PDA

View Full Version : Need Advice Desperately



ibigler5
05-10-2009, 19:39
So here's the deal. My friend and I have been planning our first AT hike starting June 1st. We've been planning for over six months. Throughout these past six months, the thought of this hike has been on my mind every second of every day. I have a pretty god job for someone my age. The people I work with are great and the pay is pretty great. After telling my boss, he told me that he doesn't want me to go on the trip.

So my options are to quit my job and hike OR stay with my job and think about this hike every second of every day for another year.....

Any comments will be appreciated..

Thank you

Hooch
05-10-2009, 19:43
Are you doing a section or thru-hiking? Do you live to keep your boss happy? If not, go hike.

modiyooch
05-10-2009, 19:44
tough one. You have loyalty to your friend. jobs are scarce. I wonder why it wasn't presented to your boss six months ago. are you attending school?

Zabigail
05-10-2009, 19:49
What kind of job do you have, that would give your boss any say at all in your personal life?! It is your leisure time, not his. If he's worried you might get injured and be unable to come back, remind him that this could happen just crossing the street or driving to work.

Pokey2006
05-10-2009, 19:50
Easy: go hiking.

bigcranky
05-10-2009, 19:51
You've been planning for six months without telling your boss? How long were you planning to be on the Trail?

The only advice I have is this: go back to your boss and explain how much this trip means to you, how long you've been dreaming about it, *and* how much you like your job and appreciate the people you work with, etc. Tell him that you would greatly appreciate the time off, and it will make you that much better an employee when you get back. Just lay it out there.

If, and only if, you are prepared to walk away from your job, you can tell him that you really want to come back, but you have to do this anyway. Be prepared for him to fire you on the spot, though.

But hey, man, a good job can be hard to find in this economy. The Trail will always be there. Make a careful decision.

(And I know *exactly* what you mean about thinking about it every day.)

Good luck.

bigcranky
05-10-2009, 19:53
What kind of job do you have, that would give your boss any say at all in your personal life?! It is your leisure time, not his.

Um, it sounds from the original post like this isn't his leisure time -- it's work time that he wants to take off.

Lots of people don't get paid vacation.

Pokey2006
05-10-2009, 19:55
People land new jobs every day, even in a bad economy. But you're only 20 years old once. I say go for it.

ibigler5
05-10-2009, 20:01
I dont plan on doing a thru hike.....yet. This will only be a section hike. I dont get paid vacation so I'd just not be working for that time. Its such a hard decision.

ibigler5
05-10-2009, 20:02
Thanks for all the feed back. I really gotta think about this.

ibigler5
05-10-2009, 20:03
oh yeah and I'd only be on the trail for a month (till july 1st)

Shutterbug
05-10-2009, 20:10
So here's the deal. My friend and I have been planning our first AT hike starting June 1st. We've been planning for over six months. Throughout these past six months, the thought of this hike has been on my mind every second of every day. I have a pretty god job for someone my age. The people I work with are great and the pay is pretty great. After telling my boss, he told me that he doesn't want me to go on the trip.

So my options are to quit my job and hike OR stay with my job and think about this hike every second of every day for another year.....

Any comments will be appreciated..

Thank you

There have been several times in my life when a boss has told me not to do something I planned to do. In each case, I have gone ahead and done it. It didn't seem to hurt me in the long run. Here is my advice -

1. Talk it through with your boss. Don't leave on bad terms. Your boss doesn't have to agree with your choice but he or she needs to understand that you are not disregarding his or her advice lightly. Some day you are going to need a job reference.

2. Make sure you really want to hike the AT more than you want the benefits of having a job. Just because you think about it a lot doesn't make it the most important thing in your life.

3. Consider the alternatives. I don't know what your alternatives are, but consider each of them carefully.

4. If you are a religious person, pray about your decision.

kayak karl
05-10-2009, 20:15
oh yeah and I'd only be on the trail for a month (till july 1st)
is one month worth losing your job for? up to you, but if i were your boss i'd be looking for your replacement as we chat:-? sorry, but you told him your plans and he's already trying to cover his butt. in a couple days you won't have a decision to make.:rolleyes: its dog eat dog out there right now.

Lone Wolf
05-10-2009, 20:17
So here's the deal. My friend and I have been planning our first AT hike starting June 1st. We've been planning for over six months. Throughout these past six months, the thought of this hike has been on my mind every second of every day. I have a pretty god job for someone my age. The people I work with are great and the pay is pretty great. After telling my boss, he told me that he doesn't want me to go on the trip.

So my options are to quit my job and hike OR stay with my job and think about this hike every second of every day for another year.....

Any comments will be appreciated..

Thank you

you're 20. quit the friggin job and go walkin'. simple

cupid
05-10-2009, 20:17
do itttttttttt

bigmac_in
05-10-2009, 20:19
you're 20. quit the friggin job and go walkin'. simple


^ Ditto ^

modiyooch
05-10-2009, 20:28
I agree with shutterbug. If you leave, don't burn any bridges.

Dawn
05-10-2009, 20:45
Have you considered maybe a 2 week hike instead of a month?

Blissful
05-10-2009, 20:53
Yeah, these days, unless you have a job where you can easily land another one if you quit, I'd keep the job for now. The trail will always be there. I thought about the trail for 30 years myself before I did it.

emerald
05-10-2009, 21:04
Have you considered maybe a 2 week hike instead of a month?

I like Dawn's advice. Keep the job and use your vacations for hiking. You will have the best of both and retain your health insurance too. You'd forfeit a month's pay and who knows how long it might take to find work which pays as well. Sounds like an expensive vacation of unknown cost and duration to me.

Better to hike properly funded and savor a 2000 mile AT hike spread over a lifetime. There are many advantages to section-hiking.

Toolshed
05-10-2009, 21:07
You can't see it now but the job you have at 20 really has little impact on the rest of your life. Save some $$$ and go. It will probably change the rest of your life. ...the Flipside.... stay at this job for a few more years and wonder.....

ARambler
05-10-2009, 22:01
So here's the deal. My friend and I have been planning our first AT hike starting June 1st. We've been planning for over six months. Throughout these past six months, the thought of this hike has been on my mind every second of every day. I have a pretty god job for someone my age. The people I work with are great and the pay is pretty great. ..

Thank you

Do you build the world in 7 days??
You need better advice and maybe a better friend. I've never asked any of my friends so give up their job. You have 50 years to hike, but maybe 5 to get your career off to a good start. If you can take 5 months off to take a 50:50 shot at hiking the AT, and not have it affect your career, you do not have a god job.

Rambler

Pokey2006
05-10-2009, 22:08
Ah, but he may not have 50 years to hike. He might die tonight...

