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Self Employed RVer Fails at Being an Employee

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Some of us are born to follow, others were meant to strike out on our own path. While I can’t exactly call myself a “leader,” I’m really awful at being a follower. My personality lies somewhere in the middle, which explains why I’ve been happily self-employed for the last 12 years, but don’t want to grow my company into the kind of huge entity that good capitalists are supposed to.

This much I know about myself: I cannot be part of an organization that does not value the individual. So if the company won’t value me for who I am, then I might as well be captain of my own dinghy.

I jumped Satan’s ship earlier this week. There was no way I could tolerate idiot managers breathing down my neck, feeling like a number and being treated even worse that that, for even one more day. I will not sell my soul again for the lure of a paycheck.

Although we barely covered the cost of our rent with this 30 day gig, I got something far more valuable than money can buy out of the deal.

A fire under my butt and a swift kick in the teeth to make our next venture fly . . .

or else live that nightmare over, and over, and over again.

I’d rather not, thank you.

Badass Biker or Commuter Wimp?

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What an eye opener this warehouse job at Satan’s Castle has been. I suppose that my white collar work history has turned me into a wimp, because what I’ve learned is that those who do this kind of work for a living get treated like crap no matter where they make a living.

My own sister, who only finished high school and has worked many of these jobs, informed me of that fact the last time I whined to her. “Welcome to my world!” she said to me.

I feel blessed that there IS an end in sight to this shit job. This week I start working 12 hour days. I go in a 6 am, which means getting out of bed in freezing weather and pedaling to the warehouse at 5am. Well, I think I’m pretty rugged under most biking circumstances, but this is going to put my confidence to the test.

Biking to work under 20 degree, dark and freezing desert skies and battling thorny vines all the way there is either going to make me a real two-wheeled cowgirl, or it’s going to turn me into a wimp and make me hop in my toasty warm Dodge to get to work. We shall see.

Killing Ourselves for Cheap Plastic Crap

I’m not afraid of hard work. From the time I was a kid selling avocados for $1 each, to slinging cocktails to housekeeping at a ranch, I don’t mind getting my hands dirty in order to make a buck.

But this factory job I’m working at for the next month is the most mind-numbing, physically exhausting work I’ve ever done. Management is angry and condescending. Many people work a second job afterward just to get by. And the conditions under which we workers are subjected to are comparable to the maquilladoras in Mexico, and the Chinese sweat shops in Bejing.

This week, as I moved cheap plastic crap off the conveyor belt and prepped it for shipment elsewhere in the U.S., it occurred to me; we don’t make anything in America anymore. We just move crap around. The crap comes here from China. We get paid to move it out to consumers. Americans buy it, but only after they’ve subjected themselves to these deplorable work conditions, so they can afford ….more cheap, plastic crap.

How did we let ourselves get here?

Hanging by a Thread

Every time I start to worry about  money, I try to tell myself that it’s a waste of energy.

Over the last 12 years that we’ve been hitched, each time I panicked about not having enough money in the bank, or whenever large bills pile up, I would envision these awful scenarios.

Not being able to pay for food or new clothes, or replacing an important object, like a computer.

The other day I realized: not one of those scenarios has ever come true.

The fear of being destitute is what keeps me from being destitute. The fire is always lit under my butt.

But for the last two years, the fire’s been more like smoldering embers. I’ve taken some time off to breathe, after 10 years of working myself to death and watching life go by.

Now that I finally feel like I’ve caught up with almost all that I’ve missed, and the money is dwindling, it’s time to throw some lighter fluid on the fire.


I’m Here to Entertain You

While we wait for direction on writing Jerry’s story, I’ve decided to get my name out there and start looking for freelance writing gigs I can do from the road.

But after 10 years of being self-employed and doing everything under the sun in our little business, I’ve discovered some new trends in resume writing and job seeking. I always knew these things were happening, but never gave a crap about them as we had a business to run.

But now that we’re about to part with a huge chunk of our life savings to pay for a property in Colorado, I’m getting a little nervous about funds, and want to start seeing more of them coming in.

This week I’ve spent hours putting together a professional freelance writer’s resume. Thinking I was riding the latest trend by creating a PDF resume, I’ve just learned that I should create an “entertainment resume” for today’s young whippersnapper decisionmakers with nanosecond attention spans. Geez.

If I feel old while job searching, I can’t even imagine what a real old fart feels like in this economy.