The Reluctant Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

Major rant ahead.

I am totally, completely absolutely done with holiday rentals.

I have had enough and more than enough of dealing with people who do not respect other people's property.

I have had enough of people who let their kids run wild without any parental supervision and feed them loads of crap and sugar-just in case they are not wild enough .

I have had enough of people who resent people who they think have more than them-even if it is through work they would never, ever dream of doing.

I have had enough of cleaning up people's crap and listening to their whines because things haven't turned out like their delusional minds imagined it would while on vacation.

Some day people will just accept the fact that just because you go on a vacation -you still remain the person you were at home, (as does your family who you bring with you).

I have had enough of been drawn into other people's "car-crash lives" and chaos.

Some day people will also accept the fact that nobody can control the weather and if you live on an island you can and often do get lots of RAIN.

Rant over.

I have also had enough of the holiday rental business stealing my freedom and my time. It is not worth the money anymore; I do not need it due to the frugal way that I live.

I have decided that this is one “table” that I am definitely walking away from- with the money still on it.

I feel huge relief from finally making a decision to leave something that I absolutely detest, even though it was helping me reach FI.

Some things are just not worth it ...

Hankaroundtheworld
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld »

Haha, ranting is good sometimes, some relief it might give, and I feel with you about getting too much exposed to other people's life (and the frustrations it creates), of course it might also bring good things, a little depended on what "market segment" you are addressing with Holiday rental. Congrats with the decision-making around this!

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

I know I'm not supposed to generalise BUT the most perfect "customer" I find, are (by far) the Northern Europeans i.e. German, Danish, Dutch-they actually go and fix things in the house if they see anything that they can improve. I find this fascinating-why would they care? ...but they do....

They are very self-sufficient. They seem to naturally conserve water, energy etc, and will never use things just because they can. I think they have been educated through generations to conserve as opposed to consume.

They actually feed their kids FOOD instead of crap and keep everything clean even though they cook a lot.

They never complain about the weather and seem to just work around it and still have a good time.

They seem to inherently understand the whole concept of leaving a small footprint where ever they travel.

Hankaroundtheworld
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld »

Glad to hear (being Dutch :-) ) , and it comes down to Education & Culture, but be careful, also in North Europe you have bad-behaving tourists (the ones that normally go to cheap beach holidays in Spain), it all depends on the Market Segment that you are addressing.

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

A topic that has filled my mind recently is about "the meek inheriting the earth".

My brain has switched "meek" for "weak" and has me feeling very guilty because I want to fire the incompetent incapable staff in my workplace that continuously drain my life-energy out of me.

As I work in the Public Service this will never happen but I am beginning to fantasise about it more and more.

I am full of anger and resentment that incompetent staff sail around creating chaos and huge problems, that the more capable staff have to clean up as well as doing their own work.(I am not talking about higher managers here, just basic grade staff.)

Why do capable competent, fast workers have to carry weaker ones?

It is definitely a reason that I want to become FI,the faster the better as I think as I age I get more and more resentful.

Please do not reply to this journal with "helpful solutions" as I am well capable of implementing whatever I have to, to protect myself.

It's really a type of philosophical answer that I want such as scientific studies that show "the little known truth, that weaker staff actually help a workplace" or the psychology that some employees use to leech on their peers.

I know this happens in most workplaces and just wonder why we feel we have to tolerate it?

I also wonder do they actually know how much trouble they cause or do they think everyone else is at fault?

Chad
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by Chad »

1taskaday wrote: I know this happens in most workplaces and just wonder why we feel we have to tolerate it?
It's difficult for a lot of managers to quantify it. Plenty of other reasons too, like the more people you working under you the more important you are...etc.
1taskaday wrote: I also wonder do they actually know how much trouble they cause or do they think everyone else is at fault?
Most are clueless.

