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GOLD! Ever wonder how people end up in dead end jobs at 40?

mrarcher

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Comfort is an illusion. A false sense of security bred from familiar things and familiar ways. It narrows the mind, weakens the body and robs the soul of spirit and determination.
 

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Vigilante

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Spent the last 10 minutes reading and re-reading this post. I've gotten immeasurable value from this forum, but don't think any single post has affected and kicked my a$$ as much as this one has. Thanks @Vigilante and rep+
Re-reading the original quotation I still don't like the dark truth contained in that last sentence. It's a peak into the darkness of real regret. Hopefully for some where it is not too late you can benefit from our loss.
 

Andy Black

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Re-reading the original quotation I still don't like the dark truth contained in that last sentence. It's a peak into the darkness of real regret. Hopefully for some where it is not too late you can benefit from our loss.
There's a short video I made but never published. I was too upset thinking about a really stupid mistake I nearly made. That sentence was my wake up call @Vigilante.

The stupid mistake? I might have missed our 3 year old's first Irish Dance in school because I was on a course 5 miles away in the next village.

Thankfully I ducked out of the course for a couple of hours and was there for when he trooped into the hall shyly looking around to find us in the crowd of parents.

The little smile he tried to hide when he found us is a memory I'll treasure. Money can't buy that.

Money gives us the freedom to spend time with the people we love.

As @LightHouse has said, it gives us the ability to put the first things first.



I've mentioned this before @Vigilante ... you've given your children the start that means they can be there for their own kids. What a priceless gift.

Thank you.
 

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A colleague of mine works 20 years in the company. He was hired by the two owners (brothers) and for years they promised him he would one day be the CEO. So he worked very long hours, never asked a raise, he's obese ("because his stressy job and no time to do sports") and never sees his kids during the week.

Long story short, the owners sold the company and retired. The new company owner has other plans and is looking for a new CEO.

He now realizes he believed a lie for 20 years. He never went looking for another job or career, he never even evolved, because he was gonna be the CEO in a few years. Now he feels F*cked. Especially when the management asked me (working there 5 years) to become head of security for a part of the group (I'm gonna decline).

Another colleague hates her job and wants to quit. Her husband is an engineer who has a very well paid job with very good conditions. He hates it too and wants to quit. But he never finds another job with the same or better conditions. And he doesn't want to drive too far. And he doesn't want to start on his own because he doesn't want to work with computers. Etcetera.

They do have a plan though. They want to start a cinema, because the huge cinema-chains are way overpriced! So, a small cinema with cafeteria, that would be a great plan! Just one problem: this plan needs a lot of money.

The solution?

Winning the lottery!

So every week they look forward to the moment when their life is about to change (or so they think), only to come back to their job the next morning. Frustrated. Feeling trapped.

And so, all my 40-something colleagues are looking forward to their pension and ranting about this or that rich a**hole or wondering what went wrong with all their dreams and plans they once made in their lifes. Meanwhile passing their grudge to their children.

I can't count to how many people I've lent TMF. Only one read it til the end (my brother), understands it and he still doesn't want to change his choices. Even if you would make a Hollywood blockbuster where you can fully understand TMF, most people won't change!
(Luckily for us) Some people are just afraid to grow/change.
Update.

A new CEO was found and put in charge. A 58 years old, overweight, oldfashioned "manager" who finds it normal to scream at his workers from time to time. He was fired from his other work after 25 years for unknown circumstances. In a few years he will retire (but will sooner drop dead from heart disease), so my wannabe-ceo-colleague sees another chance.

In 2 years he might be CEO!

The donkey and the carrot.

The other colleague who's husband is engineer will stay at the job now. Her husband has found work in the company right next to us. So there's no point in looking for other work as they can go to their work together now. Still unhappy, but at least less unhappy than last year.

In our company it doesn't matter how much you work. It matters how much you can let them believe how hard you work. Action fake reigns supreme. Of course you must work overtime if you still type with two fingers and micromanage everything.

That's why all the managers of the whole group hate my gut. I work fast and leave early. And I don't keep my mouth to the CEO. And they need me more than I need them.

And because my "worst case scenario" is that they DON'T fire me and I have to leave myself.

SOB that I am.
 
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daivey

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The other day I was watching joe rogan on youtube, and he had a conversation with TJ kirk...

Anyway, they were talking about politics and an interesting thing came up. Anyway, the idea behind what they said was something like this:

Most people are in their jobs, living their day to day life, THINKING, DREAMING about a bigger and better future... Except that, that future never comes. The point being that, we like to day dream/think about these grand ideas, but then we end up doing nothing about them... so that future/reality that we dream about- getting better/etc, doesn't happen.. and what we don't realize it's this day to day that becomes our future.

