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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Difference between a "Screw You" trip and a "Yahoo" trip, and Why Both Are Important

By Andy

It’s been a while since I made a blog post, but it’s not for a lack of trying. Without divulging too much, my time was consumed by me attending to some family matters, and I had a new job to prepare for, which starts soon. Granted, it sucks for one to have to spend their summer in such a fashion, but sometimes things just come up that you have no control over; that’s just a part of life. It’s also a deeply disappointing feeling to know that, because of this and some other rare and unforeseen circumstances, I likely won’t be traveling abroad this year. But what I have realized is that, with a little planning and creativity, it is possible to take two kinds of trips, and they don’t always have to be abroad.

I’m talking about taking either a “Fuck You Trip” or a “Yahoo Trip.” Now, I recently took the latter, and it wasn't in a land far away. I planned it with what the current situation, time and finances would allow, and the only flying I did was on the open highway, and boy, was I flying. And I didn't even get pulled over or get any speeding tickets! Like I said, these trips do not have to be abroad, even though I have taken both kinds of trips both at home and abroad. 

But what exactly are "Fuck You Trips" and "Yahoo Trips?" Well, my Happier Abroad brethren, I'm glad you asked, and I'm glad to provide you with definitions. First, I will admit that I am not one that has expatriated or has gotten a job that is location independent, not yet. I am gradually working towards that, though. So, I write this article mainly for those of us who can only travel abroad two to three times a year on average, and because of the dynamics of our current jobs, take weekend trips stateside.

The "Fuck You" trip

In name, this trip is a bold statement, but it doesn't have to be limited to just that. What you do during such a trip, under certain circumstances will not only say a lot about you (duh), but will send a message. A "Fuck You Trip" is a trip you take, planned in advance or otherwise, when your are pissed off, stressed out, on the verge of depression or are about to quit your job. Ideally, and with some planning, you should take this trip during your last month on the job. If you work in a company that offers PTO (Paid Time Off) and you don't have any attendance or tardiness issues, you'll have no problem saving this, and will have plenty of PTO to take when the time is right. 

Of course, you should take a couple weeks off from work under normal circumstances, but when things go sour at your job and the writing is on the wall to leave, you really should take a trip right before you quit. I remember, during my last job, when I was passed up for not a promotion, but a lateral move. I didn't get it, not because I wasn't qualified, but because part of the snowball effect was the work area and subgroup I was in. They were such rotten, incompetent cretins that if I'd had made the lateral move, they would have collapsed as a group. In other words, I was needed as a continued babysitter, but in reality, that was the passive-aggressive way of telling me I didn't belong there, despite all I did for the company.

Never mind that some bozo from outside the company got the job, despite everyone else in the department thinking I was a virtual shoe-in for the position. So, how did I retaliate? First, I requested two weeks off, well in advance, before what would be my final week on the job. Once I got the signed approval for PTO, I waited until the day that I left for vacation, because I worked half a day in order to leave enough time to get to the airport, to give my notice. As professional and mature I was about it, for the sake of future references, I was passive-aggressive about it with the mangina boss. 

He never bothered telling me the news that I didn't get the job, but he never bothered to explain why, so I just said I was quitting, and I did it without incident. I planned the vacation perfectly so that by the time he made the announcement, I was already at the airport. I didn't want to be around for any backlash, drama or distractions. The workplace was about to get a lot worse with my departure, as he had pandered to the interests of idiots and the weakest links he failed to fire, while chasing off workhorses like me. My way of telling him "fuck you" was taking a trip before the last week of work, and making sure I had no PTO left after that, as I couldn't cash out any unused hours upon resignation.

This trip is important because it obviously allows you to enjoy yourself, but at the same time, send a message, particularly to your bosses and co-workers, that you deserve better, and are moving on. What is equally important is that if you don't have another job lined up upon quitting, you have some time to relax before conducting or resuming a job search, and before moving day, if applicable. Moving day and job searches are physically and emotionally draining, and there's no telling when you'll land that next job, or when you'll have the chance to take the next vacation. The great thing about a Fuck You Trip is that you really don't have to worry about getting ahead on your work for when you come back. You've already given your notice, and you've busted your ass there for years, so there's really no point, especially if it's at a place you have no desire to work at again.

Just a note, if you have put away money in a Fuck You fund, you might need some of that money for your Fuck You trip. But, if you're good about saving vacation time, you're probably good at saving money, so you might not have to delve into your Fuck You fund for your Fuck You trip. That way, you can save the Fuck You fund for the time between when you give your boss the finger, and when you land a new job.

The "Yahoo" trip

This is a trip to celebrate the new job. So, you were extended a job offer and accepted. The references checked out, and the pre-employment screening process was successful. Yahoo, it's time to take that celebratory trip! But, of course, you have to take this trip before your first day of work.

If there is enough time between the successful completion of the pre-employment screening process and the first day of work, you can get away with planning and taking a trip abroad. This requires some careful planning, so make sure you everything is squared away at your new job before the first day of work. You don't want to be on a boat ride on the Dniper, and then get a call saying you have to come in ASAP for a TB test you forgot about or to sign forms you didn't submit earlier. The best thing to do, just to be safe, is to check airfares and hotel prices when you get offered the job. Keep a close on on these during the pre-employment process, and when that process is absolutely complete, book that trip, and don't forget to come back a good two days before your first day of work!

If you don't have the time or finances to travel abroad before starting that new job, don't despair. There are places stateside that offer majestic views and serenity, and some can even be reached by car. Just do some research, and even take a look at the trip reports and photos from Winston. The founder of Happier Abroad has provided us with some stories and photos from his travels in the USA. You don't necessarily have to center your Yahoo trip around dating or PUA, you just have to make sure you enjoy yourself after a long job search and before focusing on the new job.

There are several benefits to a Yahoo trip. Firstly, if you're starting your job after summer has ended, this trip will allow you to enjoy your summer and end it on a good note. Secondly, you can enjoy whatever free time you have before starting work, because it might be a while before you get the chance to go on vacation. Remember, it is foolish to request time off at a job you just started, as it gives the wrong impression and doesn't allow you to establish yourself at the company. Lastly, you can start that first day of work focused, prepared and relaxed, and not wondering what could have been had you not taken some sort of trip beforehand.

So, for those of you in the workforce, on your way out of the workforce, or coming back into the workforce, you now know two kinds of key trips. You probably took such trips in the past, but never knew how to categorize them. There are many other kinds of trips, but I decided to focus on these two considering I'm about to start a new job that will definitely be crucial in saving money, and there are those of us who are working towards leaving the matrix or at least being able to travel more frequently. Working stateside while getting your things in order, and planning the details of living or working abroad in the future, is a step in the right direction. It doesn't have to be work all the time, reward yourself with a trip every now and then!