We need to talk. After critically thinking about our situation (Corporate: “Oh shit, this one is actually a thinker. Someone, check the assembly line – we’re getting defective
robots, humans.”), I’ve come to realize that very soon we’re going to need to part ways. At this point, I’d like to sit down with you and conduct a performance review.
You know, you just don’t understand me, even though we communicate in the same language, and I speak multiple.
First of all, you want all my skills to have a paper attached to it, but I refuse to follow the herd and put myself through that robotic nonsense. I already have a BS degree, so why would I need more certificates showing what I’m capable of? If I get a certification for all my skills, I’ll be in debt forever. I’m a self learner, so forget about having me show up in class, and just take my word for it.
You always see what others have on me, but you constantly fail to see what I have on them. Being your own boss for more than four years is more valuable than any college degree out there. Nothing prepares you for being in the real world like real world experiences. What you learn in the classroom fails in comparison to what you learn on the job. Yet, you constantly fail to make the comparison. If you were to look beyond your paper requirements and count that experience as an accreditation, you’d see that I already have a PhD with all the piña coladas, I mean summa cum laude. For the record, I do make great piña coladas!
Then, you also keep on cutting my cheese rations. Well, I got news for you! As of the past few years, I’ve been storing most of that cheese you’ve been giving me. I found a mechanism that can multiply it and provide enough for life. Very soon you’ll be able to do whatever the heck you want with my future cheese because it won’t matter to me, I got my eternal queso.
You must be wondering how I accumulated so much queso. Well, while the rest of the mice kept spending most of their cheese, Minnie Mouse and I have been saving and investing most of ours. While others stay in perpetual debt by buying on credit, mortgaging bigger homes than they need, taking out more school loans to meet your paper certification demands, and financing new cars every four years, we stayed on the sidelines with our hard-earned cheese by living a happy, simple life without debt. While others were keeping up with The Kardashians and the Joneses, we were learning new ways to optimize our spending, get more value for our cheese and stay on top of our investments. Do you have current openings in your financial department? Oh wait, I almost forgot, it needs to be accredited knowledge and I don’t have a finance degree. I’m such a slow learner. Oh wait, I’ve got to use that weakness as a strength! As a slow learner, I take my time to do things right. Ok, ok, that sounded like the bs you like.
I refuse to concentrate on just one specialty, even though you want me to become specialized so that I can collaboratively revolutionize hyper-scale niche markets. That sounded fancy, didn’t it? It came from the corporate bs generator. Sometimes I like to go there to get the terms that get you excited. In reality, my entrepreneurial phase provided me with many skills and I like to keep my options open. So, don’t ask me to get an MBA or some sort of certification. If you don’t love me for me, this isn’t going to last long.
Even though you preach diversity, deep down inside you so want me to blend in and drink the Kool-aid, but I’m so different. You want me to conform not because our similarities make us stronger, but because our differences make you, let’s face it, uncomfortable. I came from another country and, therefore, I’m immersed in several cultures. I can dance to your music and everybody else’s. You can’t define where I come from by what’s on my plate because I embrace all kinds of international cuisines. Maybe if you’d add passion fruit to the Kool-aid, I’d be enticed to take a sip.
You want me to do this 9-5 shit, but I can’t be a robot for the rest of my life. Being imprisoned in a cubicle until I’m 65 sucks and humans weren’t designed for that. Although I’m sure that by 55 you’d probably would want me to throw in the towel. My productivity levels vary throughout the day and I can’t be kept in that 9-5 box forever. For example, I’m writing this letter to you at 6 AM. That’s how my brain likes to function. It doesn’t like to be assigned extended blocks of time for work. You see, I am not afraid of commitment, it’s just that you clip my wings with your rules.
Not only do you expect me to spend 8-10 hours a day with you, you are also really high maintenance. Every year, you want more and more out of me, and raising the bar to get more queso. Let go of my damn bar! And, even though I don’t work on Sundays, you kind of ruin them for me, because I know that Monday is just around the corner and I have to attend to your needs for five more days. When I am with you, you find creative bs ways to disengage me, and then have the audacity to tell me that it’s up to me to get engaged.
You keep asking me where do I see myself in five years, but if I’m honest you might not understand the answer. First of all, life can throw some unexpected punches that could derail your life and career, but I’ll do my best to answer the question. In five years I see myself working about three hours a day, taking long walks by the beach with my family and friends no matter what the season is, having weekday breakfasts at the table and traveling continents months at a time. (Corporate: “Oh shit, did he not mention his career progression with the company?”) At this point I laugh and you laugh with me because you think that was a well thought-out joke. Please stop asking me this. Instead, ask me: “If in five years you were to win the lotto, what would it take to keep you in this relationship?” Because that’s what it’s going to feel like when we accumulate enough cheese to become financially independent.
As you can see, this performance review is not looking good for you…
My dear, Corporate, soon I’ll be leaving, but remember I’ll also be an even bigger shareholder in corporate America and I’ll be watching you, not stalking you, because I have a life. So do the right thing for your employees, your customers, and be kind to the environment or, else, we’ll be the ones to be moving your cheese to a competitor who does.
You know, I tried to make it work, I really did. In reality it’s not you, it’s me. No, let’s cut the bullshit, it is you. I was just taking fault trying to be diplomatic.
Do you have an early retirement package? No? It’s okay. I prepared my own.
Your disengaged FI employee