Author Topic: Epic FU money stories  (Read 1695781 times)

Zaga

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3450 on: December 02, 2020, 09:42:08 PM »
That is a delightful story!  I remember the first year of college all our email was on a Vax system.  It was weird, it was 1997, far too late for Vax to still have been a thing, yet there we were.

LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3451 on: December 03, 2020, 04:32:35 AM »
<highly fulfilling story of software development justice>   

This is amazing!

I agree, I'm sure it was infuriating at the time, but it sure makes a good story now.  I can just visualize the scene where guy #1 realizes guy #2 has been 'using' a computer without a keyboard for 2 weeks.

Amazing story!

And if I were #1 guy, I certainly would not have fired you. Not so sure about #2. I might have shoveled him out with the keyboard.

achvfi

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3452 on: December 03, 2020, 08:13:20 AM »
@malachite , Awesome story!   Been there, felt your pain.    FU money is a glorious thing.   Sometimes all it takes is an FU attitude!    Here's a totally different situation but hopefully a story that will amuse you.


Years ago I went to work for a Pop software company.  (Too small to be a Mom & Pop.)  Owner drinks and snorts coke and goes broke.   With his permission we take over the software and then we sell a conversion of it to a different computer operating system for a new client.

We're delivering a new module every few weeks.   We did the basic student registration module, then the alumni module next (because we got paid the same per module and it was simple and easy).

The #2 guy at this school ran the alumni department.   He would tell the #1 guy that our software "just didn't work" but could never give a single specific instance of a defect.    We came to believe that he had never used it and was afraid of the computer.  (A not uncommon problem back in the day!)

It was a DEC VAX computer.   A weird feature of the DEC terminals (screens and keyboards) was that the keyboard came with a hard, opaque plastic dust cover.     We snuck into the guy's office after hours and stole his keyboard but left the dust cover in place on his desk.

Two weeks later we pulled up to the school, parked in front of the window to the conference room so we could be seen to arrive, and went into the meeting room where people were already starting to arrive.  We got the usual vague song and dance about the alumni software not working.   

After the meeting we asked the #1 guy to stay back for a moment.  After the room cleared out, we explained to the #1 guy that we were tired of hearing that our alumni module didn't work.  It worked.  It worked just fine.   We believed that the #2 guy had never even tried to use it.   And this is where it got fun.  "We believe that so strongly that the last time we were here two weeks ago, we stole his keyboard and left the dust cover in place.  We're willing to wager, sight-unseen, that he doesn't know it's gone."    At that point my wife pulled his keyboard out of a big bag she had been toting.

#1 guy looked at us in total surprise.    He walked out of the room at a brisk pace and came back a few minutes later.   We never discussed that subsystem again.   It was perfect.

We didn't have FU money.  We were just tired of putting up with shit being tossed on our professional reputation.   

Reading this I burst out laughing. You must be so frustrated to pull off such crazy stuff @SwordGuy

Fru-Gal

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3453 on: December 03, 2020, 08:15:03 AM »
What a fantastic story, @SwordGuy!

Chris@TTL

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3454 on: December 03, 2020, 09:15:48 AM »
My FU money story (a snippet from my post on FU money):
...
It was the first time I was making over $100K/year. Not a feat I’d thought I’d manage on a liberal arts degree and no certificates to speak of—certainly not at 25 years old.

I had something to lose.

After several months of very positive feedback and a generally good experience, I was called in for an earlier-than-expected review.

They offered me a full-time position with a slightly higher salary, performance bonus, and huge benefits package.

I was already saving about 50% of what I earned, but the retirement benefits would greatly speed up my financial independence path.

I had about $50,000 to my name at the time with no debt.

As we were finishing up the meeting, they had one very unexpected caveat to the offer I’d need to accept.

“You’ll need to cease operations of your business.”

Now mind you, at the time, my little side consultancy was basically nothing. I might have earned a few thousand dollars from it in the same year. Just from existing clients—maintaining the service I’d offered them in years prior. These were small organizations in an entirely different sector with tiny budgets.

I certainly didn’t compete with the Beltway bandits.

I said thank you very much. Once I had time to look through the benefits package and consider everything, I’d follow up with my answer.

I sent an email shortly after the meeting asking for clarity about the business:

“In regard to my side business, I haven’t taken on a new client since I started working with the company. It’s hardly active, really just taking payments to continue to offer existing services to fulfill contract obligations. I’m not sure how reasonable it is to cancel those existing contracts.”

The response: “You’ll need to dissolve the actual LLC.”

That night, I spent a lot of time thinking about what was being asked of me. Initially, I thought I might need to cease ongoing operations—but they were asking me to dissolve the entire company. A business I’d started years before and genuinely meant something to me.

At the time, I still had ongoing service contracts with every single client I’d ever had. Sure, it wasn’t much money—but the point was to keep those relationships alive. Remember all those concrete contracts I talked about earlier?

