Living in a city you hate, due to work

I work for a very well known tech firm (i.e., Amazon, Facebook, Google), and although the job is ok for the most part (fantastic hours, laid back, love the people in my team), I absolutely despise the city I live in. After having lived in truly world class cities, the new reality has been brutal to deal with. The current city is absolutely dreadful in terms of the culture, nightlife, people, and dating scene. It combines the worst elements of the tech culture with self-righteous SJW liberalism that now infects our major cities. Because I am so unhappy with the city, it is affecting my overall happiness and am unsure how much longer I can stay here.

What is the minimum time I should be at my current firm before shopping my resume around? Also, I would love to hear from those who have been in similar situations.

Comments (106)

Sep 19, 2017

Are there any internal prospects that are outside of your current city that may be more tolerable? If so ride it out and apply to try and transition there. Otherwise, I would give it at least a year. People may wonder why you wanted to leave and being unhappy with the geographic location seems reasonable to me. Just my $.02.

Sep 19, 2017
Ehmerica:

Are there any internal prospects that are outside of your current city that may be more tolerable? If so ride it out and apply to try and transition there. Otherwise, I would give it at least a year. People may wonder why you wanted to leave and being unhappy with the geographic location seems reasonable to me. Just my $.02.

Good question. Without divulging too much detail, my role pretty much requires me to be in the company's headquarters. And I looked at jobs in other cities, but they are pretty much all engineering or sales, nothing I'm interested in.

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Sep 19, 2017

Lame! If there is no place that you can fit in and be yourself then start looking at about 6 months. Assuming you get an exit interview when you depart just mention that you see zero ideological diversity and that this area is not good for your health due to the unaccepting nature of the culture in the surrounding area. In the meantime consider buying a truck, get a six inch lift, some mud tires and glass pack with a MAGA or "Have Gun Will Vote" sticker on it. If you have to deal with someone else's shit, make them deal with yours.

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Sep 19, 2017

Ideally you should stay 2-3 years with your current company. If the SJW Liberals annoy the shit out of you, you can always move. You'd be surprised what you find 30 minutes outside of a major city.

If you'd rather not commute, perhaps a change of perspective can make it more palatable - at least you aren't living their miserable lives finding offense in literally everything. You might even learn to have fun with them. My favorite way to get under their skin is to reply "as a minority female on the LGBT spectrum, I thought society had progressed beyond this conversation".

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Sep 19, 2017
Managerette:

Ideally you should stay 2-3 years with your current company. If the SJW Liberals annoy the shit out of you, you can always move. You'd be surprised what you find 30 minutes outside of a major city.

If you'd rather not commute, perhaps a change of perspective can make it more palatable - at least you aren't living their miserable lives finding offense in literally everything. You might even learn to have fun with them. My favorite way to get under their skin is to reply "as a minority female on the LGBT spectrum, I thought society had progressed beyond this conversation".

It's also the dating scene. I'm a single straight man, and the quality of women and the lopsided ratios are so horrendous that I feel like I'm living in a dystopian nightmare.

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Sep 19, 2017
Rufus1234:

It's also the dating scene. I'm a single straight man, and the quality of women and the lopsided ratios are so horrendous that I feel like I'm living in a dystopian nightmare.

If it makes you feel better, for very young men (age 22-25) post college, the dating scene is an illusion--unless you're in the top 20% of men in terms of looks (or possibly the top 10% in terms of charm) you will not be landing quality chicks anyway. So the perfect time to be living in a horrible city for dating is when you're right out of college (as a male).

Sep 19, 2017

lmao stop the fuckin whining. Bagging a 5/10+ at a bar is not that hard in any city in this entire country. She doesn't need to be a supermodel just fuckable. Jesus man if some guy claiming to be liberal were posting this shit this forum would be lighting his ass up.