DutchGirl
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by DutchGirl »

I have some colleagues who are worse than useless - because they indeed make errors that their colleagues have to fix. Still, they have a permanent contract, so it's impossible to fire them. Meanwhile we have seen some great colleagues with temporary contracts leave. It's pretty annoying indeed.

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

Work sucks or maybe I suck-can't really differentiate anymore.

We have reached a major decision that we (really I), have been considering for a while.

We have a male teen addicted (in our view) or maybe just normal usage in to-day's world, to technology and gaming.

We feel wrongly or rightly that this may be interfering with his experience and enjoyment of life.

We also feel that it may be impacting his ability to concentrate and hence affecting his interest in studying and ultimately his grades.

We have decided to cut our internet completely.

This is an experiment really, who knows if we are doing the right or wrong thing? (As parents it's all just guessing really, no matter what the experts say).

But the most important thing is that we only have his best interest at heart...

jacob
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by jacob »

Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions ;-)

I grew up addicted to technology and gaming. Until I basically started my "ERE-journey", that's what 100% of my money went. However, as far as addictions go, technology and gaming have to rank up there with the least harmless addictions imaginable.

Much worse if they get replaced by typical teenage pursuits doing stupid ill-considered stunts out of boredom: stealing bicycles, tuning mopeds, smoking, binge-drinking, self-mutilation, joy riding, and getting each other pregnant. I'm just reciting the exploits of certain classmates and teenagers I know/knew. Few of them did all of these. Most of them did at least one. I did none because I was busy playing Quake.

So in terms of life-experience, i.e. relationship drama, partying until the cops arrived and hauled a couple of people off, and smoking funny cigarettes, I was much behind my age group and in many respects never caught up. Conversely, those early years meant that I was far ahead of them when it came to technology and solving problems/puzzles in general. Twenty years later, I'd say my teenage life experiences were more useful than theirs.

In terms of studying I have seen examples of people studying so hard that by the time they hit college they were completely burned out. Couple that with their first taste of freedom and the result was a three year long party. There are certain parts of my mandatory education and pursuit of grades I still irrationally resent to this day. For example, I can not for the life of me be bothered to try to understand a poem. I just skip right over them whenever I see them.

My point is ... maybe internet usage or gaming is excessive. But so is removing it completely and that might have unintentional side-effects which are worse than the problem you're trying to solve. Don't expect perfection. Also, seeing as it is a teenager, they probably already have a different idea of what perfection is :)

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jennypenny
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by jennypenny »

My boys are obsessed with video games, too. I make them earn screen time by reading. They earn one hour of gaming for every hour of reading they do. It seems to work and I'm pleased if they read for 3-4 hours a day. They are having an all-night xbox marathon tonight, and they've been reading for two days to earn enough screen time.

Maybe you could negotiate something with him?
Last edited by jennypenny on Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Scott 2
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by Scott 2 »

You might learn about the parental controls offered by the router used for your internet. Mine allows setting specific windows where the internet is offline. It's password protected and an effective tool for managing use.

Note that you need to be able to block traffic at the level of all ports going across the network, not specific websites. There are a ton of ways around blocking specific websites.

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

We have not taken this step lightly.

We have been through years of timers, negotiation, and rules. Nothing seems to ease the friction that this causes in our home.

I talk to other parents and all the arguments in the house are always about time spent on technology/games with their teens.

They all say the same thing the kids/teens turn angry aggressive and argumentative when they are made come off them. It seems that there is a constant adrenaline rush while they are on them. And worse still if the games are violent they even become more angry.

I read Penelope Trunk who is homeschooling her kids and she allows unlimited screen time and promotes this way. As usual very brave and very controversial with her thinking.

I know my son has a huge aptitude for technology and can hack/get anything free or solve anything online. Therefore locking/setting controls probably will not work with him.

