Author Topic: Overheard at Work 2  (Read 520432 times)

Siebrie

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2400 on: March 05, 2020, 02:30:39 AM »
An overheard at my old work:
My former employer offered a very generous company car budget once you reached a certain level in the company. My new Legal Director colleague wanted to look for a car within that budget, but her Legal Vice President colleagues persuaded her to take the company car budget, add her own budget (the amount she would normally privately spend on a car) and get as large a car as she could afford. She did....
She also sold her own car (that makes sense, of course) at a loss (of course), and then left our company within 6 months, as she didn't get along with our micromanaging supervisor.

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2401 on: March 05, 2020, 04:34:15 AM »
One of my coworkers was complaining today about all the money they spend. $10 Uber each way to the train station, $8 commuter rail each way, $15 lunch... ďIím spending almost $50 a day just to be in this office!Ē

I suggested biking to the train station might be an option, and he said ďnah, itís way too far- almost 2 miles! And Iíd rather pay $10 for the Uber than spend a thousand dollars on a bike.Ē And then started complaining about how terrible the train service is and that we should call our legislators to demand improvements.

 I thought about mentioning that my bike cost what he spends on Ubers in 2 weeks, or that even an unfit person could manage 2 miles in 15 minutes, but some conversations are not worth having.

It depends on the 2 miles. I could make it to the train station on my bike, but I would just be walking it up hill to get home. Even the super fit ones who bike it on a regular basis don't make it look easy!
In that case you can buy a cheap electrified bike for $500 shiny new! It pays for itself after just a quarter, probably does not take more time than waiting for the Uber driver and is a lot healthier!

Sugaree

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2402 on: March 05, 2020, 04:35:46 AM »
CW:  I like getting paid every two weeks.  It's so much easier to plan that way
me:  ...
CW:  Once I worked somewhere that they paid twice a month - the 15th and the 30th.  I hated it!
me: ...
CW:  It's so hard to plan around that.
me:  ...
CW:  If the 15th fell on a Sunday, you didn't get the check until Monday!
CW:  I used to go out a lot more, and you can imagine if I didn't get paid until Monday, then that made going out all that much more difficult
me:  {don't ask, don't ask, don't engage and maybe he'll just stop talking}

Some people can't seem to get past basic arithmetic.  If you told this person that credit cards offer 30 days interest free, you'd probably see them maxed out in days.

I would rather be paid twice a month.  The three paycheck months are kind of annoying.

Ugh, I can't imagine how stressed I'd be by living like this.  I've never been paycheck to paycheck, so it's never mattered much to me how frequently I was paid.  I'm curious though, @Wrenchturner why is it annoying to be paid three times a month?  Does your employer not have direct deposit?

I have direct deposit, but having my income jump by 50% for ~three months out of the year is annoying because it means I have to go out of my way to invest it.

We get paid twice a week and I think it's funny to watch co-workers go on about their "free paycheck" during those months.  But then they also tend to forget that there will be months where the "first" paycheck of the month won't be until 7th or 8th.  My budget system is set up a a little different so I don't really notice how many paychecks I get in a given month.

SwordGuy

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2403 on: March 05, 2020, 06:33:37 AM »
The key to an every-other-week paycheck is to set a monthly budget for 2 paychecks (instead of 1/12th annual pay) and get a paycheck ahead on expenses.   That way, you're never waiting on the "next paycheck" to pay the bills, they come out of the last paycheck.  Once that happens, it's a whole lot less stressful.

The nice thing is that if someone sets their monthly budget based on 2 paychecks, within 6 months there will be a 3 paycheck month and they'll now be a paycheck ahead.

And about every 6 months they can get one more paycheck ahead. Over the course of 5 years that's 10 paychecks ahead, or a 5 month emergency fund.   Don't even have to know about how to invest...

Just Joe

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2404 on: March 05, 2020, 07:54:06 AM »
Suggest going to a monthly paycheck schedule and wait for the hand wringing...

OtherJen

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2405 on: March 05, 2020, 08:00:01 AM »
Suggest going to a monthly paycheck schedule and wait for the hand wringing...

Yep.

I actually liked having a monthly paycheck schedule when I was in grad school. Now, my contract companies all pay monthly but on different days. I wish I could set things up to have all of the deposits arrive on the same day.

ChickenStash

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2406 on: March 05, 2020, 08:02:40 AM »
This probably belongs in the MPP thread, but I'll jump on board that the 2-week checks are mildly annoying. Every bill I have is defined monthly (or 3/6 monthly) and usually due the same business day (+/- a weekend) so having the actual pay date moving around means I have to keep a greater slush amount in my checking account to make sure things are covered. Add to it that the 3rd paycheck in a month is a different amount (no insurance deductions) and things get wonky and upset my sense of order. lol

My previous employer paid monthly on the last Friday of the month. It was glorious. Every check was the same, on the same (business) day. Never heard anyone there complain about budgeting for it, though. Most of my coworkers were frugal by normal society's standards - not by this community, though. :)

sherr

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2407 on: March 05, 2020, 09:21:46 AM »
CW:  I like getting paid every two weeks.  It's so much easier to plan that way
me:  ...
CW:  Once I worked somewhere that they paid twice a month - the 15th and the 30th.  I hated it!
me: ...
CW:  It's so hard to plan around that.
me:  ...
CW:  If the 15th fell on a Sunday, you didn't get the check until Monday!
CW:  I used to go out a lot more, and you can imagine if I didn't get paid until Monday, then that made going out all that much more difficult
me:  {don't ask, don't ask, don't engage and maybe he'll just stop talking}

Some people can't seem to get past basic arithmetic.  If you told this person that credit cards offer 30 days interest free, you'd probably see them maxed out in days.