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Sep 19, 2017

Agree with above. Has to be Seattle

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Sep 21, 2017

Just curious, how does everyone seem to know it is Seattle when it could also be San Francisco? At least in my mind anyways. I live in Houston though so don't know much about the PNW.

Sep 21, 2017

I am talking only from visiting the cities but IMO SF feels much more like a global city and the SJW culture isn't as prominent just because the city is so much larger/more diverse. Seattle feels like if the reddit politcs sub was a city. His comments about a booming tech scene, SJWs, less girls and lack of nightlife are spot on from what I have noticed in Seattle.

Sep 21, 2017

the dead giveaway was talking about the quality of the women. again, as I said, it's unfair to say all women from PNW are ugly. at the same time, the song "california girls" doesn't mention oregon or washington for a reason.

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Sep 19, 2017

have friends in both seattle and in SF, move outward. my best friend moved from a downtown hip spot to a suburb and found it much more bearable. as for work, well there's not much you can do about colleague's beliefs other than saying something like "can we please talk about something else? it's not that I disagree, I'm just tired of talking about politics." yes, I'm suggesting a white lie for self preservation. once you have the work side taken care of, you can work on outside of work. I have a few friends in SF, mostly conservative, and they basically keep their mouths shut and don't talk to people who are loud about it. even if I agree with someone, I don't want our friendship to be based on our similar political views, it'd be boring as shit.

also, I know nothing of the commute but I wonder if places just outside would be better? if it were me, I'd look north of half moon bay (for surfing purposes), but I wonder if San Mateo is as much of a liberal dystopia as SF proper. I mention this because while hollywood is absolutely filled with those types of people, orange county is a nice respite and not awfully far away.

as for the dating scene, I would be willing to bet that what turns you off most is if they're just loud about their politics. if you're a level headed person, you likely wouldn't hate someone with a different worldview so long as they shut the fuck up about it.

still go on dates, if you find someone with one iota of social grace, politics ought to be one of the last things they bring up. ask them about what they do, where they went to school, where they grew up, what they do for fun, do they spit or swallow, etc. none of those have to wade into politics. eventually the subject will come up, but I think the key is being respectful. don't push your beliefs outward too hard,

finally, what do you do outside of work? I know you work long hours, but I like the idea of doing some recurring thing like martial arts or volunteer work.

I'm betting the sooner you don't allow people who are loud about politics into your life, the more you'll get along. I've lived in liberal dystopia my entire life (my family are bernie supporters and I voted for Romney, go figure), and the best thing that ever happened to me was to not allow them to bring politics into the conversation

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Sep 19, 2017
thebrofessor:

have friends in both seattle and in SF, move outward. my best friend moved from a downtown hip spot to a suburb and found it much more bearable. as for work, well there's not much you can do about colleague's beliefs other than saying something like "can we please talk about something else? it's not that I disagree, I'm just tired of talking about politics." yes, I'm suggesting a white lie for self preservation. once you have the work side taken care of, you can work on outside of work. I have a few friends in SF, mostly conservative, and they basically keep their mouths shut and don't talk to people who are loud about it. even if I agree with someone, I don't want our friendship to be based on our similar political views, it'd be boring as shit.

also, I know nothing of the commute but I wonder if places just outside would be better? if it were me, I'd look north of half moon bay (for surfing purposes), but I wonder if San Mateo is as much of a liberal dystopia as SF proper. I mention this because while hollywood is absolutely filled with those types of people, orange county is a nice respite and not awfully far away.

as for the dating scene, I would be willing to bet that what turns you off most is if they're just loud about their politics. if you're a level headed person, you likely wouldn't hate someone with a different worldview so long as they shut the fuck up about it.

still go on dates, if you find someone with one iota of social grace, politics ought to be one of the last things they bring up. ask them about what they do, where they went to school, where they grew up, what they do for fun, do they spit or swallow, etc. none of those have to wade into politics. eventually the subject will come up, but I think the key is being respectful. don't push your beliefs outward too hard,

finally, what do you do outside of work? I know you work long hours, but I like the idea of doing some recurring thing like martial arts or volunteer work.

