Wednesday, October 28, 2015

monkey balls 3 of 4


We’ve all had suck ass jobs, subhuman manual laborer or god favored big boss.  99% of all jobs suck.  But some jobs suck so much worse than all other jobs that the suck level belongs in the Guinness Book Of World Records.  So much suck that it causes sleep loss and hair loss ( and I’m not even talking about truly suck ass jobs like getting shot at or cleaning sewer pipes).  I’ve only really had one truly suck ass job and that was as a shift supervisor in the slot section at a casino in early 2000’s.  Far worse than being in the Army, even ( which didn’t suck so much daily but just because you couldn’t quit ).  All through the first half of my two decades of child support I worked hideous jobs for the money because I had no choice ( the second half I was able to get out of management as minimum wage caught up with the old pay ).  The casino was my last management job ( managing the Food Bank was a solo gig and hence no supervision so in my eyes not management.  It certainly didn’t pay like it was one ).  At the time I didn’t know that, but that was the level of stress it delivered, forever more burning me out on a marginal pay increase in exchange for ten times the stress.  The pay was for the first time a substantial increase-three times my norm rather than a 50% bump.  And what I did with it and how I quite was the secret of dealing with a high stress job.


You all know how cheap I can prep.  I didn’t need a middle class prep plan, nor did I need to live middle class.  Right there is your first step in making your stress manageable.  If you continue to live middle class, you can never, and I do mean NEVER, quit your soul crushing completely suck ass job.  There is no end in sight and that would be just like joining the military forever.  Prepper Pussies think they can live and prep middle class but they will never be anything other than a corporate drone stuck in the city scraping pennies to fund a dollars prep plan.  You must downgrade your expectations, or you might as well never start to shed your crappy job or even prep past a months natural disaster.  It is not my job to talk you into that choice, only to point out that choice is a first step you can’t evade.  If you can embrace genteel poverty you can escape the corporate rat race and prep for survival.  Because you can’t plan to escape or prep if 99% of your pay goes to the parasites leeching off the middle class.  And you can’t escape because your pay level jobs are disappearing faster than minimum wage paying jobs-you are stuck in place.  You want your cake and eat it too, but hard choices are required.  There is only one escape from this level of suck and that is minimizing your fiscal needs.  To me, the job was the worst, but the pay was the best, and I knew as soon as it was over I could go back to lower pay.  I was living a half minimum wage life but getting paid middle class, so almost nothing went to anything other than preps ( at least half if not more of my take-home pay ).  That was how I coped with the stress, with a clear deadline for quitting, with concrete means of doing so rather than as a vague dream, and with the knowledge every day was improving my situation. 

This Series Finishes Next Article

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  1. You have nailed it, live like you may be homeless any minute then when the job is gone or you can't stand it any longer life barley changes except for you don't have to take the bull crap any longer. And the deep pantry is insurance against losing the crap job earlier than expected.
    Wonderful mane you have!

    1. Just ask yourself, WWHHD? What Would Homeless Harry Do?

  2. Reducing costs can be difficult if you try to maintain 'grey'. After all you have to be able to talk about the latest reality TV, Go Sports Team!, Current Politics or other mind wasting circuses. Thus internet is my big 'luxury' expense to keep cover. You can keep up on the near cutting edge of what ever is being water cooler discussed AND find such gems as this site.
    Chocolate is the other big luxury for me, much like others cant quit their cigs or booze I haven't been able to completely quit the coco bean.
    The motor vehicles are also luxuries used to save us money and labor (it can be pretty difficult to haul 2 dozen sheets of OSB board by hand/bike, and there are no vehicle rental places in 50 miles.) But they can be dropped in a heart beat and are driven so seldom (twice a month on average) that fuel, maintenance and insurance costs are really low - our state also offers permanent license/registration for older vehicles so that one time cost is over.

