~Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dollar Bill, Y'all

I came home to an empty apartment—unheard of since Scott landed himself in unemployment. The loft was quiet with the afternoon light pouring on the off TV. The Femme Fatale was presumably napping in her den underneath the bed. I had the place to myself.

At first, I didn't know what to do with space and time that was solely mine. I poured myself an iced tea and collapsed in my brown leather chair and picked up a book from the side table. I had barely flipped the page and the front door opened.

"Hey," Scott muttered.

"Hey," I mustered.

I finished my paragraph and looked up at him. He was standing in front of the kitchen island looking dejected.

"How was the job hunt?" I guessed.

Scott crossed the apartment and stood in front of me. "I applied for a job at McDonald's." Scott's eyes glazed over with tears, "Please don't tell anyone."

"Oh... baby..." I put my book down and stood up and hugged him. It has to be hard: being him. To be 32 and intelligent, no university but a solid kitchen résumé. The economy is in the toilet and no one's going to out eat; no one is hiring at any of the nice restaurants in town. And it's not just restaurants—unemployment is on the rise at 5.1%. Jobs are scarce. I know because even I looked to see if I could do any better.

McDonald's. That's considered the lowest on the totem pole. Even Home Depot and Starbucks offer part-time employees benefits. Moreover, he wouldn't fit in with anyone at the local store and it just so happens to be the one the boys at the bike shop go to. They would see him working there. My heart broke for him, because he can do better. He's worth more than that.

***

Scott ended up not taking the job at McDonald's. One other application called him back—the car wash. It is minimum wage like the fast food place, but there are also tips. Scott seems to like the manual labor, coming home tired and tan. The hours are flexible—there's no schedule and he can work whatever hours he wants with no cap. He's worked it out that if he works 10-12 hours a day, 5 days a week, he can potentially bring home more money than me. While I can't wait for the day where Scott's salary tops mine, I'm a little unnerved that it can be done so easily... and at a car wash.

Every evening when he comes home, he hands his tip money over to me. I'm being paid in one-dollar bills, so my bank probably thinks I'm a stripper. And a bad one at that.

Do these ones make me look slutty?

20 comments:

kristin b said...

you just look the bank in the eye and tell them strippers get $2 bills.

you know, my brother was like that. he went to clemson for 6 yrs and school just wasn't his thing. he liked the manual labor of surveying, did that every summer, applied for a 2 yr surveying degree and is about finished with it. and is happy and loves it.

just as long as scott doesn't give up on his goals, things will be great. and in the meantime, things are already looking up!

Phil said...

Hey Sarah, long time no comment I know.

When I came home from Asia I went through exactly the same problem. Very few jobs available in my field and I don't have a degree.

Man did it get me down (hence the no blog) but now I'm working in a job level that I actually did 12 years ago and a second job at a football stadium where I get to say "your seat is row 2, 38b. Enjoy the game"

I'm earning in a month what I used to earn in a week but I'm contributing, doing the right thing, taking care of the bills and my good friends don't care and anyone else's opinion I don't care for.

Tell Scott he's doing good. Just keep doing the little steps until the path smooths out and he'll take off.

(my old blog died. I'm now over at www.philnoir.blogspotcom)

cheers my friend

Tilly said...

HAH HAHAH!!

Sorry. That was funny. You know, the part about the bad stripper. Is that even possible?

Anyway, I am glad that things are starting to get back on track. One step at a time, one day at a time.

Lpeg said...

I'm glad he's back, working, and helping you out. And it'll look up for him eventually. Goodluck :)

Cara said...

Glad to hear thing are looking up.

Single Girl said...

Glad to hear things are slowly getting better. Doing something is better than sitting around doing nothing. He can still continue to look for other opportunities in the meantime too, especially since this job is so flexible, at least if he gets an interview somewhere, it will be easy to take the time off to go. Things will get better!

J said...

I have always said to friends, family and potential suitors...a job is a job, as long as you work hard and are willing to better yourself. Scott may not be a high powered exec but he is no slouch and I can tell he will move onward and upward in time.

Paige Jennifer said...

Next time you hand over the cash to the teller, you should open your mouth and glide your tongue across your teeth while offering a come hither wink. You know, just to play it up.

Glad to hear there is some additional fundage filling the house. It may not be sous chef at Rathbun's but it's a step forward. And forward is always better than any other direction.

Diane Mandy said...

I use to waitress and was sure my bank teller thought I was a stripper Good for Scott i taking a job--any job--right now. Every little bit helps, and hopefully the job market will make a quick comeback.

M said...

Dude, if I quit teaching. I'd be working in a supermarket. No jokes.

M said...

...actually I think I'd earn about the same wage (with better hours!). hm..

Regular Girl said...

So happy that things are looking up and that Scott is taking responsibility. Weird thing about the economy, in Canada (or at least where I live) it's booming!

kristin b said...

i tagged you! feel free to do or ignore! :)

>*;* said...

I'm a part time server and I LOVE going places and paying for everything in one dollar bills. :)

It makes people wonder and that's the fun part!

AmyD said...

Tee hee! Hey, money is money, and this is great news that Scott has found someplace to start making some!! So what if you look like a stripper? Next time you leave the bank, you should do a little loopdy-lou around the light pole as you're getting back into your car. ;o)~

Trinity2 said...

Congrats to Scott for finding a job! Money's money - no matter what denomination it comes in!

treespotter said...

can't be a bad stripper if you get that much, just a bad customer :)

Ariel said...

Money is money, who cares what denomination it is? Same as work is work, whatever work it is. Good luck to you both, things are bound to improve with time. x

general_boy said...

Wow... it kinda spooks me seeing the US slide into recession.

There's an old fincier's saying here in Aus - The Dow Jones sneezes and we catch a cold. It has broader implications though of course - stock market dive and falling employment are symptoms of deeper ills. I remember mum and day paying interest of 18% on their home loan in the late 80's... people were offing themselves right, left and center... it was pretty fucked up time. I came out of Uni into "the recession we had to have", a phrase famously coined by a very unpopular former Prime Minister. I can relate to Scott's position... I shovelled shit, fixed mate's cars and made toys out of timber... anything to pay the bills. I was angry at all the promise of getting a qualification and sacrifing so much to get there, only to end up a shitkicker.

It took 2 years but things got better, so I can only hope things turn around for you guys very soon. :)

PS... new "temporary" home is at http://yourtimestartsnow.blackboardsky.com/

dont eat the token said...

One of my way-back friends is a drag queen performer.

He opened a trunk in his apartment once and I'm pretty sure I was looking at over 1,000 $1 bills.

"The bank always looks at me weird when I go in. ... I should probably take this in, huh?"

I was at his apt checking it out because if I didn't get my house I was going to be living on his couch. Yeah, take in the cash!!!

 

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