I'm betting the sooner you don't allow people who are loud about politics into your life, the more you'll get along. I've lived in liberal dystopia my entire life (my family are bernie supporters and I voted for Romney, go figure), and the best thing that ever happened to me was to not allow them to bring politics into the conversation

Solid post. I agree with a lot of what you said.

  1. Zero interest living in the suburbs; I like being in dense urban areas, was always a city guy. If I ever get married, I will probably move out.
  2. The problem is not just that the women are liberal. There are so few attractive women, and as you can imagine the competition is insane for even slightly above average women. In NYC I had no problem punching above my weight due to the plethora of women around and the ratio being in favor of men. And in NYC there are so many women who are attractive, smart, ambitious, went to good schools, and are fun to hang out with. Those are super rare where I'm at. Over the summer I visited a city I used to live in, and I saw more beautiful women in one Friday night than I did in six months in my current city. The difference was so drastic that I felt like I was in an alternate space-time dimension.

LOCATION FUCKING MATTERS. A LOT. Unless the job is like your dream job and pays a ton of money, life is too short to live in a city you despise.

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Sep 20, 2017

ok you obviously live in Seattle. I have no advice on the female part because my buddy who lived there was married so that was never his concern, and while a broad brush of "all women in the PNW are ugly" is not fair, it's also not SoCal or Miami, or NYC for that matter. I'd advise you to raise your hand to move to AMZN's 2nd headquarters (likely in a city with great selection: Boston, Dallas, SF, Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh). you will do fine in those cities.

in the meantime, spend weekends in Vancouver, I've heard great things.

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Sep 20, 2017

Sounds like you're pretty set on hating Seattle, can't knock you for that, I would hate it too. As a single, living in the suburbs would suck, so not an option.

I'd suggest 1 year as the minimum. In the meantime plan weekend trips, as many as you can. Heck, bail out of there every weekend if you have to, who cares. Gives you something to look forward to. Plan a long week away, anything. As a liberal company, you should have lots of time off I imagine?

But yeah, don't stay somewhere just for a job, that sucks

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Sep 24, 2017

This is 100% true.

Sep 20, 2017

Do they spit or swallow hahahaha. Casually bringing that up mid sentence is key.

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Sep 20, 2017

Move to Tacoma, or learn to like Asians

Sep 20, 2017

OP here's a good idea: why don't you suggest to your management that they build a new, "second headquarters" type building? You could put it in a city of 1M people with access to colleges, an airport, and public transit. Then, move to the city and ???? profit...

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Sep 20, 2017

does anyone in your area look like this guy?

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Sep 20, 2017

Bro, no offense but grow the hell up. These are first world problems. You got a JOB and are making tons of money. Stop worrying about everybody around you, and focus on yourself. You are relying too much on "culture, nightlife, people" When you put your trust in anybody but yourself, you will be let down, time and time again. If I was you, I would focus on what makes me happy. Whether that be, skating, basketball, learning a martial art, learning how to build a website, getting a dog, learning how to cook, buying a killer gaming PC, etc. Anything that you can CONTROL, don't waste your time on stuff that you can't. Facts are that you won't be there forever, so if I was you, just save your money, and hang in there until a better opportunity comes your way. The truth is, the grass is always greener type of mindset, happens to everybody and its not always the case. What if you go to a city that you LOVE, but the coworkers are trash, and the people in your team aren't giving you good vibes? Come on man, suck it up, and make that money !

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Sep 20, 2017

Hard to argue with this logic. Well put!

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Sep 20, 2017

Tons of research showing that happiness is directly related to quality of personal relationships and cultural connectedness. Or alternatively, pretty much what the OP is saying he's lacking in his current city.

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Sep 22, 2017
Cov:

Tons of research showing that happiness is directly related to quality of personal relationships and cultural connectedness. Or alternatively, pretty much what the OP is saying he's lacking in his current city.

