Choice is nothing in itself; everything depends on what one is able to choose.
Harold J. Brown, “The Language of Life”
I probably shouldn’t have presented things in my last post as choices. Really the only choice in the matter was whether or not to apply for the job at the non-profit. Having applied I don’t have any more choices. If I’m selected for an interview I cannot say no, and if I’m offered the job I will not be able to turn it down. Choice is a luxury I have lost.
Frequently readers have encouraged, even urged, me to “take any job” regardless of whether it is something I would like to do. And I have taken jobs that I don’t enjoy or am over qualified to do in order to support my family. Sadly those opportunities are more infrequent than one might imagine. I applied for a sales position at the large pet store chain in our community recently. I thought I might have a chance as there are several older workers there. The manager looked over my application and just shook his head. “I’m sorry, he said. “You are over qualified.” Before I could say anything in response, he said, “It’s not you, it’s a policy. We’ve found that it’s just not worth the expense of hiring and training someone who is obviously over qualified because even when they say they won’t leave, they do. And we have lots of applicants to pick from these days. Sorry.”
I’m not over qualified for the position at the non-profit. I’m nicely qualified for it. And I would not be able to accept it and work for a few months to save up some money and then quit and take off across the country pursuing Plan B. It wouldn’t be right. I have supported this organization financially in the past and I care about it and the work they do. I’d probably enjoy many aspects of the job, although since they are struggling financially (hence the low salary), fundraising (not my favorite thing to do) would be a big part of it. So I’m ambivalent about it. But if it’s offered I will have to take it regardless because I don’t have a choice. We need a steady income. One bad month (like this one) is enough to send us over the edge. We are on the verge of being evicted – ironically since we would not be able to take our ‘park model’ trailer in that situation we would have to sell it which would provide enough money to pay rent but our home would be gone. Sort of like the Magi’s Gift!
Of course, as I remind the kids, I might not even be selected for an interview, much less offered the job. And in that case we might just have to pick up the pace on our Plan B and take the kids out of school before the end of the year and leave whether we are ready or not. I hope it doesn’t come to that and I’m stepping up my networking, trying to find more archaeology survey jobs (the best paying of my self-employment situations), writing and virtual assistant jobs, and cat bed sales!
I do look forward to the time when we are committed to either one or the other future – it’s this limbo that’s hard.