Live your life like it could end any time. Go hiking if you really want to go hiking. Though, doing a shorter trip may be a happy medium option for you.

superman
05-10-2009, 22:16
Enlist and get paid to hike.:)

medicjimr
05-10-2009, 22:31
I am surprised how many people are telling the lad to quit, I would really try to talk to your boss. See about maybe 2 weeks unpaid leave. I like to hike but I work it around my work schedule. Yes you may find another job , but will it be one you like as you have now.

Jayboflavin04
05-10-2009, 22:36
There have been several times in my life when a boss has told me not to do something I planned to do. In each case, I have gone ahead and done it. It didn't seem to hurt me in the long run. Here is my advice -

1. Talk it through with your boss. Don't leave on bad terms. Your boss doesn't have to agree with your choice but he or she needs to understand that you are not disregarding his or her advice lightly. Some day you are going to need a job reference.

2. Make sure you really want to hike the AT more than you want the benefits of having a job. Just because you think about it a lot doesn't make it the most important thing in your life.

3. Consider the alternatives. I don't know what your alternatives are, but consider each of them carefully.

4. If you are a religious person, pray about your decision.


This is some good advice. My grandfather always told me not to burn bridges. That has proven very effective several times when it comes to jobs. I would tell them exactly how you feel, and give them your notice now or very soon. Your young and no obligations at this point in your life.

There is a quote.....""Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." supposedly it was mark twain, but i cannot find any reference to it.

Jayboflavin04
05-10-2009, 22:52
Also you should probably give us a little more to go on! What kind of job you talkin about quitting! Payscale fringes ect.

Post
05-11-2009, 00:53
is one month worth losing your job for? up to you, but if i were your boss i'd be looking for your replacement as we chat:-? sorry, but you told him your plans and he's already trying to cover his butt. in a couple days you won't have a decision to make.:rolleyes: its dog eat dog out there right now.I agree with Kayak Karl. You're prob gonna get canned anyway for admitting your dream. They won't every trust that you won't just up and quit at any time and do what they think is some crazy thing.

So just go, you're only 20 you have your whole life yet. Go for it!:D

stranger
05-11-2009, 06:43
It's just a job, despite being a good one at that, there are hundreds more out there, even during these difficult times.

There is ALWAYS a reason to NOT do something, quit your job and go hiking, you can always work, but you won't always be able to hike.

I just got a new job, earn more than I ever have, can do whatever i want, have great leave provisions (6 weeks vacation per year, unlimited sick leave) and I'm quitting the job in March to go hiking, I've done this before and I'm not too worried about it.

In a years time you can get hit by a bus, or find out you have terminal cancer, a friend of mine just died of terminal brain cancer at 41, I've learned there is just no point to putting anything off, well other than perhaps working!

ibigler5
05-12-2009, 02:15
To satisfy those who would like more information. I work for a family owned toy company. I get paid like $13 an hour. I have no benefits or any paid vacation. Anytime i dont work i dont get paid. The son of the company, who runs the day to day business is very supportive of me doing this hike, he backpacked europe a few years back. His father, the owner, thinks it's a crazy idea and thinks that extended trips like this make people crazy. To them a 2 week vacation is the same as a month long vacation. I feel like this job wont advance my career at all, it just gives me experience in running a small business. And after a year or so there I feel like I've taken all i can out of it.

I just wish they could see how pleasant you all are. And see the true meaning of hiking.

Bronk
05-12-2009, 03:08
You're 20 years old, so I'll clue you in on something...$13 an hour is not a lot of money...especially given that you have absolutely no benefits...what you have is the equivalent of a $7 an hour job with benefits...$13 may seem like a lot to you now, but its not much in the greater scheme of things.

My advice? Quit that job, go hiking and while you're out there figure out what you really enjoy doing. When you get back from your trip, try to figure out how to get paid doing what you enjoy, even if its only $7 an hour...as time passes the money will come if you are good at what you do...and trust me, if you enjoy it, you will be good at it.

One thing I learned on my hike is that money isn't everything...before my hike I made very good money but hated my job.

I once knew a young guy who was making about what you are now, but doing what he loved. And everyone where he worked was making fun of him because he had just bought a $5,000 bed...his car wasn't worth that much. His theory on life was this: have a comfortable bed and a job you love and the 8 hours of the day you have for leisure time will take care of itself.

Karrmer
05-12-2009, 04:05
I am 24 years old. I make around $80k per year. I am quitting my job to hike, to vagabond, to wander. Most people that are aware call me crazy. I call them crazy. They call it "running from responsibilities" - responsibilities to whom?

The chief responsibility we all have is to provide an enjoyable life for ourselves. If that means getting a big screen TV so you can watch sports all day, go for it. If it means finding a mate, starting a family, providing a home for them - awesome. And if it means living ascetically, walkong, wandering, dreaming - the only reasonable and logical thing to do is respect that choice.

You can die any moment. That is reality. Most people chase the dream of a false sense of absolute security; the concept of dying tomorrow is impossible. The concept of their child dying tomorrow is impossible. Yet it happens, every day, and these people are generally completely unable to cope once their false world is disrupted. Start living life like you will die tomorrow - and I do not mean that in the way most people just toss it around. I mean really do it. You will be DEAD tomorrow... so what would you like to do today?

Life is short. Enjoy it. Quit your job, my friend, it is obvious you want to.

Karrmer
05-12-2009, 04:36
And to anyone telling the guy he has "50 years to hike" - that is by no means true. You may have had fifty years, he may have three months left.

The only logical thing for anyone to do is to live the life they want to live, starting now. Whatever that means is for each individual to decide for themselves, but don't let yourself sit behind a cubicle, looking back to the years when you had a chance to do what you wanted, however "crazy" it may have sounded to your peers. Live life for yourself, not for anyone else.

zoidfu
05-12-2009, 04:43
So here's the deal. My friend and I have been planning our first AT hike starting June 1st. We've been planning for over six months. Throughout these past six months, the thought of this hike has been on my mind every second of every day. I have a pretty god job for someone my age. The people I work with are great and the pay is pretty great. After telling my boss, he told me that he doesn't want me to go on the trip.

So my options are to quit my job and hike OR stay with my job and think about this hike every second of every day for another year.....

Any comments will be appreciated..