    1. NOT having cars is a sure fire bet, along with junk land, to get anyone living one third minimum wage luxurious. BUT, there are always more than one way to skin a cat and it isn't like an auto automatically dooms you. As long as you have contingency plans for living w/o them and they are a nominal expense, no big deal.

  3. "If you can embrace genteel poverty you can escape the corporate rat race and prep for survival."

    Absolutely! Having BTDT on both sides. Between 2000 and 2004 I worked for Kmart up in, at the time, Troy Michigan making $70K+ with bonuses. (I got a bonus once we emerged from bankruptcy. LOL) I had two kids getting ready for college and while I had a house in between Ann Arbor an d Detroit, with a 1 1/2 hour commute, I was able to prep, but things were tight. I'm pretty good with money, so it wasn't like I was up to my eyes in debt, it was a matter of priorities. Kids cost money, even if you don't have to pay out child support. I had missed two rounds of layoffs and was HATING it. In fact I had taken my family on vacation to get away from the place when I got a call from the VP of HR, thanking me for all of my hard work and that they were laying me off. He said don't feel bad though, your whole department of 44 people was eliminated. He also told me that they were giving me three months of complete severance, including health insurance etc. I had to sound sad, but I was ecstatic.

    Well the "War on Terror" was well under way and I had drank the cool aid a few years later I went back into the Army. 2007 to be exact. (I have now awaked from my slumber and see what BS the "War on Terror" is.) Well I got hurt and they kicked me to the curb and gave me a whole bunch of money for my troubles. I bought some rural land in Tennessee and got water and power hooked up. Went to an auction and bought a F250 and the wife and I went to a government auction down in Jackson Mississippi and bought a old FEMA trailer from Katrina that was in very good shape. Drug that to my property and lived in it. All paid for. Got a good job and built a cabin on it. I'm still not finished, but I have a paid for place. Once I finish it, I calculated that if I had a job that paid $20K I would be comfortable. Go out to eat once a week, buy prepper stuff, no problems. All for $10 an hour. I have a higher paying job, and that's gravy.

    1. Except the getting hurt part, looks like Lady Luck was mighty kind ( okay, you were smart too, but never piss off LL by dissing her role ).

  4. My lovely wife took a high paying, high stress job with along commute for 6 months. The plan was to eliminate debt and then we'd take winters off and travel. With an end in sight it wasn't that hard for her to do it. Never went back to working full time ever again.

    1. Smart lady. Even accounting for being with you :)

  5. Good series of articles Great Haired One. You are absolutely correct as usual. I'm knocking my bills down rapidly and if my pension holds I could quit working in 2 years. But to protect myself I could work another 2 years and be completely debt free. I have land to pay off. I know I have more than I need and am selling a third of it to a friend and fellow prepper. If I sold the middle parcel I could shorten the time frame. That is all with my child support times 2 taking over a third of my take home pay. Circumstances could lead to me getting custody of my youngest which among the benefits would be a reduction of monthly costs of about $700 or 50% of support expenses. The oldest only has 2 more years of expenses to go.

    I don't have a great paying job but is is fairly secure for the next few years except for a full on collapse. And as I have been hammering expenses I'm getting a snowballing effect on my budget to the good. The trick is don't buy anything. Yes I've done more than my share in the past but I've learned to say no. I have accumulated a good supply and have been horse trading to tweek my preps...For instance, I lacked a big bore scope-able bolt action. I traded a pistol for one and came out a head. I'm no longer buying firearms and recently sold 3 others. I am downsizing where I can. I do plan on acquiring some solar and would like to build a small house (under 1000 sq. ft.). Hurricane country in a singlewide plus the guaranteed degrading of the trailer are among my motivations.

    Yes If I don't build I could quit working in 2 years But that is the fall back. I plan to work as long as I can if needed.

    I'm rambling. How's the Love Life going?

    1. Still the best relationship,even after six months ( knock on wood )-thanks for asking

  6. Be able to live on almost no money, is one of the foundation skills you need to make the transition to the new normal.

