Author Topic: do you sometimes you want to throw your NW/FIRE plans in someone's face?  (Read 7661 times)

catccc

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an older co-worker is driving me nuts, bragging that he bought his 1st car with cash and paid for his last year of college with his landscaping business.  He also drives an expensive car now, admits that he'd rather spend money on AC than open the windows on a nice cool summer night, and does other things I consider financially stupid. 

I feel lame for even engaging him.  I felt the need to tell him that I also paid cash for my first car, and paid my way through college, too.  I should just smile and know in my heart that he's an idiot, and boy I'm glad I'm not like him.

I wanted to throw my NW in his face and tell him about how I'm going to be retired when I'm his age, but I bit my tongue.  Does this happen to anyone else?!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2014, 07:24:20 AM by catccc »

clarkfan1979

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Karate is for defense only. You train to avoid fighting. - The Karate Kid

Another Reader

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After you say all that, you still have to work with him.  In your shoes, I would smile and nod.  A lot.  And then I would go back to work.

Travis

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Not so much since I make more than most of my coworkers, make as much as my three best friends combined, but live on half my income.  I want to facepunch some of my lesser-salaried coworkers for their financial decisions, but ultimately what they do is their choice.  Your coworker might not be mustachian, but his financial decisions might still be within his means.  The fact that he paid cash for college makes him better off than most.  If my coworker who makes as much as I do pays cash for a car that costs 5 months salary, but he is still financially secure then I don't have much to say.  His choice represents some basic errors in mathmatics, but I'm not going to lecture him on how short sighted that decision might have been.  If your coworker is somehow using his choices to rub in your face or publicly complains about not being able to afford retirement then feel free to engage him, but I wouldn't bring it up unless provoked. 

MidwestGal

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Hey may actualy be doing better than he lets on.  What if he can afford all these things?  Being older than you, the guy had a head start.  Some people stay at their jobs because they love them so much, or can't imagine retirement without sitting around and doing nothing.

catccc

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It doesn't bother me that he makes different financial decisions than I do.  That's fine, I don't care how he spends his money; whether it's in his means or not.  I rarely feel compelled to tell people that they should be more frugal, they can do what they want.

It just happened to be that the brag was in condescending "I know better than you" kind of context.  I'll not rehash the entire conversation here, but the brag was certainly meant to "prove" to me that he thinks he is a "financially smarter" person than I am.  In other words, yes, he was trying to rub it in my face.

Mr. Miyagi is right. 

And smiling and nodding happens a lot with this guy.  He doesn't take social cues that you don't want to talk to him.  I get the impression from other co-workers, and my boss, that is he is the department idiot.  (I'm new-ish at this job)


CarDude

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Karate is for defense only. You train to avoid fighting. - The Karate Kid

What that guy said. Maybe he's looking for a friend and lacks the social skills to approach you well.

catccc

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What that guy said. Maybe he's looking for a friend and lacks the social skills to approach you well.

You may be right.  Oh, now I feel bad.  I used to feel sorry for him when I first started and heard the way people talked about him.  But after this and some other conversations, I can see why they try to avoid him.

dude

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I have one of those guys where I work.  I ignore him completely. I don't say anything more than "hello."

MidwestGal

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I like what Dude came up with...if "hello" in a short tone doesn't work then you can always walk faster by him.  Even feeling sorry for the guy, some folks are tough to get along with.

RootofGood

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Pay the guy an empty compliment ("sounds good, congrats!1"), and move on with life.  You're aiming for FI for your own reasons, not to make someone else jealous or to make someone else see how rational and smart you are. 

Keep working for yourself so you won't have to work for others forever. 

hexdexorex

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If you like the guy make subtle suggestions and how he can improve his financial future. If you don't just say "congrats that's awesome" when he gloats. All of my work friends make the same/more than me and have  a savings rate significantly lower than mine. But I do consider my practices a little bit out of the norm (if I don't have the cheapest car in the parking lot I get a little mad at myself :))

The frugal lifestyle is fun if it becomes a game...and like a game you want to help friends out if they welcome the help and say nothing to help people that turn your stomach.

Russ

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Not that I recommend doing this, but f you really want to zing him don't show him that you're better, show him that he's not as good as he thinks he is.

mjs111

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I wanted to throw my NW in his face.

This will probably feel good for a minute or so after you do it but then you'll probably feel like a schmuck afterward.  There's no upside to telling people you deal with every day who aren't your friends exactly how much you can get sued for.


Mike


catccc

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eh, I don't need to zing him.  I just need to let it go.  I think my annoyance may have had roots in the fact that I could not get him to stop talking to me and I had a lot to get done when I first came in.  I can't find the moxie to tell him to leave me alone, or the words to do it in a nicer manner. And even if I had them, he just kind of rambles non-stop and I can't even get a word in!