I’d have to break those contracts—it’d hurt my reputation and have some financial consequences. At the same time, it just seemed wrong.

The next day I went into the office like normal. I set up a brief morning meeting with my supervisor.

I explained that I wouldn’t be able to break my existing client contracts, that I was obligated to keep to the terms. Once my client contracts were up for annual renewal, I offered to not renew them. However, the LLC would not be dissolved.

My supervisor thanked me and said he’d follow up shortly. I went back to my desk and awaited the outcome.

Not long after, my supervisor showed up at my desk. He looked upset, apologized, and said that not only was my offer rescinded but that they were canceling my contract.

Right then.

As in—”Get your stuff—we’re walking out right now. Give me your security badge.”

I shut down my workstation, grabbed my bag and a few personal items, then walked out the door with the supervisor right behind me.

I drove home stunned, but happy with my decision.

FU money let me do what I thought was right. And I wasn’t the least bit worried about paying my bills until I found a new job.
...
Full source: This Is the Power of FU Money (and How I Was Escorted Out)

BicycleB

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3455 on: December 03, 2020, 10:22:45 AM »
@malachite , Awesome story!   Been there, felt your pain.    FU money is a glorious thing.   Sometimes all it takes is an FU attitude!    Here's a totally different situation but hopefully a story that will amuse you.


Years ago I went to work for a Pop software company.  (Too small to be a Mom & Pop.)  Owner drinks and snorts coke and goes broke.   With his permission we take over the software and then we sell a conversion of it to a different computer operating system for a new client.

We're delivering a new module every few weeks.   We did the basic student registration module, then the alumni module next (because we got paid the same per module and it was simple and easy).

The #2 guy at this school ran the alumni department.   He would tell the #1 guy that our software "just didn't work" but could never give a single specific instance of a defect.    We came to believe that he had never used it and was afraid of the computer.  (A not uncommon problem back in the day!)

It was a DEC VAX computer.   A weird feature of the DEC terminals (screens and keyboards) was that the keyboard came with a hard, opaque plastic dust cover.     We snuck into the guy's office after hours and stole his keyboard but left the dust cover in place on his desk.

Two weeks later we pulled up to the school, parked in front of the window to the conference room so we could be seen to arrive, and went into the meeting room where people were already starting to arrive.  We got the usual vague song and dance about the alumni software not working.   

After the meeting we asked the #1 guy to stay back for a moment.  After the room cleared out, we explained to the #1 guy that we were tired of hearing that our alumni module didn't work.  It worked.  It worked just fine.   We believed that the #2 guy had never even tried to use it.   And this is where it got fun.  "We believe that so strongly that the last time we were here two weeks ago, we stole his keyboard and left the dust cover in place.  We're willing to wager, sight-unseen, that he doesn't know it's gone."    At that point my wife pulled his keyboard out of a big bag she had been toting.

#1 guy looked at us in total surprise.    He walked out of the room at a brisk pace and came back a few minutes later.   We never discussed that subsystem again.   It was perfect.

We didn't have FU money.  We were just tired of putting up with shit being tossed on our professional reputation.   

LOL!!!!

alcon835

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3456 on: December 03, 2020, 12:18:01 PM »
Not long after, my supervisor showed up at my desk. He looked upset, apologized, and said that not only was my offer rescinded but that they were canceling my contract.

Right then.

As in—”Get your stuff—we’re walking out right now. Give me your security badge.”

I shut down my workstation, grabbed my bag and a few personal items, then walked out the door with the supervisor right behind me.

I drove home stunned, but happy with my decision.

FU money let me do what I thought was right. And I wasn’t the least bit worried about paying my bills until I found a new job.
...


WOW! Did you ever find out why they were so gung ho about shutting down your side hustle?

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3457 on: December 03, 2020, 12:47:36 PM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.

okcisok

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3458 on: December 03, 2020, 05:21:26 PM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.

I agree on the loyalty test. The industry I just left after almost 20 years was huge on that stupid shit. For jobs that averaged less than $30k a year with few benefits. It also has a low entry threshold, so it's really easy to get a job. The only leverage a lot of companies have is this imaginary 'loyalty to the company'.
When we had trouble attracting and keeping good staff, I constantly said we need to pay more. That's the bottom line--better salary or better benefits. The owners and upper-level management refused to do it. After beating my head against this wall for a few months of middle-level management, I left the industry completely. Our here in the real world, the company I work for understands that good benefits, good salary, and a good working environment *create* loyalty, not some rah-rah crap being spouted by HR.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3459 on: December 03, 2020, 07:12:58 PM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.
When we had trouble attracting and keeping good staff, I constantly said we need to pay more. That's the bottom line--better salary or better benefits. The owners and upper-level management refused to do it. After beating my head against this wall for a few months of middle-level management, I left the industry completely. Our here in the real world, the company I work for understands that good benefits, good salary, and a good working environment *create* loyalty, not some rah-rah crap being spouted by HR.
A couple years ago, I nearly left my employer for another job.  I work for two partners, and have a good relationship with both.  My salary had basically stayed stagnant for a few years.  One of the partners is convinced (and I actually agree) that salary increases don't make people more productive.  But the realization I came to (and subsequently shared) is that salary increases *do* help your productive people to stay.  Transition costs, whether it be replacing an employee or relocating a business, are really stinkin' high, especially in a small and highly technical business such as ours.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3460 on: December 03, 2020, 08:59:53 PM »
One of the partners is convinced (and I actually agree) that salary increases don't make people more productive.  But the realization I came to (and subsequently shared) is that salary increases *do* help your productive people to stay.

