When I was 16 years old, I decided to get a summer job. I asked my parents to help me look, but Dad was especially unhelpful.
“Look honey, Taco Bell is hiring! You love Taco Bell!”
“Dad!” I’d wail. “I’m already 300 pounds! Working at Taco Bell is NOT a good idea.”
“Sweetheart, I just read the Park District is hiring lifeguards for Magic Waters.”
“Dad! Seriously? Like I could squeeze into a swimsuit for the whole summer. Drowning people would say, ‘No thanks, Shamu.’”
Dad even drove me to Bob’s Hardware to apply for a job. I remember the two of us sitting in the waiting area as I filled out the application. Everything was going fine, until I got to the section that asked me to add up a column of numbers (a mile long).
I reached for my calculator, but Dad pointed out the application said to add it up mentally.
“Mentally?” I whined. “I can’t do this!”
Math has always left me frustrated and angry, probably because I’m totally right-brained. My creativity thrives, but repetitive and logical equations drive me to distraction.
Being easily frustrated is a trait inherited from my father, which is probably why he didn’t react when I threw the pencil down and gave a little scream of aggravation. Eventually, I finished the calculations and stomped out of the store with no plan of ever going back.
I also applied at Kohl’s but was told Sales Associates had to be a least 18 years of age. Afterwards, I wrote a scathing letter to Kohl’s CEO lambasting the store policy of age discrimination.
The early summer obstacles blew over, and God provided a great job working for a daycare. I took to it immediately, and it remains one of my most positive career experiences.
Brett’s recent bout with unemployment, coupled with his new job’s lower wages, my company’s announcement of no raises this year, some stupid financial decisions we made in the early years of our marriage, plus the ever-worsening economy and gas prices – have led us to a financial crunch here in 2008.
We consulted several knowledgeable people and one very helpful agency to see what avenue we should take to best stay afloat. The overall consensus was (ta-da!) we need to cut costs and make more money (like we didn’t know THAT) to help us through these lean times.
We never really had enough money for extras like gym memberships, cable, and high-speed internet – so we couldn’t give them up to save money. We slashed our budget further, eliminating extras such as eating out, newspaper delivery, cheapie dial-up internet service, our home phone, and (wail!) my beloved Netflix.
Still, it wasn’t enough. So, once we’d cut all we could cut, the only option left was to bring in more money.
Like that’s sooooo easy.
We’ve been specifically praying for divine guidance in this situation, and I especially felt a sense of peace about adding a part-time job to my schedule.
I’d considered getting a second job about a year ago, but at the time I just couldn’t imagine my life being that crowded. But late one night last week, I couldn’t sleep, so I started praying God would show me how to turn our lives around in the area of good stewardship and fiscal responsibility.
When I prayed about pursuing a second job, I felt a serene sense of harmony with God’s will. I approached Brett with the idea, and we prayed about it together. Then we took the idea to Pastor, and the three of us prayed over it.
We gave ourselves some time to think about it, and the more time goes by, the more we feel it is God’s definite leading.
As I considered the possibility, I began to see God’s hand at work in our lives.
The Lord has chosen not to give us children at this time in our lives. So, there are no children going hungry or having their lives wracked with worry about where they might have to live. Thanks to God’s plan, we don’t have to obsess about child care or causing irreversible upheaval in a child’s life.
For the first time, I have been thanking God for barrenness. Taking unbelievable comfort that His plan has worked to our good, after all (why does that always come as such a surprise?).
I am open to working many types of job, but I’d like to hear from you!
Is there any place you’ve worked that you just loved or hated? A particular store or industry? Feel free to share good workplace environments, too. I’d really like an insider’s guide to the optimal part-time job. I can work in the evenings and on weekends, so if you hear of anything – please let me know!
Now I just have to hope Kohl’s didn’t keep that letter!