Author Topic: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....  (Read 6456 times)

freeatlast

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Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« on: October 21, 2020, 05:29:19 AM »
I was out of corporate land for three years when the call came. A recruiter, after all these years, wanted to know if I was interested in a temp position in my old stressful line of work. Well covid had all my activities online or cancelled and who knew what would happen with hubbyís job so I took it for something to do and the security. After two months of in office full time I was done. I tried to quit but then was offered part time at home. Well, thatís perfect right? The best situation one could ask for! So here I am, with this part time more times than not taking up my whole day. No more painting and working our for me. And the old stress is back. And I am once again doubting whether I have saved enough and need to be doing this...... I am giving it til Election Day and if my savings hold will try to quit again this time for good!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 05:46:14 AM by freeatlast »

deborah

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 05:55:15 AM »
I think @Exflyboy needs to give you some advice.

honeyfill

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 08:36:42 AM »
I suggest you quit immediately! I retired 27 months ago but I looked into a part time position after a year just for kicks.  Before I knew what I was doing, I took a full time job and I am still working 15 months later. 
Every time I think about quitting , some new excuse comes up for why I should work just a couple of months more. 
Quit now, it will only get harder the longer you stay on!

FI45RE

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 09:37:10 AM »
What changed between 3 years ago when you quit and now to make you think you haven't saved enough?

spartana

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 09:54:01 AM »
I had the same experience. Quit my job, then 2 years later my former employer (government agency) asked me to come back. Worked full time for 2 years then quit again because it took WAY to much of my free time but was offered to work 30 hours/week (and keep full benefits) as well as schedule my time how I wanted. Well I did that for a year then quit again! It sucked and it seemed I ended up working more than before. So they offered me to work as a contractor on-call with one day/week in-person to do my field job. Did that for a year then quit again! Once again I worked way more then expected. The last time I quit it was for good and I never went back. While it was nice to be able to save some extra money and pay off my house - especially following a divorce - in hind site I really regret that I spent those extra years at a job I really didn't need after all.

So like the poster above said "what changed between now and 3 years ago"? Is it the need for more money after all or some other reasons?

freeatlast

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2020, 10:04:10 AM »
Iíve always had that nagging doubt about whether I have enough. My stash isnít super huge and Iím only 52, but I am a low spender generally. I succeed about 95 percent of the time on firecalc. Now that I am working, my spend went up cause Iím rationalizing it due to the job. But I have to admit its fun to spend. So all the insecurities I had about being able to be frugal and having enough that were really hard to overcome the first time have all come rushing back. Not saying itís rational :). Thanks all.... I might not even make it Nov... maybe quit Friday.  Why is it so stressful to quit???????

spartana

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2020, 10:32:15 AM »
Guilt? Insecurity about the economy now (very justified)? If your spouse/SO is still working maybe feeling you have to do the lions share of chores that you may hate (ok.so I'm projecting there ;-))? Family and friends thinking less of you? Etc etc. Lots of reasons. It is hard to break free of a lifetimes worth of expectations surround our "value" as humans based on what we do. People stay working longer in jobs they dislike and not living the life they really want often to appease others and meet societal expectations. It is a hard thing to break free of so don't beat yourself up about it. I "retired" pretty young and have been thru all of those same feelings and it does get easier over time.

Exflyboy

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2020, 11:06:14 AM »
If one resides in the USA then the big question is what will happen to healthcare. I think there is significant doubt as to the survival of the ACA so if your FIRE plans don't include enough money to completely fund your own (or your OK with emigrating) then personally I'd keep working until the Dems flip the Senate next month.. And if they don't....

Our Bronze plan for 2020 will be over $1500/month unsubsidised.

bacchi

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2020, 11:17:48 AM »
If one resides in the USA then the big question is what will happen to healthcare. I think there is significant doubt as to the survival of the ACA so if your FIRE plans don't include enough money to completely fund your own (or your OK with emigrating) then personally I'd keep working until the Dems flip the Senate next month.. And if they don't....