Like the 40 year old man in the clothing store... he too probably had dreams and aspirations... "this would never be me... it's only temporary" but then day in day out, IT IS YOU.
 

Dylan_91

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This is a long, rambling story I wanted to share with you after I was troubled by something I saw the other night. It's almost written as a short story. If you don't like a little introspection, or are reading for a business plan, skip this thread. Someone out there needed to hear this message, and I hope it gets in the hands of the people that needed to read this. Many of us might see ourselves through the eyes of the main character below. - Vigilante

I stopped in with my kid a few nights ago to a local sub sandwich shop, and the sad story written there is etched in my mind. In a combination of thankfulness and helpfulness, I pour out the story here like retelling of a dream. Only, this wasn’t a dream, but a glimpse into the desperate eyes of thousands of people across the United States. The forgotten ones, the failures of capitalism. The working class.

You can find my perception judgmental, until you realize that the story also marks the beginning of my story. I was this guy. Dropping out of school, I was working in retail. Young and not wise enough to realize the deck was stacked against me, I bucked the odds. Through a combination of tenacity and reinvention, I broke the mold. However, I can give you a glimpse into the life I saw a few nights ago, and give you eyes to see through the hands and into the heart and mind of the clerk, the salesperson, the forgotten ones.

I pulled into the sandwich shop, needing to get my kid a sandwich. Having spent the afternoon at an amusement park and her private swimming lessons, if I brought her fuel tank back on “empty” I would be answering to her mother. A ham and cheese better than nothing, we pulled my paid-for vehicle into the lot and went into the store. We ordered some food, and settled into a booth that she would spend the next fifteen minutes using as a jungle gym. She’s the kid that you hate sitting at the table next to.

It was then that I saw him, the 21 year old mirror image of me. Only, he was probably 48. Dressed in a cheap suit and tie, name tag slung around his neck like a noose, he was on a 29 minute escape from his evening shift at the mens clothing store a few doors down the mall. His suit was a little rumpled, which was probably OK as a quick scan of the parking lot indicated there probably were no customers to notice that night anyway. His eyes showed that he was a million miles away.

He was on about minute 10 of his 29 minute escape, an unpaid half hour that extended his required scheduled time by the same 29 minutes. You get a half hour break plus two fifteen minute breaks for every eight hours you work in the United States. A half hour isn’t really enough time to do anything, and most nights the time is spent sitting in the break room, watching the clock and wishing you were anywhere else. It's just enough time for you to settle in to your resentment of your job, and then the bell rings or the whistle blows and you are right back where you started from.

This wasn’t his first job, and likely wouldn’t be his last. A series of choices and setbacks had led him to this sandwich shop that night. He turned it over in his head, over and over and over again. When he left the clothing shop for his "break" his 24 year old boss told him to make sure he was back on time this time. As if there were another time that he hadn’t been. F*cker.

He looked at the clock on his 4th generation iPhone, and with 19 minutes left, his mind slipped away into another mindless game of Tetris. He set his personal high score last week, in what was probably his millionth game. High score. The occasion passed with nothing more than a quick flash on the screen, and then he was back folding shirts again.

His dinner that night cost him more than he made for the last hour. He had a base pay of $12 plus commission, but with no customers in the shop, there was no commission. Add to that he was required to take a half hour unpaid, and his sandwich cost him more than he made after taxes for nearly two hours.

The Tetris helped him forget. It helped him forget that his son's tuition was due tomorrow. He felt dead. He felt trapped. When he allowed himself to think about it, he couldn’t breathe. His ability to pretend it wasn’t happening ended when the credit card was declined, and then they started calling. Not sure what he was supposed to tell them. He put their number on ignore, but knew that was only going to make it all worse.

He looked at the clock as he drifted away into another game. 9 minutes left.

They told him tonight they were cutting his hours back to one hour less than full time. He’d have even less. He didn’t have anything to say. Where else would he go? When he took this job, he told himself it was just temporary. But last week turned into yesterday, which turned into today. And now he had to go home, and tell his wife he just got a pay cut.

6 minutes.

It was easier to just not think about it. Three more hours of standing around a store with no customers. It made no sense to him. He got mad. He thought about the fact that his time was worth so little to them that they would just have him stand around, folding shirts and paying him less than a sandwich. Last month, they changed the commission plan so that even the sales he did were subtracted from his “salary” before he got any commission. Tonight, though, that wouldn’t matter.

4 minutes.

He would almost rather be there than at home.

3 minutes. He slumped down in his chair. He didn’t want to be there. The sandwich made him sick, as the stress turned into a knot in his stomach. He started another game, and then realized he had to get back. Back to what? Back to nothing. Back to his time clock. He had to rush back to be on time to stand around.

He crumpled up his salary in the form of a sandwich wrapper, and headed towards the door. Making a left, he was the only one headed to the clothing store from the parking lot. He’d watch the clock roll towards 9PM, knowing his wife was likely to be asleep when he got home.

