Remember way back in November when I broke my unemployment by working as an election agent? I had been unemployed for four months or so and I agreed to sit in a press room at the county court house and report election returns via my smartphone. It was my first post-teaching gig. I had actually applied for that job while I was still living in St. Louis and interviewed for the position on the day that we moved in to the little house by the river.
The same agency that hired me for that position called me this morning. They want to hire me for the months of March and April to drive about thirty miles one way, buy stuff, and then go donate that stuff to a shelter. It’s not great money, but it’s 20-25 hours of work each week for eight weeks. I was tempted to say yes. I mean, they sought me out. Why not?
Well, there are a few reasons. The pay is not great. If I am going to commit to something for 20-25 hours a week, it has to be worth my while. I emailed the hiring agent and told her this. She replied by telling me that they would compensate me for mileage — which would add up to a decent sum. They would also pay for my travel to Cincinnati for training. This would include lodging and meals for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. That’s tempting, especially since the grand baby is in Cincinnati. But still, is it worth 20-25 hours of my time for six to eight weeks?
The second issue is that three of us are sharing one vehicle right now. I know — it’s practically un-American. We have one car and one television. (Actually, we have always only had one television, but that’s a story for another day.) We are working it out with only one car, but it takes some pretty fancy stepping including a Google Calendar specifically for car usage. Taking a job that’s 20-25 hours each week in a small town thirty miles away would really bog down that calendar and make it very difficult for others to ‘share’ our one vehicle.
The third issue is that I am now a certified math story-problem grader (impressive, I know) and I am scheduled to start grading the short answers of unsuspecting third through eighth graders in early March. That, my friends, will earn me about the same amount of money as the purchasing position without leaving my home.
The fourth issue is that I am building my tutoring clientele. Last week I did eight hours of tutoring. This week I have six hours scheduled. Tutoring does pay enough to make it worth my while. And, it’s doing what I love to do. And, it uses my gifts. And, it allows me to interact with students and their parents.
The fifth issue is that I have also applied for a short-term full-time proofreading position that starts the end of March and goes through July. That position is for a textbook company. It would give me something to do while students are on their summer breaks, and it would give me some excellent experience in proofreading. Now, I haven’t been offered this position, nor have I even interviewed, but if I take a position buying things and donating them to a shelter, I won’t be available for a proofreading position.
So, what should I do? Step one: I contacted the textbook company and inquired about their hiring timeline. Step two: I will keep tutoring! Step three: I will grade those math tests! Step four: I will pass on the purchasing gig!
My very first post on this blog was entitled ‘What to do, What to do”. I’m still asking that question, but I am getting some clarity as I move through this next chapter.
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us.
Establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.