How Dirty is that Dirt Sandwich?

How Dirty is that Dirt Sandwich?

In my episode comparing the housing market to the job market, I talked about eating the dirt sandwich from time to time, i.e., having to stay in a job you dislike just for the salary and benefits.

✔️ This is not advice – it’s just an op-ed. Personally, I do not think the dirt sandwich should involve anything illegal or immoral.
✔️ Rage quitting feels great in the moment. But when you’re sitting at the kitchen table looking at your stack of bills and you have $50 left to your name, it may not feel as good then. IMO, it’s not wise to laugh now, cry later.
✔️ Do you have a nest egg or emergency fund of some kind? In the event of a layoff or job loss, do you have a sense of how long you could float without a job?
✔️ Do you have a personal code of conduct or rules of engagement that guide you on what you will or will not put up with?

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Transcription by  Please forgive any typos!

Welcome to the Causey consulting podcast. You can find it online anytime at And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. So in today’s episode, I want to tackle or try to tackle a question that’s been coming up more than a few times by people riding in asking me. So how dirty is that dirt sandwich going to be? I know that might sound kind of funny. So this is in reference to a bonus episode that I released on July 4, where I compared what’s going on in the housing market with what I’m seeing brewing up slash happening already in the job market. And one of the things that I mentioned in that episode is so my friends, you need to be prepared for instead of a candidate or employee driven market, a client driven market, where corporate America holds all the cards and you may have to eat a dirt sandwich in order to keep your job. Yep, I get it. That’s probably not a popular thing to say. And believe me, the social media. panderers won’t tell you that. So the question arose, well, exactly how dirty How bad is that dirt sandwich going to be? I want to get my standard boilerplate out of the way early. This is not advice of any kind, legal advice, career advice, spiritual, moral advice, etc. I’m not holding it out to be advice. This is simply me opining for your entertainment only not telling you to make any life decisions to do or not do anything. Based on my opinions, this is not advice. So in my opinion, the dirt sandwich should not involve anything illegal, unethical, immoral, etc. If you have a sleazeball boss who is trying to convince you to do something illegal, then, in my opinion, you know, if it were me, I would not want to get pulled into an illegal situation, I would not want to get pulled into an immoral situation, I wouldn’t want somebody putting me in unsafe conditions either. So in my mind, eating a dirt sandwich does not mean that you need to be putting life and limb or life and liberty at risk where the cops might show up and arrest you, because you’re involved in some kind of white collar crime scheme or, you know, they’re wanting you to operate unsafe equipment, and you could get a limb cut off, that when I’m talking about eating a dirt sandwich in order to keep a salary and benefits doing illegal, immoral, unsafe things to get said Money is not what I have in mind at all. If I were stuck in a job from hell, the absolute first thing that I would do would be to evaluate my own personal financial situation. Now even if you’re not stuck in a job from hell, I think that’s a good idea anyway, not a financial planner or advisor, not an economist. I think it’s just important to know your own budget, how much money do you have coming in each month or each week? And then what are your bills? Like? Do you have more month than money? And if so, why is that if you need to sit down with a professional and draw up a budget or get some help, then by all means, in some cities, there are free credit counseling services where they will not charge you a dime, you can sit down with a professional of some sort and talk with them confidentially about your financial situation and get some professional help. So if it were me, the very first thing that I would do would be to determine what my financial profile is, like, do I have a nest egg in the event of a layoff? Or in the event where this job from hell just got to be too much? And I really wanted to walk the hell out. How much money would I have? How long would I be able to float on my savings? Without going bankrupt? Like what what would that actually look like? As GI Joe said, knowing is half the battle and I think when it comes to your finances, shining a light and really looking at the truth is so important. Here’s something else I want to point out. I think probably everyone listening at one point or another unless you are just brand new on to the job market and you haven’t even started working anywhere yet. I think most everyone has had at least one experience in their life. That was like a job from hell, a boss from hell, co workers from hell, job duties that were absolutely soul crushing. I think we probably all have had at least one place in our lives that has been that way. And you have all of these fantasies of like rage quitting and