And tomorrow, it would start all over again.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This forum gets dozens of thousands of hits per week. Many of them are people just like this guy, looking for something that can help them. Something that can encourage them. Something that can teach them. Maybe… maybe that guy is you.

These people are all around us. Capitalism requires it. There are more of them than there are of us. Most of them will never break out. Most of them will never find a way. Some won’t do it because they can’t, some won’t do it because they won’t. Some won’t do it because they think it is game over.

The guy in the sandwich shop reminded me of me. I was him. I fought like hell and found a way, but absent that I once wore his suit. Many of us did.

It’s not enough for you to take everything from this forum and use it for your own gain. It’s not enough for you to read the Millionaire Fast Lane, the Four Hour Work Week, start your business, and live happily ever after. Your life will still be devoid of meaning until you figure out how to reach people with scale and bring them with you.

Look deeply into the eyes of the clothing store clerk in the sandwich shop. At a minimum, lets realize that he deserves compassion. He may never make it. He may never find it. He may always live from day to day eating those shitty sandwiches. Showing you shirts. Folding shirts. And you and I? We look past him. We wonder why he's such an a**hole at the clothing store.

KAK left the forum. He then came back to reach more people in scale. MJ DeMarco could have just walked away, and never written the Millionaire Fast Lane.

I taught some classes last fall. Most of the people sitting in the class were in various stages of being that guy in the sandwich shop. I haven’t reached enough of them yet. We’re not all called to be teachers. Some can give back through philanthropy. Some can give back through teaching. Others through works or other ways of effecting people, either individually or in scale.

Not sure why I spent the time telling you all this, other than the realization that had my life taken some different turns, I could have been that guy in the sandwich shop. That guy is here. Reading this post. Rather than step around them when they find us, maybe we should do a better job here at the forum of helping them find a way.

What will your legacy look like?
Powerful read, those menial escapes (the cell phone game), really affect a lot of the sidewalk, a lot of society. I'm still attending school living at a decent apartment and even though it's not a bad area, I see so many of my neighbors who drown their long dreaded work days with booze, marijuana, and anything really to escape their own reality, most with families and older, not young kids anymore. Shit I've been guilty of it, moving from the Marines to school in southern Florida, I took it for granted, I'd just relax trying to enjoy the civilian life and forgot priorities. When you started to go from 100mph to 30mph it starts to make you adapt bad habits, and changing those habits back can be difficult. That's a possible reason why so many people are stuck.
 

RedRapunzel

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I love when people try to counteract human nature, as if they can resolve 10,000 years of programming.

Just to give you a clue how things work in an medical facility.

The janitors think the receptionists make too much money.
The receptionists thinks the scrub technicians make too much money.
The scrub technicians think the nurses make too much money.
The nurses think the doctors make too much money.
The doctors think the facility shareholders make too much money.

Envy has no end.
I'm willing to bet that's a common belief (the "X worker makes too much money for what they do"), but I work in a mid-sized medical center (regional heart center & working towards being a stroke center), and just as often as expressions of wage envy, I hear some version of the following: "You couldn't pay me enough to take X job, when I look at all the sh*t they have to take" (and some of the sh*t is literal, too, and so is our "life & death crisis"). When your job description entails taking responsibility for someone else's life, there is no such thing as a relaxing day at work.

No one outside your medical job description knows just how hard/demanding/demeaning/heart-rending your job duties are, although they can see glimpses. Ex: You couldn't pay me enough to be an ER physician, because I have a glimpse of how ragged their work makes them (working 36-hour shifts, daily pronouncing infants & grandmas dead, getting called to every wing of the medical center to supervise a code blue, having EVERYONE tugging at your lab coat to get you to mentally switch gears to answer their question, worry about covering your student loan payments, anxiety over compliance with medicare regulations, being hammered by admin's to increase profitability at the same time patients' criticisms of "not enough attention" are ringing in your ears, and the constant onslaught of bearing bad news) and the prestige/salary don't come close to providing sufficient quality of life. QOL is as important as $$, and big-shot doctors die of stress-induced heart attacks too (my favorite cardiologist died last year, at 46). The ugly underbelly includes a high suicide rate among doctors, typically suppressed in the news. It's far from a constant party. (And it's nothing like the medical shows)

EDIT: For a high percentage of medical workers, it's more of a calling than a job. Relatively generous salaries and professional certifications and licenses notwithstanding, the siren lure of the job description is knowing that we make a difference EVERY shift to people who are having close to their worst day ever. I never walk out the door in doubt about whether I made a real difference to anyone in this hospital. I have held patients' hands, cried with them, prayed over them, snuck them a donut or fries, made them laugh even though they were sour at everything around them, asked about their personal interests, helped them start down a new psychological/emotional path to deal with their high blood pressure/smoking/substance abuse/amputations/diabetes/environmental stress, etc. None of which I'm paid to do. All of which is part of the reason I took this job & want to stay connected to healthcare. But I'm not willing to permanently damage my joints & have to go on disability because I can't physically do my job duties (it happens too often), thus I am re-focusing on using all my skills to build a business that will provide passive income to cover my expenses and then some. It cannot be any more challenging/hellish than the academic work required to get my first healthcare license......
 
