Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Looks like my writing time is going to be changing, which explains today's morning post. At least four days a week, I'll have to have my posts done before 8:30 p.m. Recall that I mentioned receivers of unemployment benefits aren't allowed to turn down work, in most cases? And that you have to have at least two contacts per week? That meant that for some weeks, we had to apply for less-than-desirable jobs to meet the two-contact rule. In each case, we prayed that Don wouldn't be offered these "junk" jobs.

Let me only say that when you tell God you want to be useful to him - watch out! He will shape you like never before, which can be sooooo uncomfortable. Really though, you don't have a choice. When you invite him into your life, he remakes you so that eventually you WILL ask him for "Kingdom" usefulness - meaning you want to be his partner in softening hearts toward the Gospel message.

That is the only explanation I have for what has transpired. Don went on an interview last night with a family-owned janitorial company. The pay wasn't posted with the job, and benefits weren't mentioned, so we knew it couldn't be good. We decided the only thing he could do was to SUGGEST BUT NOT INSIST, that he only work part-time for the firm, so he could continue to actively seek full-time benefited work. One can work part-time and receive just a portion of the benefits (the difference after the part-time pay is subtracted), and still work on job hunting and getting additional training.

The proprietor actually offered to put the paycheck in Don's wife's name, so as to not affect unemployment benefits. Sounds like a stand up guy, hey? Don turned that down immediately. I think it's a bad sign that the guy has no ethics, but Don thinks this is typical behavior, especially in the business world. I'm sure it's true that many employers unable to afford benefits for their employees try to find some way to offset that negative. Doing so makes it more likely they will obtain and retain qualified employees.

The average weekly unemployment benefit is $350.00, so when laid-off workers work part-time during recessions, it saves the government money - always a good thing. I recently read that these part-time, in-between jobs are disappearing, so it's a blessing that he found one. Having one also means that it takes longer to exhaust one's maximum unemployment-benefit amount, which is a plus in long, painful recessions. What a blessing that our house payment is so low! We've been able to keep up with the full payments thus far, thanks in part to a tax refund.

The employer needed someone to start within forty-eight hours; there was obvious desperation. Any warm body was desired, as long as the individual didn't appear to be a nutcase. Don fit the bill, despite honest attempts to NOT get the job. It had to be God, I tell you. There was no way Don was NOT going to get this job.

The hours are 3:30 in the morning, four consecutive days a week, for roughly six hours at a time. And he'll be cleaning - BARS! Yes, that's right - bars. We are non-drinkers, but the Bible doesn't say one can't drink - only that one shouldn't be a drunkard. So, we can't exactly claim that cleaning bars is against our morals, which is one of the legitimate reasons to turn down work. I guess that means we can turn down strip-club cleaning? lol Tomorrow Don visits these bars with a sales rep from his firm, during the day. If there is anything immoral about the establishments, you can bet we'll be turning it down.

If he must do this, I have to assume there is someone at this company, or at these bars, who needs to hear the Gospel. Don has always shared the Gospel whenever and wherever it was appropriate. That said, I am very worried about him working around possible drunken behavior. Apparently he can wait until the bar clears out, but what about fights and such near the building? I am very, very concerned! The only comforting thought is that the bars are in good areas. Of the three, one is in a very affluent area, and the others are in middle-class areas.

Finally, this middle-of-the-night schedule means we should have lights out by 8 p.m. Both of us are night people, and this will be difficult, to say the least. God wants us retiring and rising earlier, and this is a sure way to make it happen.

Don will still be available to tag team with the homeschooling, and help with the children as needed. That is certainly a huge blessing, especially until Anna Grace is five months old, which is when the other three children became perpetual happy campers and were easily managed - notwithstanding teething periods.

If your husband is a corporate executive, or other similarly-salaried employee, I'm sure you can't relate to this post in the least. I wouldn't trade my husband for any other, but I do think when you read this, it might prompt you to hug your husband a little tighter and thank him for providing so well for his family. I'm sure it will warm his heart. It's always good to have some perspective, especially if you are frustrated that he can't be home much.


Steph said...

Congrats on finding something. I bet, since it is so late/early in the day, it will be a nice quiet job giving ample opportunity for reflection. It may not be as bad as it seems.

Liz said...

PTL for providing!