some people have you know, during the Great resignation, so People have done rage quitting and have filmed themselves doing rage quitting, I remember an episode that Dr. Phil did about that exact topic where people were just like, eff this, and they would film themselves doing a rage quit. Here’s the thing. It does feel blissful. That moment where you’re like, I’m out, I don’t ever want to see these people, again, I am so done with this place, I am out and you’re pulling out of the parking lot. And you know, you don’t ever have to go back. It does feel good. But here’s the other side of that coin, that feeling of bliss and euphoria that you think is going to last forever and just be overpowering. It really isn’t. It goes away very fast indeed, way faster than you expect it’s going to part of that is when you have to sit down at the table with your stack of bills. And you’re like, Oh, whew, okay, so I’ve got $50 left in my bank account, and I just rage quit this job. So why what am I going to do now I need a J. OB ASAP. And if there’s a time of high unemployment, jobs become more and more difficult to find, or the hiring cycles become much longer, more protracted, you got to jump through half a dozen hoops to get a basic job, then you need to think about that lag time. In my opinion, it is a smart move to think about how long would it take if I were to rage quit if I just flipped my manager, the bird and walked out? How long potentially could I be unemployed? How much money would I need to come up with in the event of just rage quitting or getting laid off or whatever? I feel like that’s a really important and savvy thing to do. If it were me, I would not personally want to put myself in a position of laugh now cry later, rage quit and go out in a blaze of glory. And haha, isn’t it funny. But then a week later be sitting at the kitchen table with the stack of bills going, Oh, God, oh, God, what did I do? I should have handled this differently. You know, this is just food for thought. I’m also not going to sit here and tell you to stay at a job that is highly detrimental to your physical and mental health. I’m not going to do that. I’m not again, this is not advice. So I’m not going to sit here and tell you to do or not to do any one particular thing. You know the ins and outs of your situation? I don’t, I don’t. You know, I’ve talked before on the air about workplace psychopathy, and how some of these people make their way into positions of power. And they are just woefully woefully under qualified. They may be incompetent, but they’ve gotten there through some kind of political favors political poll, nepotism, favoritism, whatever, and some of them are just freaked the hell out. They’re not they’re not mentally and spiritually good people, and they want to take that psychopathy out on you. But then when you go and try to whistleblow and say, hey, you know, John Doe, or Jane Doe is not a good person. And here’s what they’re doing to me, you’re not believed, I am not going to sit here in good conscience and tell you that that’s part of the dirt sandwich that you might have to eat. No, no, no, no, no, I would never sit here and tell somebody well, you need to stay in a place that is slowly sucking out your will to live. If you need to get professional mental health help. That is something that I would say I highly recommend, I have done it myself. And I am an evangelist for therapy, I think it is so important to get mental health help to D stigmatize that and to get out of some bygone era of Well, I don’t deserve therapy, or I shouldn’t ask for help if I need it. No, you absolutely should. I’m not qualified to give you that therapy. I’m not a psychiatrist, a counselor, et cetera. So I can’t give you mental health advice. The only thing I can say is that if you feel that you need professional help, you should seek it out. Now, to kind of put some of these things together, something that could potentially be helpful is to drum up some kind of nest egg, whether that is a side hustle, some freelancing work on the side a second job, if you can swing it, some other source of passive income, the ideas there are plentiful. And again, you know your situation better than I do. I cannot and will not and I’m not giving you financial advice. I think, again, if it were me, if I knew that I had a nest egg, I knew that I had some kind of emergency fund in the event that I got into a place and I’m like, oh my god, I’m working for a psychopath or, you know, this place is so deranged that it is really having an impact on my mental health and I want to get the eff out. I would sleep a bit better at night knowing that I had some savings knowing that I had an emergency fund so that if the day came where I just cracked under under the weight of it all and I said You know what I’m out, I can’t I can’t do it, I’ve gotten to the point where I have to tap out and I have to get out of dodge. This is not a dirt sandwich, this is more like a giant flaming manure sandwich that I am not willing to eat, then I would know that I could float myself along financially for some amount of time, there is a real power to that, okay, there is a real power to getting yourself to the point where you’re like, I can at least float myself