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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/sg84-sort-of-touched-on-the-one-thing-i-kept-11911956.aspx

Subject:  Re: Unwritten Rules of Wage Slavery Date:  2/1/2000  10:51 PM
Author:  pyrotech Number:  2870 of 741791

SG84 sort of touched on the one thing I kept waiting to see in this thread- the topic of attitude.
To me, 90% of the issue is your attitude toward the job. We all seem to agree that 'job' is a bad word and 'work' a good one. Work is enjoyable. In fact, (to me anyway) unpaid work that I chose to do has always been the most enjoyable. Russell touched on this idea in his "over the rainbow" comment. On a small scale, we look forward each day to 'quitting time', which is retirement for the day. When the work is OUR idea, our own project, how often do we wish for a couple extra hours to get more done?
What I have found over the last 10 years in the same job is that on the good days I am enjoying the WORK, and on the bad days I am hating (some aspect of) the JOB. I have also discovered, ironically, that the more independent my outlook becomes, the more respect I get from the boss. When I needed every paycheck, there was constant pressure. Now that I have money enough to say 'I quit' and mean it, the atmosphere is more relaxed, I get more praise, days off come more easily, etc. What I don't know for sure is whether the company has changed, or I have. Maybe our stress clouds our attitude and we don't see the true picture. Or maybe the employer senses desperation and capitalizes on it, sees self confidence and backs off, knowing when not to push. But think about this- when the job is critical to your survival, do you not use phrases like "would it be possible for me to maybe take a week off in July?" ? On the other hand, when you know you have options, how much more likely is it to say "I want to schedule the week of July 4th as vacation."?
Hocus's last comment was the truest. If it weren't for health insurance, I'd be retired and working my own hours either for myself or for others as I wished.
I have fully paid health care and a company vehicle, and those two assets are worth quite a bit.
Now that I've discovered the Fool, though, things have definitely changed in my schedule for retirement. I used to think I would need a million bucks to retire. Now, knowing it's a cakewalk to average >25% annual returns, I can justify a mere quarter mil.
Anyway, hope some of these comments inspire further discussion. This is absolutely the best thread I've encountered anywhere in 2 1/2 years, and I read a lot of them! Thanks all!
-pyro
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