I would rather be paid twice a month.  The three paycheck months are kind of annoying.

Ugh, I can't imagine how stressed I'd be by living like this.  I've never been paycheck to paycheck, so it's never mattered much to me how frequently I was paid.  I'm curious though, @Wrenchturner why is it annoying to be paid three times a month?  Does your employer not have direct deposit?

When my work transitioned from twice-monthly to bi-weekly paychecks a bunch of people flipped out. The only legitimate (IMO) complaint was that a bunch of bills are defined monthly (utilities, credit card, car payment, mortgage, alimony, child support, etc.) and so if you are living paycheck-to-paycheck on those monthly bills then bi-weekly paychecks make life harder because the amount you get monthly goes down until you hit the three-paycheck month.

That's at least logical, if not the most mustachian thing in the world. There was also a bunch of conspiracy-theorizing about how $employer was just keeping money longer so they could gain more interest on it, which if course makes absolutely no mathematical sense since they're actually truing-up with you more often, meaning that $company would get less money in interest. The number of completely math-illiterate people in senior positions was eye-opening, and they would just double-down and argue harder when you proved them mathematically wrong.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 09:44:07 AM by sherr »

wellactually

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2408 on: March 05, 2020, 09:31:48 AM »
I've been paycheck to paycheck on bi-monthly and bi-weekly and it didn't make too much difference. It's hard no matter what. Dragging yourself out of that is incredibly difficult.

Now, both DH and I get paid bi-weekly and we're on opposite weeks. So we get a paycheck every Friday. That is pretty awesome. We're not paycheck to paycheck anymore, but it's nice to not have to keep a huge buffer in checking for cashflow.

ixtap

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2409 on: March 05, 2020, 09:39:28 AM »
When I was paycheck to paycheck, I liked bi-weekly. I managed for 10 months out of the year and the other two months gave me a bit of a breather/ chance to catch up.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2410 on: March 05, 2020, 12:49:50 PM »
When I was paycheck to paycheck, I liked bi-weekly. I managed for 10 months out of the year and the other two months gave me a bit of a breather/ chance to catch up.

My property tax is due semiannually in a way that kind of lines up with the third paycheck of the occasional two-paycheck month, so I enjoy the luxury of simply earmarking a portion of that extra paycheck for the property tax.

ysette9

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2411 on: March 05, 2020, 08:47:33 PM »
For most of my career I was paid weekly, so I always budgeted on a weekly basis. I still have our vanguard contributions come out weekly though we both are now paid every two weeks, and on the same day at that.

Iím sure it is less than optimized, but we just keep a bunch of cash sloshing around in checking so I never have to think about lumpy payments. My brain space is finite and Iíd rather actively manage something else.

bostonjim

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2412 on: March 06, 2020, 01:29:17 PM »
Sad thing is that these days, the amount of interest you get on savings accounts makes it hardly worth the effort to move money back and forth for cash flow reasons.  I usually just leave a bunch of money in the checking account and then when it gets too big transfer a bunch up to an investment account.

Jouer

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2413 on: March 06, 2020, 02:15:44 PM »
Sad thing is that these days, the amount of interest you get on savings accounts makes it hardly worth the effort to move money back and forth for cash flow reasons.  I usually just leave a bunch of money in the checking account and then when it gets too big transfer a bunch up to an investment account.

MMM World Problems


charis

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2414 on: March 06, 2020, 06:09:54 PM »
This paycheck schedule conversation comes up periodically on this site and the responses seem to be, don't notice payday because I don't live paycheck to paycheck, or everything is earmarked so I absolutely notice.  I am in the latter camp.  Nothing is really slush.  We send a narrow amount in the checking account to cover regular expenses and bills and everything else is direct deposited to savings, investment, or education accounts.

So I definitely know when payday is and we are purposely budgeted in a paycheck to paycheck manner, in that we pretend that the other accounts don't exist. I assume other folks in the accumulation phase do the same.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2415 on: March 06, 2020, 08:30:13 PM »
This paycheck schedule conversation comes up periodically on this site and the responses seem to be, don't notice payday because I don't live paycheck to paycheck, or everything is earmarked so I absolutely notice.  I am in the latter camp.  Nothing is really slush.  We send a narrow amount in the checking account to cover regular expenses and bills and everything else is direct deposited to savings, investment, or education accounts.

So I definitely know when payday is and we are purposely budgeted in a paycheck to paycheck manner, in that we pretend that the other accounts don't exist. I assume other folks in the accumulation phase do the same.
I notice payday because I LOVE PAYDAY. I have no problem dancing around the office every two weeks singing about payday. It's the entire reason that I'm there ffs.

OtherJen

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2416 on: March 06, 2020, 09:08:57 PM »
This paycheck schedule conversation comes up periodically on this site and the responses seem to be, don't notice payday because I don't live paycheck to paycheck, or everything is earmarked so I absolutely notice.  I am in the latter camp.  Nothing is really slush.  We send a narrow amount in the checking account to cover regular expenses and bills and everything else is direct deposited to savings, investment, or education accounts.

So I definitely know when payday is and we are purposely budgeted in a paycheck to paycheck manner, in that we pretend that the other accounts don't exist. I assume other folks in the accumulation phase do the same.