The basic issue is he needs to do well in maths for a career in programming etc and the ONLY thing he really cares about in life is his technology. If I let him slip back to lower level maths at school, I think he will just accept it. He is naturally very bright but does not want to work.(I know all mother’s say that about their kids-but really it’s true,Ha,Ha,Ha)

We are hands on parents-always one of us around them. But it is so exhausting to constantly battle about "screentime".No matter how much time we give him it is never enough!

I myself am an internet addict so I am definitely not a good example.

Nothing and I mean absolutely nothing can compete with his interest in technology.
If he hasn't got it he is bored and agitated. We try to do loads of other stuff with him but when we’re exhausted, he turns back to constant technology again. And the whole cycle starts again.

Is it possible that depending on the kid, technology can become an addiction-a need for the brain to be in that constant state of alertness and adrenaline?

I just know when he has limited "screen time" he is a fantastic, talkative, interactive funny kid but when on it he is always rushed, aggressive, angry and agitated.

Who knows because I certainly don't?

I know all the points that you have all made are true.

Do I believe in the whole education system?, absolutely not, I spent 13 years at third level doing various degrees/masters etc.I just loved learning new stuff. I loved being a student.

Do I care if they take a short cut and never go to university?-definitely not.

But I do have that crappy guilty/ inadequate parental feeling if I think that I am not doing as much as I should be, to guide my heedless, testosterone numbed, zombie brained ,normal male teen to think of his own future, when right now he would just live with us forever gaming.

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jennypenny
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by jennypenny »

1taskaday wrote: We have been through years of timers, negotiation, and rules. Nothing seems to ease the friction that this causes in our home.

I talk to other parents and all the arguments in the house are always about time spent on technology/games with their teens.

They all say the same thing the kids/teens turn angry aggressive and argumentative when they are made come off them. It seems that there is a constant adrenaline rush while they are on them. And worse still if the games are violent they even become more angry.

...

But I do have that crappy guilty/ inadequate parental feeling if I think that I am not doing as much as I should be, to guide my heedless, testosterone numbed, zombie brained ,normal male teen to think of his own future, when right now he would just live with us forever gaming.
I'm not trying to criticize you or argue with you. I just want to show you a different way to look at it. You have my sincere sympathy. We haven't had this issue, but we've had others. I know how frustrating it can be.

I have many friends who feel the same way about gaming as you do. They constantly complain about the games and constantly badger the kids while they play. To my mind, they are contributing to the household friction as much as the kids. I think teens will aggressively hold onto anything that you try and take away. Once battle lines are drawn, it's hard to have any peace.

My kids have daily chores to do first, and the reading requirement I described. After that, they are free play video games. When they are playing, I don't complain about it. I take the opposite tact. I make popcorn, watch what they're playing, and welcome friends that want to play with them. They played all night with friends last night, so I put food in a crock pot so they could eat hot food whenever they finally took a break. I even got a used dorm-sized fridge for the basement so they could keep drinks down there. The fact that I support the gaming under certain conditions seems to ease the battles over how long they can play.

Would I rather they were outside or doing something else? Of course, and I try and make that enticing as possible (see this thread viewtopic.php?f=7&t=5342 ). But my main goal with my teens is to maintain a working relationship. Sometimes that means supporting them in [what I consider] poor choices. It gives me some control over the outcome and helps limit really bad outcomes (see jacob's post above).

I know it's hard. We don't have the gaming issue, but we've had others. It's inevitable. Teens are perverse creatures who's brain's mature in reverse order, with the adrenaline-charged parts maturing first and the frontal lobe maturing a few [long] years later. IMHO I think it helps to rank what's important to you, and then deal with the most important issues and temporarily let go of some of the others. For me, the order is physical safety, drug use, maintaining a working relationship, unwanted babies, poor grades, everything else. I wouldn't sacrifice their physical safety to maintain our relationship, but I wouldn't let arguments over bad grades ruin our relationship either. Everyone is different though, so you have to rank that stuff for yourself.

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

Thanks again for the time taken by everyone to offer advice.

I reread it all carefully as I know it is always offered with the best of intentions.

