Friday, January 27, 2006

Almost free

Tomorrow will be my last day to work at Confetti, the party store where I work in McAllen. I was given a choice, be happy or quit. So I'll be free and happy on Monday. I was offered the opportunity to get out today, but there are some things I need to do to make sure they are all squared away. There is so much of me in that store after three years of working there that I want to prepare my likely successor with last minute details so she won't struggle. Confetti is the last vestige of my struggle to support my family. With my wife earning more than me, I'm just struggling for nothing. So, back to school.

I was just talking to my wife about my decision. She has been very supportive of me going back to school for my degree. She is also supportive of my decision to leave the store; she says I should have done that two and a half years ago. I guess I'm kinda slow. Alma began to worry today at lunch time as I have always had a job since we got married. The more she thought about it, she realized we'll be fine.

Besides, I plan on doing some odd jobs for money. I have a crazy plan on going door to door offering my computer repair services. Lots of times you don't want to call a tech for a computer problem that is mostly annoying because it's gonna cost you an arm and a leg. The problem may not be annoying enough to unplug the computer and take to somebody either. So, if I just show up, fix those kinds of problems for $20, I win, the customer wins. Gardeners used to have routes like that, they were called itinerant gardeners. That's roughly how I want to implement it. I figure, the worst that could happen is I lose some weight from all the walking and $20 for the business cards.

I also learned in class yesterday that attorneys can always use a process server. These are the people who knock on your door and tell you that you've been sued. Of course, some people may be irritated and take it out on you, which is no different from day to day customer service.

I also used to do handywork. I've got a friend who called me recently with a lead for a lady looking for a handyman to fix houses she's selling. I passed it up because of my still present job.

It's sad to me that so many people complain that there are no jobs. The truth is, there is plenty of work and plenty of opportunity to make money if you look. College does give you professional skills, but it also teaches you to be an employee rather than an independent person. If you can't find a job, make one for yourself in the meantime. Yes, I am going to college to learn finance and accounting. When I finish, I know I will be able to earn a good living doing something challenging. If nobody hires me, I'll make my own jobs until somebody does.

This is one advantage that immigrants, in general, have over most Americans. They do what they have to do to survive. They don't sit around wondering what they'll do to make a living. I know plenty of people who have low-paying jobs and also go out to sell tamales. They buy stuff to sell at the flea market. They get a lawnmower and go house to house offering their service. They wash windows. They clean houses. Maybe they don't get rich, but they earn a living. They hustle. We could learn from them and take initiative to make things happen for ourselves rather than depend on one source of income.

I'll step off the soap box now. I'll soon be free.
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