Same. Husband gets paid W-2 income weekly and works somewhat variable hours. I get paid on three days per month (contracts with three different companies) in varying amounts, which means it's difficult to automate finances to allocate 30% of my gross to the account for quarterly taxes and 30% of all net into various savings accounts (beyond 401k and some HSA out of husband's check). So yeah, it's much easier to know when payments come in so that everything gets allocated right away.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2417 on: March 06, 2020, 11:17:55 PM »
This paycheck schedule conversation comes up periodically on this site and the responses seem to be, don't notice payday because I don't live paycheck to paycheck, or everything is earmarked so I absolutely notice.  I am in the latter camp.  Nothing is really slush.  We send a narrow amount in the checking account to cover regular expenses and bills and everything else is direct deposited to savings, investment, or education accounts.

So I definitely know when payday is and we are purposely budgeted in a paycheck to paycheck manner, in that we pretend that the other accounts don't exist. I assume other folks in the accumulation phase do the same.
I notice payday because I LOVE PAYDAY. I have no problem dancing around the office every two weeks singing about payday. It's the entire reason that I'm there ffs.

I canít believe you like money too... 

We should hang out!

imadandylion

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2418 on: March 07, 2020, 09:07:25 AM »
I took a Lyft to a job site (company expensed) which I normally wouldn't, but I couldn't get a rental car in time. When we were on the highway, we must have passed by some large signage about car insurance premiums, because the driver immediately asked me, "Shocking, right? Well I pay much more for my car insurance than that!" He went on to say how his car insurance premiums doubled this year, so he has to pay $8,000 a year vs $4,000 from last year. "I have two luxury cars, but still!" (Said Lyft was a Mercedes Benz.) He said he'd have to call his insurance agent right after this ride. Throughout this ride, he mentioned he was retired, but drives Lyft part-time to make money, but then complained about the mortgage and other costs on his condo. He said apartments are icky, which is funny to me because condos basically are apartments.

So glad I don't have a car. But I've personally never owned a car so IDK. It just seems like a lot of trouble.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2419 on: March 07, 2020, 03:59:20 PM »
This paycheck schedule conversation comes up periodically on this site and the responses seem to be, don't notice payday because I don't live paycheck to paycheck, or everything is earmarked so I absolutely notice.  I am in the latter camp.  Nothing is really slush.  We send a narrow amount in the checking account to cover regular expenses and bills and everything else is direct deposited to savings, investment, or education accounts.

So I definitely know when payday is and we are purposely budgeted in a paycheck to paycheck manner, in that we pretend that the other accounts don't exist. I assume other folks in the accumulation phase do the same.
I notice payday because I LOVE PAYDAY. I have no problem dancing around the office every two weeks singing about payday. It's the entire reason that I'm there ffs.

I canít believe you like money too... 

We should hang out!

You'd be surprised at some reactions I've had. I had a manager years ago get all sniffy and tell me that it can't just all be about the money. I asked him how long he'd come to work if they didn't pay him.....

I had another co worker tell me that it was rude to dance around and act like I was only here because I was getting paid. My manager heard and said she was also only there because she was getting paid. Co worker thought we were both rude.

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2420 on: March 08, 2020, 04:28:19 AM »
This paycheck schedule conversation comes up periodically on this site and the responses seem to be, don't notice payday because I don't live paycheck to paycheck, or everything is earmarked so I absolutely notice.  I am in the latter camp.  Nothing is really slush.  We send a narrow amount in the checking account to cover regular expenses and bills and everything else is direct deposited to savings, investment, or education accounts.

So I definitely know when payday is and we are purposely budgeted in a paycheck to paycheck manner, in that we pretend that the other accounts don't exist. I assume other folks in the accumulation phase do the same.
I notice payday because I LOVE PAYDAY. I have no problem dancing around the office every two weeks singing about payday. It's the entire reason that I'm there ffs.

I canít believe you like money too... 

We should hang out!

You'd be surprised at some reactions I've had. I had a manager years ago get all sniffy and tell me that it can't just all be about the money. I asked him how long he'd come to work if they didn't pay him.....

I had another co worker tell me that it was rude to dance around and act like I was only here because I was getting paid. My manager heard and said she was also only there because she was getting paid. Co worker thought we were both rude.

Well..... it's unmoral to not work, right?

or so we have been told for ages by people who did not need to "work".

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2421 on: March 08, 2020, 10:49:32 AM »
I loved payday too.  It was the reason I worked.  The art is to pretend you don't care and be a good sheep like the others so you can enjoy bigger and uninterrupted paydays.  Never underestimate that sniffy manager who would put your name on a short list to be booted with a downturn-  many people are jealous egocentric jack wangs who secretly harbor darkness in their hearts.  They are not happy for you, they don't want dancing over paychecks, they don't want drama in the workplace if dancing offends others.  They want sheep who stay in their place. 

I had the conversation once at age 25 with a boss who gave me the "I work for noble reasons" bullshit and when I asked if they would keep working the day after they won the lottery the answer was a hard NOPE.  But until that jackpot arrived that boss was going to keep the noble stick up their ass and pretend to be above it all.  And my name was put on the short list of uppity workers who were trouble and things were not very pleasant for me afterward.  Fortunately I left on my own accord but I learned the lesson.  I learned to fake it as long as required while keeping mental clarity that I was there for the little green rectangles.  Keeping it clear in my mind that I was trading bits of my life for those little green rectangles is what made FIRE an option at all.           
« Last Edit: March 08, 2020, 10:51:32 AM by MissNancyPryor »

SunnyDays

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2422 on: March 08, 2020, 04:05:18 PM »
I also loved payday.  Loved to see the savings racking up.  One co-worker said "It makes no difference because it's already spent."

