Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The Quest To Earn An Honest Buck
The things we do for love may be worse than the things we do for money, but not by much! My darling 17 year old Cyrus worked for a caterer last summer. His employer put him in a chef's costume, complete with a fake big belly and two foot high chef's hat and asked him to stand on the corner with a sign advertising the caterer's wares.
Cyrus had hired on to be a clean up guy and an assistant sous chef, not a walking billboard.
He did it as long as he could, and then hung up his apron about the 10th time kids from his high school drove by and honked and cracked up. Poor kid. Still, the kids driving by weren't making $10 an hour and he was.
When I was very young, I was divorced and had 2 kids. I was not educated beyond high school and had no real skills that were marketable. I went to work at a major corporation as a file clerk (since I did mainly know my alphabet). Surprise! I really didn't earn enough money to support the kids doing this.
Fine, I can iron. I can clean. So as side jobs, I took in ironing and then also cleaned houses for people in my spare time. The ironing was fine, since I could be home with the kids while I did it. The cleaning jobs, not so much. Bringing kids to someone's house when you clean (when the kids are 1 and 3) is not the best idea in the world.
Okay, scratch the cleaning gig. I knew a guy who was the official photographer and film maker for my big corporation. He approached me to do a little "modeling" for a program he was putting together. Uh huh. Seems the salesmen for the company all came to San Francisco's headquarters once a year and got awards. This year one of the awards was fly fishing gear.
Uh huh. So I'm supposed to model with a fish or what? Oh not exactly. I was to wear a bikini and thigh high waders, stand in a stream, and throw a fishing line while I looked sultry and smiled. All right. It paid $200 for about an hour's work. God knows we could use the money.
If I had really understood how stupid and horrible I would feel actually doing this, I never would have signed on. I never could even look at the photos he shot of me. I felt too humiliated. The idea that 200 or so men would look at these pictures and laugh or make crude comments was just too much for me to take in.
Still, I took the money. At the same time, I advertised at the local market for more ironing jobs! Some things just aren't worth what it costs to earn that honest buck.