The Job Experience, MegaSoftwareCoSupport: Year #11

Personal Update

work work work work

work work work work

I worked a lot.  I saved a lot.  I got closer to FIRE.

Things are good between me and my wife.  When it gets to the point that work is bleeding into our happiness, she suggests I find something else, and I agree.  I’m learning to simply leave jobs if they’re not doing it for me.  It’s a skill I have to flex one more time after Mega.

There isn’t a whole lot else to report on this front during Year 11.

And to be honest, this is one of my primary complaints with corporate life.  Every year is more or less the same.  There might be differences in the specific quantity of work you’re doing. Maybe you go to a cabin retreat with your 2 weeks off, or maybe it’s a ski trip instead.  But the vast majority of your hours are spent doing more or less the same thing as the previous year.

All the more reason to want to be on this path.  Once you’re done, you can write a different story for yourself.

The new one can go any way you want.

Financial Update

nw11 Net Worth at Start (Jan 1, 2010):  +374K 

Net Worth at End (July 1, 2011) :  +543K 

Note: This update encompasses 18 months, from Jan of 2010 to July of 2011, instead of the normal January to-January interval.


  • A net worth improvement of over 160K in a year and a half — it’s absolutely stunning.  The half-mil mark is a big milestone and had me feeling pretty awesome.
  • Over this year and a half interval, the S&P 500 shot ahead about 18%.  Bond funds continued to do well, too.  All of my pump-money-into-the-market-while-it’s-down strategies are being validated as the recovery begins.  Despite all of my issues with Mega, my mood is buoyant most of the time.
  • House retained value.
  • Dumped a lot of money in from working overtime, about 20K of post-tax fundage.
  • In late 2010, we refinanced the house from 4.75 to 3.625 with about 1500 in closing costs, saving $400/mo.


  • Spent another 10K on home improvements.  Lots of misc stuff and it added up.  Many of these things were DIY.  Exceptions:  2K for stone/mortar work in the front walkway, professional asphalt patching on the front driveway, and tree removal (2k).  (We had not one but two unsafe oak trees that had split Vs which makes them prone to collapse in strong wind or icestorms.)
  • I don’t know if this is a negative but I spent 5K on a car for my brother.  I don’t believe in giving money to family in general but in this case I made an exception. He finally landed a decent job after being unemployed for 3 years but had to commute 20 miles each way. Mom couldn’t afford to help him, Dad had more or less disowned him for all sorts of reasons I won’t get into here.  To avoid the inherent messiness in intra-family loans, after a lot of internal debate, I decided to give it to him, straight up.  He still has that job, and he’s taking good care of the vehicle, so it’s working out so far.  Note: I don’t recommend other people do these sorts of things unless you can afford to give a gift outright and have no expectation of getting paid pack.

The Job Experience, StartupVille: Years 9 and 10 <<  >> The Job Experience, Hell: Year #12

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10 Responses to The Job Experience, MegaSoftwareCoSupport: Year #11

  1. Dwayne Hoover says:

    When you were getting towards the end here, did you ever consider the option of simply working PT but extending the journey to FI by a few years?

    • livingafi says:

      Absolutely, I’d much prefer to work part time. Problem is that I don’t think it’s possible on the IT/Engineering Support side of things. Sometimes strict programmers/developers can manage this sort of arrangement, but organizations only have FT positions available for support — my guess is that this is because of rigid availability requirements. I’d love to hear from any readers that think I’m wrong or can share ways to go about making it happen though.

  2. Steph says:

    When I was a wage slave it was in an open plan office, I actually would have loved a soulless cube. I began to really hate some people as I just couldn’t get away from them and I wasn’t allowed headphones to help me concentrate above everybody’s voices. Introverts and open plan offices (4 people to one bank of desks) are not a very good mix. Sometimes I would pretend I needed to make a private phonecall so I could go into an empty office and sit there in peace for a few minutes.
    At one point everyone was offered voluntary redundancy and I took it and ran. It was enough to pay off our mortgage as our house was v modest. The year after I left (I was pregnant by this point) I bought another small house and renovated it and sold on for a nice profit. I haven’t really worked since having my daughter but knowing how to live frugally is very freeing and gives us as a family so many more options. A bit of a rambling comment, sorry.

    • livingafi says:

      That’s really tough. I didn’t get into it in this post but my cube was right next to sales at Mega and those guys were also on the phone constantly, very loud, and frequently talking about very obnoxious non-PC things that really get under your skin. It’s great you were able to responsibly get away from that job and spend more time with your family, very cool. “Voluntary redundancy.” Love that corporate-ese.

  3. Good stuff, sounds like the next update will shed light on what makes FU money so important. Even better if it’s FI money! Real world issues (and vacations) have killed my blogging lately, but I need to get revved back up. Lots of interesting things going on.

    • livingafi says:

      I’ve had some of my own real life things going on as well (mom moved to senior housing last weekend, had to clean out a house of clutter and list it. More than ‘clutter’ actually but that’s another story.) Family’s first, though, much more important than blogging or my day job. I have been looking forward to more details on your lifestyle inflation posts, though. Get em out, please! 🙂 BTW, yeah, if you enjoy reading about incomprehensibly awful jobs and insane people, you’re going to love Year 12 but hate the final entry (Year 13-present), because I found another really nice place to ply my trade.

  4. I eagerly await Cthulu-119, the radioactive isotope of vanilla ‘Thu.

  5. Tom says:

    In retirement, I’m finding those home improvement and maintenance costs creep in more frequently than I would have expected. Little things here and there – and some bigger ones. I try to adhere to a pretty low budget, for now, so those costs tend to upset the cart a little despite primarily doing the work myself. Not sure these will ever go away completely – it’s always something.

    When I first had an opportunity to occasionally work from home back in the mid-90’s I had a very difficult time getting much work done, due mostly to lack of motivation (and probably because the technology for working remotely wasn’t what it is today). Funny aside – I was making a long distance call one day from home and dialed 9, then 1, for an outside line (as if in the office) out of habit and accidentally hit 1 a second time. Imagine my surprise when the cops showed up at my door and insisted on walking thru my apartment to make sure no one was being held against their will. Wonder if this has happened to others. Years later I found myself to be much more productive working from home and actually liked it (mostly) despite living alone. Yes – I have loner tendencies so it was easier for me to tolerate. I loved waking up early and getting right to work. I was paid by the hour so it was perfect for someone trying to build a stash. I was never paid 1.5x for OT – that would have been sweet.

    I worked on an extended project that required driving 6.5 hours Sundays and Fridays (I hate flying) and living onsite during the week. Most all of my communications with various teams was done thru phone and IM. 95% of folks I worked with daily were in far flung cities. Even folks in the same office used IM – even if they were in the next cubicle. Weird to have that kind of culture where people got irritated if you stopped by their desk to talk instead of using IM. So it was sort of ludicrous to have the company pay my expenses when I could work just as easily from home. Luckily we convinced management of that fact after the first year. On the plus side of IM – we would attach cool little emoticons and I had an awesome collection before I left that job. It was always pretty awesome when someone sent you a new one. (Sadly, this was one of the few positives on my own personal job from hell.)

    • livingafi says:

      Thanks for the stories — the accidental 911 call sounds like it spiced your day up pretty good.. Here’s hoping you’ve moved on from your own job-hell experience by now!

  6. A W S says:

    Interesting observation in regard to working at home. Especially today. Some of us are working like that from March 2020. Never been better whilst climbing the corporate rotten ladder. No office politics and empty smiles. Tons of money saved commute but more important to this is the most valuable commodity- time that is saved. Goodbye commute. Good luck ya all.

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