Author Topic: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?  (Read 49209 times)

ny.er

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #50 on: May 28, 2015, 06:44:54 PM »

I know it sounds crazy but I think I had PTSD (mild).  The first couple of weeks I apparently was crying, shouting and screaming in my sleep.  It seems insane now and it was only last month.  [/b]
[/i][/b]


I don't think this sounds crazy at all. I know at least 3 people who have had similar experiences with detoxing after leaving stressful jobs. And that's people I know well - who knows how many others are suffering in silence.[/move]

margarita

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #51 on: May 28, 2015, 06:55:33 PM »

I know it sounds crazy but I think I had PTSD (mild).  The first couple of weeks I apparently was crying, shouting and screaming in my sleep.  It seems insane now and it was only last month.  [/b]
[/i][/b]


I don't think this sounds crazy at all. I know at least 3 people who have had similar experiences with detoxing after leaving stressful jobs. And that's people I know well - who knows how many others are suffering in silence.[/move]anks



Thanks, I appreciate hearing that I am not the only one.  The worst nightmare wherein my husband had to wake me up I remember clearly.  My boss was trying to decapitate me while a co-worker (who I did not  really like) was holding me down.  That is when I was shouting "NO NO NO NO NO".

It is almost like you are in a war and you do what you have to do to survive but once you are out you realize it was even more horrific that you thought.  (No disrepect to anyone who was in a war which I am sure is a billion times worse). 
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 07:00:52 PM by margarita »

FrancisinPa

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #52 on: May 29, 2015, 06:29:15 AM »
Quit.  I understand, believe me. 

Last December I was off work for surgery.  Work had been a rollcoaster for years but lately had plummeted to new lows.  Soul sucking, hand wringing, drinking too much after a stressful day, sleeping pills to sleep at night.   At home recovering from surgery,  as the date drew closer to return to work I started to panic about going back to that hell hole.  Every night my husband would come home from work to  find me crying on the couch.  I was starting the countdown on the days until I return.  He was the one who suggested that I retire now.  Literally I would ask over and over and over, "really?  is it possible?  I can retire?  You mean I never have to go back there?"  I could not wrap my head around it. 

I am 56 and I planned to work until 60.  It just went against everything in my work ethic, upbringing whatever to "bail" 4 years early.  I just about drove my husband crazy asking him repeatedly "is it possible, really? really? give up a "good" government job? You mean I don't have to work 4 more years?" 

Finally, as the day grew closer to return to work after surgery, I decided that I won't make a decision now I will wait and see how I feel after I get back to work.  Long story short, two days back to work and I was done. 

FUCK you assholes!  I typed up my letter giving two weeks notice and with outstanding vacation owing I only had to work 4 days.  I spent three days dealing with hell, shit hitting the fan and taking a moment here and there to shred.  Shred shred shred.  Day 4 morning I handed in all my company property (badge, etc.)  Before going to lunch with my co-workers I told my boss I won't be back after lunch.   My heart was pounding at the elevator like I had robbed the bank, broke out of prision, escaped from being held hostage, got away with murder, you get the picture. 

Not for a second have I regretted it.  I am eating homecooked meals (made by moi), drinking is probably 1/3 of what I was drinking.  No more sleeping pills.  Gym 5 days a week. 

I did feel guilty in the beginning that my husband is still working but now, not so much.  The stress on him is far less, we are not rushing around trying to grocery shop, clean the house, yardwork etc.   He loves it because he sees I am finally happy.  I am putting my health first now instead of last.  I have had two surgeries in two years and have a few other medical issues that need attention. 

I know it sounds crazy but I think I had PTSD (mild).  The first couple of weeks I apparently was crying, shouting and screaming in my sleep.  It seems insane now and it was only last month. 

FU money is the truth.  I get up when I want.  I go to bed when I want and in between I do what I want. 
I know it sounds arrogant but on a beautiful day like today, I was sitting out in the backyard reading a book with a coffee thinking how great life is now and "I am far too rich to put up with their bullshit"

Wow, you pretty much nailed how I feel. I think I have a strong work ethic too and do my job well.  But the BS they throw at us makes the environment toxic and unbearable. It's not crazy that you think you have a mild case of PTSD. I feel I have to detox from my workplace and even days off are affected knowing I have to go back to that place. It's like going back to jail. And that's the paradox. I really can afford not to go back yet I'm having a hard time packing it in. I know that sounds silly.

I'm glad that you had no regrets in retiring. Thanks for your thoughts and enjoy your new phase of your life.

lhamo

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #53 on: May 29, 2015, 06:57:41 AM »
Thank you for sharing that story, margarita.  I'm so glad you got out and are starting to recover.

I was writing out my process but it isn't really relevant because I wouldn't recommend anyone do what I did -- kind of wishing I had handled things differently, hindsight is 20/20, I guess.

What I would do if I were in your shoes, FrancisinPA:

1)  Clean out all your personal stuff now (remove belongings from office, clean personal stuff off your computer, etc.)
2)  Schedule that trip with your friends to the Cape.
3)  The day before the trip, submit your resignation for whatever the required notice period is, and in your resignation letter tell them that you are going to start using up your PTO immediately for health-related reasons and will not be available from X date to Y date (length of the trip plus whatever else you feel like), and that you will return to the office on Z date if your health issues have resolved.

They don't need to know that your health-related reasons are that you need a mental health break.  And they can't force you to work.  What are they going to do, fire you?  That might actually be a blessing.

If you feel like you need a backup for your excuse, I bet you can find a mental health professional who will attest that you need to take a break from work.