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MJ DeMarco

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You couldn't pay me enough to be an ER physician
My GF is a nurse, so in many respects, I am relaying her thoughts. My comment above is what she reports, she herself could careless about what the doctors make and reflects what you mentioned -- you couldn't pay me enough to go thru all that extra schooling and deal with all they deal with!

For a high percentage of medical workers, it's more of a calling than a job.
She too got into the medical field so it could be a "calling" and so she could "help people" but after doing it for over a decade, much of those career benefits (if you call it that) has been replaced by bureaucratic regulations, corporate toweling, profit objectives (patients per hour) and other BS that doesn't treat humans as patients, but as numbers rolling through an assembly line. She even quit one place because she was too personal and engaged with the patients, you know, trying to make them feel comfortable and at ease before they're put to sleep and sliced up. According to management, such idle chit-chat slows down the assembly line.
 

RedRapunzel

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My GF is a nurse, so in many respects, I am relaying her thoughts. My comment above is what she reports, she herself could careless about what the doctors make and reflects what you mentioned -- you couldn't pay me enough to go thru all that extra schooling and deal with all they deal with!



She too got into the medical field so it could be a "calling" and so she could "help people" but after doing it for over a decade, much of those career benefits (if you call it that) has been replaced by bureaucratic regulations, corporate toweling, profit objectives (patients per hour) and other BS that doesn't treat humans as patients, but as numbers rolling through an assembly line. She even quit one place because she was too personal and engaged with the patients, you know, trying to make them feel comfortable and at ease before they're put to sleep and sliced up. According to management, such idle chit-chat slows down the assembly line.
God, I've heard too much of that in the last few years. Assembly line medicine costs everyone, but harms pt's most. I hate the pressures to hit quotas (they don't SAY quotas, but we're not dumb by any means) and be more robotic. Frustrates the h*ll out of me to feel like I'm expected to be a healthcare automaton. Trouble started when we allowed decisions about healthcare to be made by bean counters. Money is a wonderful tool, but a hospital/clinic/wellness center is much more than just another business, and money shouldn't be our main objective. This industry is crying for a revolution, and I love that there are a few revolutionaries in my crosshairs. Your GF and I would probably be fast friends, both holding pt's hands and annoying the assembly line folks.

Personal irritation: now the medical literature tries to convince us that "patients" are our "clients". Textbooks, articles. GRRRR!

OK, rant over.
 
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I have three people at my Minnesota house today that were sent over by the moving company. A 27 year old millenial, and two 55+ older guys. Monotonous work, and heavy lifting. They will be here today for maybe 10 hours straight. Nice guys.
 

MJ DeMarco

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A 27 year old millenial, and two 55+ older guys. Monotonous work, and heavy lifting. They will be here today for maybe 10 hours straight. Nice guys.
I have tons of respect for them to be working a job that most people would pass up. Hopefully the job is just a means to an end for them, much like the crap jobs I had.
 

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CaptainBob

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This is a really moving piece. I'm glad it was one of the first things I got to read on this forum. I am more or less in the same boat as are many people. I have a degree but crippling debt and the job market crash insured that I won't make anywhere near what I would have made had I gotten the degree earlier. I'm 26 and my dad is someone who really breaks my heart in a similar way as the story did to me. He is a hard worker with 30 years in his trade but its in construction where he will never pull more than 50 grand a year ever. My mom has nothing but a string of jobs that she gets between having kids or dealing with health issues. She has no prospects of starting out at 50 with never more than 8 years in any given field of work and no actual skills.

The sad part that breaks my heart is that both of them, but especially my father, believed with his whole being that if he just worked hard he would get ahead in life. But that isn't true. It takes something extra. He works 40-60 hours a week every week in the baking Florida sun working on industrial buildings with multi-million dollar contracts with barely enough pay to cover his own bills much less put any of his children into college or start a retirement fund. And now a few years shy of 60 he has broken down. He is a shell of who he was really because he has always had this belief that somehwere in the vague future that was always just beyond his fingertips would be everything he ever dreamed of. The American dream that we are taught is more or less a lie. Its out there but getting it is tricky. It isn't just working hard. It takes hard work but so much more than that. And as the OP said our system requires that not everyone can get it. Hell, it requires that the majority of us never get it.