Our Bronze plan for 2020 will be over $1500/month unsubsidised.

Yes, I'm seriously thinking of taking a contract job until it all shakes out. If the ACA collapses, I'll have recent experience to get a job with health insurance or have extra money to emigrate or cover the premiums for a while (if we can even get insurance in a post-ACA world).


dividendman

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2020, 11:56:03 AM »
I also FIRED back in 2017, then got a "great" job offer... then at that job got an even better offer..... now I've been working for 2 years. Gonna pull the plug again early next year and call it for real.

DaMa

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2020, 09:08:50 PM »
I've gotten several recruiter contacts over the past 2.5 years.  Each time I get a little charged thinking it would be a good idea to have more stash.  Then I have to talk myself back down.  The last one, a few months ago, I came very close to going for, also because of COVID limiting other activities.  After I talked myself down again, I pulled my LinkedIn profile.  Hopefully, I won't get anymore recruiter contacts.

freeatlast

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2020, 12:30:58 PM »
Well, I just canít concentrate anymore cause the job isnít what I want to be doing. Itís not fair to the employer so prob gonna give notice tomorrow. Iíll give 2 weeks :) I guess Iíll be taking my chances on healthcare ...... what do republicans have against healthcare anyway????? I guess thatís a different blog!!!!!!! Lol

Linea_Norway

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2020, 06:50:45 AM »
what do republicans have against healthcare anyway????? I guess thatís a different blog!!!!!!! Lol

Maybe they think: I can take care of myself and my family. Why would I have to sponsor healthcare for the have-nots? That is socialism, which is communism and evil and the worst thing in the world...

Never mind that socialism works pretty well in some other countries.

Mr. Green

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2020, 09:27:33 PM »
You're learning the same lesson I did after taking a part-time job for fun after FIREing. It turned into more hours than I wanted it to be and I ended up having to quit. I'm glad I experienced that scenario so soon after FIRE because it changed my perspective on the whole "go back to work if I have to" argument people throw out for a failing portfolio sometime in the future. The problem is that you get so used to your freedom that it's damn hard to give it up. Now if I could find a truly part-time job that was fairly fun and keep it that way I'd consider it, but beggars can't be choosers when you reach a point where it's not so much of an option anymore. This just means I'm a bit more vigilant about my spending and market returns in these very early years because no having a choice but to work is a place I'd rather never revisit for the rest of my life.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2020, 03:30:52 AM »
You're learning the same lesson I did after taking a part-time job for fun after FIREing. It turned into more hours than I wanted it to be and I ended up having to quit. I'm glad I experienced that scenario so soon after FIRE because it changed my perspective on the whole "go back to work if I have to" argument people throw out for a failing portfolio sometime in the future. The problem is that you get so used to your freedom that it's damn hard to give it up. Now if I could find a truly part-time job that was fairly fun and keep it that way I'd consider it, but beggars can't be choosers when you reach a point where it's not so much of an option anymore. This just means I'm a bit more vigilant about my spending and market returns in these very early years because no having a choice but to work is a place I'd rather never revisit for the rest of my life.


This +1. And I think MR Green and myself were doing this around the same time. I tried a couple different things and just always found me missing my freedom.

freeatlast

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2020, 05:16:18 PM »
Thanks all!!!!  Well, gave two weeks notice today. Feels right. My lizard brain is still nervous though....

evanc

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2020, 03:03:12 PM »
Thanks all!!!!  Well, gave two weeks notice today. Feels right. My lizard brain is still nervous though....

Congratulations!!! If it eases the anxiety, you can always return to work if you have to. But hopefully you wonít need to.

As JL Collins said, flexibility is the ultimate security. (I hope I have the correct attribution lol)

Car Jack

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2020, 03:23:30 PM »
It sounds like you have not properly set limits.  If you work....say 24 hours a week and the clock goes off saying you've worked 24 but there's still sooooo much work to do, do you know what you should do?  You should shut off your computer, leave your office room/table/whatever and stop working.  If someone from work calls, let it go to voicemail and pick up on Monday.