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2423 on: March 08, 2020, 04:08:46 PM »
I loved payday too.  It was the reason I worked.  The art is to pretend you don't care and be a good sheep like the others so you can enjoy bigger and uninterrupted paydays.  Never underestimate that sniffy manager who would put your name on a short list to be booted with a downturn-  many people are jealous egocentric jack wangs who secretly harbor darkness in their hearts.  They are not happy for you, they don't want dancing over paychecks, they don't want drama in the workplace if dancing offends others.  They want sheep who stay in their place. 

I had the conversation once at age 25 with a boss who gave me the "I work for noble reasons" bullshit and when I asked if they would keep working the day after they won the lottery the answer was a hard NOPE.  But until that jackpot arrived that boss was going to keep the noble stick up their ass and pretend to be above it all.  And my name was put on the short list of uppity workers who were trouble and things were not very pleasant for me afterward.  Fortunately I left on my own accord but I learned the lesson.  I learned to fake it as long as required while keeping mental clarity that I was there for the little green rectangles.  Keeping it clear in my mind that I was trading bits of my life for those little green rectangles is what made FIRE an option at all.         

That's all absolutely true. Unfortunately, I'm shit at playing the game and pretending. Dancing around on payday is the least of my workplace issues. If there's a shortlist, I'm always on the frickin thing.

Love the term 'jackwang'. I'm going to use that.

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2424 on: March 09, 2020, 05:48:17 AM »
I also live ďpaycheck to paycheckĒ because everything is allocated.  I have a golden parachute of a pension.  I am actively thinking about how I have to transition in 2025 from biweekly pay to monthly.  Iím use to first paycheck is mortgage and investments to vanguard second paycheck pays everything else (aka paid in full credit card which also is all utilities etc)

Magic Mocha

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2425 on: March 09, 2020, 09:26:00 AM »
Recently started a cushy office job in gov't contracting. There's a coworker I really don't understand, let's call her Gwen.

  • She's 32 with 2 kids - single, with shared custody of them with dad
  • No degree
  • High-level clearance
  • Makes at least 85k, likely more.

Our contract was recently won by a different company, which means we have to re-interview for our jobs and there's a chance some of us won't get hired. This is our last month on the current contract, but we've also known this transition has been coming since I got here 6 months ago, probably longer.

In those 6 months, her work schedule for our 9-5 job is:
  • Get in at 10
  • On good days, "work" from 10-3, with an hour lunch
  • On bad days, "work" from 10-11, then she's out of the office from 11-2:30
  • 2:30 - 3 Eat lunch (always a local restaurant or Uber Eats) & chat with us
  • Leave at 3.

Good:Bad Day ratio is probably 3:2. When she does work, it's at least 50% Instagram scrolling or chatting with her friends/boyfriend on the phone.

Unsurprisingly, she's not getting a recommendation from our boss to be brought onto the new contract. Her response to the lack of contact from the new company while the rest of us get emails & offers is a lot of worrying. Talking about her anxiety*, how she has never used LinkedIn and it's such a pain to re-type her resume, how she's got two kids to support*, and has nothing saved and will need to dip into her 401k after her Tax Return runs out, and she hopes God comes through for her. Nevermind that in the last 2 months she's been on a cruise and gone gambling a few times.

I hope I'm not being too uncharitable here. I feel like 85k is a lot of money given lack of a degree for a pretty easy office job with flexible hours that many of my friends would take and work hard at in a heartbeat.

*No disrespect to those suffering from anxiety or who have kids to support. I don't have either, but think they're both extremely legitimate factors. I can see why being extra tired from kids or irrational due to anxiety would make things harder, especially for a single mom. My issue is that I don't see any signs that these fears encourage her to do anything different or take personal responsibility where she can.

Bonus: She freely admits she owes over 100k in legal fees from custody battles over her kids.

six-car-habit

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2426 on: March 09, 2020, 11:20:21 AM »
 Gwen shouldn't be planning on staying at that location.... if somehow she manages to, then God really does work in strange ways.

 Also this ** "Unsurprisingly, she's not getting a recommendation from our boss to be brought onto the new contract " **

 Seems to me the boss shouldn't be picked up under the new contract either, they have been aware of Gwen's attendance history , right ?

Just Joe

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2427 on: March 09, 2020, 01:08:59 PM »
I also loved payday.  Loved to see the savings racking up.  One co-worker said "It makes no difference because it's already spent."

I love payday for the same reason. DW and I tell each other  - look at what we didn't spend last month and this month we're adding another lump of salaries to that amount!

Its like slow motion Monopoly.

SunnyDays

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2428 on: March 09, 2020, 06:15:04 PM »
"Slow motion Monopoly" - that's great!

jinga nation

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2429 on: March 09, 2020, 08:11:27 PM »
Gwen shouldn't be planning on staying at that location.... if somehow she manages to, then God really does work in strange ways.

 Also this ** "Unsurprisingly, she's not getting a recommendation from our boss to be brought onto the new contract " **

 Seems to me the boss shouldn't be picked up under the new contract either, they have been aware of Gwen's attendance history , right ?

I work in Gov contracting too.
Contract leads will not let someone go for poor performance in some cases, as the firing has to be explained to the Gov customer. Some gov customers view this negatively as poor hiring process by the prime/sub contractor. This is why contract primes/subs keep records and keep this under wraps until the contract is up for bid or expires. Also, they don't give the poor performer raises, hoping the person will find a better job and leave. Her raises and bonuses go to other team members who make up for her slack.
It isn't her supervisor's fault if he wasn't involved in hiring her. Also boss's upline makes staffing decisions.
It's a game of Poker in real life.

Davnasty

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2430 on: March 09, 2020, 08:25:10 PM »
I also loved payday.  Loved to see the savings racking up.  One co-worker said "It makes no difference because it's already spent."

