practical things

I have always been a practical person. Even when I was the one flirting with other girl’s boyfriends and racing my car on the highway outside the little Mexican town where I used to live, I always made sure that the consequences were manageable.

Taking a close look at my parents, I have often wondered where I got the ability to sit down and make things work no matter what. I know for a fact that I couldn’t have gotten it from them. That would require that they be something other than the emotionally draining, selfish people that they are.

But that’s a separate issue.

So here I am, in the aftermath of the complete chaos my parents have created, trying to make sense of it and trying to make sure that nobody is completely destroyed by it.

Things have to change.

I sat down and figured out what money comes into our house and what money goes out in bills, food and other stuff. We might make it. Barely, but we might make it. If the car doesn’t ever break down. If nobody ever needs to go to the doctor’s office for anything. If nobody needs anything extra. Ever.

Taking that into consideration, I figured that the most sensible thing to do was to bring more money into the house. That is, more than was coming in. That means that I have to find a new job. One that will pay me enough that I can take up the slack, the void in finances that this catastrophe between my parents has created. That means that I’m going to have to stop being so damned picky and actually choose a job based on more than just whether or not it’ll be fun.

Does anyone know how long it takes to find a good, semi-interesting, well-paying, full-time job in the communications field? No. Well, neither do I, but I’m sure that it takes longer than a couple of weeks. And, armed with this knowledge, I went in search of a part-time job that would give me the extra cash we need while I look for a job that pays enough that I don’t need a part-time job.

Am I making any sense?

Never having looked for a moonlighting gig before, I didn’t know how limited my options were when I started. Basically, I could wait tables, I could go to work at the mall or a fast-food joint, or I could go into telemarketing. Yuck. Things sure have changed in the four or five years since I started doing temp work in college and said good-bye to the part-time life.

When presented with these possibilities, and with the fact that I needed something NOW, I chose telemarketing. To be more precise, I chose to do telefunding, which is a little bit different. Telefunding is calling up people who are affiliated with an organization in some way and asking for donations. I know, I know, it’s still calling strangers and bothering them and asking them to give me money, a credit card or an order for a pledge packet. But at least this way I’m affiliated with a known arts organization and I’m not actually selling anything. And that makes a difference to me.

Today is the week-and-a-half mark of my part-time employment. I work a four-hour shift three nights a week and both weekend days. I’m no longer considered to be in training, but they haven’t begun to bug me about making my quota yet. It hasn’t really been that bad. The manager is very nice, the people I call are usually very polite even when they decline to donate, and the other people working there are all doing it as a second job. As moonlighting gigs go, I could have done a lot worse.

And, for those of you interested in such details, it pays six dollars an hour plus bonuses.

Don’t misunderstand. I don’t want to work part-time. I don’t want to have to leave work at 5 o’clock on the dot and drive in the opposite direction of my home, down the most congested freeway in Houston at the busiest hour of the day. I don’t want to have to rush and miss dinner and wonder what else I’m missing. I don’t want to have to call strangers, giving them a combination script/ad-lib conversation designed to make them give me money. I don’t want to have to worry about when my manager will start expecting me to produce above my quota. I don’t want to have to cut my recently emerging social life because of financial responsibilities.

But I figure that at the very least I can stick it out telefunding until I either find a more interesting part-time job or I get that full-time gig I’m actively seeking. Or at the very least until I find a part-time job that doesn’t require a 40-minute drive home at the end of my shift. Either way, the most practical thing to do is to continue with this job and use the extra money as a buffer for the “in case” scenarios I keep coming up with.

And I am always so practical.

Image source: PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter ( and (Facebook).

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