So, I took the job. The job I didn't want, the job that I wasn't going to take. I took it. Bottom line is, I need a job. Even just to pay the rent while I look for something better. They called me last Tuesday and offered me the job. On Thursday I turned it down. On Friday they offered me more money. I said I'd need to think about it. I agonized over it all weekend. They called me several times. I didn't answer. I agonized some more. They all but promised me a raise next June. I agonized yet more. Then today, after lots of agonizing, I took the job. It means a couple of things to me. It means that I can afford to eat more than beans and cereal for dinner. It means I will be able to make loan payments. It means I can actually buy my own internet instead of stealing the spotty free wireless from the Subway across the street. It means I won't have to babysit if I don't want to and I won't have to work seven days a week like I've been doing most of the summer. (For example, this weekend while everyone else in America was enjoying their long Labor Day weekend, I was in a mall in middle America handing out flyers and pushing a product for 8 hours each day because I really need the money so I can pay rent) Very importantly, it means I will have health insurance. Good health insurance from the university. It is sad when people take jobs they don't want or stay in jobs they don't like simply because they need health insurance. That's all I'm going to say about that but yeah, it is something to think about and it is something a lot of people are forced to do.
The job is an administrative assistant position in a small university department on campus. It is a 9-month recurring appointment, which means I'll have summers off like a teacher does. I'm going to restructure my pay so that I'll receive my salary stretched out over 12 months instead of 9, that way I can essentially still receive a paycheck during the summer while I do what I want. At first I was not a huge fan of this idea but then I realized that it meant I could actually take a summer internship I wanted, an unpaid one at that, rather than whichever one was going to pay the most. That is what I usually did, that's what I did this summer, and it kind of sucks to have to take that into consideration.
When I spoke to the director today I laid out all my concerns for him. I told him my desired start date and said that it was non-negotiable. I said I wanted to be able to take staff development classes at the university (they offer classes on dreamweaver, grantwriting, etc). I said I wanted to set my own schedule. I said I didn't want to be bored and needed different kinds of projects. I said I was not going to commit to a long-term appointment because I was not sure how long I'd be in Chicago. He was ok with all of that. He said I'd have a student worker to supervise. Supervisory experience is very desirable to me. It is something that many jobs I'd like to have require. It also means that I wouldn't be the one doing mundane things like make copies and sorting mail.
So I'm not terribly excited about this position but I don't feel like I'll find anything else in the near future. I can use this position to bide time while I look for something else. I have friends who are taking way less than this position pays and they are going to be working year-round. These are hard times my friends. I'll be glad to be employed. I'll be glad to be able to put money into savings instead of take it out so that I can pay for renter's insurance* and dental work* and maaaybe even buy a new pair of shoes every once in a while. I had a phone interview for an Executive Assistant position last week and they are offering $25,000 a year. Not to be gauche but damn, can anyone live on that amount if they aren't already independently wealthy? I've never made that little and I used to live in a less expensive city and did not have loan payments to worry about. I turned down the second interview to that position because no, just, no.
I feel ok about my decision, and my current employer is completely and amazingly understanding about my situation. I'll be able to give two full weeks of work before I leave for the new job, which is what I wanted. I'm not terribly excited but I am ok with it, and I think that's all I can ask for at this point. I'm ok.
*I was contemplating not renewing my renter's insurance this year because hello, I don't have the money, and then my friend Sharon's apartment burned down. Literally the day after she moved in. Holy shit. Thank you, karma gods, for beating it into my head that YES YOU REALLY NEED RENTER'S INSURANCE. Moral of the story: renter's insurance is a good thing.
*I found out that I have to get TWO ROOT CANALS. Motherf*cker! That's all I have to say about that, except for oh yeah it is going to cost THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. Thousands, PLURAL, of dollars. Gah.