along long enough, I think that if I had some period of time of unemployment, I wouldn’t starve, I wouldn’t lose the apartment or I wouldn’t lose the house, the kids wouldn’t go without, we would make it now we might have to pinch pennies, and we might have to get really, really savvy about where the money went during that time. But we would survive. It also, in my opinion, helps you define your standards and your code of ethics, or your code of personal conduct what you are and are not willing to deal with in the workplace. And this is true whether you are a full time w two employee working for someone else, or whether you are a freelancer or a business owner yourself. No, I’ve talked before about how if someone gets into your sales and marketing funnel, and it’s just a complete and utter mismatch, you really do not understand what on earth attracted them to your website or to your social media, ask, do that detective work and find out what what brought you to me? You know, I had an experience like that recently. And yes, as I have also told you very publicly, I am in recession mode. I can get real cheapskate real fast. And anytime a client a good client says hey, can you do XYZ? Yes, yes, I can want to doesn’t factor into it. It doesn’t. Am I tired? Yes. But that also doesn’t factor into it. And I’m not working myself 20 hours a day and living off of fumes. But I am picking up extra hours because I feel like that’s a wise thing to do. My spidey senses are telling me that is a smart thing to do. Again, not giving anybody advice, just speaking solely for myself. I feel like that’s a really good move right now, if for no other reason than inflation. I don’t personally think this inflation is transitory and that it’s just going to evaporate overnight. Like I don’t think tomorrow gas is going to be $1.50 a gallon. And when you go to the grocery store, you’re going to be paying the same prices that you did like in 2016 I don’t personally see that happening. So recently, this guy got into my sales and marketing funnel and it was exactly that type of weird mismatch situation. You know, and I’ll tell you, I am just good and damn tired of the arrogant cocky man Splinter dudes, I am just fed up with it. I am way way past done with that kind of crap. And unfortunately, that is the type of person that this guy was. If you’ve seen the movie, endgame Avengers end game, you know, there’s that part where Thor gets on the headset and he’s like, Oh, yes, go cry to your father, your little weasel, because N00bMaster has been bullying core over this video game. Okay, if I were to close my eyes and imagine what N00bMaster would look like, in real life, it was this guy. Like an overgrown man baby sitting in grandma’s basement with a giant headset on and like, surrounded by six or seven different computer monitors. It also reminded me of an episode of American Idol where Simon Cowell told this contestant something like you look like you’ve been shut up in your bedroom for like the past 10 years and you haven’t gotten any sunlight at all. This This guy was like that. It was like he has had no fresh air. No outdoor activity, no sunlight, no exercise. He’s just been sitting 24/7 In gran’s basement, watching these monitors with his headset on like, that’s that’s N00bmaster, so I’ll just call him N00bmaster. And look, if he hadn’t been so cocky and condescending and mansplaining and sexist towards me. You know, I would, I would have just been like, Okay, this guy is not a fit. I wouldn’t be sitting here calling him new master, but it’s like, you know, there, there’s a way to have good professional communication. And then there’s a way to just be a sexist weirdo. And that’s how, in my opinion, new master came across. And so one of the questions I asked him was, well, you know, based on what you’re looking for in a consultant versus what I do, it sounds like we’re not at all on the same wavelength. So I’m just curious, you know, like how you found me and what, what did you find compelling to make you want to reach out and have an RFQ from from me about my services, and he admitted that he had just found me through Google search and and only read the front page on my website hit the contact button. And there he was, he had not gone through any information about me about my work style, etc. Because I don’t bury my thesis there either. No, I don’t get on Zoom and teams, I’m not going to camp out on a slack channel. I’m not interested in working for somebody that’s a pretend startup company. But it’s really somebody in Nana’s basement with $500 trying to cobble together a business on a wing and a prayer like that. That’s just not what I do. That’s not what I’m about in my business. But he hadn’t taken the time to read any of that he had just won’t ask for an RFQ. And then he was he sort of landed on my virtual doorstep. Now, here’s my point in bringing that up, Nuba master, was not a dirt sandwich that I was willing to eat. And I have the ability because I have been in recession mode because I have been working my hind end off trying to do as much as I can, and still stay sane and have enough time to rest and for myself to get out and get some fresh air. You know, I like to work around the farm I like to work out in the