I'm not even close" she said.

 We walked out of the building together. I watched her get into her brand new BMW sports car and drive away as I got into my 9 year old Mazda 6.

pecunia

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2019, 10:33:00 AM »
Good story - Weston.  Even smart well educated people like lawyers don't always know how to handle their large salaries.

MoneyQuirk

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Re: Cluelessness of the white collar wage slave
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2019, 02:35:51 PM »
"I sure can't afford to retire. Not when I'm wasting all my money on [whatever the stupid thing is they're buying]."

Every. Day.