The Job Experience, IT Plumbing: Year #6

Personal Update


Good news.  We’re almost to the end of this post.  There’s just a little more to go.

On the personal side of things, I’m thankfully still seeing the girl who becomes my wife.  She provides me with a pillar of sanity.

But things aren’t always rosy.  To start, we aren’t seeing enough of one another, mostly due to the outrageous demands of our respective corporate jobs, but also because a) I moved away from Boston, making it somewhat more difficult to get together, and b) toward the end of the year, I’m drinking too much, which contributes to me feeling miserable most of the time and sometimes I don’t want company.

We did take a wonderful 2 week vacation together, during which we both managed to decompress and enjoy life and one another for a while, but most weeks it takes real effort to keep the relationship working.

And it doesn’t help that neither of us are in a great mood most of the time.  I’m seeing the world through the Veil of Cthulhu but she also has her own job-related stresses and issues. Things are generally better when we’re together rather than apart, but it’s difficult to pull all of the right bits together and keep them there for any length of time. I have no idea if that makes any sense.

Despite all of these challenges, we have a long conversation at the end of Year 6 and decide that it makes sense for me to do at least one more year.

You might be wondering how I could possibly choose to sign up for another twelve months of FinancialCompany?

The answer is simple.  My net worth was skyrocketing, and it was exciting as hell to watch.

Financial Update


Net Worth at Start:  +75K

Net Worth at End (early 2006):  +166K 

A 91K increase.

Note: I don’t include any material assets in calculating net worth, e.g. my car is not part of these totals


  • S&P went up about 3.5%, plus 2%ish dividends, giving me a 12K bump.
  • I got a raise from 88K to 92K at the end of the year.  This 4K increase also increased my bonus and the amount of 401(k) money dumped into my account.
  • I maxed out my 401(k) contributions at 15K, while my employer dumped in another 18K, amounting to a total about about 33K added in a single year.
  • I save 33K of post-tax earnings, plus I receive my full bonus which works out to about 13K post-tax — between the two, this is 46K.
  • I’m barely driving because I live next to work, making my auto expenses 1.5k/yr (not including payments)
  • Because I’m working — constantly — I literally have no time to spend money on myself.
  • Cthulhu doesn’t care if I eat lunch in the office, so I’m brownbagging again.


  • I still owe 6K on my car.
  • I’m spending $150 a month on alcohol.  Maybe more.

The Job Experience, Year #5, Part 2   << >> The Job Experience, Year  #7

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11 Responses to The Job Experience, IT Plumbing: Year #6

  1. Jennifer says:

    I like your comment about just wanting to do the work instead of managing the work. I feel the same way. It seems like people think you’re some kind of weirdo if you’re not constantly striving to advance to management level. Personally, I find the actual work itself much more rewarding and less stressful than having to deal with personnel issues and being responsible for other people’s work.

    • livingafi says:

      “some kind of weirdo” — exactly. When I did finally leave FinComp. I remember telling my Dad that I was going to take a pay-cut to work somewhere else with potentially more satisfying work. His head nearly exploded: between the loss of title-based status and the drop in compensation, he just absolutely could not comprehend the rationale behind the decision. He’s one of those guys that thinks “work is a misery no matter what, so you might as well get paid as much as possible.” PS, it turned out to be a good move anyways.

    • Moonwaves says:

      “It seems like people think you’re some kind of weirdo if you’re not constantly striving to advance to management level.” So true. Try being a secretary, always having wanted to be one, being really good at it and never having had any desire to manage people at all. So many people seem to just kind of fall in to secretarial/admin work because they can’t get anything else and then try and use it as a stepping stone to other work (should I blame that Melanie Griffith/Harrison Ford film?) that, yep, managers seem to think you’re some kind of weirdo if you don’t want to do what they’re doing. I think at some point I came to the realisation that it’s only natural, since people will judge you by their own standards, so to speak, and if they have the ambition or desire to manage and move up in a company, they struggle to understand those who don’t.
      Glad I came back to finish reading through your archives, by the way. It’s very useful and I think I’m going to try and do something similar. I have no FU money and will never retire early but nonetheless will be handing in my notice by the end of this quarter (have a three months from end of quarter notice period). I just reached a point recently where I realised it’s the same old shit starting to happen that sent me to the brink of a nervous breakdown three years ago and it’s just not worth it. I think it’ll be really good to look back on not just this but all of my jobs till now and try and remember the good and the bad about each of them. It’d be good to have that stuff clear in my head when choosing my next one. Thanks.

  2. So, were the coins really as big as your whole body (Mario graphic ref)? No wonder we like VG so much, you get to travel to inventive places and get rich just by jumping up and grabbing floating money. Interesting comment about your Dad, mine would be pretty surprised by my financial situation. He knows we’ve had it good, and he had it good too, but I don’t think he knows how different the working world is. Also, not to be to random in this comment, but I like how you are treating this as ‘the work experience’ – it’s just one of many options available. I hated my previous choice, but is was necessary and I would’ve chaffed at it being called an experience, but my latest gig is definitely an open ended ‘experience’.

    • livingafi says:

      Video games aren’t an improvement over many parts of life (hiking, eating, and hanging around with my wife come to mind), but there’s no question they’re better than office life, hands down, all day, every day. On the subject of the parents — I can’t even tell my Dad what’s going on with me financially — he would shit a brick if he knew I was on the edge of retiring, and I’m not sure there’d be any way to calm him down. It’s weird — he dislikes work but simultaneously accepts that it’s a mandatory part of life to be endured, at least through age 60. For me to tell him I’ve just short-cutted the misery, well, I’m just not sure what he’d say. My first guess is “lazy.” If you ever tell your dad, I’d love to read a post about the experience… To your ‘random’ comment (love random comments btw): absolutely, even within a certain field or industry, things vary quite a bit from job to job, and each option ends up having its own distinct feel. Glad you left your own bad fit job and you’re somewhere that feels better now! Good for you, EV.

  3. Alex Kenzie says:

    What am I missing? This is not a long post… is it somewhere else now? Was it removed? Thanks for any info you can give me.

    • livafi says:

      There are links to pages underneath the all of the stuff at the end of the page.
      I just added some navigation tip reminders to the opening pages of the job experience posts to help folks find their way.

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  4. CC says:

    Your blog is really entertaining so far. I’ve been reading it from A-Z. You make me laugh!

  5. FIRE says:

    I’ve been reading through your work stories over the last few days. Found my way hear after reading somebody else’s particularly entertaining work stores on MMM and fellow posters talking about “Doom.”

    I’m really enjoying them but Cthulu’s behavior makes me a little physically sick. We all know there are bosses like that out in the world. But reading a detailed description of it is quite disturbing.

    On a lighter note. I love the stories! Very entertaining writing with lots of introspection and interesting observations.

  6. Sean says:

    “JUSTIFY YOUR INACTION IN WRITING” had me laughing for a good minute. Great writing.

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