Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Working Woman Wishes

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!


psturg said...

I think you should be a pastor. We make good money.

Per some of your other posts, you may not like this idea, but Linda has been cleaning a house for some extra income and that has worked well.

Ann-Marie said...

I don't know, Aaron. I mean, do you think Linda would even want to come here and clean houses just to help us out?

Alice said...

I heard an ad on the radio the other night that Crimson Ridge on Perryville is looking for applicants, designers and sales associates. I don't know if anything there would be a fit for you, but you are very creative/artistic, and the sales assoc. thing could definitely be an option...

MommaHarms said...

This might not work if you don't have internet, but I work from home as a writer. I work when my kids are asleep, so it's part time hours. I know you are a writer, so you might be able to make some extra doing more online writing. You can do it anytime you have an internet connection. Before baby #2 was born I was bringing in between 1 and 2k a month, but that has gottne smaller with two sleep schedules to try to adjust.

Sun-Kissed Savages said...

I love to read your blog because you are so open, honest. You say so many things that I wish I could say. You ask for advice that I myself need.

We are all feeling the crunch...the gas, food prices rising. We've never been in debt before. We even paid cash for our cars. But, boy, are we feeling it now.

Sorry, I won't write a novel.

Jobs-- I like the ideas you've gotten so far. Childcare could be another one. Often, churches, Bible studies, etc are looking for childcare workers and they pay decent.
My sister has also started the house-cleaning thing.
I'll think about this and get back to you...

Juliet said...

All I have to say: "My computer is your computer too!" That is if you do an online job.

Love you, Mom

Laura Brown said...

I loved working as a clerk in an independent bookstore (I don't know if it would be as much fun in a chain store), and they often have part-time openings for evenings/weekends. Also, I imagine a lot of stores will soon be taking on extra temporary staff for the Christmas season.

It seems like everyone has money troubles on their mind nowadays. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Heidi said...

I really enjoyed the hospitality industry.
I loved working front desk at hotels. that was fun. I don't know of any hiring, but your personality would be perfect for it.

I also know Hobby Lobby is hiring as well. I have no idea what kinds of hours, but it is a thought.

Also, like one of the other commenters said, try You could write for pay. I have not been brave enough to try it as I am not that confident in my writing abilities and not knowing exactly what is wanted, but you should give it a try.

Heidi said...

You could sell Pampered Chef. hee hee