Friday Gratitude: Goodbye Office

Way back in 2002, I was working as a software developer for a life insurance company. The job was close to home and I enjoyed the work. My coworkers were a smart and fun group of people.

I was happy.

On a random Thursday, the CIO announced a new cost saving measure; he’d replace us with cheap programmers from India. We were directed to help transition our jobs to our new frenemies on the subcontinent. In return for successfully training our replacements, we’d get a juicy severance package.

I was not happy.

I had no interest in this scheme, so I found a new job within two weeks and quit. I took a contract position that came with a $35,000 raise.

Contractors are hired because they’re disposable, so I didn’t expect it last more than a couple of years. Little did I know that it would last almost 15. I’m still at the same job today.

Normally I work from home, but this week I went back to Chicago to turn over my duties. 4/13 is my final day of work, but 4/6 is my final day in the office. My going-away act was to stand up this vSphere system:

In between configuring hypervisors, I wandered around the office one last time. This picture caught my eye:

That’s a little cheesy, but it describes where I am right now. It took me a long time to get comfortable with the idea of leaving a safe and flexible job that compensated me well, but it was the only way to move forward.

And I can’t type one more sentence without expressing how thankful I am for my job.

While I’m happy that I’ll soon be free of formal work, I’m even more thankful that I had such an incredible run in my brief career. I worked hard and am fortunate that I had bosses who appreciated my dedication. My coworkers were all wonderful too. It makes me sad that I won’t get to interact with them as much as I did in the past. However, I can now be friends with them without all of the work stuff getting in the way.


Coach Carson

I love real estate investing and one of the best real estate bloggers is Chad over at Coach Carson. Chad is great because:

If you’re interested in real estate investing with a focus on financial freedom and living well, Chad is an awesome resource. I’m thankful that I know him.


Las Vegas

I spent Spring Break with the girls farting around Las Vegas where some of my family lives. And I took loads of pictures.

I’m a geek at heart, so large, mechanical things greatly excite me:

I stopped off at a pinball museum. I like pinball and love G N’ R, so this was awesome:

I always make it a point to hike up Turtle Peak on my Vegas trips:

The dinosaurs complained nonstop (“My legs hurt!” “Are we there yet?” “Where is the beer?”), but they summited too:


I’m so thankful that I get to see the world.

Life is good. No, life is great.

How are things going for you? What are you thankful for?

Join the 10s who have signed up already!

Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.

*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.

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64 Responses to Friday Gratitude: Goodbye Office

  1. Wow, I’ve been reading your blog for 3 years now, it’s hard to believe that the end is neigh. Or more accurately the beginning of early retirement is just days away. Congrats! Are you planning an ‘ode to your formal employment years’ post?

  2. Wow that’s incredible that your last day is less than a week away. I think I would be pinching myself with excitement as they day finally arrived. Congrats and I’m sure your work place will miss you!!
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Guest Post: Keys to Successfully Managing Student Debt After GraduationMy Profile

  3. Huge gnr fan here as well. Saw them last year, but looks like we’re going to miss this next tour leg. Still I have plenty of gratitude for two kids, a wonderful wife, and finally some nice weather. Replacing the battery in the corvette today and then can drive it again. Life is good. Whats the first thing you plan on doing april 14.

    • Man, I know just about every G N’ R song by heart (Chinese Democracy is the exception).

      April 14? I have no clue. Haven’t had much time to think about it.

  4. Congrats! That’s amazing. And good luck with the next phase and discovering new oceans!
    Matt @ Optimize Your Life recently posted…Politics and the Things We Can ControlMy Profile

  5. Mr. Tako says:

    Congrats on your last day Mr. 1500. It might feel a little scary leaving your job, but you’ll get used to it!

    Welcome to a whole new world — one without any major constraints on your time. It’s a pretty fantastic world!
    Mr. Tako recently posted…March 2017 Dividend Income And ExpensesMy Profile

    • “It might feel a little scary leaving your job, but you’ll get used to it!”

      I can’t hardly wait. The way I see it, there is nothing but upside to all facets of life. I may earn more money and I”ll definitely be happier.

  6. Cheri says:

    Congrats! The best is yet to come. 🙂

  7. Brian says:

    I can’t wait for the posts we’ll get without the constraints of your 9 to 5. 🙂

    Congrats on the amazing journey, double comma club, leaving full time work, and building an incredible example for your girls.
    Brian recently posted…Paying Down Debt Takes DisciplineMy Profile

  8. Wayne says:

    Retired from paid compensation but not from life! The best is yet to come.

    P.S. I knew eventually we would disagree on some topic. GNR? Great Music died in 1972. 🙂

  9. Louise says:

    Congratulations! Hope you’ll keep writing! And that your family appreciates your newfound “free time.”

    • Thanks Louise!

      “Hope you’ll keep writing!”