I hope you can break free soon.   Read my tagline.  It's true.  Life is too short to suffer in a job that you don't really need the money from any more.  My dad died of a massive heart attack in his early '50s.  He never got to enjoy the retirement he had been planning with my mom.  He never met his grandkids.  Don't end up like him.  Seize your freedom as soon as you can. 

latetotheparty1977

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #54 on: May 29, 2015, 08:11:22 AM »
Life is way, way too short. Every day counts. Do not waste another day (preferably another hour) in that place. Keep us updated!

asauer

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #55 on: May 29, 2015, 11:57:03 AM »
Quit.  no reason to miss out on things that bring you joy for something that doesn't when you're not forced too.  To those people who say you can always have more security...think of it this way- what is the cost of all the stress and anxiety that this job is now causing you?  These things absolutely do take a toll on our health and mental wellbeing. It's not worth it.

Another upside is they will likely have to pay you for your unused vacation too- depending on where you live.  That may be a wake up call to them that denying tons of vacation is a financial risk.  Enjoy retirement!

vern

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #56 on: May 29, 2015, 11:37:46 PM »
"Day 4 morning I handed in all my company property (badge, etc.)  Before going to lunch with my co-workers I told my boss I won't be back after lunch.   My heart was pounding at the elevator like I had robbed the bank, broke out of prision, escaped from being held hostage, got away with murder, you get the picture."

Great stuff margarita!  We're glad you made it out!

HattyT

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #57 on: May 30, 2015, 12:17:05 PM »
You could do it financially.  So if fear, inertia is keeping you there, what if you change your goal to figuring out how to live your post work FI life.  What hobbies, what travel, how will you spend your days? What will put a satisfied smile on your face? If you find you donít like plan A, what might plan B be? Get the medical stuff taken care of while you are still under insurance (as per lhamo).

If you donít want to quit tomorrow, what if you quit the next time they say you canít take vacation time for the trip you want.  Or maybe go to part time.  Get working on your exit strategy with a thinking partner to help.  You can do this!

G-dog

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #58 on: May 30, 2015, 03:17:38 PM »
Quit/retire! We know you can do this, but most of all you know you can do this. It is time!

Good luck.

And Margarita - thanks for sharing your story. Here's to the good life!

Dicey

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #59 on: May 30, 2015, 07:26:29 PM »
I retired at 54 and wish I could have done it sooner. In my pre-FIRE days, I had the following posted on the wall in my office:

                    "Retiring too early is a mistake you can recover from. Too late and there is no recovery."

I've posted this thought around here before, but it bears repeating until everyone who needs to gets the message. Just dream up the best FU exit scenario you can and then make it happen. Baby, at our age, who knows how much time we have left? Get out there and start living!

Exflyboy

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #60 on: May 30, 2015, 10:22:00 PM »
I retired at 54 and wish I could have done it sooner. In my pre-FIRE days, I had the following posted on the wall in my office:

                    "Retiring too early is a mistake you can recover from. Too late and there is no recovery."

I've posted this thought around here before, but it bears repeating until everyone who needs to gets the message. Just dream up the best FU exit scenario you can and then make it happen. Baby, at our age, who knows how much time we have left? Get out there and start living!

Amen sister!.. Even if that does mean taking a little p.t. job you enjoy..:)

patrickza

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #61 on: May 31, 2015, 05:56:57 AM »
Having saved 80x expenses surely the dividends alone are covering your living expenses. Get it now before the stress causes your health to pack in. You've got way more than you need.

Dicey

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #62 on: May 31, 2015, 12:50:02 PM »
I retired at 54 and wish I could have done it sooner. In my pre-FIRE days, I had the following posted on the wall in my office:

                    "Retiring too early is a mistake you can recover from. Too late and there is no recovery."

I've posted this thought around here before, but it bears repeating until everyone who needs to gets the message. Just dream up the best FU exit scenario you can and then make it happen. Baby, at our age, who knows how much time we have left? Get out there and start living!

Amen sister!.. Even if that does mean taking a little p.t. job you enjoy..:)

P.T. Job? Who took a P.T. Job? I'm gonna call the Retirement Police! Oh, yeah, they already have you on their radar ex-FB. Careful now...

Exflyboy

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #63 on: May 31, 2015, 01:44:39 PM »
On radar?.. They have a "speed trap" set out just for me.. Or is that wealth trap in my case?..:)

Did I mention that just  last week I made about half of what we will spend on our month long vacation to the UK at the end of July?... Oh and a few more airmiles and hotel points... Its a game you see and the "work" is actually entertaining..:)


NearlyThere

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #64 on: May 31, 2015, 01:56:34 PM »
If you've been living in the states a while, it may just buy you week here in the UK. By all accounts, everything seems to be getting more expensive here Exflyboy

Evgenia

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #65 on: May 31, 2015, 03:48:12 PM »
+1 to lhamo's advice. I could not do any better. Take your vacations when you want, or quit and take them. My grandparents traveled late in life but it only made my granddad encourage me to travel more, younger. He said it gets harder to move around, you don't enjoy it as much, and he pointed out that the friends you'd planned on traveling with have a way of dying on you. Take those trips, with those people, while you can.

Most people will tell you to keep working. They donít know anything else. You seem to have several times more than what you need. 

Margarita, I could hug you. My husband left his job a few weeks ago and we'd planned for me to keep working. Iíve worked in tech for 20 years, since I was 18 (I worked full time while going to college full time). We made this plan out of fear: we are FIRE safely, and others on the forum have helped re-convince and encourage me. But for neither of us to work seemed Just Not Done.