I love payday for the same reason. DW and I tell each other  - look at what we didn't spend last month and this month we're adding another lump of salaries to that amount!

Its like slow motion Monopoly.

Even better if you're paid in cash like Monopoly.

I was at my first job and it was glorious.

Magic Mocha

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2431 on: March 10, 2020, 08:36:08 AM »
Gwen shouldn't be planning on staying at that location.... if somehow she manages to, then God really does work in strange ways.

 Also this ** "Unsurprisingly, she's not getting a recommendation from our boss to be brought onto the new contract " **

 Seems to me the boss shouldn't be picked up under the new contract either, they have been aware of Gwen's attendance history , right ?

I work in Gov contracting too.
Contract leads will not let someone go for poor performance in some cases, as the firing has to be explained to the Gov customer. Some gov customers view this negatively as poor hiring process by the prime/sub contractor. This is why contract primes/subs keep records and keep this under wraps until the contract is up for bid or expires. Also, they don't give the poor performer raises, hoping the person will find a better job and leave. Her raises and bonuses go to other team members who make up for her slack.
It isn't her supervisor's fault if he wasn't involved in hiring her. Also boss's upline makes staffing decisions.
It's a game of Poker in real life.

Strongly agree. Saw a lot of stuff like this at my last gig too while I helped staffing between PMs.

There are a lot of political/contract detail factors that didn't warrant mention in the post, but suffice it to say our boss is smart, and she has good reasons for letting the contract run its course rather than firing Gwen. Thankfully just about everyone else on the team are rockstars that I'll get to learn a lot from.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2432 on: March 10, 2020, 12:26:00 PM »
Gwen shouldn't be planning on staying at that location.... if somehow she manages to, then God really does work in strange ways.

 Also this ** "Unsurprisingly, she's not getting a recommendation from our boss to be brought onto the new contract " **

 Seems to me the boss shouldn't be picked up under the new contract either, they have been aware of Gwen's attendance history , right ?

I work in Gov contracting too.
Contract leads will not let someone go for poor performance in some cases, as the firing has to be explained to the Gov customer. Some gov customers view this negatively as poor hiring process by the prime/sub contractor. This is why contract primes/subs keep records and keep this under wraps until the contract is up for bid or expires. Also, they don't give the poor performer raises, hoping the person will find a better job and leave. Her raises and bonuses go to other team members who make up for her slack.
It isn't her supervisor's fault if he wasn't involved in hiring her. Also boss's upline makes staffing decisions.
It's a game of Poker in real life.
Yes.  I worked FOR the government in my prior life (military but in a co military/ civilian job), and firing people was impossible - unless someone threatened to kill you.  That happened to someone I know once!

Usually you tried to promote someone to where they were someone else's problem.

Hubby's company, I think, uses this method of not giving raises or telling people "there is no contract for you to work on", hoping they will leave.  They've had a few bad hires.  I'm not sure why some folks are really slow to fire, though I get you want to give people a chance. 

We also had a number of bad hires - mostly middle-aged men - at that age, I've noticed that some people interview REALLY well but were not able to perform.  We had an equal number of GOOD hires in that same category.  The difference?  People who were recommended by current employees were almost always (with one or two exceptions), top notch.  People who we got from "outside" it was hit or miss. 

One of my bosses was the first guy to actually fire someone.  He went through the process of trying to get him to improve, and then basically said "do you want to be here?  You aren't performing."  Essentially convinced the guy to leave after his 1 year mark.  As soon as that happened, the floodgates opened.  The other VPs and directors said "wait, we can fire people?"  And 1-2 others were let go.  We had 3-4 others be let go later also (they hadn't even been hired yet, in fact some of them were hired to replace the first guy we let go.)  BUT we aren't a government contractor.

Boll weevil

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2433 on: March 10, 2020, 01:33:52 PM »
Recently started a cushy office job in gov't contracting. There's a coworker I really don't understand, let's call her Gwen.

  • She's 32 with 2 kids - single, with shared custody of them with dad
  • No degree
  • High-level clearance
  • Makes at least 85k, likely more.

Bonus: She freely admits she owes over 100k in legal fees from custody battles over her kids.

I think part of the answer is the high-level clearance - people with those can be hard to come by
(although if she has that much legal debt, she may be at risk of losing it).

Another question would be is the group fully staffed. Itís a bit contradictory to be asking for more people and at the same time firing people for non performance. When I first started working, the program I was on was transitioning from preliminary design phase to detail design phase, which means significantly growing the headcount. We had a lot of contractors, one of whom wasnít productive and had a tendency to fall asleep at his desk. He had been that way for a few months... iirc the day we were considered fully staffed was the day our manager terminated his employment.

SwordGuy

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2434 on: March 10, 2020, 01:52:09 PM »
Recently started a cushy office job in gov't contracting. There's a coworker I really don't understand, let's call her Gwen.

  • She's 32 with 2 kids - single, with shared custody of them with dad
  • No degree
  • High-level clearance
  • Makes at least 85k, likely more.

Bonus: She freely admits she owes over 100k in legal fees from custody battles over her kids.

I think part of the answer is the high-level clearance - people with those can be hard to come by
(although if she has that much legal debt, she may be at risk of losing it).


Technically, if you know of a reason that someone with a clearance is a security risk -- lots of debt they can't handle is one of them! -- it's your duty to report that to a security officer.

Magic Mocha

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2435 on: March 11, 2020, 08:44:06 AM »

I think part of the answer is the high-level clearance - people with those can be hard to come by
(although if she has that much legal debt, she may be at risk of losing it).