I started planning last year but this year I began putting things into action to get out of my wage-whore job and take some form of control of my own financial life. Because I don't want to end up like my father. Hopefully so I can help my father and mother. Also to help my two younger siblings. I don't want them to have to shoulder what our parents did or what I've shouldered until now. Its a depressing thought to know that your time, the very exhibition of your life, can be calculated to exact pennys and dimes of predetermined worth. That is why so many people live in their phones and spend endless hours watching mindless forms of entertainment. Everyone has their tetris game to keep them distracted from the maddening reality of the situation of the majority of Americans. I got friends that still work at basically minimum wage. I'm doing a hell of a lot better than them but in the grand scheme of things all it means is that I can get the double quarter pounder meal instead of the dollar menu at mcdonalds.

My core reason for coming here is to hopefully learn a thing or two so that I don't ruin real chances to make a difference in my life.
 

SquatchMan

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I have three people at my Minnesota house today that were sent over by the moving company. A 27 year old millenial, and two 55+ older guys. Monotonous work, and heavy lifting. They will be here today for maybe 10 hours straight. Nice guys.
Sounds like my life haha. I worked at an Amazon warehouse counting products to pay my bills while I worked on getting stuff setup.
 

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Andy Black

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This is a long, rambling story I wanted to share with you after I was troubled by something I saw the other night. It's almost written as a short story. If you don't like a little introspection, or are reading for a business plan, skip this thread. Someone out there needed to hear this message, and I hope it gets in the hands of the people that needed to read this. Many of us might see ourselves through the eyes of the main character below. - Vigilante

I stopped in with my kid a few nights ago to a local sub sandwich shop, and the sad story written there is etched in my mind. In a combination of thankfulness and helpfulness, I pour out the story here like retelling of a dream. Only, this wasn’t a dream, but a glimpse into the desperate eyes of thousands of people across the United States. The forgotten ones, the failures of capitalism. The working class.

You can find my perception judgmental, until you realize that the story also marks the beginning of my story. I was this guy. Dropping out of school, I was working in retail. Young and not wise enough to realize the deck was stacked against me, I bucked the odds. Through a combination of tenacity and reinvention, I broke the mold. However, I can give you a glimpse into the life I saw a few nights ago, and give you eyes to see through the hands and into the heart and mind of the clerk, the salesperson, the forgotten ones.

I pulled into the sandwich shop, needing to get my kid a sandwich. Having spent the afternoon at an amusement park and her private swimming lessons, if I brought her fuel tank back on “empty” I would be answering to her mother. A ham and cheese better than nothing, we pulled my paid-for vehicle into the lot and went into the store. We ordered some food, and settled into a booth that she would spend the next fifteen minutes using as a jungle gym. She’s the kid that you hate sitting at the table next to.

It was then that I saw him, the 21 year old mirror image of me. Only, he was probably 48. Dressed in a cheap suit and tie, name tag slung around his neck like a noose, he was on a 29 minute escape from his evening shift at the mens clothing store a few doors down the mall. His suit was a little rumpled, which was probably OK as a quick scan of the parking lot indicated there probably were no customers to notice that night anyway. His eyes showed that he was a million miles away.

He was on about minute 10 of his 29 minute escape, an unpaid half hour that extended his required scheduled time by the same 29 minutes. You get a half hour break plus two fifteen minute breaks for every eight hours you work in the United States. A half hour isn’t really enough time to do anything, and most nights the time is spent sitting in the break room, watching the clock and wishing you were anywhere else. It's just enough time for you to settle in to your resentment of your job, and then the bell rings or the whistle blows and you are right back where you started from.

This wasn’t his first job, and likely wouldn’t be his last. A series of choices and setbacks had led him to this sandwich shop that night. He turned it over in his head, over and over and over again. When he left the clothing shop for his "break" his 24 year old boss told him to make sure he was back on time this time. As if there were another time that he hadn’t been. F*cker.

He looked at the clock on his 4th generation iPhone, and with 19 minutes left, his mind slipped away into another mindless game of Tetris. He set his personal high score last week, in what was probably his millionth game. High score. The occasion passed with nothing more than a quick flash on the screen, and then he was back folding shirts again.

His dinner that night cost him more than he made for the last hour. He had a base pay of $12 plus commission, but with no customers in the shop, there was no commission. Add to that he was required to take a half hour unpaid, and his sandwich cost him more than he made after taxes for nearly two hours.

The Tetris helped him forget. It helped him forget that his son's tuition was due tomorrow. He felt dead. He felt trapped. When he allowed himself to think about it, he couldn’t breathe. His ability to pretend it wasn’t happening ended when the credit card was declined, and then they started calling. Not sure what he was supposed to tell them. He put their number on ignore, but knew that was only going to make it all worse.

He looked at the clock as he drifted away into another game. 9 minutes left.