Thank you

Don't do it. Keep in mind that most of the advice your getting on this thread is from the generation that sent ours up **** creek without a paddle so they could do what they wanted. They come from a time where you didn't even need a degree to earn a living wage and they also got such things as "pensions" and "health insurance." We barely have any of that and we have to work twice as hard to get by... and we get to pay off the insane debt that's being racked up so these people can keep their cushy jobs and pensions and pay for their social security(something else we are paying for and will never see a dime from) and medicare. These are the same people who collectively had to be dragged, kicking and screaming into explore alternative energy- which is costing us. These are the same people who scream drill here, drill now when they know damn well that fossil fuels are poison- but they won't have to deal with it so who cares? They failed to account for globalism yet found the taste for cheap chinese goods and telling their figurative neighbor that they'd rather save 2 dollars then pay the extra so said neighbor could keep their job. The have the audacity, the umitigated gall to call us "Generation Me" when they've gone trillions beyond what we asked for- a car, some clothes, vacations etc... they should be showering us with that stuff when we're young considering the fact that we're going to spend the rest of our lives paying off their excesses. They're just pissed because they didn't think it would all catch up to them this fast.

It really is a disaster out there right now. My girlfriend works in the unemployment office down here and it is jam packed every single day. We had a job fair at the one complex down here and people were camping in the parking lot. There's tent cities in California. There was a grocery store by in my girlfriend's hometown that announced 5 job openings. It was lined up around the block with over 500 applicants even though it paid minimum wage. The middle class is evaporating and wealth is concentrated among the few like never before.

Basically, you'd be stupid to quit for a one month hike. Look at it this way, some baby boomer's portfolio is probably going to look lean and he'll ax you to make up for it and you'll have your time to walk then.

The rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to get this kid to quit in these times. You know how LW says, "It's just walking?" That cuts both ways. It really is indeed, just walking. They try to romanticize it by saying, "you only live once" and there's a lot of truth to that but you are in a position that millions would kill for- a job you like that provides financial security. Hold onto it. I'll bet there are folks on this site right now that are salivating at the prospect of you literally walking away from a good thing. Don't be surprised if they start asking you where you live and who you work for.

Reid
05-12-2009, 05:12
I think you need to find a way to hike, but also keep your job. It can be done. And take shutterbug's advice as well.

Bronk
05-12-2009, 06:17
Don't do it. Keep in mind that most of the advice your getting on this thread is from the generation that sent ours up **** creek without a paddle so they could do what they wanted. They come from a time where you didn't even need a degree to earn a living wage and they also got such things as "pensions" and "health insurance." We barely have any of that and we have to work twice as hard to get by... and we get to pay off the insane debt that's being racked up so these people can keep their cushy jobs and pensions and pay for their social security(something else we are paying for and will never see a dime from) and medicare. These are the same people who collectively had to be dragged, kicking and screaming into explore alternative energy- which is costing us. These are the same people who scream drill here, drill now when they know damn well that fossil fuels are poison- but they won't have to deal with it so who cares? They failed to account for globalism yet found the taste for cheap chinese goods and telling their figurative neighbor that they'd rather save 2 dollars then pay the extra so said neighbor could keep their job. The have the audacity, the umitigated gall to call us "Generation Me" when they've gone trillions beyond what we asked for- a car, some clothes, vacations etc... they should be showering us with that stuff when we're young considering the fact that we're going to spend the rest of our lives paying off their excesses. They're just pissed because they didn't think it would all catch up to them this fast.

It really is a disaster out there right now. My girlfriend works in the unemployment office down here and it is jam packed every single day. We had a job fair at the one complex down here and people were camping in the parking lot. There's tent cities in California. There was a grocery store by in my girlfriend's hometown that announced 5 job openings. It was lined up around the block with over 500 applicants even though it paid minimum wage. The middle class is evaporating and wealth is concentrated among the few like never before.

Basically, you'd be stupid to quit for a one month hike. Look at it this way, some baby boomer's portfolio is probably going to look lean and he'll ax you to make up for it and you'll have your time to walk then.

The rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to get this kid to quit in these times. You know how LW says, "It's just walking?" That cuts both ways. It really is indeed, just walking. They try to romanticize it by saying, "you only live once" and there's a lot of truth to that but you are in a position that millions would kill for- a job you like that provides financial security. Hold onto it. I'll bet there are folks on this site right now that are salivating at the prospect of you literally walking away from a good thing. Don't be surprised if they start asking you where you live and who you work for.


Alternative energy is too expensive...anybody who has tried it knows that's true on a cost per kilowatt basis...until the economics of it play out, we will be burning coal and gasoline. And conservation doesn't jive with our consumption based economy...on both sides of the aisle the prescription for our economic woes is to spend our way out of it...I agree that's the wrong answer, but you won't get anyone with any clout to buy into that. And I say this as someone who has lived totally off grid for the past 3 years...you should try it...its not much different than being on the trail. Most so called "environmentalists" don't live anywhere near as "green" as I do...and I don't buy into a lot of what they say, I just choose to live simply and within my means.

Yeah, social security and all that won't be there for him when he retires...won't be there by the time I retire either...so why work like a dog paying into the system? Work = taxes to fund these insane ponzi schemes...might give a wakeup call if everyone took a month or a year off...that was part of the motivation for my hike.

I left a good job to do my hike, and when I was done the best job I could find paid a little over half what I was making before. Do I regret it? Not for a second. A hike like this is a life altering event...you aren't the same when you go back to the "real world" so you really can't assume you'll want/need the same things.

Karrmer
05-12-2009, 06:36
Don't do it. Keep in mind that most of the advice your getting on this thread is from the generation that sent ours up **** creek without a paddle so they could do what they wanted. They come from a time where you didn't even need a degree to earn a living wage and they also got such things as "pensions" and "health insurance." We barely have any of that and we have to work twice as hard to get by... and we get to pay off the insane debt that's being racked up so these people can keep their cushy jobs and pensions and pay for their social security(something else we are paying for and will never see a dime from) and medicare. These are the same people who collectively had to be dragged, kicking and screaming into explore alternative energy- which is costing us. These are the same people who scream drill here, drill now when they know damn well that fossil fuels are poison- but they won't have to deal with it so who cares? They failed to account for globalism yet found the taste for cheap chinese goods and telling their figurative neighbor that they'd rather save 2 dollars then pay the extra so said neighbor could keep their job. The have the audacity, the umitigated gall to call us "Generation Me" when they've gone trillions beyond what we asked for- a car, some clothes, vacations etc... they should be showering us with that stuff when we're young considering the fact that we're going to spend the rest of our lives paying off their excesses. They're just pissed because they didn't think it would all catch up to them this fast.

It really is a disaster out there right now. My girlfriend works in the unemployment office down here and it is jam packed every single day. We had a job fair at the one complex down here and people were camping in the parking lot. There's tent cities in California. There was a grocery store by in my girlfriend's hometown that announced 5 job openings. It was lined up around the block with over 500 applicants even though it paid minimum wage. The middle class is evaporating and wealth is concentrated among the few like never before.

Basically, you'd be stupid to quit for a one month hike. Look at it this way, some baby boomer's portfolio is probably going to look lean and he'll ax you to make up for it and you'll have your time to walk then.

The rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to get this kid to quit in these times. You know how LW says, "It's just walking?" That cuts both ways. It really is indeed, just walking. They try to romanticize it by saying, "you only live once" and there's a lot of truth to that but you are in a position that millions would kill for- a job you like that provides financial security. Hold onto it. I'll bet there are folks on this site right now that are salivating at the prospect of you literally walking away from a good thing. Don't be surprised if they start asking you where you live and who you work for.

Quite a lot of assumptions / fear mongering / borderline mental illness going around in this post, so I'll try to pick out any signs of rationality that I can locate.

We've been "paying off" the previous generations debt since the country was created. In reality, we haven't paid ANYTHING off - we just keep racking up more and more debt and borrowing to pay it off. It is absolutely just a giant ponzi scheme and if you look at what Madoff did and what the US Govt has been doing for decades, you come to realize that they are nearly identical. For some reason, though, Madoff is a criminal.

The baby boomer's portfolio and social security check will continue to grow if he DOES keep his job. That's where his taxes go. Get off the grid, go travel, go enjoy the world and you can stop paying into a system that you won't get anything back from.

I don't know many people that would kill for a job paying 13 dollars an hour with no benefits, no vacation, and no sick leave. I'd call that a garbage job and something I wouldn't even begin to consider at the age of 24 with no college education. It is nothing worth holding onto dearly. There are plenty of jobs out there, the people lining up for a worthless minimum wage grocery store job are the people with no marketable skills that couldn't hold on to their previous worthless minimum wage job. Don't be one of those people.

What good does keeping that job do? What do you have now? You spend your life working for food, shelter, and water. It just so happens that most people will spend their entire life working just to pay for their shelter, which I was able to pay for with a single days pay (being a tent). Food is extremely cheap if you shop well, and travel is free if you try. All of a sudden slaving behind a desk for your whole life becomes far less necessary.

I will never understand the allure of working all day, every day and taking a two week vacation once per year and calling that enjoyable. A two week vacation is nothing. It's not even a vacation. You can't enjoy anything in two weeks. Spending just one year out, travelling, doing your own thing is equivalent to nearly 25 years worth of vacation time if you worked a normal job. Extend that to at least a few years of travel and you've basically spent more time out doing what you wanted than you ever would have in your entire life if you went the "normal" route, which isn't including the possibility that you may die before you ever get a chance.

I could also get started on the hilarity of spending the best years of your life slaving and working all for the hope of being able to "relax" during the worst years of your life (retirement), years which you may never see - which is probably the most ridiculous idea of all.

Enjoy life now, while you can, while you're best able to do so.

stranger
05-12-2009, 07:05
Please disregard that emotive post, I'm a labour organiser and I've been dealing with employment issues for almost 10 years. I've organized workers in 3 countries and dozens of industries. Yes, we are in difficult times, but cmon...$13/hour, no benefits or vacation, that's nothing to be holding onto.

Yes, there are people who would desire what you have, but do you desire what you have? If you do not, then you need to fulfill what you desire - it's really that simple. Corporate America has caused this economic crisis, not workers, yet workers are being expected to bail it out, workers are being brainwashed into thinking, again, that they are "lucky" to have a job, and shouldn't be rocking the boat, this, that, all the BS.

Sorry to advise any ignorant people who may think otherwise, but the middle class in America has been gone for many years. There are currently more working poor in America, then middle class, at a ratio of more than 2-1. Most Americans are not doing well, most workers are not doing well, haven't been since the early 90's.

Go on your hike, one of the worst things you can ever do is get trapped into thinking that you need the boss, you don't, they need you. They will always need you.

You need to be happy in this world, and no matter how much you earn, or how good your job is, that alone won't make you happy.

Every problem I had on $8/hour I had on $20/hour and even $39/hour, I just had more money.

Doing a long distance hike is an experience no one can take away from you, like I said - there is always a reason to not do something. Break the comfort zone, break the accepted pattern, we will all be better off in the long run.

Jayboflavin04
05-12-2009, 07:22
Like it was said earlier. Dont burn you bridges. Then you can walk away in confidence that you tried your best to do the right thing employment wise. Yes you make $13 dollars and hour but no fringes, that really isnt all that much money.

GO HIKE!

Jayboflavin04
05-12-2009, 07:27
Also read the thread I started. "What do you do for a living"...There is good advice from a couple of guys who are out "hikin" enjoying life litterally "all-the-time".

Karrmer
05-12-2009, 07:30
I'm going to quote a letter from Christopher McCandless, which I'm sure will cause a storm of controversy, but I think it is beautiful and very true in many ways. Try to resist debating his choices/life and just read it for what it is: good advice, in my opinion.


Ron, I really enjoy all the help you have given me and the times we spent together. I hope that yo will not be too depressed by our parting. It may be a very long time before we see each other again. But providing that I get through ths Alaskan Deal in one piece you will be hearing form me again in the future. Iíd like to repeat the advice I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing or been to hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one piece of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a manís living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to sch a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Donít settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.

You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.

My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.

Ron, I really hope that as soon as you can you will get out of Salton City, put a little camper on the back of your pickup, and start seeing some of the great work that God has done here in the American West. you will see things and meet people and there is much to learn from them. And you must do it economy style, no motels, do your own cooking, as a general rule spend as little as possible and you will enjoy it much more immensely.
I hope that the next time I see you, you will be a new man with a vast array of new adventures and experiences behind you. Donít hesitate or allow yourself to make excuses. Just get out and do it. Just get out and do it. You will be very, very glad that you did.

Jayboflavin04
05-12-2009, 08:06
Your right it will probably stir up a **** storm. I personally like the story, and the soundtrack is outta this world. On the other hand, He did do a foolish thing, and made alot of mistakes. They ultimately cost him his life.

Karrmer
05-12-2009, 08:16
That is from the book, not the movie. The book is far better, IMO, though I enjoyed both.

I just like the letter for what it is: telling people to follow their dreams and do what they want to do, even if it means leaving their comfort zone and false senses of security. It took me a long time to figure that out, and that letter was a big inspiration for me to finally do what I wanted to do.

Jayboflavin04
05-12-2009, 08:48
Read the book also! I also enjoyed both.

emerald
05-12-2009, 14:10
Knowing more now than I did before when I first posted, I still suggest keeping the job while looking for a better job which provides benefits including time off to hike or engage in other recreational activities.

Someone who manufactures toys ought to understand the difference between work and play and the need for both. Seek an opportunity which encourages you to do both.

The time to work and save for your retirement is when you are young and healthy so you will be able to be comfortable in your retirement and enjoy whatever time remains, but work will not be enjoyable if you can't have some fun too.