Yea, I would agree with both those statements.  Raises are satisfying for 2-3 paychecks, then it goes away.  But getting paid adequately and having a pleasant working environment keeps me where I'm at.  Doesn't have to be an amazing working environment.  We don't have a free snack table and coffee bar and ping pong area and video game room.  But I don't mind going in to work, and am comfortable when I'm there (and I like the people I work with, which is probably most important).  I could make more elsewhere, but not significantly more, and I know I might chase more money and dislike where I end up.  So I stay, confidently and happily.

Plina

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3461 on: December 03, 2020, 11:12:38 PM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.
When we had trouble attracting and keeping good staff, I constantly said we need to pay more. That's the bottom line--better salary or better benefits. The owners and upper-level management refused to do it. After beating my head against this wall for a few months of middle-level management, I left the industry completely. Our here in the real world, the company I work for understands that good benefits, good salary, and a good working environment *create* loyalty, not some rah-rah crap being spouted by HR.
A couple years ago, I nearly left my employer for another job.  I work for two partners, and have a good relationship with both.  My salary had basically stayed stagnant for a few years.  One of the partners is convinced (and I actually agree) that salary increases don't make people more productive.  But the realization I came to (and subsequently shared) is that salary increases *do* help your productive people to stay.  Transition costs, whether it be replacing an employee or relocating a business, are really stinkin' high, especially in a small and highly technical business such as ours.

I had a workplace were I basically was angry every year after my so called salary negotiation. First year, I was pissed for two weeks because the increase was less than inflation and due to factors outside of my control so I basically got a decrease. Next year, I put the meeting in the beginning of the week because I didn’t want to disturb my weekend. Those meetings were a real demotivating factor in my job satisfaction and did contribute to the fact that I left the company. I have also been in a place were I asked for a salary increase, I didn’t think I would get because it was in a government position even though I deserved it. The manager pulled that off. That was a big loyalty boost from my point of view.

LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3462 on: December 04, 2020, 04:14:12 AM »
It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.
"Loyality Tests" like those are complete BS. Not only you make your people unhappy (which is a sure way to lower loyality), but you also tend to end up with people in vulnerable positions (as in "I can't afford to go!!"), wich are prime targets for "secret side hustles", bribery or theft.


Chris@TTL

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3463 on: December 04, 2020, 08:25:26 AM »
Not long after, my supervisor showed up at my desk. He looked upset, apologized, and said that not only was my offer rescinded but that they were canceling my contract.

Right then.

As in—”Get your stuff—we’re walking out right now. Give me your security badge.”

I shut down my workstation, grabbed my bag and a few personal items, then walked out the door with the supervisor right behind me.

I drove home stunned, but happy with my decision.

FU money let me do what I thought was right. And I wasn’t the least bit worried about paying my bills until I found a new job.
...
Full source: This Is the Power of FU Money (and How I Was Escorted Out)

WOW! Did you ever find out why they were so gung ho about shutting down your side hustle?

Surprisingly, not really. I kept in touch with a couple of the non-management creative and tech folks. Apparently it was a requirement from upon high—not from anyone I interacted with on a daily basis.

The strange part is that the only way they'd even know about my little agency was by way of my original resume and then Googling for the company. It's not like it was something I talked about at work (primarily because, again, it barely made any money as I was just maintaining existing relationships).

It sounds like it was a test of loyalty to them. F that. If they value your loyalty more than your underlying honesty and commitment to fulfilling your obligations to your past clients, that’s a huge red flag. As a leader, that commitment and integrity is what I would find most valuable, and I would be more likely to keep you around.
"Loyality Tests" like those are complete BS. Not only you make your people unhappy (which is a sure way to lower loyality), but you also tend to end up with people in vulnerable positions (as in "I can't afford to go!!"), wich are prime targets for "secret side hustles", bribery or theft.



Some folks mentioning it was likely a sort of "loyalty test".

It could have been.

If I had to guess, it was some weird HR rule that had zero flexibility—or the one person who might have been able to overturn it (boss's boss) was indeed testing for loyalty when I initially asked for some time to think it over and followed up with questions about maintaining the business.

