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Wonderful practical example of an occasionally perverse incentive, Chris! Also very educational for those who have never worked or hired in the gorgeous Aloha State. Impressions are always partial, incomplete and thus rarely comprehensively representative of actual reality.

Yes, interesting that the "magic formula" of setting and managing your own expectations had to come from a 20 (something) year old. She and her husband were canny enough to figure out that everything in every column doesn't always go "up". Sometimes things go down in one column, but go up in another - and just maybe you're still ahead of the game.

Dangerous to expect such wisdom, foresight and perspective from a youngster. Good hiring, training and assignment selections shown here, so kudos are in order.

Let's hope the younger generation dominates in that perspective of "less is more" or in at least realizing there are trade offs when looking for experiences rather than more stuff. Putting the value on the experience automatically puts you ahead of the game!

That being said if you can't afford your groceries, that's a problem. Somehow I don't think this employer would be offering a salary that isn't high enough to cover the basics though.

Take this Hawaii experience and multiply it by 10 for expatriates. By 20 if the new country requires another language. Hawaii and expat assignments should not be made without investing time and thought into all the changes and challenges the employee and his/her family will face.

Funny/good feedback from Dave and Karen (respectively). So, my belief is that it is not a problem affording groceries, and only eating Ramen noodles (although I had Ramen noodles for lunch today). It's more along the lines of I can't buy groceries, have a splenditious house, and buy a BMW while I'm assigned to Hawaii. So, living would (does) require consciously making some tradeoffs, and then being (forcing?) yourself to be satisfied (Satisfied = Happy) with those choices.

And strangely, we hear very little from our other country assignees (even if it does require another language). I chock it up to just too much sunshine in Hawaii.

Expectations management could help, but selection research may pay better dividends. Certain personalities will be more pre-disposed to sticking to a budget, adaptability, and cheerfulness. Perhaps have Lauren (and others including the unhappy ones) take a psychometric test and see if you can spot the success criteria traits. Then require future candidates to take the test and consider their disposition as PART of the critera set.

Or...pay for a week of Surfing lessons for all relocates and hope they get hooked like Lauren did.

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