The ERE forum is definitely a tiny part of the interactive internet where goodwill reigns.

Now I am in my usual quandry of not knowing what to do...

I am driving my DH nuts and Oh yea work REALLY REALLY sucked to-day.

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jennypenny
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by jennypenny »

1taskaday wrote: Oh yea work REALLY REALLY sucked to-day.
So go play video games with your kid. Seriously. Go tell him your day sucked, but since they don't let you shoot people at work, maybe he would let you shoot some zombies with him for a while to unwind.

Bridge the gap a little. :)

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

I decided to take all the advice and cancel the order to disconnect the internet, take a chill pill and set priorities as Jennypenny suggested.

This yo-yoing on every decision that I make continues...

I am kind of the same about my retirement plan-always moving the retirement date due to anxiety about the kids college/future etc.

A major funny thing has happened at work...

My PET HATE in life are drama queens/? Kings? I have always been able to smell them at least 50 miles away and head for the hills as quick as I can.

My secret weapon in life has always been “Hiding and Avoiding”.
A very successful strategy to maintain your life energy.

I also hate constant bitching, moaning and complaining-I know, one would never guess from reading this long moan of a journal but anyway...

When I was asked/ordered to manage people at work, I tried to refuse, but in the end took the job on, with my usual optimism and energy, that I could improve moral and start teamwork in the department. I think this was around last January to be precise.
A move totally against my instinct.

What a crock that turned out to be...

Well yesterday it all came crashing down as I let loose on one of my "Ball and Chain" who ended up in floods of tears and disintegrating at my "harsh" (really very honest) words in my (distant) superior’s office.

Drama, drama and more drama...tears, tears and more tears.

It has been building for months and I have been severely stressed and out of balance managing staff-a job I detest.

Well to make a long story short and successful- I saw a "gap" and ran straight for it.

I resigned my "management" position citing myself as totally stressed and unsuitable for this position. My supervisor who is totally "clueless" and just wanted it all to go away, actually LET ME and now I am back doing my old job, same pay, same everything BUT without having to listen to everyone's life story and pretend that I am interested...

I can now go back to being a skilled “Hider and Avoider”, a skill that I excel at.

The moral of this story is that there is often opportunity in every apparent "crisis”, if you can just keep calm enough to manipulate it in your favour.

I gave my "Ball and Chain" two big hugs and we all made up. She still can't understand what happened...I thanked my supervisor for his astute management skills Ha,Ha,Ha and am looking forward to a majorly hassle free (except minor irritation from the Ball and Chain, now and again)work life.

I now manage nobody except myself-which I also excel at.

I still can't believe that I am FREE to just work, as opposed to manage (many Balls and Chains).
I feel like the cat that got the cream-nobody in my department knows what happened as it all changed so fast. Do they really care anyway...except to know who the next poor sucker will be so that they can latch on to and DRAIN...

There is a God and I, by circumstances beyond my control (sent by my angels, to rescue me from a breakdown or a life sentence for murder) have been set free from the work/management hell that I was in and couldn't see any way out of.

Naturally it will take a few weeks to release the anxiety and stress that I've carried for months but I can nearly take a deep breath again, without chest tightness already.

To any “Ball and Chain” out there, remember that you too have a purpose in the workforce,(even though I doubted it ,only a week ago) and be proud of the part you play in a strategist’s game of chess.

1taskaday
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by 1taskaday »

This morning when I woke up and my brain clicked in, I REALISED THAT I AM FREE!!!!!

I just can't stop smiling.

I know that I will rot in hell for my callous manipulation of "weaker?/incapable-only at work" people, BUT I have been drowning at work for months and nobody gave a s*** about me. I was definitely heading for some sort of mental breakdown and nobody even cared.

Their only concern really, was that I stayed managing because

1. They would not have to do it.

2. I was giving them all everything that they wanted, every day to keep them OFF MY BACK.

3. None of their enemies was managing them (There's a lot of power struggles and bitching,a thing I "Hide and Avoid" from constantly).