It was an altogether strange experience. This is a company with its own on-site museum exhibiting their military & tech advances. You'd recognize their name—they're big. My little side hustle was not any competition.

They offered me the position a couple of months ahead of when they were supposed to evaluate the contract-to-hire (1 year). And they offered more money than I was making under the contract position with a full benefits package (usually you make a little less as W2 than 1099).

They had pretty strict "levels" within the org where everyone starts at the bottom unless you're something akin to partner level where you get profit-sharing etc. They were offering to start me out a level higher than the lowest.

Lots of things pointed to them being happy with my performance. Really strange to lose it all over such a small thing.

Then again, I'm pretty happy with how things turned out! I switched over to higher ed which I quite enjoyed—even taking on an adjunct position at one point. Some years later, I left the "big city" for a slower pace and restarted my business full-time. And that's what really got me to FI.

Thanks, FU money. :-)

Tigerpine

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3464 on: December 04, 2020, 09:47:55 AM »
I interned for a short time at a company that had you sign a contract stating that you agreed that all of your earned income had to be from the company.  There was no flexibility in their policy.  Knowing about that policy was a major factor in why I never applied for a permanent position there.  They're basically requiring you to be completely financially dependent on the company.  Oh, and they had a non-compete clause, too.

Companies are like people.  Some are controlling by nature.  Best to avoid them if at all possible.

Boll weevil

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3465 on: December 04, 2020, 10:42:58 AM »
I read the story as the person’s job and side hustle were in the same (or at least related) industries, and the concerns there are potential leakage of intellectual property and working the side hustle on company time (programming windows look the same from far away... is the person working on company stuff or side hustle?).

Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.

NorCal

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3466 on: December 04, 2020, 10:53:37 AM »
Most likely, someone did something entirely unethical and/or illegal with a side hustle in the companies history.  Some exec got upset and the company put "no outside employment" in the company handbook, and no provision for exceptions.  This mentality is pretty common in anything government/contractor related.


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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3467 on: December 04, 2020, 11:09:33 AM »
Or they really hate people schilling MLMs in the workplace and went overboard.

Chris@TTL

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3468 on: December 04, 2020, 11:20:23 AM »
I read the story as the person’s job and side hustle were in the same (or at least related) industries, and the concerns there are potential leakage of intellectual property and working the side hustle on company time (programming windows look the same from far away... is the person working on company stuff or side hustle?).

Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.

Perhaps. The side hustle was mostly in digital support on the web. For example, the primary client at the time that remained was involved in giving scholarships to needy children. I provided some web-related guidance for them.

The work I did at the company was internal facing and more technical as part of a large communications project.

The only real relationship was that both types of work were digital. A little like if suggested you couldn't run a side gig that built mountain bike trails in your local parks because your primary work was in geological analysis of mineral deposits in the Congo. They're both outdoors. :-)

Most likely, someone did something entirely unethical and/or illegal with a side hustle in the companies history.  Some exec got upset and the company put "no outside employment" in the company handbook, and no provision for exceptions.  This mentality is pretty common in anything government/contractor related.



This is the sort of reasoning I would lean towards.

And to be clear (and supporting what @Boll weevil was saying), I don't necessarily disagree with what the company did or why they did it. I'm sure there is some sort of explanation and historical good reason for it. And more importantly, they can make hiring decisions based on whatever they wish (within legal bounds).

I was sharing the story to highlight a good reason to have FU money, and a fun escorted "walk of shame" out of the office. :-)

bmjohnson35

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3469 on: December 04, 2020, 01:31:34 PM »
I read the story as the person’s job and side hustle were in the same (or at least related) industries, and the concerns there are potential leakage of intellectual property and working the side hustle on company time (programming windows look the same from far away... is the person working on company stuff or side hustle?).

Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.

Perhaps. The side hustle was mostly in digital support on the web. For example, the primary client at the time that remained was involved in giving scholarships to needy children. I provided some web-related guidance for them.

The work I did at the company was internal facing and more technical as part of a large communications project.

The only real relationship was that both types of work were digital. A little like if suggested you couldn't run a side gig that built mountain bike trails in your local parks because your primary work was in geological analysis of mineral deposits in the Congo. They're both outdoors. :-)

Most likely, someone did something entirely unethical and/or illegal with a side hustle in the companies history.  Some exec got upset and the company put "no outside employment" in the company handbook, and no provision for exceptions.  This mentality is pretty common in anything government/contractor related.



This is the sort of reasoning I would lean towards.

And to be clear (and supporting what @Boll weevil was saying), I don't necessarily disagree with what the company did or why they did it. I'm sure there is some sort of explanation and historical good reason for it. And more importantly, they can make hiring decisions based on whatever they wish (within legal bounds).