I learned early in my full time career to do this.  One job, during the interview with the CEO, he asked me "what hours do you work?".  I remember putting it through the algorithms in my brain.  I could sound like a hero and tell him I work 60 hours a week or I get the job done and don't worry about hours.  No.....I said "8 to 5 monday to friday".  This later saved me when a department head, trying to one up the rest of the managers decided that all salary employees should "give" an hour a day on them to the company.  So work an extra hour.  Nope.  I was called into an executive's office who was besides herself that I get there at 8 and leave at 5.  "That's what I said I'd work to the CEO".

Anyways, you HAVE to set your own limits.  If you don't, you'll be one of those 80 hour a week people who will still be laid off when business drops.

freeatlast

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2020, 12:06:19 PM »
Hey Car Jack - totally agree with you about setting boundaries.  Setting boundaries would keep the job to part time and enable the time to pursue my activities and make the part time income.  Problem is, I have never been able to set those boundaries.  I always worried about undone tasks. I have always had a problem with anxiety..... I feel like if I were able to set boundaries, I wouldnít have burnt out in the first place and done FIRE.  I also believe its a personality ingrained thing that is difficult to change.  So for those that are able to compartmentalize a stressful job, part time might work.  I tried part time and it didnít work for me :) YMMV

Loren Ver

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2020, 07:26:14 AM »
@Car Jack That's awesome.  No real good come back to that one.  :).  Just doin' what you said you do.  Boss should do what she said she'd do. 

TartanTallulah

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2020, 03:03:57 AM »
As JL Collins said, flexibility is the ultimate security. (I hope I have the correct attribution lol)

This thread resonates hard with me. I retired two years ago and was offered freelance work. 12 hours a week, doing only the parts of my occupation that I hadn't stopped enjoying. Just enough to bring our household income up to enough to live on without dipping into savings, and an excuse to avoid committing to a regular volunteering role as friends have done. I'm still doing the same job in the same place, but the latest rotas have me working every weekday and alternate Saturdays, so 33 hours a week.

I'm OK with this for now. The weekday sessions are from 2pm, so I have mornings off, which is important in winter this far north because it lets me see daylight. With the COVID situation, it's not as if I can go anywhere or do anything, and I expect it will be a while before the logistics of travelling abroad don't make me decide to stay close to home. I get legitimate human contact at work and know I'm doing something useful. Being able to put 70% of my income aside each month and delaying taking my DB pension makes our lean FI look slightly less skeletal.

But retaining flexibility is paramount. The organisation for which I work was recently taken over by a larger outfit (still under the same public service umbrella) and a contract was mentioned. I said no, at this point in my life I don't value paid time off, sick leave entitlement or employer pension contributions as much as I value the freedom to walk away at any time. The flip side is that the larger outfit could get rid of me at any time, but I wouldn't mind having that decision made for me and I'd just retire rather than looking for work elsewhere.

mjones1234

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2020, 11:02:31 AM »
I had something familiar happen with me. After retiring, I took a part time job at a big box hardware store. I mentioned that I needed to be off on weekends. They said there was only one position that allowed that and I took it. Within a week of being hired, all of us newbies were told that Spring was coming and to expect to work alot of weekend hours. I said "nope". The supervisor said "you're in retail". I pulled out the signed document I received from HR on hire date that said "weekdays only". He was pissed but that document did wonders.








It sounds like you have not properly set limits.  If you work....say 24 hours a week and the clock goes off saying you've worked 24 but there's still sooooo much work to do, do you know what you should do?  You should shut off your computer, leave your office room/table/whatever and stop working.  If someone from work calls, let it go to voicemail and pick up on Monday.

