There is an almost 7 year-old girl standing ten feet away from me. She stayed home from school today, the victim of a bad cough, she has made a miraculous recovery. Had she not spent part of last night coughing I would have sent her to school, but with nine days left I figured it would be wiser to let her rest so that she doesn’t miss a chunk of days.
But the best laid plans of mice and men go astray and so did mine. This little girl of mine says that she is bored. She has had all day to play games and watch television. Hours up0n hours to do nothing while dad toils away at his computer. Â Fortunately she is a healthy lassie but this is not the first time that she has stayed home with me. Several months ago we shared this space in the home office and had similar conversations to those we had today.
I explained to her that since I am working I can’t play with her. I told her that I would take some breaks and that during those breaks I would spend time with her, but that they would be limited. She forgot about how bored she was then and spent a chunk of time today trying to get me to stop working so that she wouldn’t be bored today.
What she doesn’t know/understand/realize is that I am what the government calls underemployed. It is a euphemism for man who works on projects sometimes but doesn’t have a full time position. To be clear, I have a number of projects that I am currently working on. The scope of need and personal responsibilities varies greatly so there are moments where I don’t have enough to do. I hate those moments.
It has made budgeting a prodigious nightmare. The lack of consistent work is both painful and frustrating. When I have free moments I work on finding new projects or trying to gain interviews for full time work. If you want to work on 100% commission basis there are lots of opportunities out there.They are available in a million different industries, but I am not interested in a commission only position.
I am an experienced professional and the companies that retain my skills benefit from them. Every time I make a sales call for a company they benefit. My time is worth something. If I make a sales call for you than I am providing you with advertising. I am working as an evangelist.I am helping to market the company. You can’t measure my worth solely based upon sales. I expect to share some of the risk with the company.
This is not a popular position to take in companies that try to recruit based upon no caps on income. Many of them will tell you that if you work their program hard you will be successful. Failure isn’t their fault, it is yours. Well I understand and appreciate why they would take that position. I understand that there is a benefit to the company in sending out wave after wave of people to knock on doors. It is not unlike the attitude that they had on D-Day when our forces stormed the beaches.
You knew that a lot of people weren’t going to make it so you expected casualties. But you also knew that many would and that if they did it would most likely balance things out. I get it. I understand it. I appreciate it. But I am not willing to work that way. It would be different if it was my company, but if it is not than I expect to be compensated for my time. There is nothing unreasonable about that.
So when that almost 7 year-old girl stares at me and asks what I do I tell her that I am a blogger. I explain that it means that I am a writer who works with both businesses and people to help promote their products and services. She wants to know if I have to work this hard to do it and I nod my head yes. I work that hard because I want to provide for her and her brother. I work that hard because the effort will lead to good things.
She looks at me again, with a Cheshire cat grin and sparkly eyes says, “I am going to tell my friends that my daddy works as a booger.” And that my friends gives you a little inkling of the girl who stole my heart.