An upcoming business trip was my breaking point. My company has these horrible engineering "work weeks" twice per year (it used to be every two months for the project I'm on), in which they fly people in from all over the world, sequester us in a hotel, and have us work intensely together for 12+ hours a day. At the one in Dec., due to executives causing an absolute s**t show, I worked 14-20 hours/day for five days.

It came time to book travel for this next trip, and I could not physically bring myself to it. I know it sounds bizarre, but it's like my hands wouldn't click the buttons. I was having panic attacks just thinking about it, crying on Sundays, etc. It really is like I have PTSD from the job and that last trip.

Nope, no more. Resigned to my boss last week and the rest of the company gets notified tomorrow. Iím not going to have Stockholm Syndrome. For 20 years a lot of my identity has been wrapped up in being a techie with other techies, the shared skills, language, history, practices, culture. But itís toxic and I need to save myself. I really do feel like Iím escaping an abuser, though I know it sounds dramatic. The stuff about planning, shredding papers, etc. really resonated - this stuff is like plotting an escape!

Exflyboy

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #66 on: May 31, 2015, 05:36:26 PM »
Good for you AnySteph!.. I use to do this p.t. job full time.. Which meant I travelled and worked 60 hours a week for 40 hours pay.

Like you I felt physically sick when I began to plan for another trip.. I had to get out and I did... Found an even more abusive employer with an 80 mile one way commute.

Get out and save yourself.. Work is not supposed to be like this!

Dicey

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #67 on: May 31, 2015, 09:00:26 PM »
On radar?.. They have a "speed trap" set out just for me.. Or is that wealth trap in my case?..:)

Did I mention that just  last week I made about half of what we will spend on our month long vacation to the UK at the end of July?... Oh and a few more airmiles and hotel points... Its a game you see and the "work" is actually entertaining..:)
Shit, ExFB, I don't care if you work! I rather enjoy seeing how much money you can make in as little time as possible. The difference is that you are not trapped and you know it. The OP needs a big dose of your enlightenment.

Exflyboy

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #68 on: May 31, 2015, 10:47:15 PM »
On radar?.. They have a "speed trap" set out just for me.. Or is that wealth trap in my case?..:)

Did I mention that just  last week I made about half of what we will spend on our month long vacation to the UK at the end of July?... Oh and a few more airmiles and hotel points... Its a game you see and the "work" is actually entertaining..:)
Shit, ExFB, I don't care if you work! I rather enjoy seeing how much money you can make in as little time as possible. The difference is that you are not trapped and you know it. The OP needs a big dose of your enlightenment.

Nope not trapped at all.. I hope my comment above alluded to that fact.

margarita

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #69 on: June 01, 2015, 06:19:04 AM »
Thank you to everyone for all the positive feedback on my personal story.  You will never know how much it means to me to have this understanding and support.   

Anysteph, Congratulations!  Hugs to you!!  I am thrilled for you and for your husband.  You are free now!!!

Rollin

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #70 on: June 01, 2015, 06:28:53 AM »
If you wait until you have it all figured out you'll never make a change.  I don't mean the money issue, I mean the things that you'll do when you retire.  Every time I have a new idea of what to do with my time I send myself an email with that information (sometimes I am not near a note pad or computer, but on the smartphone when the ideas come in).  I then file that under "retirement."  When I get a bit of time I can include those dreams in a list, and you'd be surprised at how long it is.

Also, really look inside and see if work is a big part of what you think your identity is.  Leaving that often leaves you with a question of who you are.  I can tell you that you are not your job, but it does take some time to transition away from that for some people.

Rollin

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #71 on: June 01, 2015, 09:06:22 AM »
I retired at 54 and wish I could have done it sooner. In my pre-FIRE days, I had the following posted on the wall in my office:

                    "Retiring too early is a mistake you can recover from. Too late and there is no recovery."

I've posted this thought around here before, but it bears repeating until everyone who needs to gets the message. Just dream up the best FU exit scenario you can and then make it happen. Baby, at our age, who knows how much time we have left? Get out there and start living!

Diane C - if you have royalties on that saying I owe you some!  Cut and pasted to my favorites - thank you.

Axecleaver

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #72 on: June 01, 2015, 11:07:33 AM »
Quote
But the BS they throw at us makes the environment toxic and unbearable. It's not crazy that you think you have a mild case of PTSD. I feel I have to detox from my workplace and even days off are affected knowing I have to go back to that place. It's like going back to jail. And that's the paradox. I really can afford not to go back yet I'm having a hard time packing it in. I know that sounds silly.
It's very rare today to find someone who has worked in the same place for 30 years. You have undoubtedly gotten some great skills working as long as you have. You haven't told us what you do, except to say you work at a hospital. Hospital work has changed DRAMATICALLY in the last ten years. ERs which used to be huge, expensive cost centers are now being run as profit centers. Consolidations in the industry have driven out a lot of the nonprofit hospitals, and those that remain have had to modify their operating principles to survive. End-of-life care dominates the cost curve. It is, by all accounts, an incredibly difficult environment in which to keep your sanity.

Consider taking a break from your job. Your skills are probably very transferable. If you're in nursing, consider staying active with some private duty nursing or day rate nursing. It is much more lucrative but the hours are not as dependable. Which suits your needs just fine. You could also move to another area and transfer your skills and licensing with very little trouble. 

With an annual spend of 30-32k, 80x spend means you have a stash of around $2.4m-$2.6m. Using the 4% rule, you could retire tomorrow on $96k a year and expect that to last the rest of your life. You owe it to yourself to at least take a break and decide how you want to live the rest of your life. There are exactly 0 scenarios in cFireSIM with those figures where you run out of money - even if you lived to be 120 years old. If you discover your work is your life - great! You can go back to work and take your time finding a place where you're happy to go to work in the morning.