I learned early in my full time career to do this.  One job, during the interview with the CEO, he asked me "what hours do you work?".  I remember putting it through the algorithms in my brain.  I could sound like a hero and tell him I work 60 hours a week or I get the job done and don't worry about hours.  No.....I said "8 to 5 monday to friday".  This later saved me when a department head, trying to one up the rest of the managers decided that all salary employees should "give" an hour a day on them to the company.  So work an extra hour.  Nope.  I was called into an executive's office who was besides herself that I get there at 8 and leave at 5.  "That's what I said I'd work to the CEO".

Anyways, you HAVE to set your own limits.  If you don't, you'll be one of those 80 hour a week people who will still be laid off when business drops.

mjones1234

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2020, 11:04:51 AM »
I had something similar happen with me. After retiring, I took a part time job at a big box hardware store. I mentioned that I needed to be off on weekends. They said there was only one position that allowed that and I took it. Within a week of being hired, all of us newbies were told that Spring was coming and to expect to work alot of weekend hours. I said "nope". The supervisor said "you're in retail". I pulled out the signed document I received from HR on hire date that said "weekdays only". He was pissed but that document did wonders.








It sounds like you have not properly set limits.  If you work....say 24 hours a week and the clock goes off saying you've worked 24 but there's still sooooo much work to do, do you know what you should do?  You should shut off your computer, leave your office room/table/whatever and stop working.  If someone from work calls, let it go to voicemail and pick up on Monday.

I learned early in my full time career to do this.  One job, during the interview with the CEO, he asked me "what hours do you work?".  I remember putting it through the algorithms in my brain.  I could sound like a hero and tell him I work 60 hours a week or I get the job done and don't worry about hours.  No.....I said "8 to 5 monday to friday".  This later saved me when a department head, trying to one up the rest of the managers decided that all salary employees should "give" an hour a day on them to the company.  So work an extra hour.  Nope.  I was called into an executive's office who was besides herself that I get there at 8 and leave at 5.  "That's what I said I'd work to the CEO".

Anyways, you HAVE to set your own limits.  If you don't, you'll be one of those 80 hour a week people who will still be laid off when business drops.
It sounds like you have not properly set limits.  If you work....say 24 hours a week and the clock goes off saying you've worked 24 but there's still sooooo much work to do, do you know what you should do?  You should shut off your computer, leave your office room/table/whatever and stop working.  If someone from work calls, let it go to voicemail and pick up on Monday.

I learned early in my full time career to do this.  One job, during the interview with the CEO, he asked me "what hours do you work?".  I remember putting it through the algorithms in my brain.  I could sound like a hero and tell him I work 60 hours a week or I get the job done and don't worry about hours.  No.....I said "8 to 5 monday to friday".  This later saved me when a department head, trying to one up the rest of the managers decided that all salary employees should "give" an hour a day on them to the company.  So work an extra hour.  Nope.  I was called into an executive's office who was besides herself that I get there at 8 and leave at 5.  "That's what I said I'd work to the CEO".

Anyways, you HAVE to set your own limits.  If you don't, you'll be one of those 80 hour a week people who will still be laid off when business drops.

AnswerIs42

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2020, 11:28:50 AM »
Anyways, you HAVE to set your own limits.  If you don't, you'll be one of those 80 hour a week people who will still be laid off when business drops.

There's an old Cornish proverb that goes:

"He who works hard and does his best, goes up the road with the bloody rest."

Cassie

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2020, 12:01:30 PM »
7 months after retiring 8 years ago I was offered a job teaching a online college class which was totally new to me. It grew from teaching once a year to all 3 semesters. I loved it. Now my class was eliminated and I teach a graduate class once a year. I also do a little consulting and I am in my 60ís.

PhilB

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #25 on: November 12, 2020, 10:02:54 PM »
So many of the stories here resonate so hard with me! 

