Friday, August 27, 2004

I'm in the Wrong Business

What am I doing studying history? I have known that the money is elsewhere, and I have been OK with that. I love history. I hope to teach it on the college level when I grow up. I was well aware that I left the industry where the money is. After many years (and lots of buckaroos I might add) I left IT. I wasn't happy. It wasn't fulfilling. Whatever. Truth be known, I knew it was time to follow my passion and not the almighty dollar when I woke up one morning and ran out of excuses to call in. Maybe you've been there? It hits you in those groggy pre-dawn hours in which no human arises voluntarily. They run through your mind, all those excuses. Let's see. Can't say a relative passed away because no one has 12 grandmothers. Can't plead grave illness because you forgot to cough and moan appropriately the day before. 24 hour bug? Naaa...used that last month. Car broken down? Nope. They all saw the new one in the parking lot. It's the day you can't think of a plausible reason to beg off that you realize that you are probably miserable in the troth you have pledged and it's time for a change.

Lest you think I am a total slug, I do need to point out a couple of things. I feel this need because I too, hated the slugs who called in for any reason and caused me more work. I was not one of those. I not only carried my weight, but the weight of several others. With my last company I suffered for 4 years. I was the only Senior Specialist in my department. Because of the insane turn-over in my group and the 6 to 9 month period required to fully train someone in my department, I carried the load of 3 people (at least) at any given time. I handled all the QC in my group, that my boss was supposed to handle but didn't, and was a required element for our group to release a project. I was assigned all the VIP (read that PIA for pain in the ass) clients. And I got stellar evals and lots of customer "attaboys" for my trouble. Management (whom I hated) loved me. My attitude wasn't even that bad despite being told by my boss that I was "at the top of the payscale and my raises from now on wouldn't be as much as they had been." Yeah. I guess that's when I knew it was the beginning of the end. What kind of motivation is that?!? And also, please don't think I really lied when I called in. There were lots of times that I called in "dead." True story. We were deadline based, so go back to the part where I said I carried the load of 3 or more people. When I was at the end of my rope I'd call in a mental health day. I'd tell my boss "I'm calling in dead. See you tomorrow," and they were cool with that. I was good at it, but I hated it, I hated my company and I started to think about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Ahh, history.

Lest you think I now live completely off C., I have my little home-based business because we have bills to pay. I enjoy it. I make good money at it. That's not the point. Today I realized that the money isn't where I thought it was all along. It's not in IT. It's not in investments or the law. Apparently the money is in textbook sales. Who knew?

For my 3 final classes this semester I purchased 12 books today. All but 1 are softcover, all but 2 are used. It cost me $311. Hello?!? They're not big books. They're not even heavy books. But they ARE three hundred dollars worth of books. And that, my friends, is my epiphany. The big money is in used textbook sales. I speak from experience. Just think: Student A (no doubt a freshman) purchases a book brand new for $134. He opens it a grand total of four times, not even breaking the binding. He sells his book back to the university bookstore for $3. They, in turn, sell it to some unsuspecting student next semester as a used book for $92. The bookstore has now made $223 off ONE book in a year!!! I am not a math major, but even my pea brain can deduce that I am in the wrong business.

Happy Fall,



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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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