Correct. "ChampagneTaffy" is a kid who doesn't get it.

Sep 21, 2017

This is terrible advice and probably spoken by someone who hasn't worked before.

If you don't look forward to your time spent outside of the office, whats the point?

You said focus on what makes you happy, well, hanging out with people that you enjoy makes some people happy, so there's your focus. And you can control where you live and work, just move and find a new job.

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Sep 21, 2017
m8:

This is terrible advice and probably spoken by someone who hasn't worked before.

If you don't look forward to your time spent outside of the office, whats the point?

You said focus on what makes you happy, well, hanging out with people that you enjoy makes some people happy, so there's your focus. And you can control where you live and work, just move and find a new job.

Depending on how many vacation days one takes and excluding traveling for work, we spend 90-95% of our time in the city that we live in. So although I do weekend travels once in a while, that is not an adequate substitute.

To put my feelings more bluntly: if Kim Jong Un nuked the city I live in while I was out of town, I would not be THAT mad, but if he nuked NYC or Chicago, I would join the military and kick some commie butt.

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Sep 20, 2017

Do you like to do outdoorsy activities/are you active? The reason I say this is that, while I don't live there, I'm there fairly often for work and one thing I notice is that up there more than any city I've been to, people seem to use activities/'outdoorsy shit' as a way to form their social circles. There's definitely a night life, but I feel like the percentage of time allocated to 'going out' up there is not even close to what it is for the average person in a NYC, Chicago, LA, SF, etc. Might be worth trying to get involved in some type of ski/snowboarding group, biking, mount climbing, etc. if you're open to it. My guess is since there's not as big of a finance, entertainment or modeling cohort there, this is where the majority of the fit/good looking people will gravitate towards. Good luck!

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Sep 20, 2017

When your employer builds their second HQ, ask to be relocated there. I've heard some rumors it's supposed to be Denver, so you may be SOL as far as avoiding liberal is concerned, though.

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Sep 20, 2017

Hilarious how obvious it is that OP lives in Seattle. Hilarious to read the numerous and varied responses to this effect from the WSO readership.

Sep 21, 2017

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but my sense is that the number of dense, elite urban centers with the kind of amenities you want that are also not bastions of SJW style liberalism is close to zero. Even traditionally more "conservative" cities are trending left.

Of course, being in tech makes it worse. Again, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you work at one of the prominent tech companies you are going to be inundated with the usual SJW tropes on a continual basis no matter where you live.

So, what should you do?

I'm not sure. I've actually been thinking about this myself quite a bit because I also live in a very liberal urban center (LA), work in tech, and trend right of center (voted for Trump but dislike the GOP establishment). I prefer the amenities / opportunities of a "world class city" and my lifestyle works better in an urban environment (married but no plans to have kids) but I'm getting really tired of the political baggage and financial costs that come with it.

I sometimes wonder how many people out there are like me and if maybe the answer is to connect with those people and form small enclaves of sanity within the broader SJW dystopia. In other words, live in an elite urban center but find a neighborhood / group of people with shared values. Work in tech but find the one or two companies that haven't completely sold out.

Sep 21, 2017

You're not alone bruh.

Sep 21, 2017

I'll be in LA in 2 weeks, let's get a beer and start the enclave

Sep 21, 2017

Sounds good. Send me a PM and we can work out the details.

Sep 20, 2017
Rufus1234:

The current city is absolutely dreadful in terms .... nightlife, people, and dating scene.

Tinder, Tinder, Tinder

Rufus1234:

What is the minimum time I should be at my current firm before shopping my resume around? Also, I would love to hear from those who have been in similar situations.

If it is your first job 18 months, if it is your second job 2 years, if it is anything past that no minimum needed as long as someone is willing to hire you (just say the culture isn't a good fit, but the company is great and the coworkers are great blah blah)

That's a very simple and rough guide.