The Happy Philosopher

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Living well is the best revenge.

I think the old me of a couple years ago would have been more irritated by a guy like this, but not really anymore. I would just smile at him and say "awesome man, sounds like you have it figured out!"and be happy. People are generally disarmed by people that are ridiculously happy and I bet he will mellow. In fact, try it out and report back to us...A sort of mustachian psychology experiment. ;)

Karate Kid reference...nice job for throwing that out there!

johnintaiwan

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I want to do this every time someone brags about their new smart hone and asks condescendingly why I still use an old nokia. Or ruthlessly questions why i dont buy a house, they keep going up like crazy, you'll be kicking yourself that you didnt get in when you could. Especially when they complain payday lands on a Sunday and they will have to wait until Monday to get their money.

arebelspy

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I don't ever, but the wife uses it as a coping mechanism when her boss is a *.  She runs through - in her head - the fact that we're FI, will RE in two years, and why she's awesome.  A sort of "I don't care what you say because.." in her head.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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Argyle

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Why not say, "You paid you way through college with cash?  That's so cool, I did that too!"  And so forth.  The fact that he uses air conditioning now is irrelevant.  But I don't see that there's any need to hide the fact that you're on the same page about all this other stuff.  He's on your side!  If he's after compliments and admiration, you can say, "I know exactly how hard it is to defy the mainstream like that.  People like you and me, we're rare, aren't we?  I know you get it."  Why not?

Numbers Man

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I try not to talk to my co-workers. It makes life so much simpler.

mm1970

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Try to find something in common?  Say "great!  It's awesome that you paid for your first car with cash.  Most people don't - they either don't save the money, buy a car that's too expensive, or buy a car before they have a job.  I did the same."

or "great that you made so much money in your business!  Just think of how much better off most college grads would be if they managed to save money for college instead of taking loans!"

RootofGood

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I don't ever, but the wife uses it as a coping mechanism when her boss is a *.  She runs through - in her head - the fact that we're FI, will RE in two years, and why she's awesome.  A sort of "I don't care what you say because.." in her head.

That's what I would do on my walk to work.  75% of the time the weather was nice enough, and I got to enjoy the outdoors for ~5-7 minutes as I walked from our remote parking lot to our offices downtown.  On the way I'd be thinking "Hey, it's Monday, going to work sucks, but so what.  I'm FI and about to RE, and this job is temporary.  The weather is awesome, these huge oak trees are beautiful, and life is good."  It helps that I was telling myself the truth! 

zarfus

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I try not to talk to my co-workers. It makes life so much simpler.

This.  Maybe I'm a terrible person because I always say "no" to "wanna go out for lunch?".  I'm always courteous and nice when working, but I just don't have any interest in becoming friends.

deborah

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Why not say, "You paid you way through college with cash?  That's so cool, I did that too!"  And so forth.  The fact that he uses air conditioning now is irrelevant.  But I don't see that there's any need to hide the fact that you're on the same page about all this other stuff.  He's on your side!  If he's after compliments and admiration, you can say, "I know exactly how hard it is to defy the mainstream like that.  People like you and me, we're rare, aren't we?  I know you get it."  Why not?
When I worked, I would just say something like "yes, it feels so good to completely own your car from day 1" (or whatever it is about). You might have a fellow mustashian who you can learn from, and this opens up the conversation, without implying that you are as far along the road as you are.

I am thinking of the story MMM told of his neighbour raking leaves, and MMM about to give him some tips when the neighbour said he owned an apartment block with 400 apartments. I have personally worked with at least two people whose net worth was in the $10s of millions, yet who "worked" at ordinary jobs. Neither of them was a particularly good worker, and both sound a bit like this guy.

Mr. Frugalwoods

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I try to take a zen approach to stuff like this.  Smile, breathe, and let it roll off your back.

What does it matter what this guy says or thinks?  Does it affect you?  Or are you spending valuable time and energy being outraged?

Not to sound like some sort of hippy, but put your energy where it's useful... (wo?)man!

dfields

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I have an annoying co-worker in his mid 50s who likes to tell me that he's going to retire in 7 years and laughs that I have 40 years to go. I just smile and say maybe only 30 years, though I'm really planning more like 5. It would obviously hurt me more than him to let everyone at work know my FIRE plans.

catccc

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I'll definitely be keeping my mouth shut and just trying to avoid him.  Thanks all for the sound responses, you are all such reasonable people!

Greg

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Since the one-sided conversation is interrupting your workflow, practice interrupting him with "Excuse me (name) I really need to get some work done.  Talk later?" and turn away.  You may have to repeat yourself.