When the New Year rolled around several weeks ago, I did something I usually don’t bother to do anymore: I actually made a New Year’s Resolution. One that hasn’t already been abandoned. I resolved that I was going to pay off my house and have a mortgage burning party before the end of this year. Pretty ambitious undertaking I know, but a lot easier than losing the excess pounds I’ve resolved to lose year after year, but am still carrying around!
To make that happen, I realized that I’d be needing to come out of retirement and start looking for an actual job, in addition to my casual job of babysitting 2-year-old Violet a few days a week. I’ve started looking for part-time employment only, as I know that I won’t be getting any more grandbabies and I intend to spend as much time as possible with this one. Time with the older four grandchildren was limited to weekends and summers because of my full-time teaching job.
My job search has been a real eye-opener. I’ve learned that if you enter your email and cell phone number on one single job search site, they must sell that information to anybody and everybody, so that within minutes of entering my information, my phone was ringing and my email account started filling up. That was weeks ago and my inbox is still overflowing with available jobs ranging from medical scribe to event specialist to railroad worker and everything in between!
I’ve also learned that Uber drivers are in demand everywhere. Not that I’m considering being one, but I was curious as to what qualifications were needed, besides having a vehicle. I found out that there seem to be more requirements for the car than there are for the person who will be driving it! I’ve always been kind of leery of the whole idea of calling Uber if I happened to need a ride, but I guess it’s much the same as calling a cab, except that Uber is said to be more widely available.
There are online tutoring jobs available, although that really wasn’t what I had in mind either. There is a growing demand for tutors to teach English to mostly Chinese children, but the time difference would seem to me to be a problem. I wasn’t interested in rolling out of bed in the middle of the night to log in and begin teaching! Apparently it is a thriving business, though, and several companies have been established that will hire English speaking tutors and provide them with lesson plans, handle the communication with Chinese parents, and set everything up. Still, not my cup of tea!
I get a lot of notifications that CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) certified drivers are in great demand, which wouldn’t work for a number of reasons, the most obvious of which would be that I’d need a major boost to be able to even get in one of those tractor trailers! Add to that the fact that passing the CDL license test is not an easy task. I remember asking my son the questions in the manual when he was preparing to take his test for CDL/Haz-Mat (Hazardous Materials) licensing. There’s a lot you need to know, including how to maneuver those beasts in tight spaces and how to back up and have the trailer go the way you want. I couldn’t even master backing up when I had the yard rake attached to the back of my John Deere!
As I look outside today, there’s a raging ice storm, and that convinced me that any job I take has to be one I can do at home. I know there are sites that promise outlandish amounts of money for stuffing envelopes and such, but I learned a long time ago about things that seem too good to be true. I did find something that I thought I would have liked. It would have involved testing and evaluating products that different companies would send to you, and then returning them with your comments and experiences. It’s all part of their market research. They have quite a list of questions in the survey to ensure that they can select just the right candidates for this 15-25 hour a week job. As it turned out, my answers in the survey showed that I was living in the wrong demographic area. The products and services that they would need to have tested wouldn’t have been available anywhere around here anyway!
My granddaughter Rachel knows I’ve been searching for a job, so she recently texted me some information about G.E. Appliances wanting to find the “Great American Grandma” to “demonstrate how simple life can be with new technology in the kitchen.” Apparently Rachel has confidence that we can make a video in which I would show that I am the “big-hearted, lives-life-to-the-fullest and brings out-the-best-in-everyone kind of Grandma” that they’re looking for. “Someone who can make us laugh and doesn’t need a cookbook to whip up hundreds of delicious recipes. A Grandma who believes in tradition but is anything but traditional.” Wow! I’m not sure if I can fill the bill, but I’d sure like to try for this 10 to 15 hour a month job for a year, at the end of which I’d be able to not only have that mortgage burning party, but I would have had some fun in the process.
We will need to get busy ASAP making a video having lots of laughs and demonstrating in an interview that I am the “squeezable, lovable, witty, cantankerous, fashionable, camera-loving, foodie, edgy matriarch” that they are looking for. With Rachel and her wild sense of humor as the videographer, it should be interesting! But in case I get camera shy and don’t win, I guess I’d better not abandon my job search just yet! Wish me luck!
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Marilyn Secco is a retired teacher and the author of the book “Front Porch Tales.” She has two children and five grandchildren and lives in Kersey with a temperamental cat named Tidder.