    Husband and I like to have several streams of income. So if one drops off, we can pick up another.

    For example, Husband drives school bus part time and that gives us a regular paycheck every month, though very small. The rest of our money comes from being self employed - yard work, selling seeds, selling eggs and garden produce, doing odd jobs, housekeeping, and other money making jobs off our homestead.

    One thing we learned after the 2008 economic downturn is that even labor and minimum wage jobs aren't secure.

    For example, when the housing bubble burst, all the laid off contractors started doing odd jobs, house remodeling, mowing lawns, making cabinets, etc. They downsized and underbid all the folks on the lower rung of the economic ladder who had been doing these jobs. My husband had to renegotiate several of the lawns he mowed by lowering his rate by over 25% just to keep the jobs. Many job crews (construction and cement, etc) were willing to do bids at cost or in the red just to keep their crews together and hopefully out wait the downturn.

    The new folks really didn't take into account their overhead so they were bidding jobs and not making any money. But there were enough underemployed folks out there that were panicking and would keep doing it anyway. If they couldn't finish a job because they were losing money, another person would just step in and try to finish it. It was a bloodbath.

    That made us realize that no matter what your skill or job, the only way to be truly self sufficient was to not be dependent on your customers. Because when times get tough, someone will also be willing to under bid you.

    And believe me, most customers will not stay loyal no matter how long you worked for them if they can find someone who will do the job cheaper. They will forget every time you dropped everything to fix whatever they needed. They will forget all the good deals you gave them, etc. Expect as much loyalty from them as you would a big corporation. (Though, we ended getting several customers back when they realised that the new people had no clue what they were doing and it ended up being more expensive in the long run)

    Not only is it important to have a piece of paid for ground, a year (or two or three) of supplies, and a little money to pay for taxes, you must be able to last long term without any prospect of making money. You need to be ready to basically be under siege.

    Idaho Homesteader

    1. Damn, great stuff! I think most of us are blinded by the lifetime worry over money that the above last paragraph never really occurs to us. Even the homeless are concerned how/where to go beg for money on a regular basis. Thanks, I hope most of the minions read this. Or, I'll just steal it for an article.

  7. "....minimizing your fiscal needs...."

    Well there ya go.
    I have become a master at it.
    My old truck, that I bought brand new in Oct 1990, turned 25 last week and still gets me from A to B for about 11 cents per mile, total.
    On the 1st of Nov I will start a new tube of toothpaste - yep, I get a year out of a dollar store tube - and a new dollar store toothbrush too. 21 days per bar of dollar store ivory soap and I have about 8 years worth. I have no monthly bills, whatever I have is paid for and has been for more than 10 years, my trash phone costs $20 every 3 months. My wife and I eat at home at a cost of about $1-$2 per meal, each. My ol' gray haired Granny used to say, "Sonny, count your pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves."

    It's not what you have but rather how you make use of what you have.

    1. I trust you are cutting open the tube to get the last drop of paste out.

    2. I use one of them squeezer jobs, you know, 2 plastic cylinders with 2 small rubber bands, squeezes the tube from bottom to top. Threw it out this morning, the old tube, though I think I could have gotten a few more days out of it.

      I have a container of old Ivory soap bits that I've been saving for the past few years and I'm trying to figure out how to economically and efficiently make a couple more bars of soap out of them. I need some sort of home made mold that will release the new bars once they've set (tuna cans with the bottoms and tops cut out, sit them on a piece of alum foil? maybe sardine cans, well cleaned of course?). I'll melt them down in an old pot, double boiler style. A penny saved is a penny earned.

    3. A minion suggested soap bits in a sock. Wash with when soaked. Might be a bit wasteful, but you re-use shaving that way. I have a heck of a time double boiler soap for my shaving cake, but it works barely. For mold, how about a frozen juice can? Holes on bottom, when dry, cut away cardboard?