Another question would be is the group fully staffed. Itís a bit contradictory to be asking for more people and at the same time firing people for non performance. When I first started working, the program I was on was transitioning from preliminary design phase to detail design phase, which means significantly growing the headcount. We had a lot of contractors, one of whom wasnít productive and had a tendency to fall asleep at his desk. He had been that way for a few months... iirc the day we were considered fully staffed was the day our manager terminated his employment.

Ding ding ding on both counts. Very insightful - you've clearly played this game before.

She had an even higher level clearance before, but let it lapse at this job "by accident" (her words). I don't know about her, but the difference in salary & recruiter interest before and after my own clearance was night and day. A job would have to offer me a LOT for me to let that lapse.

As for staffing, you're on the nose. Prior to myself and another PM joining, they'd gone through 3 PMs in about 8 months. Lest you think this job or the Senior PM is hellish and unfair:
  • One just...stopped showing up after their first week.
  • Another left a 1.5 months in for a different dream job.
  • The third regularly watched Netflix at his cube right next to the boss, and seemed to have serious short term memory issues that made him unable to do his job.

For the insane 120k they pay, it's a cakewalk, and I'm kind of offended at how low the bar is for employee productivity for that kind of salary.

Keeping things remotely thread-related, by contrast the Senior PM is great, and we bonded early about Mint and proper budgeting. During slower periods I can often catch her tweaking personal finance things in Google Sheets.

BlueHouse

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2436 on: March 11, 2020, 12:18:45 PM »

Technically, if you know of a reason that someone with a clearance is a security risk -- lots of debt they can't handle is one of them! -- it's your duty to report that to a security officer.

uhm, be careful how you phrase that.  Lots of debt is just one "red flag" and that red flag will come out through regular scheduled background checks.   That and other factors may lead to a deeper investigation. 
If you KNOW of a reason that someone with a clearance is a security risk, then you report a breach.  You don't report based on "oh, they have a lot of debt".  Although, if you truly suspect and there are multiple red flags, then by all means, report.

SwordGuy

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2437 on: March 11, 2020, 12:58:40 PM »

Technically, if you know of a reason that someone with a clearance is a security risk -- lots of debt they can't handle is one of them! -- it's your duty to report that to a security officer.

uhm, be careful how you phrase that.  Lots of debt is just one "red flag" and that red flag will come out through regular scheduled background checks.   That and other factors may lead to a deeper investigation. 
If you KNOW of a reason that someone with a clearance is a security risk, then you report a breach.  You don't report based on "oh, they have a lot of debt".  Although, if you truly suspect and there are multiple red flags, then by all means, report.

Please note I did not say, "Lots of debt."   I said, "Lots of debt they can't handle."   

If you know they are drowning in debt they are a security risk.     If they can handle that debt despite what they said or did that clued you into their problem, that will come out in the security review.   If they can't, well, they can't and they *are* a security risk.

Sugaree

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2438 on: March 11, 2020, 01:49:49 PM »

Technically, if you know of a reason that someone with a clearance is a security risk -- lots of debt they can't handle is one of them! -- it's your duty to report that to a security officer.

uhm, be careful how you phrase that.  Lots of debt is just one "red flag" and that red flag will come out through regular scheduled background checks.   That and other factors may lead to a deeper investigation. 
If you KNOW of a reason that someone with a clearance is a security risk, then you report a breach.  You don't report based on "oh, they have a lot of debt".  Although, if you truly suspect and there are multiple red flags, then by all means, report.

Please note I did not say, "Lots of debt."   I said, "Lots of debt they can't handle."   

If you know they are drowning in debt they are a security risk.     If they can handle that debt despite what they said or did that clued you into their problem, that will come out in the security review.   If they can't, well, they can't and they *are* a security risk.

This might count as a Mustacian Money Problem for me, but I prefer that people think I'm broke.  That includes the people I work with.  They all think that I'll "be working until noon on the day of my funeral."  I suspect that at least some of them have caught on (because why would a broke person know exactly what the TSP max is and how much that is per paycheck?), but those who don't might do the math and wonder why someone making as much money as I do always seem broke.

bluebelle

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2439 on: March 11, 2020, 02:05:50 PM »


This might count as a Mustacian Money Problem for me, but I prefer that people think I'm broke.  That includes the people I work with.  They all think that I'll "be working until noon on the day of my funeral."  I suspect that at least some of them have caught on (because why would a broke person know exactly what the TSP max is and how much that is per paycheck?), but those who don't might do the math and wonder why someone making as much money as I do always seem broke.
[/quote]
I think there's a difference between letting people assume you're broke and actively lamenting about how much you owe or talking about how much you spend (compared to what you make).   I'm sure I appear broke to some people, and I don't discourage that.   And according to Payroll, I'm the only one that reports it on the rare occasion that pay doesn't hit the bank by 9am on payday.   If they want to think I'm checking because I don't have enough money for lunch, I let them.....but really it's because I want to move the money out of my chequing account and put it to work.

Reynold

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2440 on: March 11, 2020, 02:28:20 PM »
I think part of the answer is the high-level clearance - people with those can be hard to come by

I carpooled for a couple of years with someone in the Washington, DC area with a high level security clearance.  It was a bit over a year for her to get her security clearance, which was considered pretty standard for an employee of a government contractor.  The contractor in question had to pay her full time salary for that whole year, while all she could work on was "make-work", since she didn't have the clearance yet.  She also told me as soon as the clearance came through, she would start getting head hunted by other, similar companies, since they wouldn't have to pay her for that waiting year. 

Sadly, no great stories to share from where I work, generally fairly responsible people with money I think.  I did have a former boss I wondered about after he got laid off some years ago, he always bought "the most expensive" of anything because he didn't want to have to research it and he figured it was probably good quality.  He had a darned good income, so maybe he could afford it, but I wonder about his savings. . .

