I have been running out of money. The way I spend it does not allow much time for money to stick around. I have been trying to be frugal- eating meals at home, quit drinking booze to save money, going to a library to get my books rather than a bookstore and riding my bike or walking so as not to spend money on gas. But still my money dissipates. I have no incoming source of money and this is what makes me nervous. Every time I write a check or swipe my debit card I know that I am chipping away from a rare marble that cannot be replaced. One day soon, there will be nothing left. The anxiety of this situation hospitalized me with ulceration in my intestine a week ago. The pain was almost as immense as having very little money. When I was released the Doctor told me that I had many issues that needed to be worked out, one of them being that I had to find a job.
The stress of being unemployed can drive a man like me to do crazy things. The stress can paralyze me and cause me to spend an entire day lounging around in a hammock or walking the suburban streets in a daze. The stress can also do the opposite and cause me to apply for a job as a Nanny. I have figured that I have one more month, give or take, until I run flat out of cash. How I am going to come across more money is a mystery to me. I have been known to run to the end of a rainbow just to make sure that there is not a pot of gold sitting there. I have also been known to apply for strange and demeaning jobs that most people think someone like me is much to educated and accomplished to get. Desperation is a motivating force that can drive a person to do things that they never saw themselves fit to do. When I saw the add in the paper for the “Experienced Nanny For Hire”- how could I resist?
In the town where I live there is not much paying work and most people have to commute for an hour plus a day to get to work. Since this commute is not something I am willing to do I jumped when I saw that this job was only a few miles down the street from where I live. Immediately I wrote the lady an email telling her that not only did I live close by but also I had many years of Mannying experience. I received an email back later that day telling me that she was looking for a Nanny. When I told her that indeed I was the equivalent to a Nanny, our email exchange became quite strange. I explained to her that the male version of a Nanny was a Manny but she claimed to never have heard of this before. She became suspicious of my intentions and wanted to know of my experience working as a “Manny.” Since I was making the entire thing up and was merely just trying to earn a couple of bucks, I used my creative abilities and made up an entire list of families that I had “Mannied” for in the past. She wanted references as well- so I made a few letters of recommendation and after I sent them to her she invited me over for an interview.
The job paid $1,600 a month for thirty hours a week of work. Even though a year ago today I was making $4, 800 a month- I figured that this was a good enough place to start. Any amount of change would help in a time of personal economic recession. I tried to remain positive and think about spending my days free from a boss, alone with the kids watching television and reading my books. I put on my best clothes and rode my bike to her house but because it is so hot where I live by the time I arrived I was dripping with sweat. The sweat marks under my arms and on the front of my shirt were not the best way to make a first impression. When she opened her front door she looked at me up and down a few times, passed judgment and then invited me in. Her first words to me were “it’s hot out, how about lemonade?” and then showed me into the kitchen. The home was a normal suburban style one story flat with sunflowers in the garden, van Gogh prints on the wall and IKEA furniture in every room. The children she told me were asleep but we could talk in the den. I told her about my experiences working as a public high school teacher and why I was currently unemployed. She asked me if I was willing to clean up shit, and all I could say was “no problem lady.” “Nannying, or Mannying is not easy work, even though you might think it would be. My children are animals when I am not at home,” she told me and I just smiled and said that was fine.
By the time the interview was done I was in a pool of sweat. I do not know if it was my nerves, the heat, my desperation for cash or all of the above. I put on the best act that I could and when she asked me for phone numbers of families that I had worked for before I gave them to her with a smile on my face. Of course all of the numbers are phone numbers that lead to myself my wife or my sister (all of them are in on helping me find a job and are willing to lie for me when she called). She told me that she had a few more people to interview and as I was riding my bike home I was certain that I would never get the Mannying job. The irony of our existence is that things never work out as we had planned, which makes life nothing but one big surprise. If you would of told me when I was in graduate school that ten years down the road I would be applying for a job as a Manny, I would of told you that was impossible. A week went by and she did not call my wife, my sister or myself. I began to think that my opportunity to work as a Manny was over. My self-esteem diminished but this morning I received a call. She asked me when I would be willing to start and I said that I would be over bright and early in the morning.