They told him tonight they were cutting his hours back to one hour less than full time. He’d have even less. He didn’t have anything to say. Where else would he go? When he took this job, he told himself it was just temporary. But last week turned into yesterday, which turned into today. And now he had to go home, and tell his wife he just got a pay cut.

6 minutes.

It was easier to just not think about it. Three more hours of standing around a store with no customers. It made no sense to him. He got mad. He thought about the fact that his time was worth so little to them that they would just have him stand around, folding shirts and paying him less than a sandwich. Last month, they changed the commission plan so that even the sales he did were subtracted from his “salary” before he got any commission. Tonight, though, that wouldn’t matter.

4 minutes.

He would almost rather be there than at home.

3 minutes. He slumped down in his chair. He didn’t want to be there. The sandwich made him sick, as the stress turned into a knot in his stomach. He started another game, and then realized he had to get back. Back to what? Back to nothing. Back to his time clock. He had to rush back to be on time to stand around.

He crumpled up his salary in the form of a sandwich wrapper, and headed towards the door. Making a left, he was the only one headed to the clothing store from the parking lot. He’d watch the clock roll towards 9PM, knowing his wife was likely to be asleep when he got home.

And tomorrow, it would start all over again.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This forum gets dozens of thousands of hits per week. Many of them are people just like this guy, looking for something that can help them. Something that can encourage them. Something that can teach them. Maybe… maybe that guy is you.

These people are all around us. Capitalism requires it. There are more of them than there are of us. Most of them will never break out. Most of them will never find a way. Some won’t do it because they can’t, some won’t do it because they won’t. Some won’t do it because they think it is game over.

The guy in the sandwich shop reminded me of me. I was him. I fought like hell and found a way, but absent that I once wore his suit. Many of us did.

It’s not enough for you to take everything from this forum and use it for your own gain. It’s not enough for you to read the Millionaire Fast Lane, the Four Hour Work Week, start your business, and live happily ever after. Your life will still be devoid of meaning until you figure out how to reach people with scale and bring them with you.

Look deeply into the eyes of the clothing store clerk in the sandwich shop. At a minimum, lets realize that he deserves compassion. He may never make it. He may never find it. He may always live from day to day eating those shitty sandwiches. Showing you shirts. Folding shirts. And you and I? We look past him. We wonder why he's such an a**hole at the clothing store.

KAK left the forum. He then came back to reach more people in scale. MJ DeMarco could have just walked away, and never written the Millionaire Fast Lane.

I taught some classes last fall. Most of the people sitting in the class were in various stages of being that guy in the sandwich shop. I haven’t reached enough of them yet. We’re not all called to be teachers. Some can give back through philanthropy. Some can give back through teaching. Others through works or other ways of effecting people, either individually or in scale.

Not sure why I spent the time telling you all this, other than the realization that had my life taken some different turns, I could have been that guy in the sandwich shop. That guy is here. Reading this post. Rather than step around them when they find us, maybe we should do a better job here at the forum of helping them find a way.

What will your legacy look like?
So glad this got bumped today.

I read this again and the hairs still came up on the back of my neck.


“We’re not all called to be teachers.”

I find this statement refreshing, compared to the dismissive statement that “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.”

I think this common adage misses the point and is disrespectful to the millions of people who’s passion is helping and teaching others.


In our online entrepreneurial world we come across many charlatons trying to separate the guy in the suit from his hard earned money.

They prey on his desperation. They feed off his hope.

It makes me mad. It makes me sad.

Thank you @Vigilante for writing this so eloquently, and for reminding us that we have a duty to help the person we used to be.



For those who don’t care, think about this another way:

If you just see people as marks...

If you don’t see them as people with hopes, dreams, fears and worries...

Then you’re a bro-marketer.

And you’ll be doomed to buying “traffic”, trying to improve your “landing page conversion rates”...

... and chasing money.
 

Andy Black

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It is a lie I allowed myself to believe and delusional to think that you can recover or pay forward any lost time.

There's only going to be one third grade Christmas concert, one age 10 first soccer practice, and one first dance you get to take pre-pictures for. You don't get any do overs when you voluntarily let other things take priority over moments you can't get back.

I have two grown children. I would sacrifice nearly anything I have to be able to go back in time and make different decisions than the ones I made in their early childhood. I convinced myself I was sacrificing on their behalf – but in reality what I was sacrificing was them.

I struggled to write that last sentence.
This hurts to read again.

Please please please, if you’re reading this and have kids: Wake up! Remember why you’re doing this.
 

p0stscript

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This hurts to read again.

Please please please, if you’re reading this and have kids: Wake up! Remember why you’re doing this.
Apt
 

rogue synthetic

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Thanks for bumping this thread. Truly chilling story @Vigilante

It's nice to have these little reminders come along now and again, even if they are a lump of hot sulphur in your throat. Remembering why we're here, and the fate we're (hopefully) fortunate enough to escape, makes for some powerful motivation.
 

