Tag Archives: math

Retirement Planning?

guyinhammock

Apparently, I’m supposed to have been saving for retirement. Every time I see a commercial on TV showing a slightly graying couple planning their European vacation, I am reminded of this fact. The problem, however, is that I never really decided what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I still don’t know. So, I don’t have a super lucrative job or a retirement account that’s going to get me to Europe any time soon.  I suppose that I should be comforted by the fact that, with the help of a bottle of blonde hair color, I am not slightly graying either. Ha!
When I first went to college, I was originally thinking along the lines of becoming a Psychologist. I took a lot of Psychology courses, and I really liked them. I diagnosed and cured myself (sometimes in the same week) with all sorts of peculiar mental anomalies. Then I found out that, absent a doctorate degree, I would probably never realize the dream of becoming a Psychologist. This would surely mean more school than I had ever thought possible. I knew my limits: dreams dashed.
I puttered around for awhile in the banking industry, until one day, after reviewing a great many loan applications, I realized that the whole world – the whole world – was making more money than I. It was time to do something about it, but I still did not know exactly what.
Several years and multiple student loans later, I had an epiphany: I should major in Marketing. I rationalized that a business degree would open many doors for me. The only real problem, as I saw it, was that I would likely be expected to do math. Math and I have never really gotten along. I think it had something to do with the early childhood trauma of having to solve for x.   X is a letter people. It should not have to aspire to anything more, in my estimation. I recall having told at least one or two of my junior high school math teachers this. They looked askance at me, as only hardened purveyors of complex analytics can, and then they failed me. Nonetheless, math or no math, I felt that it would be to my benefit to pursue the Marketing thing because it would marry the best of both worlds: business and creativity.
I graduated with a BS in Marketing in 1991 only to discover quickly that, to the business world, a Marketing degree meant lots of personal selling. I could not, with any reasonable expectation of success, see myself making a living selling anything to anyone. I’m far too laid back. If someone said “no” to my recommendation that he purchase my wares, I fear that I would simply say, “OK. Have a nice day!” That kind of behavior would surely not lead me to the riches I desired. So, I looked elsewhere.
In 2000 I landed a technical support job with a large cable company . I was terrible at it. In the beginning, anyway, I felt very sorry for the people I “helped.” But, I persevered, even if some of the customers did not, and I came to learn a lot about technology, computers, and the internet. I lasted, on and off, in this blessed endeavor until approximately mid-2013, at which point it was time to part ways with the cable company. The technology bug, however, had been planted, and I soon found myself enrolled in grad school, pursuing an advanced technology degree.

As you might imagine, more schooling meant more math. Although I dutifully mastered the concept of binary operations without my head exploding, I drew a line in the sand at the prospect of more accounting. There is only so much balancing of figures a language oriented person like me can take. I now find myself waiting tables, which in and of itself is really not such a hateful proposition. In fact, I rather enjoy it.  However, it is not going to get me to Europe any time soon either.

Sigh.

Well, at least I haven’t got any gray hairs.