Going on a walkabout when young and carefree before heading off to college, beginning a family or career or even at midlife is something I once did and makes sense in my own mind still, but I can't see quitting a job to hike for a month. It has to somehow fit into the larger plan.

What are your plans afterwards and how will this time off advance them?

Reid
05-12-2009, 14:53
You can't see it now but the job you have at 20 really has little impact on the rest of your life. Save some $$$ and go. It will probably change the rest of your life. ...the Flipside.... stay at this job for a few more years and wonder.....

That's preety circumstantial. I went to college myself a few times and I'm still at the same job I've had since I was 17. I absolutely killed it last year.

medicjimr
05-12-2009, 15:07
Like it was said earlier. Dont burn you bridges. Then you can walk away in confidence that you tried your best to do the right thing employment wise. Yes you make $13 dollars and hour but no fringes, that really isnt all that much money.

GO HIKE!



I don't know where you people work, what state you are from but in my neck of the woods in western Pa $13.00 hr is good money compared to the $ 6.75 or $7.25 what ever minimum wage is now. Another thing is the idea of finding another job is easy, same thing were are you at , so I can send all these desperate people around here to find a job.

OldStormcrow
05-12-2009, 16:38
Sounds like a job that could be easily replaced. No vacation, probably no insurance to speak of, close to minimum wages I would suspect......go hiking and enjoy yourself before you get a few wives, mortgages and kids....and wish you had!

Jayboflavin04
05-12-2009, 23:44
I don't know where you people work, what state you are from but in my neck of the woods in western Pa $13.00 hr is good money compared to the $ 6.75 or $7.25 what ever minimum wage is now. Another thing is the idea of finding another job is easy, same thing were are you at , so I can send all these desperate people around here to find a job.

Depending on how good your fringes are. Health care, 401k, vaction yatta yatta yatta...they can be considered up to 1/4(if not more) of your hourly wage. I myself make 13/hr so I basically make 16+ an hour. Same way in our area...no jobs... alot of people would be happy making my wage. But I am way overworked!

zoidfu
05-12-2009, 23:47
I don't know where you people work, what state you are from but in my neck of the woods in western Pa $13.00 hr is good money compared to the $ 6.75 or $7.25 what ever minimum wage is now. Another thing is the idea of finding another job is easy, same thing were are you at , so I can send all these desperate people around here to find a job.

Yup. The folks scoffing at $13 are out of touch or live in an area that has a radically different cost of living.

zoidfu
05-12-2009, 23:50
Quite a lot of assumptions / fear mongering / borderline mental illness going around in this post....


You could have saved yourself a lot of time by just typing- I made enough money to be able to afford being idealistic and to drop off the face of the earth. I don't have any responsibilities or family to take care of.

Meanwhile, the rest of us back on planet earth....

Dr O
05-13-2009, 00:00
Can I have your job if you leave?

Pokey2006
05-13-2009, 00:47
$13 an hour is really jack in northern NJ, provided he's close to the city and not in the sticks...I barely survived on $15-17 an hour in the Boston burbs. So, it's not a lot of money at all.

Yes, competition is fierce for certain jobs. Which is why it's good to avoid burning bridges. This also doesn't mean that new jobs are impossible to find.

I like that letter from McCandless. Glad you posted it, because I was in need of that reminder myself.

River Runner
05-13-2009, 01:47
Tough call, but if you are working a job with no benefits, where the boss wants to tell you what you can and can't do - to the point that you feel you wouldn't even be able to take two weeks off to hike - I'd say to take a hard look at what your future will be like if you stay in the job.

If you decide that's not a future you want, you might as well get out now, enjoy the hike, and put yourself on a new course. Whether that's a different job, college, technical school, or whatever. If you are willing to stay in a job that pays moderately with no benefits for the rest of your life, then I'd say stay on the job.

In this case, I'd say it really isn't about the hike - it's about whether you want to stay on the life path you are on right now.

zoidfu
05-13-2009, 03:50
I say- improve your skill set(I assume you don't have a degree since your 20 but you may have an Associate... which doesn't cut it these days) while your still working and then go. The trail will still be there 2 or 3 years from now.

And don't get worked up over these people saying, "well, you don't have benefits anyway!" Benefits, as we know them, are going to be a thing of the past in 5-10 years anyway. Companies simply can't compete against Europe and Asia when those two regions don't have to worry about giving their workers health insurance.

Karrmer
05-13-2009, 04:31
You could have saved yourself a lot of time by just typing- I made enough money to be able to afford being idealistic and to drop off the face of the earth. I don't have any responsibilities or family to take care of.

Meanwhile, the rest of us back on planet earth....

That is, essentially, the entire point. This guy is twenty years old with, as far as he's made us aware, no responsibilities either. This is the prime (and, in many cases, only) time in your life to do this.

To everyone suggesting the whole "work now so you can enjoy retirement" later thing: bad advice, in my opinion. Everyone is free to do what they want but after having worked here for a few years and talking to some of the people that had that dream ripped away from them, I'm not about to try it myself.

One example (of quite a few) is a guy that I've become pretty good friends with. He's 53 years old and set to retire in three years. He has already bought a 30 acre lot in Montana and almost has his cabin built. He's been talking with me over the years about how glad he is to be retired soon so he can finally enjoy his life out in the country, and he got a nice RV too so he can travel around when he wants.

Six months ago he went to a doctors appointment and found out he's got a reasonably advanced stage of brain cancer. He doesn't have much time left, most likely, and won't be able to enjoy his retirement at all. When he found this out and talked to me at work before he left (he decided to retire early, for obvious reasons) he was one of the main influences in why I finally decided to just quit and go for it. He told me about how much he wished he could go back and just travel and do everything he wanted to when he was younger. You never know how much time you have left, you better live in the present and do what you can while you can. And last I heard, he was in Montana enjoying his last bit of time.

Sound like a stupid sappy story? To some, I guess, but it's reality for a lot of people. From cancer to car accidents to debilitating injuries, there are a myriad of things that can rob you of your chance to enjoy your life before you ever even attempt to.

Working hard and enjoying retirement is fine, for many, assuming it ever comes. For some, like myself, even if I had the guarantee of a long life I'd still rather enjoy my younger years when I feel I am best able to enjoy myself.

The only point I am trying to make is that you can do what you want with your life. The guy is asking for advice, so this is mine, spoken vicariously through a man that I had a lot of respect for that has lost his chance to enjoy the things he dreamed of. Don't live a boring, unhappy life all in the pursuit of a safe, comfortable retirement that you may never see. You can't see the future, but you can live in the present. Go enjoy yourself.

I say quit the job. Plenty here disagree. Only you can make that decision for yourself, so just put yourself in your own shoes in twenty years - if you quit, travel, hike, experience the world - will you really look back on it wishing you had stayed at the toy store?

