View Full Version : The Plot Thickens...this is kind of rambly

2-26-12, 8:47pm
Okay, I made it through this crazy week at the shop. No one died and I didn't walk out. I would not want to repeat it, however. The owner has hired an new manager and also a new shipping and receiving guy, who will both start tomorrow. Somehow they will get trained. I wonder how long it will be before they realize how nutty the situation is...

My new dilemma ~ old GM (who I like a lot) has set up and been running a new music store 50 miles away (he has a partner and they have had their share of partnership troubles but apparently/hopefully that's been worked out. I started getting pulled into the middle of a debacle there a few months ago when I was filling in there just to help out. That part is another whole long piece of the saga that I don't have the energy to go into.)

Anyway, old GM would like me to work there two days a week because he and his wife just had a baby and she needs to go back to work and he has to do childcare during the week. However, one of those two days is a day that I just got added back into my schedule at the crazy guitar store when everyone quit all of the sudden (I still have an open unemployment case there but was just squeaking in enough hours at my pay rate to not get any unemployment benefits except around the holidays).

Could this get any more complicated?

Here is my dilemma: do I want to commute round trip 100 miles, two days a week in a car that has 200,000 miles on it, all the while gas is creeping up and up? I would make $10/hr there, whereas the job in the crazy place pays me $12/hr and it is 15 minutes from home. I would be spending extra money on gas, but there is a possibility of crashing at a friend's house occasionally so I wouldn't have to drive back and forth.

It is a much more peaceful work environment, as I would be working alone and there would be absolutely none of the same kind of drama like in place I'm at now, except the drama between the GM and his partner (which I REALLY, REALLY hope they have resolved).

It would be a way to transition from the crazy place, but then I wouldn't have as much time at home, as I would probably be working 6 days a week between the two places. I don't think I ultimately really want to move to a Detroit suburb to take on this new job full-time in the future; I have a great place to live right now and it is cheap for the area (a housing coop). I don't want to have to buy a new (different) car until I absolutely have to and all this highway driving is going to put a lot of were and tear on the car I have...

On the flip side, I would like to help out my friend, but at what cost? I am trying to look at the bigger picture for me at age 50 and at what I want to do with my life and how do I get there? I have no dependent children at home, no mortgage, no credit card debt, no health insurance, and not in a relationship.

And all I ever wanted to be is an artist! How can I help my friend out, start easing out one crazy work situation and work on becoming an artist all at the same time????!!!!! Too much to think about, except he needs an answer by tomorrow! Maybe I should try to find a way to reduce my schedule at the crazy place. Oh boy, after this past week and a half, the owner is really going to like that (not). Should I care that much? I just like getting $12/hr, even if it makes me insane, I guess....

Zoe Girl
2-26-12, 9:14pm
Hmmm, I have made more career/financial mistakes by basing them on friendship rather than looking at the situation clearly (having a cringe moment). However I have also tried to stay in really bad work environments for the money and it can not always be worth it.

With that said, the peaceful work environment is important. It just sounds like the overall 'cost' is too high. Can you ask the old GM who is asking you to commute what the future potential is? Is there a chance as the business grows you could increase your pay and/or responsibility level? If there is little chance of building some career momentum in the way you want to go in this situation I think you have to tell your friend no. The cost is pretty high,

2-26-12, 10:20pm
How many miles per gallon does your car get? I think this is just a math problem, and when you add up the costs of gas to commute, you'll probably find you're making more like $7.00/hour (or perhaps even less) for what sounds like a temporary job. If you can rearrange your schedule at the current crazy place to have those days off, well, then it might be cool. But to choose a $7.00/hr job over a $12.00/hour job, further reducing the amount of time you have left in your day to TRULY recraft your life the way you want it? No, not even for a friend would I do that. just me, though.

2-27-12, 4:15am
I wouldn't do it for less than 12/hr plus gas copay. If the GM agrees I would reduce my job at the crazy place a bit. If not, be it so.
Why should you sacrifice your income to act like a friend and your friend the GM does not sacrifice his income to get a reliable employee?
Better try to emotionally distinguish friendship and job...

2-27-12, 4:28am
Arrggggg! I've been awake since 2am (it is now 4am) mulling this over. At least I have the next two days off. Puglogic, you are absolutely right, it would not make financial sense at all to do this, now that I have really crunched the numbers. I figure my old car gets an average of about 30 mpg. The round trip commute is 92 miles, so I would use approximately 3.25 gallons of gas at say, $3.60/gallon (which is the price it is around here right now - I'm sure it is going to be going up as it gets warmer). So in my calculations, I would be commuting at least 50 mins each way (providing I don't run into a traffic jam) work a 9 hour day with no way to take a lunch because I would be the only one there, and spend about $11.00 in gas per day. So $90 (9 hour work day) minus $11.00 (gas) = $79 per day, divide that by the 9 hours and I get $8.75/hour before taxes. Plus two hours of being on the road. No, it doesn't make financial sense at all right now. However, going back to Zoe Girls post, there could be more work ahead but a lot depends on how well the two partners in this venture are getting along. I sure don't want to trade one crazy situation for another, and I don't really want to give up my great place to live and move into the Detroit 'burbs to be closer to the new work place.

It's funny, in the height of my daughter's addiction I constantly fantasized about "running away" from my life and starting all over in a new place and new job. That view has really changed for me in this last year as I have learned to relax and take better care of myself (well, except these last few weeks have found me going back to my old ways of coping ~ cigs and
coffee, with the resulting insomnia).

