Going to FIRE as planned, almost.

About 2 months ago I wrote that I had finally reached FI. I laid out my plan as follows:

  1. Wait until the end of the month of July to confirm I’m still reasonably close to “my number” (basically expecting we don’t get a huge crash in July).
  2. The above is somewhat a forced deadline as end of July will be roughly when I’m allowed to sell some of my company’s stock, to constitute a “cash fund” for the next 6 to 12 months. So basically I will sell once allowed and only if I’m not selling low by then.
  3. If 1 and 2 above worked properly, initiate a discussion with my manager early August to leave the company. This will not be a discussion of “if”, but of “when”, basically I don’t want to put my team in a bad position, and am open to stay longer than the minimum legal period, if there’s a need for it. For now I’m thinking of giving them 2 months based on #4 below:
  4. Wrap up and transition my responsibilities during August and Early September, take my remaining vacation days mid to end September, then come back a couple of days in October to say goodbye and give back my badge.

I’ve basically done points #1 and #2 above, with no issue. I’m still good in regards to my FI numbers, and August has helped consolidate that feeling.

I stumbled upon a possibility to get a sabbatical from my company in Japan, and so I decided I would go that route. I discussed with my manager, in early August, the possibility to get a 6 months sabbatical. This overall went great (full support from my manager and from HR), until my manager had to get director’s approval, and that part was just a resounding no with no offer for negotiation. My company in Japan has no specific constraints on time for such long leaves of absence, as long as the employee gets director approval, and the director can guarantee they will keep the position “frozen” (not backfilled) until the employee comes back.

That last part didn’t sound good for my director, whom I know quite well (and to put it nicely let’s just say we don’t love each other). Basically he didn’t see a need or reason to do such a nice thing for me, so that discussion ended there. I was not part of the discussions between HR and my director, and didn’t have a say in the outcome.

The New plan

The whole thing kind of delayed my next move, but also made the whole thing simpler for me. The “sabbatical” door is closed, so I just have to proceed with the original plan and quit my job. Overall I’ve delayed the whole thing by about 6 weeks, so now the plan looks like this:

  1. Confirm I’m still FI by end of July. DONE
  2. Sell enough stock for one year of expenses. DONE
  3. Ask for a sabbatical . DONE, ASK REJECTED
  4. End of September: Announce to my manager that I’m resigning
  5. October: Transition my tasks to colleagues
  6. November: take remaining vacation days
  7. End of November/first week of December: come back to wrap things up

My feelings

Staying focused at work, while I’ve known for a while that I want to leave, has been insanely difficult. Now that there is an actual date attached to it, it is even worse. I’ve been declining a lot of meetings lately, and doing the bare minimum amount of work. I’m also seeing more and more “company politics” that anger me. The most infuriating is probably all those people I report to, who have been in the company much less longer than I have, and think they know better than I do. Yeah, I’ve become the grumpy old guy who says “I’ve been in this company for 12 years so you won’t tell me what’s right or wrong”. Haha, I used to hate that kind of person, it’s high time I left 🙂

I admire people who have stated that they became “better employees” after they reached FI. I can definitely say this hasn’t been my case. I’ve tried a couple times to raise my voice in meetings to fight some battles that I consider “important” before I leave, only to be told by my manager in our latest conversation that I appear to be constantly “on the defensive” and that this doesn’t reflect well on me. I might have become a better employee, but I certainly don’t appear so in the eyes of my management. So long for the strategy of “I’ll do such a great job in my last weeks that they will be sad to see me go”.

I have technically 3 more weeks to go before I tell my manager, at which point I assume I won’t be doing much anymore. Hang in there, me!

One last thing

One last thing before I wrap this post: Maintaining this blog has been more effort than I thought it would, considering the small audience and the fact that it costs more to maintain than the small advertising income it gets. This is fine, I initially started this for myself. But it is getting constantly harassed by spammers to the point that the site is sometimes down for weeks before I realize it. I had to do a lot of spam cleanup today, and it’s very likely some legitimate comments got caught in it. If you’ve commented here and your comment is gone, I apologize!

  1. Financial Velociraptor
  2. Mr. Tako