4. I think they all found it kind of amusing to watch a usually competent slightly arrogant (ok I'll admit it) human being disintegrate before their eyes. It is sad to think people could enjoy this sort of stuff.

4. I was managing the worst "Ball and Chain" in the place and keeping this away from them.

Toska, you have given me even more ideas, why didn't I think of any of this before??

Sometimes we are just so stuck and can't figure a way out- even though it may be right under our noses all the time...every minute of every hour of our work day!

I have learned so much from all of this.... I will have to write another post another day, listing it all-I will wait until my freedom has finished seeping through every individual cell of my body...

Just remember hang in there and when you see a “gap” just run for it...

spoonman
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by spoonman »

Congrats on finding a gap and going for it. I can only imagine how stressful it must've been to deal with a person that's essentially dead wood. There's dead wood (or Ball and Chains, as you call it) in every company.

I had the unfortunate luck to deal with a Ball and Chain that had been in the company for years and couldn't be fired. I eventually got her of my back and learned that I was actually one salary grade higher than her, even though she had been in the company for over three decades. Yup, she was stuck in her pay grade because she was a royal pain in the ass that nobody wanted to deal with.

If you ever have the time, look up the term "floaking". It's something invented by Weird Fantasy/Scifi writer China Mieville in his novel Embassytown. I think it's similar to your concept of Hide and Avoid. Here's a few words about it:

"As an immerser I progressed to the ranks I aspired to—those that granted me a certain cachet and income while keeping me from fundamental responsibilities. This is what I excelled at: the life-technique of aggregated skill, luck, laziness and chutzpah that we call floaking.

Immersers, I think, created the term. Everyone has some floaker in them. There’s a devil on your shoulder. Not everyone crewing aspires to master the technique—there are those who want to captain or explore—but for most, floaking is indispensable. Some people think it mere indolence but it’s a more active and nuanced technique than that. Floakers aren’t afraid of effort: many crew work very hard to get shipboard in the first place. I did."

mxlr650
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by mxlr650 »

jennypenny wrote:My kids have daily chores to do first, and the reading requirement I described. After that, they are free play video games. When they are playing, I don't complain about it. I take the opposite tact. I make popcorn, watch what they're playing, and welcome friends that want to play with them. They played all night with friends last night, so I put food in a crock pot so they could eat hot food whenever they finally took a break. I even got a used dorm-sized fridge for the basement so they could keep drinks down there. The fact that I support the gaming under certain conditions seems to ease the battles over how long they can play.
I applaud your parenting style, and I hope there are more parents like you so kids grow up being less fucked up! I have a single parent friend who has 3 kids -- she is hands-on when it comes to certain things, and she is very hands-off with the rest - she says that it is better when kids to do things in her presence instead of doing things behind her back.

OTOH, my distant cousin just couldn't stand his parents – they were not physically abusing him, but it was just all this nagging and micromanaging related to his academics. He got fed-up, and at the age of 17, took off, never to be seen again (dead or alive), and this was 20 years ago. Almost all problems in the world could be pointed towards way too many babies and bad parenting .

Anyways, this week's print edition of The Economist had an article titled "The pointlessness of pushy parenting" which I could not find online, but here is something similar http://theday.co.uk/health/successful-p ... s-new-book

mxlr650
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Re: The Reluctant Journal

Post by mxlr650 »

jacob wrote:In terms of studying I have seen examples of people studying so hard that by the time they hit college they were completely burned out. Couple that with their first taste of freedom and the result was a three year long party. There are certain parts of my mandatory education and pursuit of grades I still irrationally resent to this day. For example, I can not for the life of me be bothered to try to understand a poem. I just skip right over them whenever I see them.
I have no desire ever to spend time to "understand" poetry let alone write one. Dirac's quote on poetry is spot on: "In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite"

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