Goldielocks

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2441 on: March 11, 2020, 08:42:39 PM »
Recently started a cushy office job in gov't contracting. There's a coworker I really don't understand, let's call her Gwen.

  • She's 32 with 2 kids - single, with shared custody of them with dad
  • No degree
  • High-level clearance
  • Makes at least 85k, likely more.

Bonus: She freely admits she owes over 100k in legal fees from custody battles over her kids.

I think part of the answer is the high-level clearance - people with those can be hard to come by
(although if she has that much legal debt, she may be at risk of losing it).

Another question would be is the group fully staffed. Itís a bit contradictory to be asking for more people and at the same time firing people for non performance. When I first started working, the program I was on was transitioning from preliminary design phase to detail design phase, which means significantly growing the headcount. We had a lot of contractors, one of whom wasnít productive and had a tendency to fall asleep at his desk. He had been that way for a few months... iirc the day we were considered fully staffed was the day our manager terminated his employment.
What level of clearance do you consider to be "high" and "hard to find"?

What are the levels, anyway? 
Confidential - Secret - Top Secret?  Is that it?

SwordGuy

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2442 on: March 11, 2020, 10:21:46 PM »
What are the levels, anyway? 
Confidential - Secret - Top Secret?  Is that it?

Different agencies have somewhat different schemes.

The one I'm familiar with, used by DoD, is Secret, Top Secret, Top Secret -  SCI (Secure, Compartmentalized Information).

A Top Secret - SCI, abbreviated TS-SCI, allows access to a specific set of information.   So, the information about the existence of The Avengers' secret base might be TS-SCI.    But someone who had that specific TS-SCI access would not also be automatically given access to information about a TS-SCI setup about a super-secret submarine base hidden in the Aral Sea.   Each would have its own unique list of people authorized access to those particular groups of secrets.

There are three big red flags to watch for. 

1) Evidence of anti-US political ideas or actions.    Considering Trump to be kleptocrat and an ignoramus is not an example of an anti-US political idea.   Neither is saying one disagrees with something the US has done.   Sorry, no good example for this one, it's late and my mind went blank on it.

2) Serious money problems.  People with serious money problems are prime targets to be bribed for classified information.

3) Something they do not want known.   A married person having an affair is a prime target to be blackmailed.   Being openly gay isn't a security risk, but being a closet gay is, because someone who doesn't want that info to be revealed can be blackmailed over it.


mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2443 on: March 12, 2020, 03:30:54 AM »
In those 6 months, her work schedule for our 9-5 job is:
  • Get in at 10
  • On good days, "work" from 10-3, with an hour lunch
  • On bad days, "work" from 10-11, then she's out of the office from 11-2:30
  • 2:30 - 3 Eat lunch (always a local restaurant or Uber Eats) & chat with us
  • Leave at 3.


Oh this hits close to home.

My company, like many, is in capital-preservation mode since we expect revenue to be down at least $2 million this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Budgets are being cut, a hiring freeze has been put in place, and the mood is just starting to turn for the worst.

This evening my boss' boss told me that my team's jobs are secure, apart from one - questions are being asked about her productivity.

I immediately named some things that this co-worker could take over for me, to justify her own salary and lighten my workload a little.

It was an instinctive, automatic urge to protect this co-worker, because we're the last two full-time members of a close-knit team that underwent drastic changes after the business was sold a year ago.

Unfortunately she believes in late starts, long lunches, and speaking her mind more than toeing the line (speaking your mind is fine if you have a strong track record and social capital to expend, which she does not).

She's also over 60 with a mortgage.

I want to save her job but it would be an enormous help if she could see the writing on the wall and was committed to saving it too!

Travis

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2444 on: March 12, 2020, 05:15:58 AM »
What are the levels, anyway? 
Confidential - Secret - Top Secret?  Is that it?

Different agencies have somewhat different schemes.

The one I'm familiar with, used by DoD, is Secret, Top Secret, Top Secret -  SCI (Secure, Compartmentalized Information).

A Top Secret - SCI, abbreviated TS-SCI, allows access to a specific set of information.   So, the information about the existence of The Avengers' secret base might be TS-SCI.    But someone who had that specific TS-SCI access would not also be automatically given access to information about a TS-SCI setup about a super-secret submarine base hidden in the Aral Sea.   Each would have its own unique list of people authorized access to those particular groups of secrets.

There are three big red flags to watch for. 

1) Evidence of anti-US political ideas or actions.    Considering Trump to be kleptocrat and an ignoramus is not an example of an anti-US political idea.   Neither is saying one disagrees with something the US has done.   Sorry, no good example for this one, it's late and my mind went blank on it.

2) Serious money problems.  People with serious money problems are prime targets to be bribed for classified information.

3) Something they do not want known.   A married person having an affair is a prime target to be blackmailed.   Being openly gay isn't a security risk, but being a closet gay is, because someone who doesn't want that info to be revealed can be blackmailed over it.

Membership in hate groups or those presenting extremist political views (such as the violent overthrow of the government). Regularly posting related material on social media or talking about it in public.

#4 Expressing a little too much interest in classified material not important to your work. In addition to having a valid security clearance you also have to have a "need to know." I hold a TS-SCI, but there are programs in my office that are still none of my business. If I'm asking about those things too often, even if it appears to be out of idle curiosity, I should be watched because the next step might be trying to acquire that information on my own.

#5 Personal or social life issues. Private Manning had gender identity issues and caught all kinds of crap from his chain of command for being a bit odd socially and for not being a very good soldier.  If you have concerns about someone's behavioral health and work ethic, it's not a good idea in those circumstances to let them have unsupervised and unfettered access to the entire Top Secret database.

LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2445 on: March 12, 2020, 06:39:13 AM »
Membership in hate groups or those presenting extremist political views (such as the violent overthrow of the government). Regularly posting related material on social media or talking about it in public.

According to German police, you are a leftist extremist if you criticize police or billionaires for their actions.

Anyway, "extremist" is such a nice rubber band word. Everyone can be an extremist, but those who shed light on wrongdoings of the government generally are.

For example, if you are openly critisicizing that the US has a law that allows it's troops to "free" US soldiers from e.g. the International Criminal Court by means of an military attack on The Hague, you are likely to be a dangerous extremist with a file in some agency.

Dicey

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2446 on: March 12, 2020, 07:46:27 AM »
Sad thing is that these days, the amount of interest you get on savings accounts makes it hardly worth the effort to move money back and forth for cash flow reasons.  I usually just leave a bunch of money in the checking account and then when it gets too big transfer a bunch up to an investment account.
MMM World Problems MPP
FTFY - We already have a perfectly good term for that. They're called Mustachian People Problems, MPP's for short.

A long, long, time ago, in my pre-FIRE days, I was paid on straight commission. We were paid the previous month's commission on a monthly basis. Since the amount could vary wildly, I got used to living on the last month's paycheck, which was actually the month before that's earnings. Still with me? My game was to wait until i had accrued couple of checks worth of budgeted expeditures in my checking account, then sweep the excess into taxable investments. It prevented running out of month and nasty surprises if commissions dipped. I liked having everything set up on a monthly basis, except that we were required to submit separate expense reports weekly. I chose to just ignore those checks and let them accrue in the virtually zero-interest-paying checking account, the way @bostonjim does. Because, of course the company wouldn't let me direct the randomized* reimbursement checks into an investment account. "Who could afford to do that?" was always their response. MPP for sure.

*Because they processed our expenses seemingly at whim. Sometimes we got the reimbursement checks weekly, but usually they were quite lumpy. Gah, this is dredging up scum I thought I'd successfully repressed...time to move on before I break out in hives, lol.
 

Kierun

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2447 on: March 12, 2020, 11:16:50 AM »
What are the levels, anyway? 
Confidential - Secret - Top Secret?  Is that it?
The one I'm familiar with, used by DoD, is Secret, Top Secret, Top Secret -  SCI (Secure, Compartmentalized Information).
Sensitive Compartmented Information.  Technically, SCI is a caveat rather than an actual level, so those levels would be Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. Reference
Executive Order 13526.
--eta--
Section 1.2

--eta2--
They start with public trust, confidential, secret, TS, TS-SCI, Special Access, Yankee White.
SCI, SA, YW, etc are caveats and not levels of classification.

--eta3--
To answer Sword Guy if you hold those clearance (or other DoD or DoJ ones) you are given periodical reinvestigations every 5 years if nothing comes up before that that needs to be investigated. Usually someone's financials will be known long before that.
@spartana Just an FYI. They're moving away from PRs and towards a continuous evaluation system so red flags are identified earlier than the 5/10 year mark.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 02:03:11 PM by Kierun »

BlueHouse

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2448 on: March 12, 2020, 01:11:02 PM »

[/quote]

Technically, if you know of a reason that someone with a clearance is a security risk -- lots of debt they can't handle is one of them! -- it's your duty to report that to a security officer.

uhm, be careful how you phrase that.  Lots of debt is just one "red flag" and that red flag will come out through regular scheduled background checks.   That and other factors may lead to a deeper investigation. 
If you KNOW of a reason that someone with a clearance is a security risk, then you report a breach.  You don't report based on "oh, they have a lot of debt".  Although, if you truly suspect and there are multiple red flags, then by all means, report.

Please note I did not say, "Lots of debt."   I said, "Lots of debt they can't handle."   

If you know they are drowning in debt they are a security risk.     If they can handle that debt despite what they said or did that clued you into their problem, that will come out in the security review.   If they can't, well, they can't and they *are* a security risk.



Okay, @SwordGuy the "they can't handle" part makes your case for you.  I am just concerned that some judgey person is going to look at co-workers and assume they know more about their financial situation than they do. 

Here's the obligation to report financial problems (very broad and vague: 

Any financial considerations that indicate an inability or an unwillingness to satisfy debts. Examples include:
Not meeting financial obligations, such as a mortgage foreclosure, bankruptcy, debt collections, charge-offs, or failure to pay State and Federal taxes;
Financial problems linked to gambling, drug abuse, alcoholism; or
Other financial issues.




What are the levels, anyway? 
Confidential - Secret - Top Secret?  Is that it?

They start with public trust, confidential, secret, TS, TS-SCI, Special Access, Yankee White.

Special Access programs come with a codeword designation.   I've only been on one of those and I was brought in so quickly that I never had more than a "handshake" as a read-in. These ones can be so secret, that you can't even acknowledge their existence.  So rather than saying "I'm not at liberty to discuss that", you have to actively lie about what you're doing or where you're going.  That sucks even more than saying "sorry honey, I can't talk about my work".  I honestly don't think people realize how draining it is to not be able to tell your loved ones what you do. 

Yankee White - I think that's all White House stuff.  Not my wheelhouse.   

alienbogey

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Re: Overheard at Work 2
« Reply #2449 on: March 12, 2020, 01:49:43 PM »
I got read in to one where there was one place, and one place only, a very special place, where you could talk about it.  Say one word about it anywhere else and you were violating security.

I also have a few stories that I can never tell.  Fun stuff. 

Well, it can be.