Or if you stay, do you think in twenty years you might look back wishing you'd just walked out and followed your dreams?

I know when I asked myself that, I knew I'd regret not doing it. Time to choose for yourself.

zoidfu
05-13-2009, 04:46
I'm starting to come around to your point of view but I still think he'd be foolish not to at least formulate some kind of plan for when he returns to the rat race, in light of the recession. Like I said, this isn't the 60's or 70's when you could fly under the radar, work under the table easily(unless you're an illegal), and grab the "help wanted" sign at the door and hand it to the owner and tell him he doesn't need it anymore.

Get a degree then go nuts. Pissing away a job that millions would like to have for just a 3 week hike isn't very smart. If you're going to do it, do it right. Take a year like you were saying- get more out of your risk.

Karrmer
05-13-2009, 05:21
I'd agree that quitting for a one month hike, only to return after that one month to try to find a new job is ridiculous and a bad idea.

I'd hope that he'd realize that he has an opportunity to continue hiking, travelling, doing whatever he'd like for a lot longer afterwards. A small amount of money can go an extremely long way if you're frugal in enjoying yourself.

I think the guy should keep working for a little while longer to save some money up as quickly as he can. I made the choice to do this around six months ago and I'm still working, for the same reason. I could die tomorrow too, before I got a chance to do what I wanted, but I'd say waiting a few months to prepare yourself is a minimal risk to take if it means you'll be able to stay out for much longer.

Just don't wait 20 years.

Getting a degree isn't a bad idea either, assuming it's an option. I never got a degree myself, primarily because since I was eighteen I had to go out and live on my own and make my own living. In hindsight I probably should've tried taking all the classes I could while working 50+ hours a week but... hey, that's hindsight!

Hikes with a stick
05-13-2009, 07:40
You need to ask yourself what you would you do if you did not have a steady stream of income coming in... If you live with your parents, you might be able to get by without a job for awhile when you return. If you are on your own in an apartment, responsible for paying your own rent, quitting your job might be a bad idea.

Are you still in college? Are you working fulltime at this job? If you are at the point in your life where you are starting your career, you should be looking for a job with some benefits like health insurance and 401K. If you are still in college and covered under your parents health insurance I would stay where you are, 13$ an hour is not bad for a college student. Especially if they work around your class schedule.

You might want to ask yourself if someone has moved your cheese...

bulldog49
05-13-2009, 08:02
I am surprised how many people are telling the lad to quit, I would really try to talk to your boss. See about maybe 2 weeks unpaid leave. I like to hike but I work it around my work schedule. Yes you may find another job , but will it be one you like as you have now.

A voice of maturity among a chorus of children. :-?

A one or two week vacation request is reasonable, but most employers don't have positions that can go unfilled for a month. Jobs aren't easy to come by, especially good ones.

yaduck9
05-13-2009, 09:52
Hey, you can always quit the job, but you can only quit the job one time. So in a sense your burning a bridge.

Try this; Go on the two week hike and see if it quenches your appetite for the big hike. If it doesn't, quit and go hike for one, two, three months.

If it quenches the thirst, come back to the job, go to school, wait for the economy to turn around and find a better job and before you take that job, go on the big hike.

I have yet to see a family run business that gives any upward mobility to non-family employees, and my job takes me into a number of family run businesses, so I know. The only benefit you get from being part of a family owned / run business is feeling like part of the family. If that's what turns you on then great, but, trust me, it won't do anything for you when you get to the grocery store check out line.

hikingshoes
05-13-2009, 10:01
lets see here.I worked for CAT.for 13yrs until the exwife married the man next door so i left job/house/the State and i started working as a Pipefitter(10yrs now) and love it.I will say by leaving it open my eyes to alot of great people and places which if i had never left the little town im from id never seen what was out there.I travel all over.LOL,not good if the GF dont understand and dont want to go.but thats life and like is good.

yaduck9
05-13-2009, 10:02
Let me get this straight, the son works at the business and backpacked Europe, and you don't get any benefits like health insurance? Yeah, this sounds like your classic small family business. Let me guess, all of the family members get health insurance and work at the business? All the non-family employees work at the business and don't get health insurance? All of the family members drive nice cars?

Sorry to be so negative, its just that I have seen this movie too many times.

Good Luck!

If you don't like my advice, try shutterbugs.

JokerJersey
05-13-2009, 10:54
In 2 years, I'm walking out the door of my job without a second's hesistation to do a 6 month thruhike. I work at a company as a skilled labourer making $17 an hour, plus medical and dental, plus 401K, plus 3 weeks paid vacation and 2 sick days. The only reason I'm still here is because I need to save more money and need the time to train so I can go with the best chances of accomplishing my goal. If I had the extra $5k I need and was a bit more prepared physically, I'd walk out tomorrow, but I don't, so I'll put my nose to the grindstone and stick it out until I do.

To me, is it worth it to walk out on security to persue a dream? Absolutely. Do I know what I'm going to do afterwards? Not a clue. Does that scare me? A bit. Does it scare me enough to not go? No.

I spent 5 years in the United States Marine Corps, with 6 months of that time in a combat zone where my continued existance was in question every single moment of every single day. I lived with the realization that ANY moment might be my last. Not in the philosophical way that most people think of it sitting in thier armchairs in the relative safety of thier homes, but in the truest form of the idea. The next missle strike? The next mortar attack? The next convoy ambush? Which one of them will be the one to take me off this earth? Luckily for me, it wasn't any of them. My time hasn't come yet, but I have no idea when it will. Am I willing to spend the rest of whatever life I have doing what others think I should be doing? Not a friggin chance. My life, my choices, my consequences.

No one here, not me, not the guy who posted above me, not the guy who posted that he's been doing it for 10 years, and not the guy who tells you to stay with it because the economy is bad can tell you what you should do with your life. If staying is more important to you in the long run, you are doing what you want to do. It's like what is written in the Thruhiker Papers...

You'll meet people along the way who will say to you, "I'd give ANYTHING to be doing what you are doing now!" The truth of that statement is that it is BS. If they would REALLY be willing to give anything, they would be out there with you.

That's as simple as it is. Life is not complicated. We MAKE it complicated. Do what you feel is right. Just be ready to accept and live with whatever consequences come from it. That is all anyone should have to do with thier lives.

Reid
05-13-2009, 11:00
I got to thinking about it last night and I'd like to note that you should really evaluate your definition of success. Making alot of money is not success to me anymore. I know lot's of people that have everything money can buy, but yet they are absolutely miserable. The country club is full of people whistling dixie but on the inside they are rotting worse than the crackhead's in chambertown. That may sound outlandish - and there's justifiable pride in doing well but money won't make you happy.