Would love to hear what you decide to do - your post really impressed me. Please come back and check in here from time to time to let us know what you decide.

dude

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #73 on: June 01, 2015, 11:13:20 AM »
Your best options:

2) Start throwing your weight around. You are in a position of strength. You have the leverage to quit at any moment. Make the workplace what you want it to be and if they fire you so be it. Make it clear that your vacation schedule is non- negotiable.

THIS.  Don't ask them for vacation time, TELL them.  Dare them to fire your ass.  Work the hours you want to work, period.  NO effing way I'd put up with ANY bullshit if I had your coin in the bank (assuming I wanted to still work at all, which I'm pretty sure I wouldn't -- except maybe just to fuck with everybody and do what I goddamn well pleased to see their reactions; i.e., it'd be fun to see just how far I could push it before they fired me).

dude

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #74 on: June 01, 2015, 11:23:24 AM »
Quit.  I understand, believe me. 

Last December I was off work for surgery.  Work had been a rollcoaster for years but lately had plummeted to new lows.  Soul sucking, hand wringing, drinking too much after a stressful day, sleeping pills to sleep at night.   At home recovering from surgery,  as the date drew closer to return to work I started to panic about going back to that hell hole.  Every night my husband would come home from work to  find me crying on the couch.  I was starting the countdown on the days until I return.  He was the one who suggested that I retire now.  Literally I would ask over and over and over, "really?  is it possible?  I can retire?  You mean I never have to go back there?"  I could not wrap my head around it. 

I am 56 and I planned to work until 60.  It just went against everything in my work ethic, upbringing whatever to "bail" 4 years early.  I just about drove my husband crazy asking him repeatedly "is it possible, really? really? give up a "good" government job? You mean I don't have to work 4 more years?" 

Finally, as the day grew closer to return to work after surgery, I decided that I won't make a decision now I will wait and see how I feel after I get back to work.  Long story short, two days back to work and I was done. 

FUCK you assholes!  I typed up my letter giving two weeks notice and with outstanding vacation owing I only had to work 4 days.  I spent three days dealing with hell, shit hitting the fan and taking a moment here and there to shred.  Shred shred shred.  Day 4 morning I handed in all my company property (badge, etc.)  Before going to lunch with my co-workers I told my boss I won't be back after lunch.   My heart was pounding at the elevator like I had robbed the bank, broke out of prision, escaped from being held hostage, got away with murder, you get the picture. 

Not for a second have I regretted it.  I am eating homecooked meals (made by moi), drinking is probably 1/3 of what I was drinking.  No more sleeping pills.  Gym 5 days a week. 

I did feel guilty in the beginning that my husband is still working but now, not so much.  The stress on him is far less, we are not rushing around trying to grocery shop, clean the house, yardwork etc.   He loves it because he sees I am finally happy.  I am putting my health first now instead of last.  I have had two surgeries in two years and have a few other medical issues that need attention. 

I know it sounds crazy but I think I had PTSD (mild).  The first couple of weeks I apparently was crying, shouting and screaming in my sleep.  It seems insane now and it was only last month. 

FU money is the truth.  I get up when I want.  I go to bed when I want and in between I do what I want. 
I know it sounds arrogant but on a beautiful day like today, I was sitting out in the backyard reading a book with a coffee thinking how great life is now and "I am far too rich to put up with their bullshit"

One of the best forum posts EVER!

FrancisinPa

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #75 on: June 01, 2015, 05:52:17 PM »
Quote
But the BS they throw at us makes the environment toxic and unbearable. It's not crazy that you think you have a mild case of PTSD. I feel I have to detox from my workplace and even days off are affected knowing I have to go back to that place. It's like going back to jail. And that's the paradox. I really can afford not to go back yet I'm having a hard time packing it in. I know that sounds silly.
It's very rare today to find someone who has worked in the same place for 30 years. You have undoubtedly gotten some great skills working as long as you have. You haven't told us what you do, except to say you work at a hospital. Hospital work has changed DRAMATICALLY in the last ten years. ERs which used to be huge, expensive cost centers are now being run as profit centers. Consolidations in the industry have driven out a lot of the nonprofit hospitals, and those that remain have had to modify their operating principles to survive. End-of-life care dominates the cost curve. It is, by all accounts, an incredibly difficult environment in which to keep your sanity.

Consider taking a break from your job. Your skills are probably very transferable. If you're in nursing, consider staying active with some private duty nursing or day rate nursing. It is much more lucrative but the hours are not as dependable. Which suits your needs just fine. You could also move to another area and transfer your skills and licensing with very little trouble. 

With an annual spend of 30-32k, 80x spend means you have a stash of around $2.4m-$2.6m. Using the 4% rule, you could retire tomorrow on $96k a year and expect that to last the rest of your life. You owe it to yourself to at least take a break and decide how you want to live the rest of your life. There are exactly 0 scenarios in cFireSIM with those figures where you run out of money - even if you lived to be 120 years old. If you discover your work is your life - great! You can go back to work and take your time finding a place where you're happy to go to work in the morning.

Would love to hear what you decide to do - your post really impressed me. Please come back and check in here from time to time to let us know what you decide.

You described the changes to Healthcare in the last decade very well. Let's see I started in a 180 bed community hospital in the 80's. They merged with another community hospital near the turn of the century. Then the whole ball of wax was purchased by a large for profit hospital chain. What started as being a service for community good was transformed in the constant and relentless pursuit of $$$$.