I'm 2 years post FIRE and still doing one day a week for my old employer.  They have generally been good at respecting my boundaries, but I have really struggled to respect them myself as it can be so hard to see an issue sitting there un-tackled that eventually I crack and put in some (paid) overtime to fix things that are annoying me.  I then get annoyed with myself for slipping into an 'employed' mentality and have to work hard to get back to a 'retired' mindset again.

spartana

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2020, 10:27:25 AM »
So many of the stories here resonate so hard with me! 

I'm 2 years post FIRE and still doing one day a week for my old employer.  They have generally been good at respecting my boundaries, but I have really struggled to respect them myself as it can be so hard to see an issue sitting there un-tackled that eventually I crack and put in some (paid) overtime to fix things that are annoying me.  I then get annoyed with myself for slipping into an 'employed' mentality and have to work hard to get back to a 'retired' mindset again.
yeah us guilt-ridden types just need to completely  pull the plug as it is (or was for me) extremely hard to say "no" or not do more then planned. I swear I ended up working more after I went to on-call or PT then I did when I actually worked full time.

PhilB

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #27 on: November 14, 2020, 03:41:41 PM »
So many of the stories here resonate so hard with me! 

I'm 2 years post FIRE and still doing one day a week for my old employer.  They have generally been good at respecting my boundaries, but I have really struggled to respect them myself as it can be so hard to see an issue sitting there un-tackled that eventually I crack and put in some (paid) overtime to fix things that are annoying me.  I then get annoyed with myself for slipping into an 'employed' mentality and have to work hard to get back to a 'retired' mindset again.
yeah us guilt-ridden types just need to completely  pull the plug as it is (or was for me) extremely hard to say "no" or not do more then planned. I swear I ended up working more after I went to on-call or PT then I did when I actually worked full time.

Of course my problem now is that if I quit I'll feel guilty about leaving people in the lurch...

spartana

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2020, 05:42:46 PM »
So many of the stories here resonate so hard with me! 

I'm 2 years post FIRE and still doing one day a week for my old employer.  They have generally been good at respecting my boundaries, but I have really struggled to respect them myself as it can be so hard to see an issue sitting there un-tackled that eventually I crack and put in some (paid) overtime to fix things that are annoying me.  I then get annoyed with myself for slipping into an 'employed' mentality and have to work hard to get back to a 'retired' mindset again.
yeah us guilt-ridden types just need to completely  pull the plug as it is (or was for me) extremely hard to say "no" or not do more then planned. I swear I ended up working more after I went to on-call or PT then I did when I actually worked full time.

Of course my problem now is that if I quit I'll feel guilty about leaving people in the lurch...
That's how I ended up first on-call and then PT ;-). "Could just stay on call Spartana? Pretty please?? We need you! No one else has the licenses, clearances , certification yadda yadda yadda we need. You can work whenever you want as little as you as long as XYZ is done."  Umm... Didn't quite turn out that way but at least I left...eventually...feeling a bit less guilty.

Trudie

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #29 on: November 18, 2020, 09:38:56 AM »
When I FIREd (giving 4 weeksí notice), I was utterly fried to a crisp.  Employer blew his top when I gave notice.  I was asked to come back to consult and train the new person.  No!  There are reasons in the first place why I was ready to go.  And I felt no compunction to play nice after how Iíd been treated.  Sound decision that saved me sleep and anxiety.

Look at it this way, any former employer generally has money to throw at problems and does.  I saw this all the time.  Money thrown to retain ďkeyĒ employees.  Money for liquor and business outings.  Money for useless conferences.  Let them figure it out.  Move on.  Donít pick up the phone.

NAVRESLDO

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Re: Cautionary tale - Returned part time and blew up my FIRE....
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2020, 01:30:19 PM »
7 months after retiring 8 years ago I was offered a job teaching a online college class which was totally new to me. It grew from teaching once a year to all 3 semesters. I loved it. Now my class was eliminated and I teach a graduate class once a year. I also do a little consulting and I am in my 60ís.
I'm with you Cassie.   I still teach most weeks, but it is usually working with veterans.  I stay engaged, pay it forward, and control my schedule.