Between being tired and having too much time to think (it IS factory work, after all) I was suddenly gripped with fear.
The financial situation is critical. And I really have no solutions.
I got into it the other day with the Professor (and it's over... I'm not mad--just recounting) cuz she would say things like "get a job". But that doesn't take into consideration a number of things:
Time vs. Money
- The way I see it, as a freelance designer I ask between $50 and $75 an hour depending on what I'm doing, or I'll ask for a set package fee based on my estimate of time and materials needed to complete a job. And that's cheap. Art directors and GDs who have been in the game a long time get $100 or more an hour, on average. And it may seem like a lot, but there are times when you're NOT working so then you make nothing.
- If I work per Diem or contract for someone, or even a full time gig at this point I'm worth about $25-$35 per hour.
- Retail pays between $7-14 an hour, depending on experience and the store. Most retail places don't do commission, but if they do, that means pay is about $7. And you usually are required to work a weekend. I never work a job on Saturdays--it IS Sabbath, afterall, so that means having to work a Sunday. And in some retail stores (especially the one I worked in while I was at Pratt) working on Sunday means "closing". And you can't leave the store till it's clean. Sundays are my least favorite day of the week even when I'm home, cuz I always feel like I'm running out of time to get things ready for the week. If I HAVE to, I'll work Sundays, but the thought of having even less time to get my kid ready for the school week is very frightening to me.
- IT/Tech probably pays more, but I haven't worked a techie job in hmmmm....8 years, and I've forgotten more than I ever knew.
- As an administrative assistant or something I'd probably make between $15-$20 per hour.
- Da Factory pays $10.
- People in real life tell me I spend too much time blogging. But I need to write, much like I need to breathe. It's cheaper and more readily available to me than therapy, and I'm not sold on the idea of prescription meds. I think I am MUCH saner in the year and a half blogging than I have been in a long, long, time. The Voices used to scream at me all the time, and lately, they really don't. Except for early yesterday when they were so loud I thought I was going to lose it. But generally we have pretty decent conversations, now. If I hadn't been able to write my way through August (easily the worst, scariest mental health month of my life--and I can say that now cuz I'm oh, so much better. But I realized last night how scared I was of myself even though I didn't tell anybody, cuz I know I won't be re-reading or revisiting that time period any time soon) I think, well... it wouldna been pretty. I'll leave it at that.
- In the past year and a half, I've had about 20,000 hits here on this blog. If you weed out the thousand or so that are family/myself from different computers, that's still 19,000. Now suppose everytime I got a hit I earned a dollar? And don't think I don't think like that... I have been watching my stats and who reads me and for how long. So there is still the possibility that something could happen for me because of this... you never know. I'm still trying to figure out how. And blogging could figure into my project with my friend Faca, so I have spent a year learning this skill and how it works, and the potential...
- Seriously, it's a problem. It's always been a problem. I remember being 4 and going to school in Jamaica where they had corporeal punishment in the schools. My parents rarely, if ever, spanked me, and when they did it was cuz I did something dangerous or stupid. So to have a teacher smack my palm with a ruler because I was a "chatterbox" really pissed me off, and I told her so and that I would tell my parents. She laughed at me; Jamaican children were used to this sort of thing and were pretty meek. Me? I was furious. And I never forgot her or forgave her for that, either. And I never grew out of that. I look back at memos and emails I've written bosses and am amazed I wasn't fired more often for insubordination. It's not that I was rude or anything... but my language and attitude were far, far above my "station" in life. Definitely "uppity". In one instance it did outright cost me a job and I'm pretty sure it's why I was one of the first to be "let go" when the hospital "restructured marketing". Uh yeah, fire that snappy bitch. She has to go.
I don't take shit from co-workers either. I lock my drawers and password protect my computer even if that sort of thing is frowned upon. I won't take the fall in the name of "teamwork". Stupid procedures and outdated technology really rattle me.
I always start out promising myself I'll keep my big mouth shut and my temper on lockdown, but it's hard. People and low-level politics and ploys for power really piss me off, so that weeds out a lot of jobs. Like, generally I can't do retail. I can do it in a store that makes people happy, like a housewares store, or maybe a grocery store, but no place where people would be super picky like say Macy's or a shoe store where people don't want to admit their true size. I worked at the Gap once a long time ago. I quit quickly.
To tell myself I can just work "anywhere" would be lying to myself. And I struggle with this, I do. I try to be a team player. Hell, I worked for a long long time and at one point was pretty good at the whole thing. But I can't now. I know I can't. The thought of forcing myself to do it seriously distresses me.
- I know everybody says that, and everybody means i,t too. But I guess most folk are conditioned to going off to work and their kids going off to school or daycare or the babysitter. Me, both my parents were home full time until I was out of the house, practically. I don't think my mom started working a "real" job until I was in my '20's. Poppy always either wrote or taught somewhere part time. So to me, staying home with the kid is like breathing. Leaving him to go to work when he was a toddler felt like dying. I did it though, until he was three. And when I worked at the hospital a year and a half ago, the situation worked cuz guess what; his school was very close to my job. I could pop over and see him at lunch, which I did frequently. But more importantly there are things I want to keep up with him, like his violin and his karate. If I work full time, I give a lot of that stuff up. Especially karate cuz of the logistics. And also, his father now lives cross country. There's just me. I want to be active in his life and I hate jobs that get in the way of that. The minute an employer/boss looks cross-eyed at me cuz I have to go to a PA meeting or a parent/teacher, I get really annoyed. My kid comes first, and don't question me about that.
And then there's another issue... I do apply for things and obviously my resume is not working for me... but I can't have a chronological resume because my experience and skills are all over the map. So I have a functional resume, and a pretty good one, I think. But something is off. The end result now is that I'm pretty depressed about the whole thing and the thought of applying for stuff fills me with dread. Cuz I hate not hearing anything. I also really really hate interviewing, particularly "cold" interviews. I'm just not good at it. I'm not "bubbly". My philosophy is... I can do anything. Unless I can't do it, in which case I'll tell you I can't but it won't take me long at all to learn. I can learn anything. (Hell, I've learned to make batten pockets for sails recently. And I'm pretty good at it, too, so I've heard. I heard through the grapevine I'm fast and neat. Who knew?) So just give me the damn job already. Teach me, and leave me alone. But apparently interviewing and job-seeking doesn't work that way.
I'm a mess.
And I need to kickstart something REALLY FAST or I'm in a heap of trouble.
Although I did say that when I first got canned... and I've now been "unemployed" over a year. But now it's for real for real. I need cashflow. I'm running out of time.