Karrmer
05-13-2009, 11:04
I got to thinking about it last night and I'd like to note that you should really evaluate your definition of success. Making alot of money is not success to me anymore. I know lot's of people that have everything money can buy, but yet they are absolutely miserable. The country club is full of people whistling dixie but on the inside they are rotting worse than the crackhead's in chambertown. That may sound outlandish - and there's justifiable pride in doing well but money won't make you happy.

Agreed. I was enormously happier when I was making $9 an hour and barely paying my bills.

Then I started making a lot of money, starting buying a lot of things, and things just got monotonous and boring.

The adventure found in not knowing, in having no real "security" (though nothing is ever truly secure), is worth far more than having the cash to buy some BMW.

disclaimer: when you're young and have no responsibility to care for anyone else ;)

jrnj5k
05-13-2009, 11:43
quit the job and hike. your young, its a family job, the moneys not great. and jobs are done in order to afford the things we love. so if you can afford it do it.

prain4u
05-13-2009, 13:02
You are young. You apparently don't have a spouse, kids, or a mortgage. Your job is good--but has no benefits. You don't plan to make this current job your career. Thus, I would say......

There is really no right or wrong decision here. Any choice that you make in your current situation has the potential to either make your life better--or to cause you some major headaches (or both). Ultimately, it is a "crap shoot" no matter what choice you make. So, don't stress too much over making the "right" decision.

You could choose to skip the hike --and then be laid off or fired by the end of summer anyway. Conversely, you could go on the hike and then land an $18.00 an hour job with full benefits shortly after your hike ends. No one knows what the future will bring. So, again, please don't get too stressed out over trying to make the "right" decision. There is no way to really predict which decision would be the "best one".

Just make your decision and don't ever look back and second-guess yourself. (Going back and playing "what if" will only make you depressed and drive you crazy!)

For a moment, imagine that your boss suddenly fired you on July 1st (or if your company suddenly folded on July 1st). How would you survive (financially)? Where would you find a new job? You would find yourself in mid-July 2009 with no income and looking for a job. But...life would go on.

If you go on your planned hike, you could potentially find yourself in mid-July 2009 with no income and looking for a job. But...life would go on.

There's not much difference between those two scenarios (except that in one scenario you were also able to hike the AT for a month!).

I saw the following sign posted at an ice cream shop approximately 20 years ago:

"Life is uncertain, so eat dessert first."

That sounds like a plan to me.

emerald
05-13-2009, 13:24
Many assumptions are being made about the thread starter's options after this 2 week or one month hike, his finances and his employer. I don't know how some are in a position to make the recommendations they have with the information provided on-board.

The advice being given here is heavily in favor of up and quitting the job and going hiking as usual. He's not talking about a GAME hike. Y'all might see if you can engage the thread starter and address your comments to him rather than the board, but that's about normal too.

I'm done posting to this thread. Carry on.

zoidfu
05-13-2009, 13:32
Y'all might see if you can engage the thread starter and address your comments to him rather than the board, but that's about normal too.



So, what do you think a forum's purpose is? Did we all miss something or are you just smarter than all of us?

Also, has it ever occurred to you that others might have a similar question? Or that others might not have even known that they had a similar question?

JokerJersey
05-13-2009, 13:48
Many assumptions are being made about the thread starter's options after this 2 week or one month hike, his finances and his employer. I don't know how some are in a position to make the recommendations they have with the information provided on-board.

The advice being given here is heavily in favor of up and quitting the job and going hiking as usual. He's not talking about a GAME hike. Y'all might see if you can engage the thread starter and address your comments to him rather than the board, but that's about normal too.

I'm done posting to this thread. Carry on.

Hey, some of us are just saying what we think here. Guy asked a question, I answered it as best as I could. Can I make his choice for him? Am I responsible for his choices if he decides to go with the mentality of letting strangers on an internet forum tell him how to live his life? The answer to both of those is a resounding NO. The guy gave limited information so should no one respond until he lays out his life story, a copy of his bank account, a detailed plan for coming home, and copies of his medical records? Or should we go on what information he supplied, form an opinion based off of that, and then reply in kind?

Not all of us are telling him to just quit and say **** it. That's what I'm going to do, but I'm also planning ahead and I don't expect anyone to do what I'm doing unless it's what they feel is right for them. All some of us have said is to look at what your priorities are, compare them to what you have, decide on whether or not what you have is worth giving up for what you want, and live with the consequences.

emerald
05-13-2009, 13:59
So, what do you think a forum's purpose is?

I would think the purpose of this thread would be to engage Ian in a dialogue and to help him arrive at a sound decision, rather than everyone posting their $0.02. Probably everyone has contributed their point of view on this topic before and I don't know why we need do so again or post the same thing repeatedly.

Anyone else notice the post count or when Ian last posted or visited? Often the person who begins a thread in short order is no longer posting or at least cannot be heard over people repeating things already posted or responding to one another.

The dialogue might be advanced by asking Ian a question. My second post after he provided additional information ended with a question I will repeat.


Going on a walkabout when young and carefree before heading off to college, beginning a family or career or even at midlife is something I once did and makes sense in my own mind still, but I can't see quitting a job to hike for a month unless it somehow is a part of a bigger plan.

What is your plan post-hike and how will this time off advance it?

My question was directed at Ian. If he doesn't want to answer, it's up to him, but my question wasn't meant to be rhetorical and it may have gotten lost amongst all the other posts.

I hope we will hear from Ian and he will have many more questions for us about this hike he has planned if he chooses to go through with it.

Engine
05-13-2009, 14:18
I have put some thought into this thread for a couple of days before responding. My first impulse was to advise against quitting your job, leaning toward the "safe and responsible" action of maintaining finacial security. That, however, comes from the mindset I developed over 24 years of raising children and being the provider to my family. I am only 43, but as a father and husband at 19 many choices I would have made had been rendered impossible. It has been my dream to do a thru hike since I was 10 years old. That hasn't been possible due to the demands of family and I don't regret that as I would give anything for those I love! Having said that, you just don't know when you will no longer have this option as life has a way of throwing obstacles in the path of our dreams. Some of those obstacles are really insurmountable if you are not completely self centered. So, in retrospect, I would advise you to hike and enjoy every second of the experience like it might never come again. The time for reduced options will come soon enough, but at this moment if I were in your shoes knowing what I know now, I would not let the door hit me in the rear!

ibigler5
05-13-2009, 20:57
Emerald I apologize for not answering sooner. I have been tossing this around in my head for while and I still cant come to a decision. To answer your question, I really didnt have a post-hike plan. My original plan was to hike and then come back to work, but i never thought my boss you tell me i couldnt go. And as for how my time off will advance it, I'm not quite sure.

I appreciate all the input, but I still cant make a decision. On one hand I could die tomorrow and never get to experience the trail. On the other hand if I dont die, I will not have a job.