I was sharing the story to highlight a good reason to have FU money, and a fun escorted "walk of shame" out of the office. :-)


I had less than a favorable opinion of my company's HR department.  Policy usually is grounded in legal precedent or lessons learned. Although these stories are entertaining, I agree that their main purpose is to illustrate the value of FU money. 

Taran Wanderer

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3470 on: December 04, 2020, 01:50:42 PM »
Even in a company where a central part of HR’s job is to develop people and cultivate company culture, their foundational basis is to ensure legal compliance and protect the company. If you’re working for Megacorp, or even Mediumcorp, you need to remember that and accept it.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3471 on: December 04, 2020, 02:01:04 PM »
Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.
Sadly, too often it's a blanket policy of "no outside businesses, period."  I know a couple of guys who worked for a huge multinational oil company with such a policy.  They started a web-based side business.  There was absolutely no overlap between the two industries, and yet the policy applied.  At first they just didn't mention they had a side gig, and then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3472 on: December 04, 2020, 02:52:43 PM »
then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

That might be the reason right there!

Uturn

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3473 on: December 04, 2020, 03:07:13 PM »
then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

That might be the reason right there!

Holding someone back to force loyalty. Not really the person I would want to work for.

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3474 on: December 05, 2020, 05:19:12 AM »
Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.
Sadly, too often it's a blanket policy of "no outside businesses, period."  I know a couple of guys who worked for a huge multinational oil company with such a policy.  They started a web-based side business.  There was absolutely no overlap between the two industries, and yet the policy applied.  At first they just didn't mention they had a side gig, and then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

HR/businesses are stupid. They don't know how to harness the power of employees. Businesses think they have power but it is the workers who have all the power. Businesses are rooted to the spot. Employees, if they're good and talented, can work for anyone in the world, including themselves (even more so in today's knowledge-based economy). Businesses have to give into good employees' demands otherwise it's all over, red rover. Particularly in this day and age of retrenchment payouts and sick leave, employees can really screw around with employers if they want to (though it pays to not burn bridges).

I'm constantly amazed by how conflict-avoidant many employees are. Sure, if you're a poor/average employee it pays to keep your mouth shut. But the stars and super stars are mostly short changing themselves. By making demands of their employer and skipping jobs they could get a lot more money in their pocket. FIRE aims to make that easier by removing any reliance you have on your employer, and thus evening the bargaining power.

I have found that when you no longer care about a business relationship's future, that is when you have the most power. And you should try to have that impartiality in all your business relationships.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2020, 05:29:40 AM by Bloop Bloop Reloaded »

Zaga

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3475 on: December 05, 2020, 07:42:29 AM »
Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.
Sadly, too often it's a blanket policy of "no outside businesses, period."  I know a couple of guys who worked for a huge multinational oil company with such a policy.  They started a web-based side business.  There was absolutely no overlap between the two industries, and yet the policy applied.  At first they just didn't mention they had a side gig, and then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

HR/businesses are stupid. They don't know how to harness the power of employees. Businesses think they have power but it is the workers who have all the power. Businesses are rooted to the spot. Employees, if they're good and talented, can work for anyone in the world, including themselves (even more so in today's knowledge-based economy). Businesses have to give into good employees' demands otherwise it's all over, red rover. Particularly in this day and age of retrenchment payouts and sick leave, employees can really screw around with employers if they want to (though it pays to not burn bridges).

I'm constantly amazed by how conflict-avoidant many employees are. Sure, if you're a poor/average employee it pays to keep your mouth shut. But the stars and super stars are mostly short changing themselves. By making demands of their employer and skipping jobs they could get a lot more money in their pocket. FIRE aims to make that easier by removing any reliance you have on your employer, and thus evening the bargaining power.

I have found that when you no longer care about a business relationship's future, that is when you have the most power. And you should try to have that impartiality in all your business relationships.
Clearly you live in a country where workers have actual rights.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3476 on: December 05, 2020, 01:36:56 PM »
Had the side hustle been something totally unrelated such as yard work or working in a restaurant, I’m guessing the company wouldn’t have brought it up.
Sadly, too often it's a blanket policy of "no outside businesses, period."  I know a couple of guys who worked for a huge multinational oil company with such a policy.  They started a web-based side business.  There was absolutely no overlap between the two industries, and yet the policy applied.  At first they just didn't mention they had a side gig, and then eventually the side gig became profitable enough that they quit their day jobs.

HR/businesses are stupid. They don't know how to harness the power of employees.
I disagree.  Not with the outcomes--I agree with you there.  HR's job isn't to harness the power of employees.  Their job isn't to use common sense, nor to act in anyone's (the employee's or the business's) best interest.  HR's job, at least in large businesses, is to enforce the rules set up by management, no matter how nonsensical the rules are, or how much damage would be done to the company by enforcing bad policy.  One of those two guys was a high-performer, on the fast track to upper management, when he chose to leave instead.  Recently, he told me the story of a good friend of his, who used to work for one of the FAANGs, and was similarly a high-performer.  He did something that apparently ruffled some feathers, although it violated no written company policy, did not affect his job performance, and was in no way detrimental to the company.  He got fired.  Zero warning, zero opportunity to course correct, zero consideration for the high-five-to-low-six-figure cost to the company to replace him, no regard for the wishes of his chain of command.

