I love money, but I generally loathe my job.
March 6th, 2013
After fucking a syringe for the last week, I begin to contemplate the reality of parenthood. According to the internet and the majority of people I’ve consulted, it will probably take between three and six months for me to conceive, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t start worrying right away. A lot of fears have been surfacing but the one that rings in my ears most frequently is “How the fuck are you going to afford this?” Of course this has passed through my mind before, but I‘ve always dismissed the fear by figuring that other people have children with way less money than I do. Now though, as the reality of possible impending childhood has hit me, I’m fearful that maybe some of Andy’s concerns are very relevant.
I was one of those young idiots who went to a fancy college and took out a fuck load of student loans because I was SURE that the minute I graduated, the world would present me with a fantastic, fulfilling, well-paying job. Go ahead, feel free to laugh. I suppose that when I graduated in 2003, there was more likelihood of this happening, but maybe not so probable with my degree in Psychology. Not to mention, I had stayed in college at Tulane University even after I graduated to pursue some business courses, since my repetitively low scores in physics assured I would never go to medical school. I racked up about $65,000.00 in student loans during my tenure. I consistently borrowed more money than I needed to, and was extremely frivolous about my finances in general. At 24 years old, both my parents were still helping to support me. I wish I had a time machine to go back and kick my own entitled ass.
While in college I held a series of part time jobs that I never took too seriously. My first legitimate position was a cocktail waitress at a strip-club on Bourbon Street named Temptations. I think I started there when I was 18 years old. I made a lot of cash. Pre 9/11 the money just seemed to flow like water. I was in the company of many awesome ladies, most of whom held college degrees. I remember thinking – that will never happen to me, I’ll have a “real” job when I graduate. I spent the money as fast as I made it. Mostly on drinks and other forms of a good time. I never worried about money. I didn’t save anything. I just figured it would all work out.
In July 2005, shit got real. My mother killed two people and herself (a story for another time), and I was immediately forced into financial adulthood. Not only did I need to completely begin to support myself, as my father was in his 70’s at this point in poor health, but I needed to come up with money to cover my mom’s funeral expenses. Apparently, she wasn’t much of a saver either. (Hopefully the apple doesn’t end up just like the tree…) Just as I was wading in the brackish waters of financial ruin, Hurricane Katrina hit the city and all of a sudden, my problems didn’t seem so important.
After the storm I kind of lost my mind. I stopped paying all my bills. When I returned to New Orleans in October 2005, I only focused on paying my rent and required utilities. All credit card, student loan and other debt (car insurance – yep, that too) just got a mumbled “fuck it.” I did this routine for over a year and a half, and then I realized that the debt wasn’t going to magically disappear. I must have drunkenly fielded thousands of calls from debt collectors. I should have started a blog about that titled: “Do you except wampum as payment?”
I worked on Bourbon Street in a variety of clubs (mostly gentlemen’s) until I was offered a position as a personal/business assistant for a Disaster Recovery Consultant. I figured, why the hell not. I was tired of the long hours in the club and I had suffered with some pretty serious drug and alcohol abuse (again another intriguing story for later). I also thought of this as an opportunity to have a “real job.” I started in 2007 with an hourly wage of $20.00. Although it wasn’t where I had ever seen myself, I was grateful for the opportunity and I figured it would be a great stepping stone to my real career, when I figured that out.
Here it is 2013, and I’m still with the same company. I’m not longer an assistant; I’m now a “Disaster Recovery Technician.” You know what they say about consultants? “If you can’t be part of the solution, there is money to be made in prolonging the problem.” Truer words couldn’t have been said. It’s not as though my job is physically laborious, or that I am verbally accosted by the management or co-workers, but I’m terribly unfulfilled. Most days I enter work thinking, I wish I could meet the person who stated “If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life” and beat the living shit out of him/her. I suppose I’m still one of those dreamers who believe that it is possible to love your job and earn a living wage. I’ve actually tried to find a job that would fulfill my creative side and unfortunately the pay is generally less than half of what I make now. Talk about a conundrum. I am hopeful that by doing activities outside of my 9 to 5 that satisfy me, I will not be so miserable in my current career. I don’t want my child to grow up with an unhappy parent.
I feel like life is full of consolations. Right now, if I want to deliver my baby in a hospital and not my living room, I have to continue with my job. With every spreadsheet I develop and every piece of paperwork I file, I remind myself that this won’t last forever, but is a necessity for the time being. I guess this is part of what being a parent is about. Looking past your own desires to do what is best for your child. I would like to believe that “All you need is love” but honestly I want this baby to not start out in a family in financial ruin. There are some legacies that I’m not interested in watching live on.