I may have thought of a third option. I was thinking that I could look for a new job and say that I cant start till July 1st. That way I can quit my job, go hike and come back to a new job with (hopefully) a new outlook on life.
What do you guys think?

But as for not burning any bridges. I think if I left, I would set the proverbial bridge on fire. And that is not something I want to do.

Time to think some more.

Engine
05-13-2009, 21:03
Sometimes life gets in the way of living.

emerald
05-13-2009, 21:32
Emerald I apologize for not answering sooner.

No problem! You haven't gone away and we have caused you to to begin thinking.


I may have thought of a third option. I was thinking that I could look for a new job and say that I cant start till July 1st. That way I can quit my job, go hike and come back to a new job with (hopefully) a new outlook on life.

See, it's not always one thing or the other as you thought when you first posted! When all has been said, you must make this decision. It's yours to make as are the consequences. I'm hopeful you will seek and obtain a better job, one which will allow you time for more hikes and opportunities for career development.

You needn't decide today, but you should allow enough time to carry out your plans. In buying yourself time and making full use of it, you may come up with still more and better alternatives.

Maybe you don't need to say anything more to your employer just yet, but you need to think about when if you are committed to June 1. You should provide your employer with some notice as they will need to find a replacement if you decide to walk.

I get the impression you think the AT will change your life. Only you can change your life. Have you done much hiking before? Tell us about your experience(s) and what you hope to gain or learn from this AT journey which has taken hold of you and won't let go.

You know, you are apt to get more out of a hike by having a clearer sense of what you hope to get out of it before getting into it.


Time to think some more.

Thinking is a good thing, but there will come a time to act. Someone once said, "we live too much in the mind."

I don't know about the rest of you, but I find what's going on now much more interesting.

Corrigan
05-13-2009, 21:45
"To defy the laws of tradition is a crusade of only the brave".....be brave haha

prain4u
05-13-2009, 22:19
I would like to suggest yet another option....

Stay home. Don't go on the hike this summer. Spend your summer trying to find the RIGHT job. (There is absolutely nothing wrong with pursuing this option).

Based upon your postings, you don't seem ready to "hit the trail" at this time. (That is not intended as an insult--it is merely an observation). You are far too emotionally conflicted and stressed out about your employment situation to enjoy the hike. And, if you can't enjoy the hike--you might as well stay home.

You are experiencing so much stress because you want to have your cake and eat it too. You want the security of a stable job--yet you also want to be a bit of a "free spirit" and take a month off to hike the AT. Sadly, like most of us, you chose the wrong job to match that kind of lifestyle. You have a job that gives you no paid time off--and you have a boss who is very much opposed to people taking time off from work in order to go hiking.

BOTTOM LINE: You need a new job. (Ideally, you need the RIGHT job to match your dream of hiking).

Furthermore...
It is HIGHLY unlikely that you will find the "right" job sometime in the next two weeks. (In the rush to find a new job before June 1st you are likely to jump into almost any job just to have some "security". I think that would be a big disaster.

So, you should probably stay home this summer. Take the time to find the RIGHT job--a job that will better match your goals and dreams. You REALLY don't seem ready to "take the leap" this year. You are simply not ready to leave your "secure" job and hike the AT for an entire month. (And, there is nothing wrong with that).

laherb
05-13-2009, 22:32
"To defy the laws of tradition is a crusade of only the brave".....be brave haha

well put.. Frizzle Fry..

Jayboflavin04
05-14-2009, 00:16
But as for not burning any bridges. I think if I left, I would set the proverbial bridge on fire. And that is not something I want to do.

Time to think some more.

I worked for a family owned business. And that is a very good point to be made. If you do explain to them how you feel and give a notice at least you have the piece of mind that you truely tried to do the right thing.
This company or any company wouldn't think twice about letting you go if it were in their best interest.

And if you are really torn, go in and talk to your boss and make a comprimise if possible.Two weeks is better than no weeks of enjoyment.

ibigler5
05-14-2009, 14:27
Have you done much hiking before? Tell us about your experience(s) and what you hope to gain or learn from this AT journey which has taken hold of you and won't let go.

To answer emerald's question, I have done a few day hikes and i have done a lot of car camping. I have hiked with all my equipment and feel fine.

Well the upside to this will be if I dont end up hiking, there will be A LOT of brand new, never used equipment for sale here on whiteblaze lol

emerald
05-14-2009, 15:12
I've heard of people who do stuff like that before. It's better than throwing your gear over a cliff or leaving it in Maine.:)

Bidwell
05-14-2009, 17:28
Go for it, dude. What's holding you back from doing a 2-3 month hike, or a straight-up thru hike?

Bad Co
05-15-2009, 17:42
I would take Shutterbugs advice
You don't realize it now but the decisions you make at this age will be like a mirrow looking back at you later
I faced the kind of the same decision at your age and ended up buying the company because bosses son was always off playing
but on the other hand put off my thru hike 23 years
I am sure you can come to agreement with your boss, perhaps it's his busy season now and he needs you
just make sure you do it once before you have a family ( that was my mistake)

ibigler5
05-15-2009, 19:34
The busy season for a toy store is during the holidays (ie. Christmas and Hanukah)
THere is really no reason that he needs me to stay other than his mother being sick. Which is what kinda has me leaning toward staying. Ya know the karma and all.

bobgessner57
05-15-2009, 21:26
Karma is great, just don't make yourself into a doormat. If the boss really needs you because of temporary problems with his mother's health then maybe it is an opportunity to work out an agreement for future time off or at least some long weekends or other short blocks of time. If he won't consider that then he is not worthy of an employee that offers the loyalty you are exhibiting.

I have managed a family owned business (my parents'), worked for other small family businesses and am now self employed. Good help is hard to find and is worth its weight in gold. Make yourself golden and expect to be treated as such. That may not be so easy in retail but is certainly doable in the trades or some service businesses. I was able to prove myself to one employer, then work about half time on flexible hours and still net about the same annual wages after paying my own taxes, etc as a contract worker.

Perhaps this is a wake up call to think about your future. A long hike is a wonderful thing. If you stay with this job how can you parlay it into something better? Do you need it to earn money for school? Can you have a piece of the store one day? Could you see a way through the owner's current crisis that will enable you to have a block of time to hike during his off season after his mother's situation is resolved? If he would use you to carry the load now but not work with you in the future is he someone you want to work for?

When I was a bit younger than you I attempted a through and the thing that stuck with me was all the old people in towns that would say how they were so happy to see someone living out their dreams, then tell me how they hadn't attempted their own and all the excuses they had for not doing so. Then again my grandma always told me to keep my head in the clouds but my feet on the ground. Only you can sort out what the best choice might be, then do it and don't look back.