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17 May 2007 @ 07:54 pm
20 years for this?  
So yesterday, I got that mailer from the Social Security Office. You know, the one that tells you what your benefits will be when you retire (yeah, right!)

My income has varied so widely over the past few years, and I wanted to get a visual, so I plotted out my net earnings since I began earning taxable income, 20 years ago. With a little help from the National Center for Education Statistics, of all places, I conjured up this graph of relative value.

I'm not the kind of guy who cares to keep his earnings private, but regardless... I've removed all the dollar amounts. But you can see how much I'm earning now, relative to when I was unemployed for much of 2002, following the dot-com bust and my company going bankrupt... and how much less I'm earning than my first job out of college (waiting tables in Austin!)


Quesoqueso on May 18th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
Now I wanna do the same thing, but I have to wait until I get my next SS mailer. Wah!

(It's been a slow day.)
Queso: Workqueso on May 18th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
(After requesting a social security statement...)

So, did my amazing powers of perception detect a hint buttload of sarcasm? Are you thinking of moving on to greener financial pastures?

I admire your willingness to try new career paths. Personally, I couldn't handle the radical changes in income. I've always needed financial security, even if it meant putting up with periods of vocational discontentment, but I digress. The other thing I admire about you is that you're a man of many talents. I would worry about a friend who wasn't making much money at this stage in life, but I know that you're financially responsible and that you have an uncanny ability to land on your feet and succeed in whatever job you do.

I haven't had much luck getting interviews for friends who's resumes I've submitted (goddamn lazy-ass recruiters) but for what it's worth I'd be more than happy to do what I can to get your resume to the right people if you see any openings at my company.

Then again, based on your ability to find cool new jobs, you'll probably end up being a photographer for Playboy or in some other wild job that the rest of us will envy. :-)
fleepsfleeps on May 18th, 2007 06:46 am (UTC)
Thanks for that - yes, you're spot on. Work has been stressful (and will be for the next few months)... it's not the same kind of job that I signed up for two years ago, and on top of this disappointment, I'm worried about its ability to become profitable in the long term. The show I've been working on has changed (and not for the better, in my opinion). We're earning more money as a company, but not getting enough new programs off the ground to make a difference.

All in all, it's been a great experience, and I hope for the best, but I am starting to get a little worried about my future. What it comes down to is... I have a lot of thinking to do this summer.

Anyway, thanks for the comments. It really cheered me up when I read them. Sometimes, when I get down because I'm in a tough situation, it helps to be reminded by my friends that I've still got a lot going for me.

...And I've always seen two types of life/career fulfillment. Those that direct their life to obtain the job they always wanted, and those that direct their job to obtain the life they've always wanted. I think either goal is admirable. :)

With my luck, I'll become a Playboy photographer right after I get married... ;)
fleepsfleeps on May 18th, 2007 06:51 am (UTC)
PS The graphed earnings are just the "official" net figures, by the way. In 2006, I actually earned quite a bit more than indicated on the graph... I've just gotten better/more diligent at writing off my business expenses, which lowers my bottom line.

Regardless, the "gross" levels for 2006 would still be no higher than halfway to my 2004 level... Which means I won't be buying a Lamborghini anytime soon.
Queso: Workqueso on May 18th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
Although you probably earned more in 1994 waiting tables in Austin, too... unless you reported 100% of your tips, of course. ;-)
fleepsfleeps on May 18th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
Heh, heh. Touche!