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Sep 20, 2017

I found myself in similar situations more than once. If there is any financial benefits try to stick with it as long as you can. Usually big companies allowes you to get transferred (at least I could where I was working) and maybe look for better prospects in different locations.

Sep 21, 2017

OP are you in Chicago or Kansas City? Can't tell by your comments

Sep 21, 2017
southernstunna:

OP are you in Chicago or Kansas City? Can't tell by your comments

Neither. I wish I were in Chicago.

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Sep 21, 2017

I would just move then man. Get enough work experience so it doesn't look shady and start applying else where.

The vast majority of people in this country consider geographic location to be the #1 factor in where they work. It's completely normal to want to like where you live. No matter how good a job you have, it's just a means to provide you with a comfortable living. Don't get that relationship reversed.

Also, for those scratching your head about this one: there is a massive difference between a city "being blue" and having to live in the identity-politics obsessed society that the OP is referring to. I'd imagine that almost all major cities in the country have a democratic mayor and/or majority democratic city council; that doesn't mean that you're gonna be living a real life episode of Portlandia in Pittsburgh or Boston.

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Sep 22, 2017

Would you rather be in a city filled with Trump supporters? Hey, there are plenty of young men joining the alt-right that you can befriend down South.

The reality is that American politics has reached a point where the average American is unable to have a logical, data-driven conversation about social issues. And if we're talking averages, then no matter where you go, you're going to run into average Americans. Nonsensical right vs nonsensical left, choose your flavor.

If you're absolutely unable to find a small group of friends that you enjoy spending time with, then maybe it's a sign that you need to open your mind or expend more effort into finding friends that are a good fit for you.

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Sep 22, 2017
LuckyDuckling:

Would you rather be in a city filled with Trump supporters? Hey, there are plenty of young men joining the alt-right that you can befriend down South.

The reality is that American politics has reached a point where the average American is unable to have a logical, data-driven conversation about social issues. And if we're talking averages, then no matter where you go, you're going to run into average Americans. Nonsensical right vs nonsensical left, choose your flavor.

If you're absolutely unable to find a small group of friends that you enjoy spending time with, then maybe it's a sign that you need to open your mind or expend more effort into finding friends that are a good fit for you.

You totally misconstrued my posts. I said explicitly that I prefer living in "blue" cities and have zero interest living in a suburb or small town. And for what it's worth, around 95% of my friends voted for Obama and Clinton and are center-left. So I have no problem being friends with those with divergent political views. The dating scene, culture, nightlife, diversity, etc., are hard to quantify, but the differences between my current city and prior ones are drastic.

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Sep 27, 2017
Rufus1234:
LuckyDuckling:

Would you rather be in a city filled with Trump supporters? Hey, there are plenty of young men joining the alt-right that you can befriend down South.

The reality is that American politics has reached a point where the average American is unable to have a logical, data-driven conversation about social issues. And if we're talking averages, then no matter where you go, you're going to run into average Americans. Nonsensical right vs nonsensical left, choose your flavor.

If you're absolutely unable to find a small group of friends that you enjoy spending time with, then maybe it's a sign that you need to open your mind or expend more effort into finding friends that are a good fit for you.

You totally misconstrued my posts. I said explicitly that I prefer living in "blue" cities and have zero interest living in a suburb or small town. And for what it's worth, around 95% of my friends voted for Obama and Clinton and are center-left. So I have no problem being friends with those with divergent political views. The dating scene, culture, nightlife, diversity, etc., are hard to quantify, but the differences between my current city and prior ones are drastic.

95% of your friends lean a certain way politically?

that seems a bit crazy if true

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Sep 22, 2017

Minimum time = however long it takes you to find a job making about 30% more in a new city.

Keep your mind focused on the money.

Smile, nod and agree with SJWs and focus on any mutual interest :)

Sep 22, 2017

Did it once, Charlotte blew.

