How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

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TopHatFox
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How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by TopHatFox » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:21 pm

Being around campus this summer, I've seen many people that have been doing their job--THE SAME JOB--for twenty plus years. We're talking library manager, copy machine room manager, facilities staff, dining hall staff, administrative assistants, other paper pushers, other physical labor staff, etc. Even at minimum wage, FI can be had after ten ish years if one is aggressive enough.

But I don't think these folks are aware that the possibility is even there. Do most people simply trade their life to a compulsory job after schooling until they (almost) die? At risk of making simple assumptions/judgements, I somehow doubt these people are truly satisfied with their lives, especially work lives. Maybe external circumstances prevent them from FI, or they simply don't want to for whatever reason, or don't think it's possible?

My supervisor mentioned the other day how lucky her supervisor is to take a two week vacation, and how she wished she could do the same--my supervisor's been working her same job for 30 ******* years, with a 20 mile car commute one-way. I can see the appeal of MMM's Overheard at Work Section.
Last edited by TopHatFox on Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:45 pm, edited 12 times in total.

George the original one
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Re: How do most people do this whole 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by George the original one » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:44 pm

They might have different priorities than a young single person.

SimpleLife
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by SimpleLife » Tue Jun 16, 2015 8:17 pm

I've wondered the exact same thing. I think some people are just content with whatever they have. I know of one person who is still working the same job I did 15 years ago. For what pay? The tidy sum of $12 an hour.

This person appears to have no interest in education, moving up, or anything. I think just like there are overachievers, there are people who just don't care. Either because they know they can't do better, are afraid, or have zero self esteem to try. Plus, some people are just lazy.

jacob
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by jacob » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:56 pm

Because they're copying their neighbors who seem to be doing alright ...

Dreyfus levels 1 and 2, completely and utterly reinforced by the best principles of Bernays. It's like a glass ceiling that you can't see unless you look really hard. Why question it? Most people in the Matrix prefer it that way. Few wanna leave. Some even wanna go back.

Point being ... most do it, because it has worked for most that way for more generations(*) than most can remember.

(*) Four to be exact.

Spartan_Warrior
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:40 am

"But I don't think these folks are aware that the possibility is even there."

This, and the further fact that most folks are closed-minded and not interested in learning about new possibilities, pretty much answers your question.

7Wannabe5
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:12 am

Why do most people on this forum invest their capital in the stock market rather than antiquities, timber land, jumpy house rentals or financing Broadway revivals?

IlliniDave
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:58 am

As someone who has spent 28+ years full-time with the same employer, to me it's not hard at all. Nor has it been unpleasant.

Chad
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by Chad » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:16 am

@7Wannabe5
Because stocks, bonds, etc. are far less work, very liquid, and easier to diversify with our limited portfolios. If you want real estate, timber, electronics, China, etc. you can just buy the appropriate financial vehicle. Of course, the people who run and own these businesses get first cut, so you make less than if you started your own business.

mfi
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by mfi » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:58 pm

"Consider the case of “Joe the Welder.” Here is someone who chooses to give up a higher-paying promotion to foreman because he loves his job as a simple welder. Over the years he has come to master every phase of the plant’s operation: he can fix any piece of machinery no matter how complex, and he looks forward to every challenge as an opportunity to test his skills. While the other welders view their jobs as toilsome burdens from which they must escape (typically into booze and television), Joe relishes every moment of the day and hence doesn’t need to escape from anything. Having an autotelic personality, he is able to create flow experiences even in the most barren environment, and hence live a fulfilling life, despite his relatively low salary and social status."

http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/his ... ntmihalyi/

TopHatFox
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:05 pm

mfi wrote:"Consider the case of “Joe the Welder.” Here is someone who chooses to give up a higher-paying promotion to foreman because he loves his job as a simple welder. Over the years he has come to master every phase of the plant’s operation: he can fix any piece of machinery no matter how complex, and he looks forward to every challenge as an opportunity to test his skills. While the other welders view their jobs as toilsome burdens from which they must escape (typically into booze and television), Joe relishes every moment of the day and hence doesn’t need to escape from anything. Having an autotelic personality, he is able to create flow experiences even in the most barren environment, and hence live a fulfilling life, despite his relatively low salary and social status."

http://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/his ... ntmihalyi/
Yeah, but how many Joe & Jane The X are there in the world? From what you described, I think most people fall into the "toilsome burdens from which they must escape via TV & other passive entertainment" camp.

ERE people likely fall in the "Job/career from which we must create meaning, or at least money, to then escape to more meaning, or whatever we want, really."

7Wannabe5
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:16 pm

@Chad

I agree that stocks, bonds etc, are less work and more liquid but I don't agree with easier to diversify with limited portfolio. Also, I think it is the case that everybody is always running their own set of businesses with more or less capital vs. sweat equity investment in each one. Renting out jumpy houses would just fall somewhere on the continuum between saving money by cooking your own soup with ingredients you grew in your garden and lending your money to a corporation.

Of course, it may be the case that I am just manifesting sour grapes due to fact that I am currently zero percent invested in the stock market due to fact that I played fair and gave my recent ex back all his toys before I left, so I am back down to a giant pile of rare books and several vacant lots in the inner city.

@Zalo

You might also remember that there are some freedoms ( or more like whatever-you-wants) that can no longer or never be obtained even through achieving complete financial independence. For instance, you will never be able to ride your horse across all the lands without barrier like the last noblemen of Poland could a short 100 years ago and all the money in the world will never offer me the risk/reward matrix I might inhabit if I looked/vibed anywhere close to as anti-fragile as Catherine Deneuve (sigh.)

dot_com_vet
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by dot_com_vet » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:58 pm

I used to think the same thing after college. Then I did job A for nine years, and I'm currently in job B for five years and counting. I'm now one of those people.

