hang in there – it can happen!

August 25, 2006

Some of you may know from my older diaries and comments that I have been cleaning houses for the last few years. Four years this month, to be exact. Independent contractor, so no benefits.

Well, I finally got a job! Yippeeeeee!

What is so exciting is how it happened, and that it is not just any old job…
Last March, my son get very ill with a rotavirus. He was unable to eat, and could barely drink, for nearly five days. The doctor knew I did not have insurance, so he taught me how to manually rehydrate Jah Isaac, just like he does when he goes to Africa to help out.

So, for three nights in a row, once he would fall asleep (earlier than normal because he was so lethargic) I would stay up for 5-6 hours with him in my arms, dripping water into his mouth. He refused any liquids when awake, would only take them if I locked him to the floor with my legs. It was a painful and very scary experience. I almost took him to the ER all three nights, thousand dollar bill be damned. (Hell, I already have a couple thousand to pay out of pocket, why not more?)

The whole experience made me decide it was time to find full-time work. Cleaning houses and the ability to work part-time and not put our son into childcare was a conscious decision, but it was time to move on.

I applied many places. Some of the offers I got were worthy of laughter, even anger, like the office manager position that wanted to pay $20k, no healthcare, yet they wanted someone with a degree. It took every ounce of energy for me to not laugh in their faces, then angrily point out that any intelligent, educated person would definitely see they were worth more than that. It was an insult.

I looked at everything. The jobs available that would pay me what I need required a Masters degree, or five years experience, or were against my ethics as a vegetarian, homebirthing momma. No selling pharmaceuticals for me, thank you very much. This left me with trying to get into management at Starbucks. Three months later, and no word from them.

And then, last Saturday morning, I was playing a deejay gig for the Special Olympics Gold softball team here. The person who was there to take photographs is now my new boss. There were about two hours for a small group of us to sit and talk while the team played. We all shared a lot about our lives in that conversation, and at the end of it, this guy offered me a job.

I will be working for a small company here in Memphis that sets up VOIP networks into small businesses. All communication, internet, phone, etc, on one line, on one bill. Financially solvent company, open four years and never lost a client.

The owner (who was taking photographs that day) is radically left politically, and likes to have liberal people (and those who are tolerant) in his core team. I will be learning the industry and then probably heading up the training for the new clients.

So, excellent start pay – even a written offer (I have never had one of those!) – excellent full benefits, and serious chance for an integral role in an excellent company, and a path towards making the kind of money that a family needs these days.

And here is the best part: family friendly. I was ordered to never come to work if my son needs me at home. “If I hear that you have come to work when he is sick and wants you, I will be very angry. And if he needs to go to the doctor sometime in the next few weeks until we get you in here, please call and I will help pay for the doctor.”

….talk about having to withhold tears. I am so excited, and most of all, relieved. My son’s basic medical needs will be covered. We will be able to afford a few small extra things like piano lessons or sports gear if he gets into something like that. I will be able to pay my debts, get a little bit better car with air-conditioning, save for his college.

The reason I wrote this is to let you guys know that there is hope. I got this job just by being myself, playing records, tattoos visible, talking my liberal talk, etc, etc. It is possible to find something that will work for your family, that provides. It can happen, so hang in there if you are having trouble.