According to all the experts, one of the keys to successful debt elimination is to bring in additional income. Mr. Losing It’s schedule does not allow him any time for any additional employment, and I am very busy with the girls and their schedules and transportation needs. I also firmly believe that kids need you around more the older they get. Still, I figured I could find something to do that I could fit into my daily schedule and bring in a little extra income.
The year before last I applied for and was hired by our school district’s nutritional services, as a kitchen assistant. After working as a floater for a couple of months, I landed a two-hour position at a local elementary school. I LOVED that job. While the pay wasn’t much, the hours were great; the lead cook was a gem and we worked well together; I could leave the job at the door at the end of my shift; I got lots of exercise (it was a very physical job); and best of all, I had the same days off as the girls. However, when I went back in the fall of 2009 the job changed. It now required nearly four and a half hours of work daily because the principal had rearranged the lunch schedule, and I was given additional responsibilities. Worst of all, the school custodian decided I was somehow personally responsible for his not getting a pay increase . He became hostile to point where he made threats and was not allowed to go anywhere near the kitchen. By the time last year’s incident with the band teacher was discovered, I was a wreck and decided to leave. It was a tough decision because we needed the money and I still enjoyed working with the lead cook and the kids.
This year I came up with the brilliant idea of doing some after-school care. It seemed an easy way to earn some extra money, and would fit well with our schedules. For a low monthly fee per child I would pick up kids from school, give them a snack, and provide them with a safe place to do homework and other activities.
The kids I ended up with were four 12 year-old girls. That alone should have been my first clue that this might not be such a good idea after all. All four are in the grade between WenYu and YaYu, and want nothing to do with either of them, and have been rude to them at times. They bicker with each other and one of them is a “queen bee” and a sometimes bully. They often complain that I don’t give them enough snack (even after polishing off an entire Costco-size bag of Cheetos). They’re rude; I’ve been shoved out of the way trying to get in the door because they want to get in ahead of me, and please and thank you are rarely heard. They don’t pick up after themselves. Some of the parents have been difficult to deal with as well. The situation has been so unsatisfying to all of us that I told the parents I would finish providing care at the end of this month, with our upcoming trip to Japan my excuse. I’ll only lose a month’s worth of income but I frankly just cannot take any more of them.
So what to do? With the encouragement of my former manager I have reapplied to work as a kitchen assistant – she says there are some actual two-hour jobs that they are having trouble filling. But so far I haven’t heard anything from them so who knows? I’m not sure what else there is to do that would fit my schedule, but I do want to be doing something.
I know a great part-time job is out there for me, but we just haven’t found each other yet.