Wednesday, January 13, 2010
TALE OF THE SERIAL EMPLOYEE
Now that the bankruptcy is behind us, I've been wondering; 'What now?'
It seems a lame excuse to blame marriage and kids (both of which I did young -- with no regrets) on the fact that I've never been able to stay at one job for very long for one reason or another.
With no formal education and being almost 44, I would imagine it's slim pickins out there for someone like myself who's never had a career nor is skilled in any one area.
'B' (my son) was turned down for 'Fafsa' and other student assistance, leaving him (and us) on our own to pay for his schooling. Books alone run hundreds of dollars each semester, not to mention the course fees, gas and parking.
This seems odd seeing as we were barely able to put food on the table. They only look at income, not expenses.
We live very humbly and simply in a two bedroom rental house. We rarely eat out (even fast food) and don't even have A/C.
With rent, gas, car maintenance (Ed drives about 50 to 60 miles back and forth to work every day), utilities, food and car insurance, we're really struggling to pay for B's education.
So, I would certainly not qualify for school assistance nor can I afford to pay out of pocket to go back to school -- even if I could, I'm not sure that I'm in touch enough with today's tough academics to pull it off (especially seeing how hard my very smart son has to work at it): I was the one who struggled all through school, just barely getting by and call myself 'math dyslexic'. Simple mathematics prove to be problematic for my pea-sized intellect.
School is not the right choice for me, it would seem, as we've never been a good fit.
So, I've merely had jobs here and there that range from care giving, housekeeping, waitressing, retail sales associate, fast food, elementary school supervisor and I've done lots of volunteering.
B, in the meantime, is thriving in school, maintaining a 3.5 G.P.A. in his first year at junior college and is loaded down with homework giving him little or no time to job hunt.
We told him we would rather him keep up his grades and secure his future--and we'll simply do the best we can to help him.
He doesn't ask for handouts: he came to Ed and I and acknowledged that he knows how hard it's been for us and asked what he can do around here to earn the little money we give him. He takes out the trash, does the dishes, cleans bathrooms, vacuums, washes our cars and fills up our gas tanks, goes to the store when I need him to, does yard work -- and practically does so with one book in his hand.
Of course, he does this at the convenience of his busy school and homework schedule -- and we know any employer would have a hard time with that in the world of commerce.
Had he grown up getting everything handed to him, he may very well have a different mentality. However, his good heart, ethics and common sense doesn't allow him to expect something for nothing, especially when he knows of our struggles.
We all just do the best we can.
This whole thing has proved to be very frustrating for B on several levels: one of his best friends, 'V', has two working parents and gets approximately $3,000 every semester in student aid, as does his one time sorta kinda ex-girlfriend (that relationship is now kaput, as of very recently, after nearly a year and a half -- but I promised him I wouldn't blog about it -- ha!).
Her parents also both work full time and she receives about the same in financial aid as V does.
I admit that I don't know how student aid works and what their criteria is; how they pick and choose like they do as there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.
So, with the hearing now said and done, Ed is able to now crank up the overtime to bring in a little extra income.
So, between Ed and B -- this is leaving me with very little to do and I've been thinking about what it is that I'd like to do.
I truly have no idea but have decided that I'm going to seek out part time employment to help my family.
My resume is a little anemic with big gaps -- so, I'm not expecting much, especially in this economy.
However, I'll end this by saying that I'm truly appreciative for all of our struggles: because of it, we have in our life a wonderful young man who doesn't take a thing for granted and will no doubt carve out for himself a little niche in this world and do so with a grateful heart.
That alone was worth the high price of bankruptcy.