2019 Bumps In The Road Early Retirement Journey

Underemployment Diaries: Week 2, Disgruntled Lamentations

I survived my 2nd week at Call Center 2. Aunty MERJ asked me if I “liked the new job?” I said No.

I mostly just feel disgruntled. At this early in the game, I’m a bit worried. To be fair, I think a large part of it is the failure to secure a proper Med Info job at Big Pharma*. So I’m displacing some of that disappointment on this job.(*Full disclosure, still secretly hoping to hear back from two at some point in the near (2 wks) or distant future (6 mon). In much the same way, I secretly hope my royal parents will come back to claim me after a mix-up at the royal hospital.)

My commute doesn’t help. My fussy new manager doesn’t help. The lack of organization and new meeting invites doesn’t help. The less pay doesn’t help. The more hours certainly don’t help.

If I wanted to focus on the negatives, those would be them.

If I wanted to focus on the positives, I could think about the fact that yay, I’m employed! Being unemployed is worse…right? If I survive 6 more months, when my lease is up I could conceivably move to Cincinnati and start more aggressively saving for FIRE.

But I’d rather focus on how disappointed I feel. I chose two technical degrees because I didn’t want any unconscious bias in hiring practices being used against me. I didn’t want to be deemed not a good “cultural fit.” I thought having technical skills would speak for themselves. I was wrong, and it sucks.

I can see your profile on LinkedIn! I know you had less relevant experience coming into this job than I do. This has happened three times on an on-site interview. People from less relevant backgrounds are in the roles I seek and are the ones influencing hiring decisions. I’m always so curious how they answered the questions they ask me. My skills are directly related to my job because it’s essentially the same job at a higher level.

How is a regulatory affairs person more capable to do a Med Info job than a Med Info person? How is a new grad more capable to do a Med Info job than a Med Info person with four years experience? How is a retail person more capable to do this job than a Med Info person with four years experience? It’s pretty obvious what I think the reason is.

But what can I realistically do about it?

When will I learn I’m not like everyone else. I’m definitely not like the other FIRE community members. Trying to increase my income didn’t work. Quitting my job to seek mini-retirement and some sort of bliss didn’t work. Making enough money didn’t give me any more choices. One of my new co-workers actually called me greedy for wanting to be paid what I was due. It’s just more frustrating.

If I could redo the last 3 months, I would’ve just stayed at my last job and kept counting down the years until FIRE. I wasn’t that happy there, but I wasn’t as miserable near the end as I had been. I’m certainly not any happier here. Quitting my job was a mistake. Looking for a better job was a mistake. There really isn’t enough room at the top for everyone. I already knew this. I was meant for ordinary things. I know this. I’ve known this. If I would just accept it is the thing.

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  1. I can see why you are focusing on the negatives. Honestly, I would too. Commutes always suck. Being employed is awesome though! It provides financial security in some ways. It also allows you opportunities to apply to other jobs without worrying about whether you can make it through the month or not.
    I wouldn’t accept that you’re ordinary though. I’ve been through phases where I believed that I was extraordinary. Sometimes, I still go through those phases. It’s a hard world where we are all exposed to the top of the top and the brightest of the bright. In a world where we can click a button and see who the fittest, richest, and more successful people are, it IS HARD to think that you are on the same level as them.
    But here’s the thing, you are. I would stop looking at other FIRE people or anyone else who you think you are at risk to compare yourself to. Focus on yourself and improving yourself to get the job that you deserve. Think about how far you’ve gone already. You’ve paid off thousands of dollars of debt. There aren’t many people out there that can even say they did that.
    This is just a temporary time. Things will change, for better or worse, that’s up to you. I believe in you!

    1. Thanks, Mrs. Finance! It’s so hard being human. You spend childhood being compared to other kids..I mean isn’t that what socializing (aka middle school) is all about? Then when you’re an adult, you’re suddenly supposed to be your own person and put on blinders when all people want to do is talk about and now thanks to advances in…their accomplishments. But part of my journey is to share what it’s like in the middle (as opposed to at the top). It’s quite possible this is the best it’s ever going to get for me whether or not I believe I was meant for more. I mean what does meant for more even mean anyway? Welcome to the blog!!

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