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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    Cross Roads.
    GuardSquealer posted:
    I know I have brought my career up before, but somethings are changing quickly where I work and I keep running things through my head.

    Our female prison is going to become a male prison within the next month. There are somethings that I have never had to do in dealing with the female inmates that I will now have to do.

    In the process we are also merging with the prison next to us. So eventually there will be some new opportunities available as far as different jobs to bid on.

    But basically most of what are considered the "good" jobs are ones where you do absolutely nothing. Just you being there is all you really have to do. And for the most part all the jobs here just require a few minutes an hour of actually doing anything.

    So my dilema is having 18 years in means I am only 12 away from retirement. But I don't know if I want sit around for years at a job where I do not think at all. I keep playing out things in my head. I can stay here where it is basically safe and do nothing challenging until I retire.

    Or do I get brave and move on to some other venture. I probably would have to draw out my retirement to finance whatever venture I would attempt. Or do I just do my time and take the easy road out?

    Especially at a time when the economy is so bad. I think daily about the ideas for the restaurant. But it seems that most of them fail. I find it funny that now there are so many shows on tv about failing restaurants needing help and people wanting to start restaurants.

    Anyways just wondered what some others might do in this given situation.
    candy352 responded:
    I've never worked in prisons before, but I have worked in mental hospitals. I have always seen that females are so much more difficult to work with than males. I'm also not sure about how it works with your employer or state. But I work for the State of Florida and I can move to any agency and my years for retirement will continue to build. If you are really dissatisfied, I would look into moving into another agency or if you can, start looking at how much exactly you will need to start the business. It's hard to enjoy life when stuck in a job that you really hate.
    Candy 26, DF 36, PG with 1st child, EDD 1/6/12
    cfisk responded:
    Hi Guard,

    I would bid on one of the new "good" jobs available with the prison and take one of those jobs.

    Don't say anything to them about "plans for a new career in the near future"; just bid for the jobs.

    Then, after you've gotten the job, give yourself about a year to plan for your new career.

    You don't have to work at the prison for another 12 years. You could start planning your career move and maybe by the summer of 2012 you would be ready to make the leap and you could hand in your resignation in the summer of 2012, something like that.

    I was surfing around and found a discussion forum about restaurants. Here's the address to a specific thread about "Questions about restaurant start-ups":

    The address of the forum in general is:

    So some of the discussion in that one specific thread is scary, as in: it takes a lot to succeed with a restaurant start-up. They mention that you need 6 months' worth of working capital (readily available cash) of your own when you go to the bank to get a business loan.

    Anyway, you might find the forum interesting to read, just for kicks, but also because it will give you more information to help you make your decision. There must be other forums about restaurant ownership on the internet but I was just surfing briefly and found this one.

    CJH had also given you some advice earlier this year about seeing if you can find some non-profit business consultants. They could look at your plans for various businesses and they would give you some good, honest advice (no sugar-coating!).

    I've forgotten the specific name of the non-profit that CJH had mentioned but maybe she'll chime in.
    cfisk responded:
    Oh yeah, forgot to include the address for the Columbus, Ohio chamber of commerce.

    The other side of the equation is for you and your wife to look at what life would be like without your paychecks coming into the household every month.

    It may take a while to figure out what that new reality would be like. That's why I'm thinking that you don't want to make a quick decision to resign from the prison this fall.

    So your wife has a full-time job and you have a full-time job.

    Start crunchin' numbers. Get a big spiral notebook or several pieces of paper and start writing stuff down. Later you could transfer it to a swift-looking Excel spreadsheet on the computer but for now just write things down.

    Your wife's net take-home pay each month: (fill in a dollar amount whether she gets one paycheck per month or two)

    Your net take-home pay each month: (same thing)

    Other income sources (hay-baling money, other income?)

    Net (rather than gross) pay is important because that's how much cash you and your wife have to work with each month.

    Now, start writing down all the ways that you and your wife spend money each month. Start keeping track. It's going to be tedious but this is how you will discover where all the money is going. Eventually this will answer your question "can I afford to say good-bye to the safety and security of those steady paychecks?"

    You're going to have fixed costs (the mortgage payment, insurance, stuff like that).

    You'll have a lot of variable costs (cable tv or satellite tv bill; cell phone bills; supermarket spending for the month; restaurant meals; gas for the vehicles, Christmas shopping; travel).

    Start writing down the dollar amounts for everything.
    How much is the mortgage payment every month (write the dollar amount down!)
    Is there a second mortgage? (write down the dollar amount!)

    How much did we spend at CVS (Walgreens / Walmart) last weekend (write down the dollar amount!)