      Yeah, that is the plan. I have a feeling that I’ll either write a lot more or a lot less. At this point, I have no idea how my brain will react.

  10. Congrats on the last day in the office! I’m jealous of your Vegas trip. Work tricked me this week. I got a call “want to go to Vegas next week?” Me: “Ummmm hell yeah.” Then I got the follow-up call a couple hours later “Nevermind.” 🙁
    Fervent Finance recently posted…Slowing Things DownMy Profile

  11. CoMtnAdventure says:

    Congratulations. You’ve managed to conquer the greatest thing …fear, through a lot of hard work, patience and discipline.

    The poster of the beach reminds me of a line from Shawshank Redemption ( one of my favorite movies)

    ” I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams”

    Congratulations again …the best is yet to come.

  12. Cool article, and I’ll be sure to check coach chad’s site out. I’m currently in the process of buying the other side of our twin home and using it as a rental, and then one day possibly renting the entire property out. I think I’ll enjoy the real estate investment lifestyle as I have loved owning my side of the property, and I find it relaxing fixing and tinkering on things to make them better. It’s a prime piece of real estate in a top school district that’s hard to get into and only 15 minutes away from both downtown of Minneapolis and St Paul. I’m a big believer that you never know what you can be great at until you try new things. So I figure this was the perfect opportunity to try something new, and see if I like it. If I don’t, I can always sell it and chalk the loss up to learning. I personally see learning as worth it’s weight in gold, and I”ll be more prepared the next investment opportunity comes up. Have a great week!

    • Nice work on the rental Bill!

      “I’m a big believer that you never know what you can be great at until you try new things.”

      Hell yeah, no one great ever did what they did by staying in their comfort zone.

  13. Brent says:

    I’m pretty dang thankful for that Piece pizza sitting in my fridge waiting for me!

    Awesome time last night, too much to catch up on! Until next time!

  14. Lucas says:

    Congrats! and best wishes. Hopefully our paths cross in person at somepoint.

  15. Congratulations on your last day Mr 1500! That’s so awesome. Good luck in your journey my friend!
    Dividend Growth Investor recently posted…Dividend Aristocrats List for 2017My Profile

  16. Brandon says:

    Above all I am thankful for the freedom to choose. I revel in the fact that I choose to work, I choose to live where I live, I choose who I spend my time with, etc… I’m not a victim of circumstance and my life is a product of my choices.

  17. That was beautiful, Mr. 1500. 🙂 I’m a contractor as well, although I haven’t been fortunate to have your good experience. I’m jelly! But it sounds like life is good, even with its ups and downs. Today I’m grateful for past-me getting off my butt and doing something about my negative work environment. Fingers double-crossed, but one opportunity is starting to shape up and I hope it works out. Even if not, it was good to have something hopeful happen. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…Saving Green by Being GreenMy Profile

  18. I love Coach Carson’s website too. Incredibly detailed an insightful stuff – everyone should check it out!
    Brian – Rental Mindset recently posted…Are The Rich Getting Richer Thanks to Your Actions?My Profile

    • Chad Carson says:

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Brian! And thanks to Mr. 1500 for mentioning me. I’m not close to as big as the news about the April 13th stop work date! That’s just awesome!

      You’ve inspired so many people by sharing your journey (including me). So, I’m very happy for you in this new transition in your life. I can’t wait to see the projects, insights, and increased happiness you’ll grow into during this next phase.

  19. Team CF says:

    “Life is good. No, life is great.” Yes, it is 🙂
    Last day in the office eh? Good for you!
    Team CF recently posted…Frugal FuneralMy Profile

  20. Congratulations Mr. 1500 and best of luck, though you don’t need it! People like you who are well prepared for retirement shouldn’t have much to worry about. But do keep in mind the marginal utility of everything, including time. It’s what you do that consistently makes you happy that matters.
    Ten Factorial Rocks recently posted…This Game Doesn’t Fool YouMy Profile

    • “But do keep in mind the marginal utility of everything, including time.”

      Yeah, I’m going to watch my time like crazy for at least the first couple months. I spend too much time going down Internet rabbit holes as is…

  21. Joe says:

    Congrats! It feels great, doesn’t it? Perfect timing too. You’ll have a ton of stuff to do in the summer.
    Enjoy your early retirement!

  22. MattW says:

    Congrats and blah blah blah.
    Am I the only one who things that the Dinosaurs did not actually make it to the top of Turtle Peak? That photo looks SOOOOO Photoshopped.

  23. Brian says:


    I love the pinball hall of fame. While the machines never pay out money, they provide a much higher ROI in my opinion.

  24. Sean Murray says:

    Amazing! This was my first time reading your blog and what an incredible time to arrive! Best of luck in the next chapter of your life, Early Retirement!