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Sep 22, 2017

Don't worry, the people in your new city don't like you either.

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Sep 22, 2017

Go back to Kentucky, Mississippi or Florida, you will fit right in ;)

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Sep 23, 2017

I live in London, it's clearly not as bad as the US in general regarding SJW crap, at least in the UK racial tensions are not as bad.
But this shit is getting out of hand, i am now systematically asking "What do you think of men-women roles in society / are you a feminist" or some other variant at some point in the first date.
Any sign of being upset / belligerent / talking patriarchy or other non-sense from SJW dictionary and i split the bill and never look back.
Eastern Europeans and Latinas tend to be less "infected".

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Sep 23, 2017

Disregard females, acquire currency

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Sep 24, 2017

I'm guessing you work for Amazon based on a number of factors, I could be wrong though. You mentioned you needed to be at there HQ location, but maybe you could wait it out till their HQ2 is built and transfer there?

Sep 24, 2017

Yeah OP. Where will the second HQ be? Give us the scoop.

Sep 24, 2017

You need a solid one year of experience. The management gets suspicious if you've logged in less than that. The assumption immediately being, that you're not a team player and weren't willing to try to make it work. Don't ask why one year, I just know from the recruitment policies at my bank.

Sep 24, 2017

If the company and experience are as good as you make them sound, do not waste any more time. Start networking with firms doing the stuff you like in the areas you like. I would stop wasting time, NOW!!! You could be dead in 1 year. NOW MAN NOW!!! If you start now, worst case scenario is you switch jobs at a later date, best case scenario is its next month.

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Sep 25, 2017

OP was the Nazi that got KO'd last week in Seattle.

Sep 27, 2017

lol you're not that far off I bet

Sep 25, 2017

OP I can relate since I JUST moved back to a major city after spending 2 years in a "secondary" market.

What helped was ponying up to live in the best new apartment complex in the city (pool, deck, whole 9 yards). I was ultimately able to meet a bunch of transplants similar to myself - we bonded over our shared love/hate of the city.

If you're stuck in Seattle or wherever, take advantage of the cheaper rent and go live in a baller pad that will cost you 5x as much when you ultimately move back to NYC (if that's where you're trying to go).

By the way, FWIW I ended up doing very well on the female front. There are hot girls in every city - the online dating scene might not be as good as it is in NYC but you should be getting 5+ numbers every night you go out.

Sep 27, 2017

Seattle isn't that cheap lol.

Sep 28, 2017
BillBelichick37:

Seattle isn't that cheap lol.

This...

Oct 11, 2017

Not sure if OP actually ended up mentioning what city he is in but @thebrofessor I actually doubt he is in Seattle, my guess is that OP is in San Francisco/Bay Area. Comparatively speaking, women in Seattle aren't nearly as bad as the women in San Francisco who are ugly on the inside and especially the outside.

Bars in the city were a complete sausage fest and my friend and I were laughing at how hideous the women there looked, no joke, tough to find any woman that was in good shape and cute.

I've stayed there and it is hands down one of the worst places in the US for a single man to live in. I found that it wasn't just the fact that you had a difficult time finding attractive women, people there in general had a very rude elitist vibe to them. Very difficult to talk to anyone and even the customer service there all had a rude attitude to them.

I truly feel for all the techies out there, they get placed in cities that are hell for men. San Francisco is just a horrible to be in and it is a misfortune that all of the good tech jobs are there. Hopefully other more fun cities get their tech markets going one day because San Francisco is just an awful people by all stretch of the imagination.

It is when extreme liberalism meets the kind of elitism unmatched by any other city on the planet, sorry OP.

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Jun 1, 2018

Hey OP, could you tell us where the second HQ will be? Dying to know. Thx in advance!

Jun 1, 2018

I'd bet dollars to dachshunds that it's going to be in Arlington, VA. The politicians are so certain that they are almost arrogant about it.

Jun 4, 2018
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Jun 3, 2018