I work as a pharmacist. The work has changed significantly over the years. I can still do the work. It's all the BS and how poorly they treat some workers that bothers me. See, the veteran workers make more than new hires by a significant amount. In their relentless pursuit of $$$$ they hope to create an environment where the veteran workers quit. I think they are pushing the envelope well into the area of discriminating against older workers. I know that's hard to prove and they are thinking no one will call them out. It's a tough situation because the issue was brought up to a manager and they just brushed it off. HR doesn't seem to want to get involved. They will never offer early retirement severance. Their SOP is to make the work environment so toxic that people will leave on their own.

lhamo

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #76 on: June 01, 2015, 10:19:36 PM »
A couple of questions for you to ponder, Francis:

1)  The practical/detailed one:  What is keeping you from scheduling/taking that vacation on the Cape with your friends?

2)  The philosophical one (and one I have been trying to ask myself regularly as I made choices about my life the past several months:  What would you do if you were not afraid?

I hope you can find the courage to quit.  One of the things that made it hard for me is I do still honestly believe in the mission of the organization I work for, and in the value of our programs/our people.  Doesn't sound like there is much worth hanging onto at your employer, though.

Read my signature line repeatedly.  It's true.


former player

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #77 on: June 02, 2015, 02:05:22 AM »
I work as a pharmacist. The work has changed significantly over the years. I can still do the work. It's all the BS and how poorly they treat some workers that bothers me. See, the veteran workers make more than new hires by a significant amount. In their relentless pursuit of $$$$ they hope to create an environment where the veteran workers quit. I think they are pushing the envelope well into the area of discriminating against older workers. I know that's hard to prove and they are thinking no one will call them out. It's a tough situation because the issue was brought up to a manager and they just brushed it off. HR doesn't seem to want to get involved. They will never offer early retirement severance. Their SOP is to make the work environment so toxic that people will leave on their own.
I'm so pleased that you are still reading this thread - all too often we never know if the OP has read all the replies coming in, let alone taken them on board.  So congratulations on making it through to the end of all the facepunches.

I get you with the disparities in working conditions for more recent employees.  I spent 25 years as a civil servant (in the UK), and for nearly all of that time I was also a volunteer elected trades union official, so I spent a lot of time and energy trying to ensure fair conditions and supporting employees in trouble.  There was nothing I could do to reverse the bigger societal trends though, particularly the shift of pensions from defined contributions to defined (and reduced) benefits for newer employees, although we did as a union negotiate hard and managed some changes around the edges of that shift.

I don't know whether or not you are actively involved in fighting management as a union member, or whether you are staying on as an act of passive resistance.  My choice to leave was made when as part of a redundancy round I was offered an insane deal that was too good to pass up - in fact, it was so good that it was outside the parameters management set themselves, but I suspect that when they saw my name on the list of applicants they saw it as a one-off opportunity to get rid of someone who held their crappy decision-making up to scrutiny.  I took the money and walked out head-high: staying on would have had nebulous benefits for my colleagues and the organisation at a greater cost to me personally than the worth of those benefits generally.  I'm sorry you do not have the same opportunity to take money off these people - but then, you have FU money and can walk out head high regardless.

I think the benefits to you personally of leaving will probably be incalculably greater than those to you and your colleagues of continuing to be a passive thorn in the side of management.  Also, by leaving you will be opening up a job for someone who needs it (even if that job is crappier than you think it should be).  And once you are outside the organisation, you will have the time, energy and expertise to get involved in some local activism on behalf of your local community and its health-care needs - from your position of strength you could speak up very effectively.

If you do stay at work, I hope you start throwing your weight around - you have nothing to lose.  Take your holiday when you want it.  Write politely nasty memos to management about what is wrong.  Speak up against management policies at staff meetings.  Use your strength to make yourself a thorough nuisance to management - every day you go to work ask yourself "what needs changing around here, and what can I do about it today".  I'm not saying any of it will work, but it will give you a feeling of empowerment, and that is a lovely thing.

Best of luck.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #78 on: June 02, 2015, 12:31:08 PM »
If you do stay at work, I hope you start throwing your weight around - you have nothing to lose.

This.

Once FI, your brain-to-mouth filter should be permanently disconnected at work.  You will make enemies (they were never really your friends anyway) but you will earn far more respect than you can imagine if you are polite while being candid.  The truth is powerful.

begood

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #79 on: June 03, 2015, 09:30:19 AM »
Francis, as an experienced pharmacist, I would think you could pick up retail shifts on an as-needed basis to help "cushion" your entry into blissful retirement.

I have heard that pharmacy is saturated with recent graduates, and that prime positions are now very competitive. But I also read that this is more true in urban and suburban areas than in rural areas. I wonder if you would consider a change to a low cost-of-living, more rural area? Your living expenses might be less and you could still work part time if you wanted, in an area where your skills might be more appreciated.

There's an awful lot of "Pennsyltucky" out there in PA for you to choose from. :)

PARedbeard

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #80 on: June 04, 2015, 12:48:23 PM »

There's an awful lot of "Pennsyltucky" out there in PA for you to choose from. :)

Yes there is! And I haven't heard someone call it that for quite some time...

Apart from that, I'm with the "get out" crowd. My MIL works in a healthcare, and she is getting ground down by the apathy and money-grubbing that has recently come to her hospital. Luckily, she and my FIL are financially set AND have a frugal side to boot. At 80x earnings and a less-than-over-the-top spending habit, get out!

FrancisinPa

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #81 on: June 05, 2015, 07:54:50 PM »
A couple of questions for you to ponder, Francis:

1)  The practical/detailed one:  What is keeping you from scheduling/taking that vacation on the Cape with your friends?
My friends booked the vacation a while ago.