Galaxy16

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It’s not enough for you to read the Millionaire Fast Lane, the Four Hour Work Week, start your business, and live happily ever after. Your life will still be devoid of meaning until you figure out how to reach people with scale and bring them with you.
Truly inspirational.
 

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Galaxy16

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and love their party nights so much,
Also known as reality escape.
They don't think any further than next weekend, they try to forget their boring life while the few hours of happiness a week, but don't realize that just because you don't think about it, doesn't mean that it is not there.
I like the way you phrase this.

It is like closing your eyes in front of a monster, hoping that it is just not there.
Great metaphor!

This may even work, thanks to alcohol and dancing to 'live-to-party'-lyrics in the club, but as soon as you have to open your eyes again, the monster is still there. People realize this when they have to set their alarm clock for the next day, on sunday evening. People don't think about the fact that they will be setting their alarm clock every sunday evening for the next 40 years if they continue living this way.
Exactly
Excusing does not change reality. People sink into the quagmire of poverty, not their fake powerty reality escape.

The passion only comes when you break through and make progress.
That also needed to be said.
Alux.com: "Successful people agree on sacrificing the present for a much bigger future."
 

MJ DeMarco

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Bump.
 

MJ DeMarco

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LeoistheSun

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My parents give me nightmares.

They are both in their 60's with not much of savings. My father recently told me that he would likely be working until his 80's or beyond. Same with mom.

If that doesnt scare me into doing something, I dont know what will :(
 

Mckenzie

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This is a long, rambling story I wanted to share with you after I was troubled by something I saw the other night. It's almost written as a short story. If you don't like a little introspection, or are reading for a business plan, skip this thread. Someone out there needed to hear this message, and I hope it gets in the hands of the people that needed to read this. Many of us might see ourselves through the eyes of the main character below. - Vigilante

I stopped in with my kid a few nights ago to a local sub sandwich shop, and the sad story written there is etched in my mind. In a combination of thankfulness and helpfulness, I pour out the story here like retelling of a dream. Only, this wasn’t a dream, but a glimpse into the desperate eyes of thousands of people across the United States. The forgotten ones, the failures of capitalism. The working class.

You can find my perception judgmental, until you realize that the story also marks the beginning of my story. I was this guy. Dropping out of school, I was working in retail. Young and not wise enough to realize the deck was stacked against me, I bucked the odds. Through a combination of tenacity and reinvention, I broke the mold. However, I can give you a glimpse into the life I saw a few nights ago, and give you eyes to see through the hands and into the heart and mind of the clerk, the salesperson, the forgotten ones.

I pulled into the sandwich shop, needing to get my kid a sandwich. Having spent the afternoon at an amusement park and her private swimming lessons, if I brought her fuel tank back on “empty” I would be answering to her mother. A ham and cheese better than nothing, we pulled my paid-for vehicle into the lot and went into the store. We ordered some food, and settled into a booth that she would spend the next fifteen minutes using as a jungle gym. She’s the kid that you hate sitting at the table next to.

It was then that I saw him, the 21 year old mirror image of me. Only, he was probably 48. Dressed in a cheap suit and tie, name tag slung around his neck like a noose, he was on a 29 minute escape from his evening shift at the mens clothing store a few doors down the mall. His suit was a little rumpled, which was probably OK as a quick scan of the parking lot indicated there probably were no customers to notice that night anyway. His eyes showed that he was a million miles away.

He was on about minute 10 of his 29 minute escape, an unpaid half hour that extended his required scheduled time by the same 29 minutes. You get a half hour break plus two fifteen minute breaks for every eight hours you work in the United States. A half hour isn’t really enough time to do anything, and most nights the time is spent sitting in the break room, watching the clock and wishing you were anywhere else. It's just enough time for you to settle in to your resentment of your job, and then the bell rings or the whistle blows and you are right back where you started from.

This wasn’t his first job, and likely wouldn’t be his last. A series of choices and setbacks had led him to this sandwich shop that night. He turned it over in his head, over and over and over again. When he left the clothing shop for his "break" his 24 year old boss told him to make sure he was back on time this time. As if there were another time that he hadn’t been. f*cker.

He looked at the clock on his 4th generation iPhone, and with 19 minutes left, his mind slipped away into another mindless game of Tetris. He set his personal high score last week, in what was probably his millionth game. High score. The occasion passed with nothing more than a quick flash on the screen, and then he was back folding shirts again.

His dinner that night cost him more than he made for the last hour. He had a base pay of $12 plus commission, but with no customers in the shop, there was no commission. Add to that he was required to take a half hour unpaid, and his sandwich cost him more than he made after taxes for nearly two hours.

