Working Wage


I just came back from interviewing with an employment agency.  I explained to them that I had a medical condition that between the stress of being a legal/executive assistant, and the long commute, I resigned my last position.  They seemed to think it was perfectly plausible.  So no long explanation about MS and all its frightening symptoms.

They were very nice, very professional and nice to work with.  I asked some questions about executive assistant jobs, and they all include complex meeting scheduling and a lot of travel arrangements.  Too much room for error and a lot of stress.  I wish I knew if I could handle it without the personal assisting and legal aspects.   I suppose if I went in as a temp I could decide if it was too much for me by the time I was offered a job.  It’s really hard to resist trying since the money is much better.In the end I decided my best option was to consider administrative assistant jobs.  I agreed, reluctantly, because the salary is s much as 50% less than what I was making before I “retired.”  I’d actually make more money if I was able to stay on DI, but not much.

Then again, H hopes to retire next year, and if he does, he can clear out his 401k and we could pay off most of our current bills.  Then we would only have two car payments, one unsecured loan, and the mortgage.  We could make it.  There would be no more vacations, no more nights out, no more weekend trips.  Christmas and birthday parties and gifts will be scaled back.  No more shopping for jewelry or other unneccessary items.  At least in the time I’ve been on disability, we have already made a good number of these changes, so it shouldn’t be a very great adjustment to making a lower salary.

In the meantime, I keep promoting my jewelry as much as I can, but so far it has not increased sales.  I’ve talked with a couple of shops to see if they’d like to carry my stuff, but so far no dice.  I’m getting pretty discouraged, and while I enjoy making the jewelry, it’s not worth it as a business.  All together I’ve spent maybe $500 on supplies and ads for my sites with no increase in sales.  No sales at all, in fact.  Exactly how does someone make money on Etsy?  Does anyone make money on Etsy?  Should I push my stuff harder in the local shops?  It’s not worth it to me if I have to give them a commission, so I’m trying to have them buy a number of items outright.  Probably why I’m having no luck.

I also joined SurveySpot.com.  Supposedly once you join you answer a lot of marketing and merchandise surveys.  In many cases when you take a survey, you get some sort of free samples and/or coupons.  They even have a cash drawing for $1,200.  It’s fair incentive.  So far I’ve only taken about 5 surveys.  All extremely boring and very similar.  After just one day I want to make up answers just to keep things interesting.  I’ll see if I can make any “extra” money with this, because according to the site, you won’t get rich, but you could put your earnings into a savings account.  I guess I’ll have to wait and see how it goes.

I neer had a plan when I was growing up about what my life would be.  I never planned to get married, go to college, travel.  I never planned anything.  Then after marrying, my H also did not plan anything beyond getting married and having kids.  Throughout my married life we have lived without a plan, letting life push us from point A to point B.  We have always lived on the brink of disaster, staying one step ahead of bills most of the time, disaster looming on the horizon.  I thought by now I’d have a plan, but I don’t.  Maybe only some people are planners and some of us are not.  It seems plans are made to be quickly discarded.

14 thoughts on “Working Wage

  1. Sorry to hear that things aren’t going so well, it’s one of the things people forget about when you have something like MS, we struggle so much to find a job that pays enough to get by but doesn’t make us worse in the process. Possibly a silly question but have you tried getting to ask your friends on facebook to help with selling the jewellery? Maybe get them to share the link to it, it’s amazing how far it can spread doing that. I hope this time your voyage from A to B is a little smoother and the agency works out hun ((hugs))

    1. Thanks. I suppose it could be much worse, I could actually be completely disabled. Though what else you can you call brain damage? It may not be due to a traumatic injury, but the disability is still there. If someone were to receive a traumatic brain injury would they be considered disabled? Then why should brain damage caused by disease be less traumatic?

      I have. I’ve given them rings and bracelets and links to my sites, but no one has shared them.

      I’m down, but so far undefeated. I shall shine again in the corporate world! Or at least glitter a little.

  2. i have a friend who sells her soap products and ceramic mugs and soap dishes on etsy. she also goes to all the local fairs and puts specials on her facebook page. she is not making enough to quit her job with all of this. oh and she sells in the local whole foods store.

    when you talk about planning i have to laugh as this is how i thought we all lived! then i married my man and he is a big time planner:) thanks to him i put my education to better use and life is much easier with a plan. of course we didn’t plan for me to get ill any more than you did. now he is learning to live without a plan every day and he is adapting.

    if you would not make much more working i wonder why you put yourself through so much stress over working? making a jewelry business profitable takes time. is that really your passion? what about your writing? you have great skills and writers do make money. several sites, like ebooks, uses writers to actually write some of the books that other people want written. i have a friend who does that and she makes enough to pay her bills and go to school.

    sometimes we get a detour to help us find our real life. maybe this is your detour?

    1. That was my hope when I retired last year. Unfortunately after finding out I would have to live more than one year without any funds, only to be very probably denied disability in the end, because I could still be a ticket taker. That’s their measure of total disability, when you can’t even be a ticket taker in a theatre.

      I don’t plan on giving up on my jewelry or writing, now that I’ve found them again. Hopefully I will have the energy. Perhaps by the time I retire again, both will have turned a profit!

      1. it blows my mind that people are expected to live without any means of income for over a year. once the time passes and you are denied, get a lawyer and you will win. it will be nearly 2 yrs by then. we have a friend whose son has ms and they have struggled until he was approved.

        you have my warmest wishes for the days going forward.

  3. Sorry to hear about your MS. I study neuroscience and understand (intellectually, although not from a personal standpoint) how hard it can be.

    Writing very well could be your detour. There are always some opportunities for writers out there. Best of luck with things!

    1. I will look more into writing, but I can’t do freelance. I am thinking of self publishing a book of my short stories. I’ll be looking into it.

      Thank you for your support. I would suppose that a neuroscientist would have quite a clear idea of what I’m up against.

      Thank you also for your work in neuroscience. Maybe with your work we will find a way to circumvent MS’s slow brain damage. Find a way to reroute the synapses.

  4. Having resigned from my job not long ago I can really identify with you – am beginning to get very worried about my financial situation etc. Feel like I am kind of treading water. I don’t know anything about Etsy.

    1. I’m sorry you’re getting into some serious straights. I know how that can be. My biggest concern is to hang onto my house, but at $2200 a month, and an HOA of $600, I’m trying to prepare for its loss. I do hope you don’t have that to worry about!

      One of the other bloggers mentioned she is doing a fund raiser for herself to raise $3000 for acupuncture treatments that her insurance won’t cover.

      I really love the idea of a fund raiser, perhaps it’s something to think about.

  5. While the money is less so will the stress be. I think you’re feeling sad thinking you’ll have to give up a lot with your husband retiring and you making less money… but if you just concentrate on what you can do…with maybe a little planning which you’re not used to doing …it won’t be as bad as what you envision. We were not planners either. We didn’t put away for our retirement…we married, chalked up debt…moved with the equity of the house and paid off the debt only to do the same thing again…But we did okay. Both of us worked..raising the 3 kids and fortunately at least have my husband’s pension and then the government pensions for each of us. We now live according to what we make…Hope things work out…Diane

    1. Things will work out. They always do. I just have to run all the most dire possibilities so I will be prepared for anything. We will adjust to less money, it’s just hard to give it up after finally having made enough money for the first time in our lives.

      At least now I have my blogging friends to help me through the tough times. 🙂

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