2)  The philosophical one (and one I have been trying to ask myself regularly as I made choices about my life the past several months:  What would you do if you were not afraid?

I hope you can find the courage to quit.  One of the things that made it hard for me is I do still honestly believe in the mission of the organization I work for, and in the value of our programs/our people.  Doesn't sound like there is much worth hanging onto at your employer, though.

Read my signature line repeatedly.  It's true.
Thanks for your response. Why don't I go on the vacation? Simple. Employer won't approve my vacation request for that week.I don't know if afraid is the correct word. I'm a competitive person and if they are doing illegal things to older workers I want them to be held accountable. If I quit I understand it's much harder to enforce my rights.

Your right, there's nothing positive to hang onto at work. It's ridiculous how hard they are trying to get veteran workers to quit. A new tactic they just unveiled is scheduling veteran workers, including me, for a week of evenings during Christmas week. Man I've never done anything close to that in 30 years yet all of a sudden they need us to do this? And there are people who want to work evenings that week and guess what -  they won't let them work it. It makes no sense at all.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #82 on: June 05, 2015, 07:59:20 PM »
Francis,

What would you need to happen to make the decision to FIRE at a redonkulous 80x expenses?

Seriously, let's explore and define your boundaries.  Maybe we can find a safe space where you can leave while retaining whatever it is that you are trying to hold on to.

FrancisinPa

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #83 on: June 05, 2015, 08:06:02 PM »
I work as a pharmacist. The work has changed significantly over the years. I can still do the work. It's all the BS and how poorly they treat some workers that bothers me. See, the veteran workers make more than new hires by a significant amount. In their relentless pursuit of $$$$ they hope to create an environment where the veteran workers quit. I think they are pushing the envelope well into the area of discriminating against older workers. I know that's hard to prove and they are thinking no one will call them out. It's a tough situation because the issue was brought up to a manager and they just brushed it off. HR doesn't seem to want to get involved. They will never offer early retirement severance. Their SOP is to make the work environment so toxic that people will leave on their own.
I'm so pleased that you are still reading this thread - all too often we never know if the OP has read all the replies coming in, let alone taken them on board.  So congratulations on making it through to the end of all the facepunches.

I get you with the disparities in working conditions for more recent employees.  I spent 25 years as a civil servant (in the UK), and for nearly all of that time I was also a volunteer elected trades union official, so I spent a lot of time and energy trying to ensure fair conditions and supporting employees in trouble.  There was nothing I could do to reverse the bigger societal trends though, particularly the shift of pensions from defined contributions to defined (and reduced) benefits for newer employees, although we did as a union negotiate hard and managed some changes around the edges of that shift.

I don't know whether or not you are actively involved in fighting management as a union member, or whether you are staying on as an act of passive resistance.  My choice to leave was made when as part of a redundancy round I was offered an insane deal that was too good to pass up - in fact, it was so good that it was outside the parameters management set themselves, but I suspect that when they saw my name on the list of applicants they saw it as a one-off opportunity to get rid of someone who held their crappy decision-making up to scrutiny.  I took the money and walked out head-high: staying on would have had nebulous benefits for my colleagues and the organisation at a greater cost to me personally than the worth of those benefits generally.  I'm sorry you do not have the same opportunity to take money off these people - but then, you have FU money and can walk out head high regardless.

I think the benefits to you personally of leaving will probably be incalculably greater than those to you and your colleagues of continuing to be a passive thorn in the side of management.  Also, by leaving you will be opening up a job for someone who needs it (even if that job is crappier than you think it should be).  And once you are outside the organisation, you will have the time, energy and expertise to get involved in some local activism on behalf of your local community and its health-care needs - from your position of strength you could speak up very effectively.

If you do stay at work, I hope you start throwing your weight around - you have nothing to lose.  Take your holiday when you want it.  Write politely nasty memos to management about what is wrong.  Speak up against management policies at staff meetings.  Use your strength to make yourself a thorough nuisance to management - every day you go to work ask yourself "what needs changing around here, and what can I do about it today".  I'm not saying any of it will work, but it will give you a feeling of empowerment, and that is a lovely thing.

Best of luck.

Thanks for your thoughts. They are very logical. I know what you mean by speaking up about what is wrong. I agree that it's not going to matter but why not be a thorn in managements side? The place is very toxic. We've had four Directors in the past two years. About 7 grunt workers quit or retired in the last two months. All of that I can live with but when they reward younger workers at the expense of older workers I draw the line there. The should be held accountable for their actions.

FrancisinPa

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #84 on: June 05, 2015, 08:14:51 PM »
Francis, as an experienced pharmacist, I would think you could pick up retail shifts on an as-needed basis to help "cushion" your entry into blissful retirement.

I have heard that pharmacy is saturated with recent graduates, and that prime positions are now very competitive. But I also read that this is more true in urban and suburban areas than in rural areas. I wonder if you would consider a change to a low cost-of-living, more rural area? Your living expenses might be less and you could still work part time if you wanted, in an area where your skills might be more appreciated.

There's an awful lot of "Pennsyltucky" out there in PA for you to choose from. :)

I already live in a pretty low cost area now. If I left this job permanently I think I would not work for a while and see how it goes. If for some reason, like being bored, I wanted to work again it would be under my terms. A few days a month is all I would want.


FrancisinPa

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #85 on: June 05, 2015, 08:27:05 PM »
Francis,

What would you need to happen to make the decision to FIRE at a redonkulous 80x expenses?

Seriously, let's explore and define your boundaries.  Maybe we can find a safe space where you can leave while retaining whatever it is that you are trying to hold on to.