    How much is the cell phone bill each month (presumably you're paying for your daughter's cell phone as well).

    How much is it costing to put gas in the vehicle each month?
    How much is it costing your wife to put gas in her vehicle each month?

    Are you giving your daughter an allowance or is she earning all of her spending money at this point?

    You don't have to answer these questions on this thread but these are the kinds of questions that you want to ask yourself and fill in those dollar amounts.

    I know I'm being really tedious with the minutiae, but you and your wife have to do this for a few months at least so you can see where the money is going.

    Then you can start trying to cut spending. If you can do that, then you'll have a better idea about whether you can afford to quit your job. If you cash in the retirement account, after you've paid the penalty and taxes, you'll have to use that money for both start-up money but also for some of the monthly household expenses.
    cjh1203 replied to cfisk's response:
    The non-profits for business advice are the Small Business Development Center (there should be one nearby), and SCORE/ACE, which should also be available locally.
    GuardSquealer responded:
    Thank you to everyone for replying. I appreciate you taking the time to do so. There are a lot of different reasons for some of my discontent. Major one being over the last few years most of the supervisors that I worked with since the beginning have retired. And the newer ones just aren't the same. I am hoping that the merge equals out some of the problems we have been having in that area.

    Working with the females has been easy for me being on third. We hardly see them. And generally the female officers are more responsible for the work crews that come out at night. So when we switch to males in a couple weeks I will be more responsible for them. Just makes since to have officers of the same sex more closely supervising them.

    Not that it will bother me but I have never had to pat down an inmate or strip seach one. That role will change shortly. And while the women may complain more and get in vocal arguments the men obviously are more physcially agressive and I am too old to want to fight with them.

    I just have to wait and see what jobs become available so that I can get out of the post I am in now. I am sure that I can get one with limited contact with inmates eventually. Actually the best thing will be if I can get one where I don't have contact with anyone at all. Just sit someplace by myself. There are some of those that should be available also.

    Hopefully with a computer so I can check out WebMD. lol.
    longduckdong46 replied to GuardSquealer's response:
    Well if it were me and I only had 12 years to retirement I would be more inclined to stick it out.
    The economy is in turmoil right now and there is probably a better than 50/50 chace of another recession.
    It sounds as though you have alot of job security and protection where your at ?
    With unemployment just above 9% and unfortunately businesses haging by a thread if at all., I suggest staying put and see if one of the gravy train spots opens up.
    GuardSquealer replied to longduckdong46's response:
    Obviously I am not making any hasty decisions. I just have a lot of highs and lows. I am also very tired of being on third shift. I have been since 1996 and that has taken it's toll also.

    I could live off what my other businesses bring in, but that money has been used to cover my daughters horse show expenses and I don't know that she would be happy about cutting back that much.

    So for now I am going to ride it out and see if I can find something to start slowly with and go from there.
    alaska_mommy replied to GuardSquealer's response:
    I think your first priority would be to get on a day shift so you can get some real rest. Once you are more rested you can think more clearly about your future. I think for now this night shift is just so draining that even if you wanted to break out and start something totally different that the thought of doing that would make you feel tired. So start by resting up.
    FrenchBulldogMom replied to alaska_mommy's response:
    I agree with alaska_mommy. Put in for the jobs on 1st shift. You have seniority at the prison, so it shouldn't be a problem for you to get a good assignment.

    With the way the economy is, you might want to transfer to another state job where you could take your retirement benefits with you.
    GuardSquealer responded:
    I saw something on tv a few days ago that gave me an idea. A company that uses border collies to keep canadian geese out of areas that they are not wanted in. So I searched our area and can't find anyone that does this around here. And since I have two highly trained border collies that would love to chase of geese. I am thinking about giving it a try. Wouldn't be a lot of initial start up costs. I could do it in my spare time, esp. that hay baling season is over. And I would really enjoy working with my dogs.

    I have been considering building another barn on my property to board dogs in. And to do some training. So it would all tie in together.

    Seemed to be some money in it as the guys I saw doing it were having OCC build them a chopper. That can't be cheap.

    So I am going to have some brochures printed a few business cards and a couple shirts made. And going to hit up some golf courses, apartment complexes and small airports and see what happens. Might get to buy some more dogs. That would be cool.
    FCL replied to GuardSquealer's response:
    Now that sounds like a good idea to me Hope it works out!
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to GuardSquealer's response:
    So how does that work? You take the dogs and go in every so often and run the geese off, or just as needed?

    They say people who work with animals live longer lives. You're gonna live forever! LOL

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