I am trying to remember to keep myself at the top of any equations I do about either work place and how it would effect my life. It is not my responsibility to save the first work place from implosion, nor is it my responsibility to step in and save my friend from a child care crisis. Anything I decide has to work out for me and the way I want to live my life. Period. It's hard to turn off the guilt I am feeling; I never promised anything to my friend last summer when he started this venture with his partner, but I did express interest in possibly working there in the future. They had to get it up and running and making money before they could consider hiring anyone on even part-time. So now that time is here and they are offering it to me, and I'm just not sure what I want to do. He really needs someone to work two days a week until May. I don't know if I even want the responsibility of running that store, as I feel a lot of it is out of my comfort zone. I don't mind filling in there occasionally, but to run it ultimately 6 days a week? I think not. It would be a great opportunity for a guitar gear head to run, however. I am not a gear head. I like guitars and love playing and hanging out with people talking about music, but I just don't think I have enough passion about the gear to make it my life's work. In a perfect world I would work 4 days a week selling guitars (not being a manager) and spend the rest of my time working on getting my jewelry idea off the ground. I feel like I am being pulled in way too many directions by a way too crazy situation between the two places and whatever I decide will screw either place. I like all the people I work with (except 80 year old owner) at the current place, and I like the old GM friend and his wife. I would like to be able to help them out of their situation, but it just does not make financial sense for me right now.

Now I need to try to go back to sleep....

2-27-12, 5:38am
If you are saving the new people from child care, working alone (competent employee), working part time, traveling long distance to them, etc. They should be paying a huge premium for the confindence they will have from a proven employee. Not less than you already make. Dont sell yourself short if you want to take the job. Negotiate a much higher $$ per hour as you are worth it to them.

2-27-12, 7:47am
Hi, SQ, I just wanted to send good wishes and a virtual hug...((((SQ)))). Try to look at this whole picture, the 50 years old, the jewelry business, the need to make a living, the good housing you have, all of that....as if you were taking in information to advise someone whom you love very deeply, someone who is VERY important to you. How would you advise this good friend who seems to be putting everyone else's needs ahead of her own? How would you speak to her? How would you help her to let go of guilty thoughts as she is trying to discern what is best FOR HER?

Then be that very good friend, that loving presence, for yourself.

You are the artist who is designing your life. At this point you have more choices, perhaps, than you have had in the past. But there isn't anyone else out there who has your best interests in mind any more than YOU do. So you have to keep those best interests right at the top of your mind. That doesn't mean you don't consider your friends, your loyalties, etc, but you consider them from YOUR point of view, not from an assumed perspective of the needs of someone else.

I am sending you thoughts of peace and ease for your life.

2-27-12, 7:52am
8 hrs. x $10 = $80 per day pre tax
100 miles round trip x $ .50 (what DH is paid by his company for work travel to cover gas + wear & tear) = $50
2 hrs in total commute time x $12 (the market value of your time) = $24

Net Pay pre tax = $6 per day = .75 per hour

Divorce yourself from all feelings and look at the math above
And add on the loss of 2 days to be looking for work that's more inline with your new direction (art/jewelry making)... unless you would be making art contacts at new part-time job

Now since new temp part-time job is really just approx 90 days (if until end of May) you could convince yourself that it is temporary and doable, but your health and well-being is worth more than that... not to mention wear & tear on a well-seasoned car.

If I were in your shoes...
If I didn't have any desire to work temp part-time position into more and move closer to it, I would gracefully decline on the math alone.

2-27-12, 7:58am
.... plus if the whole situation has thrown you back into the Cigs you've got to take that cost out of the total!!!!!
Pretty soon you'd just have to come in with a crisp $20 bill and pay your friend to work there at the temp-place!

2-27-12, 8:31pm
I don't know if I can take any more stress/guilt/lost feelings...sooooo, I talked to old GM today, told him that I couldn't work at his store for less than I make at my current sucky job (due to above stated reasons on original post) and that I am also back on the schedule permanently on Wednesdays at the old job (which is one of the days he needed me). He implied that perhaps I could get paid at least $12/hr but it to be Tuesdays and Wednesdays for him. So I declined the position because I know he needs to get someone in right away. For a moment I was feeling pretty good about the turn of events, that I actually paid attention to my needs for once and was hopeful that with a new manager starting today at old sucky job, maybe things would get back to some slight semblance of normalcy. Well, that didn't last too long, as I found out new manager declined the position after all...now back to square one at current sucky job. We are extremely short-staffed, have a really stressed out 80 year old owner, and my co-worker "J" has literally worked two weeks in a row without a day off (at least I have had some days off).

I feel like crap right now mentally due to the shear futility of it all. I'm wondering why I feel guilty and like it's my responsibility somehow to fix things for everyone, even though intellectually I know that is not the case. I guess it has been ingrained in my very being my whole life, the feeling of being responsible for things I have no control over. I'm having a really, really hard time processing everything tonight, probably out of mental exhaustion. I do not think I am not cut out to handle this much stress anymore and I can feel myself just shutting down. Maybe I'll feel better in the morning.

2-27-12, 10:00pm
Get a good night's sleep no matter what it takes, SiouzQ, and you will think more clearly in the morning. 'Night!

2-28-12, 2:41pm
I got a decent night's sleep, albeit with really weird dreams. I had to talk myself out of bed for about 45 minutes and get going about my day-off routine, making sure I didn't waste too much time on the computer drinking coffee, showering and dressing in a timely manner to go get groceries. It's really nice here so I took a walk down to the store to pick up some stuff I forgot to get and got my exercise in.

I do feel better today. I am trying hard not to second guess my decision to pass on the job that required commuting, and trying equally hard to be grateful for a retail job that pays $12/hr. I want to hold onto that wage as long as I can get it and keep saving money like crazy! It all involves turning it around in my head and viewing it a different way, and to quit taking responsibility for things out of my control!