Good idea. Here's what needs to happen. I'm going to speak frankly. I need to know if what the employer is doing to older workers is allowed. Not by their standards but by legal standards. All efforts, to managers and HR, to understand why they are doing these things are met by silence. The only other way to determine my answer, and perhaps the best way, is to consult an employment lawyer or two. If two employment lawyers say I work in a shitty workplace but not an illegal one I will let the issue go once and for all.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #86 on: June 05, 2015, 10:21:29 PM »
Francis,

What would you need to happen to make the decision to FIRE at a redonkulous 80x expenses?

Seriously, let's explore and define your boundaries.  Maybe we can find a safe space where you can leave while retaining whatever it is that you are trying to hold on to.

Good idea. Here's what needs to happen. I'm going to speak frankly. I need to know if what the employer is doing to older workers is allowed. Not by their standards but by legal standards. All efforts, to managers and HR, to understand why they are doing these things are met by silence. The only other way to determine my answer, and perhaps the best way, is to consult an employment lawyer or two. If two employment lawyers say I work in a shitty workplace but not an illegal one I will let the issue go once and for all.

Do it!

I'll give an opinion and it isn't worth much b/c I'm not an attorney.  It sounds like they are breaking the law.  I suspect though that it will be impossible (and expensive) to prove in a court of law.  You are best just letting assholes be assholes and live your life free.  Being retired while the shitheads have to show up every Monday will be your best revenge.

At any rate, to answer your question about why you stay ... it is because you are offended by the discrimination and want to fight back.  You have your answer.  Now ask yourself what is best for you right now?

DutchGirl

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #87 on: June 06, 2015, 01:20:16 AM »
You have enough money to pay for an employment lawyer. If this is your big fight with the company and you won't quit before you get some answers, then consult an employment lawyer or two.

However, if you take a step back (or two), think about whether you are fighting a fight worth fighting. What will it ask of you, to be involved in a lawsuit (possibly)? What will change if you win that lawsuit? What will it do to you, to your health, to your finite amount of time left on this earth?

Some fights are worth fighting, others are not. I can't make that decision for you.

Another thing: reading your posts, I believe you do have a strong work attitude. You believe that your actual job, that your knowledge and skill set, is valuable. I think you are absolutely right about that. The world needs good pharmacists :-)   Perhaps it's better to start exploring what else you can do with your diplomas and skills. For example: is there another hospital or health care center or charity in your area that could use the help of a pharmacist? You can take a major pay cut without suffering any ill consequences. You can even work for free. You have enough money to sustain yourself for the next 100 years anyway. It could very well be that your talent and hard work etc are more useful elsewhere (given how your work currently makes money for your current employer, I would say your work can be more useful almost anywhere).

gaja

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #88 on: June 06, 2015, 04:18:52 AM »
In my first teaching job, I worked next to an old grumpy man. The union is very strong here, so management had no way of getting rid of him. And he knew all of his rights. This was a huge blessing for the rest of us, since he stood up for everyone. He used to sit in the back of staff meeting, half asleep. But if there was any mention of something that could be considered extra work, he raised his voice. Because of his intervention, I got more than 100% OT for grading an extra set of exams.

Another place I worked, I got a visit in my cubicle from a female coworker. She just wanted to ask me to fill out form 11B; apparently I was owed both travelling money, and payment for the time I spent travelling, because I was teaching at a separate department from the main school. That was not something management wanted me to know, but when I filled out the correct form, they couldn't avoid paying me.

Francis: is a lawyer the only way to go? You don't have unions to take the fight for you?

peter bedpan

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #89 on: June 07, 2015, 01:14:49 PM »

Thanks for your response. Why don't I go on the vacation? Simple. Employer won't approve my vacation request for that week.I don't know if afraid is the correct word. I'm a competitive person and if they are doing illegal things to older workers I want them to be held accountable. If I quit I understand it's much harder to enforce my rights.

Your right, there's nothing positive to hang onto at work. It's ridiculous how hard they are trying to get veteran workers to quit. A new tactic they just unveiled is scheduling veteran workers, including me, for a week of evenings during Christmas week. Man I've never done anything close to that in 30 years yet all of a sudden they need us to do this? And there are people who want to work evenings that week and guess what -  they won't let them work it. It makes no sense at all.

Please go on that vacation. These things don't come back.
I have the feeling that your ego is playing a trick on you. Don't try to get some kind of justice or gratification from this. In some games you can only lose even if you win. The main idea of FI is not to waste time with assholes. They only suck up your energy. Find something you enjoy and do that.

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #90 on: June 07, 2015, 09:29:43 PM »

Thanks for your response. Why don't I go on the vacation? Simple. Employer won't approve my vacation request for that week.I don't know if afraid is the correct word. I'm a competitive person and if they are doing illegal things to older workers I want them to be held accountable. If I quit I understand it's much harder to enforce my rights.

Your right, there's nothing positive to hang onto at work. It's ridiculous how hard they are trying to get veteran workers to quit. A new tactic they just unveiled is scheduling veteran workers, including me, for a week of evenings during Christmas week. Man I've never done anything close to that in 30 years yet all of a sudden they need us to do this? And there are people who want to work evenings that week and guess what -  they won't let them work it. It makes no sense at all.

Please go on that vacation. These things don't come back.
I have the feeling that your ego is playing a trick on you. Don't try to get some kind of justice or gratification from this. In some games you can only lose even if you win. The main idea of FI is not to waste time with assholes. They only suck up your energy. Find something you enjoy and do that.