Management, of course, sets the policies for HR to enforce, and, like most large bureaucracies, they can't consider every corner case, nor allow for the use of judgment, because that opens the door to unequal treatment of people under varying circumstances, or for varying enforcement of the rules depending on which HR person is doing the enforcement.  No-questions-asked enforcement of the policies is "safe," but highly efficient, and at the scale of a large business, it's sort of unavoidable in order to avoid chaos.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3477 on: December 05, 2020, 04:46:26 PM »
I know HR is in place to act as a cushion between employees and management. Just like real estate agents are there to cushion between renters and landlords. Both jobs are unimaginably dull. But while rules and policies should be applied consistently, pay should not. HR and management have plenty of discretion re: pay yet they constantly try to lowball employees. While this might be good policy in the main, when it comes to your star employees, if you don't give in to their pay demands there is a real risk of them leaving. For me that's what happened and now I work for myself and I am free to set my own exorbitant hourly rate which I now do. My old employers now sometimes contract with me at a much higher rate than I had ever asked when I was an employee. To me that makes no sense.

rockstache

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3478 on: December 05, 2020, 05:50:09 PM »
I mean...meh? Star employees do get to dictate a lot more than they probably realize. But also, 95% of our employees THINK they’re stars when only 5% or so would be hard to replace. When people bring us their ultimatums, we just tell them we wish them well. In the US we’re mostly at will employers so there are no real costs to letting them leave. If they leave of their own volition we don’t even have to pay unemployment. I don’t say this because I think it’s right, but because it’s reality. Most of our workforce have very little sway over their situation, except to choose to leave.

In the US, HR is not there to be a buffer between employees and management. They’re there to keep the company from being sued. In the meantime, they have other tasks, but that’s priority #1.

Zaga

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3479 on: December 05, 2020, 08:53:24 PM »
I mean...meh? Star employees do get to dictate a lot more than they probably realize. But also, 95% of our employees THINK they’re stars when only 5% or so would be hard to replace. When people bring us their ultimatums, we just tell them we wish them well. In the US we’re mostly at will employers so there are no real costs to letting them leave. If they leave of their own volition we don’t even have to pay unemployment. I don’t say this because I think it’s right, but because it’s reality. Most of our workforce have very little sway over their situation, except to choose to leave.

In the US, HR is not there to be a buffer between employees and management. They’re there to keep the company from being sued. In the meantime, they have other tasks, but that’s priority #1.
I would disagree with the bolded above, because this is horribly short sighted.  No, there are no immediate obvious costs, but training a new person every few months to a year is expensive!  It's much cheaper to pay a bit more or give other perks than to constantly lose people (and institutional knowledge).

Kazyan

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3480 on: December 05, 2020, 10:27:04 PM »
I'm constantly amazed by how conflict-avoidant many employees are. Sure, if you're a poor/average employee it pays to keep your mouth shut[...]

Most people are average. Otherwise, 'average' would mean something different.

lutorm

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3481 on: December 06, 2020, 12:49:43 AM »
I'm constantly amazed by how conflict-avoidant many employees are. Sure, if you're a poor/average employee it pays to keep your mouth shut[...]

Most people are average. Otherwise, 'average' would mean something different.
Technically no, most people are not necessarily average. Half the people are below the median, half are above. But the average can practically be anywhere between the best and the worst.

former player

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3482 on: December 06, 2020, 02:10:21 AM »
I'm constantly amazed by how conflict-avoidant many employees are. Sure, if you're a poor/average employee it pays to keep your mouth shut[...]

Most people are average. Otherwise, 'average' would mean something different.
Technically no, most people are not necessarily average. Half the people are below the median, half are above. But the average can practically be anywhere between the best and the worst.

The definition of "average" seems to have diverged: one meaning for the average person and another for the pedantic.

LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3483 on: December 06, 2020, 05:41:58 AM »
I'm constantly amazed by how conflict-avoidant many employees are. Sure, if you're a poor/average employee it pays to keep your mouth shut[...]

Most people are average. Otherwise, 'average' would mean something different.
Technically no, most people are not necessarily average. Half the people are below the median, half are above. But the average can practically be anywhere between the best and the worst.

The definition of "average" seems to have diverged: one meaning for the average person and another for the pedantic.
You mean one for the Average Joe and one for the person who knows what it means.
My favorite example is always the multimillionaire.
You have 9 people without any money.
One person has 10 million.
So in average everyone is a millionaire.