The Tetris helped him forget. It helped him forget that his son's tuition was due tomorrow. He felt dead. He felt trapped. When he allowed himself to think about it, he couldn’t breathe. His ability to pretend it wasn’t happening ended when the credit card was declined, and then they started calling. Not sure what he was supposed to tell them. He put their number on ignore, but knew that was only going to make it all worse.

He looked at the clock as he drifted away into another game. 9 minutes left.

They told him tonight they were cutting his hours back to one hour less than full time. He’d have even less. He didn’t have anything to say. Where else would he go? When he took this job, he told himself it was just temporary. But last week turned into yesterday, which turned into today. And now he had to go home, and tell his wife he just got a pay cut.

6 minutes.

It was easier to just not think about it. Three more hours of standing around a store with no customers. It made no sense to him. He got mad. He thought about the fact that his time was worth so little to them that they would just have him stand around, folding shirts and paying him less than a sandwich. Last month, they changed the commission plan so that even the sales he did were subtracted from his “salary” before he got any commission. Tonight, though, that wouldn’t matter.

4 minutes.

He would almost rather be there than at home.

3 minutes. He slumped down in his chair. He didn’t want to be there. The sandwich made him sick, as the stress turned into a knot in his stomach. He started another game, and then realized he had to get back. Back to what? Back to nothing. Back to his time clock. He had to rush back to be on time to stand around.

He crumpled up his salary in the form of a sandwich wrapper, and headed towards the door. Making a left, he was the only one headed to the clothing store from the parking lot. He’d watch the clock roll towards 9PM, knowing his wife was likely to be asleep when he got home.

And tomorrow, it would start all over again.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This forum gets dozens of thousands of hits per week. Many of them are people just like this guy, looking for something that can help them. Something that can encourage them. Something that can teach them. Maybe… maybe that guy is you.

These people are all around us. Capitalism requires it. There are more of them than there are of us. Most of them will never break out. Most of them will never find a way. Some won’t do it because they can’t, some won’t do it because they won’t. Some won’t do it because they think it is game over.

The guy in the sandwich shop reminded me of me. I was him. I fought like hell and found a way, but absent that I once wore his suit. Many of us did.

It’s not enough for you to take everything from this forum and use it for your own gain. It’s not enough for you to read the Millionaire Fast Lane, the Four Hour Work Week, start your business, and live happily ever after. Your life will still be devoid of meaning until you figure out how to reach people with scale and bring them with you.

Look deeply into the eyes of the clothing store clerk in the sandwich shop. At a minimum, lets realize that he deserves compassion. He may never make it. He may never find it. He may always live from day to day eating those shitty sandwiches. Showing you shirts. Folding shirts. And you and I? We look past him. We wonder why he's such an a**hole at the clothing store.

KAK left the forum. He then came back to reach more people in scale. MJ DeMarco could have just walked away, and never written the Millionaire Fast Lane.

I taught some classes last fall. Most of the people sitting in the class were in various stages of being that guy in the sandwich shop. I haven’t reached enough of them yet. We’re not all called to be teachers. Some can give back through philanthropy. Some can give back through teaching. Others through works or other ways of effecting people, either individually or in scale.

Not sure why I spent the time telling you all this, other than the realization that had my life taken some different turns, I could have been that guy in the sandwich shop. That guy is here. Reading this post. Rather than step around them when they find us, maybe we should do a better job here at the forum of helping them find a way.

What will your legacy look like?
Thanks Vigilante & MJ for bumping this threat. It reminds me of myself...I was one of these guys/gals many years ago and I can physically feel my heart aching every time I see them having a quick lunch sitting on the ground at the back of the stores where they work, where I park my car....I feel for them....
My own brother and 3000 other employees of Toyota just lost their jobs in October 2017 when the company closed down here in Australia. He's been looking every where for jobs.... and few weeks ago he worked for a day picking up old cars spare parts at an autoparts waste dump.....for $15/hour....
 

Vermilion

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Best post I've red on this forum so far. It hits me so hard..

What is funny to me is how some of these big corporations prefers those 3-4 cycles of interviews just to suck you in. But people still are ready and willing to go through that shit just to get their "dream job".

I am not saying, maybe those people are really having that as a goal since young age just like most of us here that want to be financially free among other things, but they need to realize that those corps don't give a damn about them.

I always liked this quote: "I would rather work 100 hours for myself rather then 40 hours for someone else".

Or like man from my profile picture said: "I live for myself and answer to nobody".

Also I noticed on one YT video that was related to Boston Celtics. On their wall in practice facility stands "What hurts more the pain of hard work or the pain of the regret ?".

@Vigilante thank you for this thread and @MJ DeMarco for making this forum. I just wish I joined here here when this thread was posted in 2015, but it's never too late.
 

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