Monday, May 09, 2011

Pity Party

My life has taken some unexpected turns, some turned out good, some not so good.  Part of each have been my own damn fault, part of them caused by things beyond my control.  But I’m an eternal optimist, so I know things’ll work out eventually, even though right now it feels like the road I’m travelling on has just been ripped right out from under me.

I got a call from the owners of the Chevron today.  They’re a young couple that just bought three of her father’s stores, and they’re struggling to keep them going.  We talked for about 45 minutes and I learned a lot more about the retail oil business than I ever intended to.  Believe it or not, gas retailers do worse as the prices climb, mainly since most people pay by debit or credit cards, which charge a % of each purchase (anywhere between 1.75% and 2.7% depending on the card), and their margin tends to stay the same.

The upshot of this whole thing is that they needed to cut back on payroll.  And although they said what they would really like to do is have me retire from teaching and work there full time, since they couldn’t make the schedule work with my teaching schedule I was getting laid off.  The good part is that they had a lot of really nice things to say about my working there, that they hated to have to do this, and that if they were still in business when I retire from teaching 12 years from now, they would love to have me manage one of their stores.  And they weren’t just blowing smoke up my skirt, they’ve said stuff like that all along during my 8 year relationship with the store, so it’s not like they just made it up to make me feel better.  I told them that even though it sucked, I understood.  I’d had to make those same decisions in the 15 years I managed Free Wheeler Pizza stores.

So, looks like I’m gonna be totally broke for the next 3 weeks.  Then school will be over and I’m either going to look for another part time job, or maybe a roommate.  (Anyone wanna live in Sugarhouse for $400 a month + 1/3 the utilities?)


The Gearheads said...

Man, this really sucks, I'm sorry to hear it. If I know anyone who is looking for a room I will let you know. If there is any other way we can help let us know.


The English Teacher said...

What a shame they couldn't have kept you on through the summer when you could've worked more hours!
Ah well.
If I hear of any jobs you might like, I'll let you know.... Guess you could always substitute at year-round elementaries, if you could stand the little kids.....

What about teaching summer school? Or look into teaching community college? I've thought about doing that, but academic team takes all my freakin' time. But you have a master's, and that's all you need to teach at SLCC or UVU -- and, in some cases, at Westminster. I'd look into those, if I were you.

Max said...

Mr. - Thanks, and thanks for the idea of checking with the pizza dudes. And thanks for the offer of help, things are going to be tight, but I'm not going to lose the house or anything.
English I may look into the community college, I'm not too sure about substituting elementary, but I'm glad you brought it up, I hadn't even thought of that. I'm actually staying on the payroll so I can fill in if anything comes up, but they can't keep things open for me for the next three weeks, and then at the end of the summer they would have to fill those spots anyway. Ahh, c'est la vie.

Carmi said...

I'm so sorry to hear this...and know exactly how it feels. The blessing in all of this is you're resourceful, and surrounded by folks who adore you and want to help.

Have you thought about writing? Or photography? You're gifted at both, and as far as part time work goes, it can pay decently when calculated out on a per hour basis - if you can snag the right mix of gigs.

Max said...

Carmi - You are absolutely right about that, if things get really rough I know I can count on family and friends to help out. I have been incredibly blessed in that way.
In the past I've thought about making money through my photography, but I've never considered myself a writer. Thanks for that vote of confidence! I'll figure out something, and want to thank everyone for their ideas.

The English Teacher said...

Max, if you figure out how to make money as a writer, let me know; I'm still trying to figure that one out myself!

Max said...

E.T. - (I think I like that better than "English".) I'll let you know if I do start making writing pay off, but I wouldn't hold your breath for it if I were you.