That is btw. what is happening especially in the US, just worse: For every multimillionaire you have several people in debt.

Kazyan

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3484 on: December 06, 2020, 07:55:40 AM »
You mean one for the Average Joe and one for the person who knows what it means.

This is a pretty snide comment, given that the distinction is both unimportant to the point and incomplete in its pedantry. "Average" can refer to either the mean, median, or mode of a series, so it's kind of puzzling to go out of one's way to start correcting us with the idea that we're obviously talking about the mean. All else being equal, instead of making assumptions that don't fit the text, why not make assumptions that do fit the text?

I didn't find it illustrative to speculate about the exact distribution of effort/skill level among employees. That's not something you can easily quantify, anyway. If it's all the same to you, let's assume it's either a normal distribution or is otherwise like most datasets where people even bother to calculate an average--that is to say, the mean and median are close enough values that when we're having colloquial discussions, that we don't really need to specify which average we mean.

Finally, the point about single extremely high outliers skewing the mean is true. But if that's the case, then the "most people are average" point to explain Bloop's observation only changes in a pedantic way--those extremely high outliers are thus even rarer cases than we would have expected for a normal distribution, so it's definitely advantageous for most people to keep their mouth shut.

lutorm

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3485 on: December 06, 2020, 12:19:59 PM »
You mean one for the Average Joe and one for the person who knows what it means.

This is a pretty snide comment, given that the distinction is both unimportant to the point and incomplete in its pedantry. "Average" can refer to either the mean, median, or mode of a series, so it's kind of puzzling to go out of one's way to start correcting us with the idea that we're obviously talking about the mean. All else being equal, instead of making assumptions that don't fit the text, why not make assumptions that do fit the text?

I didn't find it illustrative to speculate about the exact distribution of effort/skill level among employees. That's not something you can easily quantify, anyway. If it's all the same to you, let's assume it's either a normal distribution or is otherwise like most datasets where people even bother to calculate an average--that is to say, the mean and median are close enough values that when we're having colloquial discussions, that we don't really need to specify which average we mean.

Finally, the point about single extremely high outliers skewing the mean is true. But if that's the case, then the "most people are average" point to explain Bloop's observation only changes in a pedantic way--those extremely high outliers are thus even rarer cases than we would have expected for a normal distribution, so it's definitely advantageous for most people to keep their mouth shut.
I have personally never seen the term "average" used to mean anything but the mean. But the distinction is anything but pedantry. People being ignorant about this distinction is exactly why we see bills being promoted by saying things like "this Bill will give taxpayers an average tax cut of $1000" to make people think that they're going to get a $1000 tax cut when it in fact means that the 0.1% get a $1,000,000 tax cut and anyone who makes below $250k gets $0...

The degree to which people's skill level, however you define that, is normal or skewed is a good question. There may be a long tail of highly skilled people, but there's probably also a long tail of completely incompetent ones. If you let skill be a signed value, meaning that there are people who actually make a net negative contribution, it might actually be pretty symmetric.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3486 on: December 06, 2020, 07:45:13 PM »
When I said average I meant mean, and I assume skill is roughly distributed in a normal distribution.

It may be that for average workers it's best to shut up, but my point was that many truly skilled workers behave as if they were average workers - because that is the culture that we're brought up in - don't shake the tree, etc, etc.


LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3487 on: December 07, 2020, 04:31:40 AM »
You mean one for the Average Joe and one for the person who knows what it means.

This is a pretty snide comment, given that the distinction is both unimportant to the point and incomplete in its pedantry.
Maybe it's because I am a pedandric German, but I think:
It's only a snide comment to those who have slept during math 6th class.

If you think it's unimportant, then let me ask you this: Do you care if you earn $2000 or $3000 a month?
Because that is the unimportant, pedantric difference between average and median income.

It's like those people who think a maximum tax rate of 50% means they have to pay 50% on the first dollar.

You just can't have a successful communication if even those basics of meaning are not clear.

grantmeaname

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3488 on: December 07, 2020, 06:44:51 AM »
You are misunderstanding the meaning of the word "average" vs the "arithmetic mean". You are discarding all the meanings of the term except for the one that let you make a snide correction of someone else, and the person you are correcting made a statement that was correct and comprehensible for any meaning of the word rather than just the one that you seem to approve of.

Dicey

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3489 on: December 07, 2020, 07:01:16 AM »
You mean one for the Average Joe and one for the person who knows what it means.

This is a pretty snide comment, given that the distinction is both unimportant to the point and incomplete in its pedantry.
Maybe it's because I am a pedandric German, but I think:
It's only a snide comment to those who have slept during math 6th class.

If you think it's unimportant, then let me ask you this: Do you care if you earn $2000 or $3000 a month?
Because that is the unimportant, pedantric difference between average and median income.