garden. I am not someone who’s been shut up in a bedroom for 10 years with no sunlight. I think fresh air and vitamin D are very important for human health and well being. You know, but because I have been working and I have been diligently trying to stay in recession mode. For me, it was an option to just walk away from Nuba master and say, You know what, this is just too dirty of a dirt sandwich. For me, this is not a path that I want to walk down. And honestly, I would love for everybody listening to this episode, to have that same level of freedom to get yourself to a place where and I believe me, I’m not one of these people, you know, sometimes you get on YouTube or you get on social media and people, the goals that they have are so outrageous, I’m talking about just the average person, the average working class person, the goals that they have are just crazy. You know, like, Okay, you need to work five jobs and you never sleep and you never, you never have a fun budget of any kind, you better have at least 500 million bazillion dollars in savings. And it’s like, okay, that’s so unobtainable, or unattainable, that it’s almost like why even try, that’s not the kind of crap I’m out here talking about. I’m not gonna get on the air and tell anyone to work five jobs and only sleep for two hours a night and don’t ever take the kids to the zoo and have a Sunday funday I’m not going to get on here and tell you that it’s not my business. I don’t know what your finances are like. And again, this is not advice. It’s just me sitting here opining for your entertainment only and for your entertainment only. I think it’s really great when you can have some kind of a nest egg or an emergency fund to where if you feel like things are kind of slow and you’re worried about it or you get an invite from somebody like Nuba master, and you’re like, oh, then that’s not a dirt sandwich that you have to eat. Now, in terms of dirt sandwiches that you might have to eat again, this is not advice. I’m just giving you my my opinion. You know, there may be times when your boss is not a complete jerk. Maybe they’re just having a bad day and they’re just they’re in a bad mood. You know, they want to just be a little bit crappy to the people on staff. It’s not reaching the threshold. They’re not they’re not doing anything illegal. They’re not doing anything immoral. They just kind of got an attitude. You know, they want to be a little bit of a but not not a full on jerk. Not a full on biatch just a little bit of a but during the Great resignation, y’all there are some people that I’m telling you the first flippin time that their boss looked at him sideways, they would just quit be like, hey, there’s all these open jobs available. labor shortage, labor shortage, we heard that constantly. And so it’s like the first time that you look at me sideways, I’m leaving the first time that you ask if I can work late, I’m leaving. And it’s like, okay, but wait a minute, during a recession, or during some kind of hellscape 1970 stagflation, that might not be the best attitude to have. It might be again, this is not advice. It’s just me kind of speculating here. It might be that picking up a shift and staying late if you can, would be a good idea. It might be that if your boss kind of looks at you sideways, or they’re being a bit of a but you know, they’re they came into work and a sour mood might be a good idea to just give them a wide berth and try to stay out of their way for that day. Because the great resignation is not going to last forever. And there’s been so many red flags going on out in the market, Elon Musk saying RTO or there’s the door. Zuck saying, well, there’s probably some people that shouldn’t even be here and if they want to, like you know, self select out the door, that’s totally cool with us. I just feel like me personally, this is not the time to play games. So there’s no short, simple, tidy answer. For how dirty is the dirt sandwich, I personally feel like if it’s a hot steaming pile of bull manure, put on a sandwich, that may be a bridge too far. But if on occasion the boss comes in, it’s just in something of a bad mood or, you know, maybe you just don’t particularly care for their personality. It’s not that they’re a complete garbage can of a human being, they’re just really not your cup of tea. You know, if you had your druthers, you would rather have a boss that you actually personally like, but it’s not the end of the world. I don’t know that I personally would say all screw it, just quit, just quit just walk off tons of open jobs, just just hippity hop, hop hippity hop up all over the market. I would not personally think that that’s a strategy I would want to apply. So again, there may be times, especially during an economic downturn where you have to eat a little bit of a dirt sandwich in order to make ends meet. And if you do, that’s fine. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It doesn’t mean that everything else around you is a failure either. To some degree, that’s adulthood. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but sometimes in life, we got to eat a dirt sandwich. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.

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