I don't quite agree.  OP, figure out how much justice is worth to you (or how much justice you'll pay the price to fight for.) You may choose to do something for the sake of your self respect or for those not in a position to stand up for their rights. The right answer is a personal decision, but I won't discourage you from taking a reasonable amount of action against unfairness.  (And, on a selfish note, you may find fighting workplace ageism to be the most meaningful and satisfying thing you've done in years.  We all want to spend our time and energy on something that matters.  This will matter.)

tomsang

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #91 on: June 07, 2015, 11:50:23 PM »
Get a doctor to prescribe time off. Your employer can't touch you with a medical leave. Enjoy your trip!!!  Your health is important. If you choose to battle the company, you should do it well rested with good counsel. A medical leave is protected and you won't lose any positions with your complaint.

If you are going to pursue any legal action, I would be very careful on what you post. Make sure that your names are anonymous, you don't use work computers, don't post crazy stuff on social media, Etc. Everything will be used against you.

Make sure this is a battle that you want to fight. Are you willing to die for this cause?  Your stress and health may be severely affected if you choose to take this fight. Talk to an attorney now so you can collect evidence and facts.

Good luck.

G-dog

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #92 on: June 17, 2015, 08:26:44 PM »
OP (FracisInPA) - any update? Please set yourself free.

Zamboni

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #93 on: June 17, 2015, 09:05:43 PM »
As a rabble rouser who supports fair treatment of all people, I hope that OP's silence is precipitated by a pending legal action.

Ever thought about just calling in sick on all of those Christmas week evenings that are scheduled? You could all conspire to do it. Then file a wrongful termination lawsuit if they fire you. My Mom used to drive a bus, and the vets conspired in this way to get things changed.  Force someone with seniority into a shift they don't want, and they all call in sick with great frequency. They acrued sick time and so could really make it work. I personally like the medical leave option for you as well.  Of course that won't hurt management as much because then payment will shift over to the disability insurance company, but it will get you your earned vacation time.

Remember, no one can MAKE you show up to work on a certain date or at a certain time.  Heck, you could call in sick for your entire planned vacation.  As someone else said, whatertheygonna do, fire you?  You are already FIREd in a good way.

G-dog

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #94 on: June 19, 2015, 08:38:39 PM »
If you do want to file a lawsuit (vs. a complaint with an agency), you do have to stay iin the job because otherwise you may not have standing and the suit could get tossed before it gets started. This may be different in a discrimination suit - but this could be something to as a lawyer if you decide to proceed. A complaint with the right agency may be just as effective (or more effective).

Good luck, let us know what ever you decide to do.

FrancisinPa

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #95 on: June 21, 2015, 07:50:15 AM »

I have a few thoughts but only in a general way. I am still working there and don't like one bit how I've been treated there. I did speak to an employment lawyer and here are his thoughts. Said of the many things being done to us several are legal but he believes they crossed the line on a few issues into illegality. He then said it's hard, but not impossible, to prosecute this type of case for a few reasons, one being because the company didn't terminate my employment. If I was fired over reporting a discrimination issue it would be easier to seek relief. Also said this type of case could drag out over a long time and if I don't win often I could be responsible for oppositions legal bills.

So what to do? I'm thinking just to get out. Resign. Get away from these people forever. However, here's where my thoughts start to drift. I'm thinking either pack it in for good mid August or try to make it till April (401k filled for 2016). I admit I'd really like the 401 filled for 2016 but I have to go thru pure hell to do it. So that would be delaying gratification which supposed to be a good thing. But I wonder if there comes a point where you don't delay gratification further as in you've delayed it enough already.

On a brighter note, I'm beginning to see leaving work as a tremendous opportunity for me to be in control of my time and activities. I'm actually getting excited with all the things I could do. If I've saved all my life and do not reward myself to pursue my interests then what was the point of saving?

pbkmaine

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #96 on: June 21, 2015, 08:01:12 AM »
Stop drifting. Just go. Write your resignation letter today, and post it first thing tomorrow morning. Before you have a chance to agonize or second guess yourself. The grass really is greener on the other side.

G-dog

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #97 on: June 21, 2015, 08:31:37 AM »
You are at 80X! Where does one more year of 401k take you? 80.5X? 82X?

Write the letter and leave. Enjoy the rest of your years, months, days, hours... Instead of torturing yourself!

But, it is obviously your decision, just do what you have to do to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically (financially is well covered).

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #98 on: June 21, 2015, 08:50:23 AM »
I think you should leave now.  But if you stay until April, PROMISE US YOU WON'T TAKE ANY SHIT!!!   I mean seriously.  Have you ever seen Office Space where the lead character stops giving a shit and decides to see just what it would take to literally get fired?  He has a great time at work (when he bothers to show up!)  We all have a brain to mouth filter.  You should turn yours off.  Don't like the bosses attitude?  Give him/her an earful!  And then go repeat it all to HR with a formal complaint about abusive behavior.

The worst they can do is FIRE you early!  Be bold.

EDIT: And take your vacation.  Tell your immediate supervisor and HR your trip is non-negotiable.  You won't be at work those days.  They can either give you your vacation time, dock your pay, or terminate you.  DO NOT BACK DOWN ON THIS POINT.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 08:59:55 AM by Financial.Velociraptor »

Metta

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Re: FI, horrible workplace yet I stay. Why?
« Reply #99 on: June 21, 2015, 09:43:00 AM »
FU money is the truth.  I get up when I want.  I go to bed when I want and in between I do what I want. 
I know it sounds arrogant but on a beautiful day like today, I was sitting out in the backyard reading a book with a coffee thinking how great life is now and "I am far too rich to put up with their bullshit"

So inspiring!