Once you get into a routine, the years just fly by. Semi-ER is within reach now. Whew!

m741
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by m741 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:22 pm

There's a lot of jobs that are pretty easy to do, pay well, and can afford you some freedom. I mean, if you're making enough money to live comfortably and working 9-4:30 (not uncommon in many jobs), that's pretty cushy. Yeah, you don't "own your time" and you can't disappear for weeks, months, or years at a time, but if you don't want to, that's not such a bad bargain.

I think once you've worked a regular job for 2-3 years straight, you'll slip into a routine. Months pass by really quickly. If you don't have a 'progress' mindset for yourself, it won't seem like anything changes day-to-day. You look forward to the weekend, and a small vacation each year, and the holidays or movies or concerts. And then it's 10 years later, or 15 years later.

Noided

Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by Noided » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:08 pm

m741 wrote: I think once you've worked a regular job for 2-3 years straight, you'll slip into a routine. Months pass by really quickly. If you don't have a 'progress' mindset for yourself, it won't seem like anything changes day-to-day. You look forward to the weekend, and a small vacation each year, and the holidays or movies or concerts. And then it's 10 years later, or 15 years later.
That is depressing.

EdithKeeler
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:51 pm

Being around campus this summer, I've seen many people that have been doing their job--THE SAME JOB--for twenty plus years. We're talking library manager, copy machine room manager, facilities staff, dining hall staff, administrative assistants, other paper pushers, other physical labor staff, etc. Even at minimum wage, FI can be had after ten ish years if one is aggressive enough.

But I don't think these folks are aware that the possibility is even there. Do most people simply trade their life to a compulsory job after schooling until they (almost) die? At risk of making simple assumptions/judgements, I somehow doubt these people are truly satisfied with their lives, especially work lives. Maybe external circumstances prevent them from FI, or they simply don't want to for whatever reason, or don't think it's possible?

My supervisor mentioned the other day how lucky her supervisor is to take a two week vacation, and how she wished she could do the same--my supervisor's been working her same job for 30 ******* years, with a 20 mile car commute one-way. I can see the appeal of MMM's Overheard at Work Section.
One: life goes by pretty fast. When you hit forty, or even fifty (gulp) many people look back and wonder where the time went and why they haven't gotten around to doing X yet.

Two: kids and families. There are a lot of things you choose to do for the greater good (ie, family). Like taking the job in a part of the country that's not really in your field because your spouse's better job is here. Or you stay at job Y because even though the money's not that great, you have fabulous health insurance and one kid has asthma and the other kid has a heart problem. Or you stay because the hours are perfect for spending more time with your family. Sure, you could make more doing Z, or be happier doing A, but you get to be home every day when Susie and Johnny get home.

Three: not everyone hates their job. Or if they hate parts of it, they don't hate it enough to quit. I actually like what I do most of the time--it can be really interesting and complicated, and I get to do neat things occasionally. It's office politics and other junk that drives me crazy.

Four: since you're looking at people who work on campus, i wonder how many of them are working there to ensure reduced or free tuition for themselves or their kids?

Five: not everyone wants to sacrifice things that they enjoy/make them comfortable, etc. They are content to do what frankly our society has programmed us to do--work, save some money, spend money, and retire. And that's cool--no one says we all have to do the same things or have the same goals.

Six: probably a million other reasons each as individual as the person.

ffj
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by ffj » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:26 pm

@Edith

Great points.

@Zalo
Ever considered that you might not have a choice to be one of those drones? Your perspective is one of youth, with the advantages and disadvantages that come with that. As Edith has pointed out, I wouldn't short sell everyone you see around you because their reasons for remaining in their jobs often go beyond what a young, single, childless person experiences. Neither position is necessarily right or wrong, that's just the way it is.

Also, I would challenge the assumption that one can get a job for minimum wage for 5 years and then retire. The numbers just aren't there if you want to live off a SWR of your capital. Most people find they have to work much longer than they anticipated, even for people of our mindset.

SimpleLife
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by SimpleLife » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:53 pm

m741 wrote:There's a lot of jobs that are pretty easy to do, pay well, and can afford you some freedom. I mean, if you're making enough money to live comfortably and working 9-4:30 (not uncommon in many jobs), that's pretty cushy.
Can I get a list? Always looking for retirement job options. Currently aiming at HR/Corporate Recruiter.

enigmaT120
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by enigmaT120 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:20 pm

Isn't it just another version of that "hedonic adaptation" that MMM writes about sometimes? But in a different direction.

Or as the philosopher Springsteen wrote:

"10 years in, feels like you're gonna die.
But you get used to anything. Sooner or later it just becomes your life."

jacob
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by jacob » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:43 am

Also, simple lock-in, one example here,

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/arch ... eplacement

m741
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Re: How do most people do this whole compulsory 9-5 thing for 40+ years?

Post by m741 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:10 pm

@SimpleLife - I was thinking of generic office jobs (the kind where everybody clocks out at exactly 5:00, people duck out, etc, nobody stays late... lots of government jobs), but there's also hourly-type jobs, like hotel clerk, tollbooth operator, that type of thing. Not great pay, but you can get by and you know exactly when you're gonna work. In some of these jobs you may be on your own most of the time and can read or listen to music, podcasts, etc.

I've heard that the standards for software engineers are low at tons of financial companies, or other companies that need office work and basic custom software done but don't have any in-house expertise. Large companies like Chase or Bank of America employ tons of engineers, but most are incompetent. So if you're semi-competent you can do really mindless work at a bank, set your own hours and cruise, because nobody else knows what's going on or really cares about the work. Sure, you may not get promoted, but you're not gonna get laid off. I've heard crazy stories...

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