It's like those people who think a maximum tax rate of 50% means they have to pay 50% on the first dollar.

You just can't have a successful communication if even those basics of meaning are not clear.
No, it isn't like that at all. Let's not derail the derailment even further. Cue Elsa singing "Let It Go".

simmias

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3490 on: December 07, 2020, 07:09:12 AM »
This used to be my favorite thread.

Dicey

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3491 on: December 07, 2020, 07:10:28 AM »
This used to be my favorite thread.
It will be again.

YYK

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3492 on: December 07, 2020, 07:58:54 AM »
Note to self: don't use the p-word on the mustache forums

Adventine

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3493 on: December 07, 2020, 08:08:33 AM »
I have always secretly wanted to witness an FU money story in person, but now that most people WFH, I haven't had the opportunity.

Maybe one of these days I'll receive a company-wide final rage quit email from someone... One can dream.

LennStar

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3494 on: December 07, 2020, 10:50:45 AM »
I have always secretly wanted to witness an FU money story in person, but now that most people WFH, I haven't had the opportunity.

Maybe one of these days I'll receive a company-wide final rage quit email from someone... One can dream.
Don't wait for good things to happen. Make them happen yourself!

BicycleB

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3495 on: December 07, 2020, 02:14:59 PM »
I have always secretly wanted to witness an FU money story in person, but now that most people WFH, I haven't had the opportunity.

Maybe one of these days I'll receive a company-wide final rage quit email from someone... One can dream.

LOL. #wfhgoals

Adventine

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3496 on: December 07, 2020, 03:07:43 PM »
I have always secretly wanted to witness an FU money story in person, but now that most people WFH, I haven't had the opportunity.

Maybe one of these days I'll receive a company-wide final rage quit email from someone... One can dream.
Don't wait for good things to happen. Make them happen yourself!
Ha! Maybe I'll put it in my email signature as a sneaky motivational quote, effective at evading management!

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3497 on: December 08, 2020, 12:55:31 AM »
I have always secretly wanted to witness an FU money story in person, but now that most people WFH, I haven't had the opportunity.

Maybe one of these days I'll receive a company-wide final rage quit email from someone... One can dream.

Even if I was super annoyed at a firm and wanted to rage quit, I'd not do it in writing or in a cheeky/histrionic way. I don't think that helps anyone. It doesn't increase your leverage, it won't make your next employer/principal pay more, and it's not going to hurt your current employer (unless you're genuinely whistleblowing or something). Heck even if I were retiring and had no further need to maintain happy relations, I'd still bow out graciously. It's your actions (in leaving/negotiating) that count not your words!

Adventine

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3498 on: December 08, 2020, 01:21:12 AM »
I have always secretly wanted to witness an FU money story in person, but now that most people WFH, I haven't had the opportunity.

Maybe one of these days I'll receive a company-wide final rage quit email from someone... One can dream.

Even if I was super annoyed at a firm and wanted to rage quit, I'd not do it in writing or in a cheeky/histrionic way. I don't think that helps anyone. It doesn't increase your leverage, it won't make your next employer/principal pay more, and it's not going to hurt your current employer (unless you're genuinely whistleblowing or something). Heck even if I were retiring and had no further need to maintain happy relations, I'd still bow out graciously. It's your actions (in leaving/negotiating) that count not your words!

Oh yes, no arguments here. In real life, outside MMM Forumland, always better to bow out graciously and leave behind a good impression, no matter how unhappy someone has been in their job.

But in this tiny corner of the internet, it's fun to read the stories!

NorthernMonkey

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Re: Epic FU money stories
« Reply #3499 on: December 08, 2020, 04:26:29 AM »
I have always secretly wanted to witness an FU money story in person, but now that most people WFH, I haven't had the opportunity.

Maybe one of these days I'll receive a company-wide final rage quit email from someone... One can dream.

Even if I was super annoyed at a firm and wanted to rage quit, I'd not do it in writing or in a cheeky/histrionic way. I don't think that helps anyone. It doesn't increase your leverage, it won't make your next employer/principal pay more, and it's not going to hurt your current employer (unless you're genuinely whistleblowing or something). Heck even if I were retiring and had no further need to maintain happy relations, I'd still bow out graciously. It's your actions (in leaving/negotiating) that count not your words!

Oh yes, no arguments here. In real life, outside MMM Forumland, always better to bow out graciously and leave behind a good impression, no matter how unhappy someone has been in their job.

But in this tiny corner of the internet, it's fun to read the stories!

I've seen it done. It was amazing to watch. Someone I worked with quit for another job. He was set to work his notice as normal which he did for a little while, then in the last few days he made a point of finding everyone who he had a minor gripe with and telling them exactly what he thought. It lasted for a couple of days before HR got wind and he was escorted off. (mega corp so things take a while to get traction) It was a couple of days of spectacular bridge burning extravaganza.