Confessions of A Former White-Collar Grunt

For 10 years I dreaded the Monday following Thanksgiving weekend.

That’s because I was a white-collar grunt.

You never knew what absurdities and inanities awaited you.

Maybe your job duties had doubled in a single email sent by a CEO with no discernible life.

At the very least, you had to make up for the two work days you missed on Thursday and Friday. This meant packing seven days into a five-day week. Good luck with that considering you have 23 meetings on Monday and Tuesday. In these meetings, your job duties will probably expand. That’s because your bosses had time to “dream” over the long weekend and generate a “wishlist.”

The horror! The horror! I still remember the dread viscerally. I’d spend Sunday night caving in on myself, staring forlornly at the clock. On Monday morning, I’d sit in my car trying to hold back tears.

Like so many Americans, I kept putting myself through hell for a couple of holiday weekends and two weeks of vacation a year—time off that I could never truly enjoy because I had so many things hanging over my head at work.

And for what? To make some more money to buy things I don’t need? My vanity? To keep up with the stupid Joneses?

One of the biggest turning points in my life was when I realized it didn’t have to be this way. I could take a blue-collar job that didn’t consume my life and make up the pay difference by being frugal.

I could get my life back.

So, it’s once again the Monday morning following Thanksgiving, except this time I’m at peace. In fact, one might describe my current state as euphoric. This could be you, too.

Frugal Tip: I’m not paying hundreds of dollars a year for a gym membership when I can walk circles in my basement and lift cans of paint.

Maybe my next life will be better.

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