  25. Mrs. BITA says:

    Our work experiences are somewhat similar. I have been with my company for 13 years. I work with some great people, some truly talented developers. I work on (among other things) performant storage for hypervisors. I am not one of the Indians who sucked your job offshore though. I came right here, to your doorstep and took one of the expensive jobs instead : )

    I had my hair cut short this week, and I am grateful to my hairdresser for doing a good job. I am grateful for the mid-week foot massage that Mr. BITA gave me. I am grateful for every time my husband and child have made me laugh out loud. I am grateful that our apple trees exploded into bloom and that our garden looks gorgeous. I am grateful for the books I am currently reading and that I did not suffer from writers block this week.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…Siddhartha on How To Achieve Financial IndependenceMy Profile

    • “I came right here, to your doorstep and took one of the expensive jobs instead.”

      Ha ha, love it! IT is a wonderful place to be. Why the hell don’t more people study it?

      Those are all awesome things to be grateful for. I’d be curious to know what books you’re reading…

  26. I like Chad Carson also! I’m also a real estate investor and he was super kind to let me guest post on his blog.

    I’m grateful for two very non-tangible things: 1. I have a lot empathy, maybe even too much, but I couldn’t imagine a life where I didn’t feel a shit load of kindness or compassion to others. 2. I’m a risk taker. I have led a very interesting life due to this ability to take calculated risks and get out of my comfort zone regularly.
    Primal Prosperity recently posted…You lucky bastard – you’re alive!My Profile

  27. Congrats on approaching your final day! I feel similar in that I’ve been working for the same company now for 11 years. I think in year one I thought I would never last into 2. Then it was all about making it to 5 to get vested. Then, well…somehow i’m still here. Sometimes it is good, other times, it really sucks, but its helpful to get motivation for people such as you who are charting new paths! Good luck with re-FIRE-ment!
    Freedom 40 Plan recently posted…Monthly Net Worth Update – March 2017 – $1,366,136 [+14,004]My Profile

  28. Tawcan says:

    Woohoo congrats Carl! Planning any visits to Vancouver? 🙂

  29. MrWoW says:

    This is amazing and fantastic!! I wish you the best and I’m sure you can’t help but be successful in what ever it is.
    I’m jealous and it makes me want to accelerate our time line even more. Excited to follow on the next path! Make a trip to LA… Come Visit us. There’s a brewery walking distance from our place.

    • Thanks Mr. WoW, much appreciated!

      I’ll totally come visit. Summer 2018 is planned already, but with any luck, we’ll be out there before. Same offer back at you.

  30. Alaska49 says:

    My early retirement gift to you, a little GNR

    My exit is in 40 days… comes 39!

  31. Congrats on reaching the launching point here Mr. 1500. It sounds like this chapter of your life/career is coming to the storybook ending versus the ugly one that was your initial employer. Those pictures that hang in your office are definitely cheesy, but every place has them. Sometimes though, they perfectly capture the emotion you are feeling and provide you with some wisdom. Don’t know why or how, but that’s at least my take on them.

    Excited to see what is in store for you here soon. I’m assuming we will be seeing a lot of kick ass articles going forward!


  32. Physician on FIRE says:

    Yeeeeeaaahh, buddy.

    Can I buy you a beer? Or better yet, beers? I’ll be in your Colorado neighborhood on 4/20, but I understand if you already have plants, er… I mean plans.

    I know I already made that joke via e-mail, but it was too good to keep between us. See you in Eleven days!


    • Thanks PoF! Or should I say PoM? ***cough cough***

      Yes, I do have plants. Lots of them. None of the smokeable variety though. And don’t touch them. Don’t even… Errr, this explains is better:

  33. SpacemanFry says:

    Congratulations! A very exciting time. Have any celebration planned for after your last day this week?

    While nowhere near the same thing, I’ve decide I’m going to take a mini sabbatical this summer. My current job is pushing me towards less technical work (management etc) and I really don’t want to do it. Combine this with overall burnout and I’ve decided I’m quitting in May and going to take the summer off for the first time since early highschool (worked other summers through HS and college). It will obviously delay my march to FIRE a little but I really need a recharge and most likely it will open up some opportunities as I will actually have time to explore them.

  34. Amber tree says:

    Great that you have so much fun with the girls! That is my plan this summer.

    I start to be thankful for the little things: like my 2 girls that took me to the back of our garden to show the secret alley. That is when I realised how good of a situation we have.

    Enjoy your last days of work and enjoy 13 april!

  35. Congratulations! Sorry I’m late to the party here. I can’t believe the date is finally arriving (you probably feel the same way). You finally made it!! Good luck on the other side. Looking forward to seeing how the dinosaurs adjust.
    Biglaw Investor recently posted…Ugh, Your Spouse Has Debt Too?My Profile

  36. Loving these new gratitude posts. The rants were funny but these ones are very refreshing, and dare I say, uplifting!

    That guns n roses pinball looks familiar, I’m sure I’ve played that down the old bowling alley as a young lad! So cool!

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