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Fork in the road redux: Leave a stable job, for an unstable job?

  1. Aug 28, 2011 #1

    dcm

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    Hello again.

    In the first fork in the road thread I outlined some problems that I am dealing with, and you kind folks offered many suggestions. The 3 big ones that I can remember without looking are:

    1) Find roommate.
    2) Join Military
    3) Work multiple jobs and save up more money.

    I investigated the first two, and due to my large amount of debt and bad credit, they are not feasible. Now the third option, that is what I want to try next.

    This third option, breaks down into two more options:

    1) Stay at current job, then double and triple up.
    2) Return to previous job that laid me off, then double and triple up.

    The current job pays $8.50 per hour and is 1 hour 20 minutes round trip in good weather and traffic conditions. This job is stable, and currently experiencing growth in sales/customers. This company weathered the economic downturn, and didn't unload any employees.

    The previous job pays $10.08 per hour and is 20 minutes round trip in good weather and traffic conditions. This job is stable currently(working 7 days a week!), and experiencing growth in sales, but only with current customers, no new customer additions. This company was hit hard with the automotive industry collapse, and had massive layoffs. The Tsunami in Japan also caused problems.

    Now, with that information, should I choose option 1 or 2?
    I know, it seems like a simple choice, but I think gaining 1 hour each day means a lot to me. But I would risk losing that job, then trying to return to the (current) job and losing the other two jobs in the process if I am rehired. Does that make sense?

    Why can't you just stay at the current job and get two other jobs?
    Its the 1 hour 20 minute commute. Sometimes I feel tired, and doze off while driving. I bumped the curb with both wheels on the driver side one night, and that is what made me rethink this plan.

    I tried to keep this thread shorter and more to the point than the last one. I hope it is easier to read. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

    Do you have firm job offers? Do you realy have an option to add more jobs, or do you mean overtime at you current employer?

    Neither commute is far at all. Why are you tired? Partying?

    Do you enjoy either of these jobs. Both of these jobs are starting wage jobs, do you have plans to go to school?
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  4. Aug 29, 2011 #3

    dcm

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    I only have a firm job offer for the full-time job. I don't have offers anywhere else, I was just to going to shotgun resumes at every business with an unlocked door. My current employer only allows overtime when a holiday is near because our workload increases.

    The commute is 21 miles one way. I shared in the other thread that I am suffering from stress and depression, and this drains me a little bit. It starts in the morning, goes away at work sometimes, then begins again when I drive home up until I get in the bed and sleep. I have not been to a party since my uncles wedding eight years ago.

    I enjoy my current job. The people are very nice and the work is easy. The company has small parties/celebrations for x amount of days without injuries, birthdays for everyone in that particular month, bbq in the summer, etc.
    The job I was planning on switching back to is sort of ok. Things there are very basic and straight forward. You punch in, then you start working. No bells and whistles.

    I do have plans on returning to school. But not until I repay my debts and save up some money. If everything goes according to plan, by working 76-80 hours per week for 7 days a week, between three jobs, I can return to school in 5 years.

    Just FYI:
    Working one job, I can save $40 a month if I cut back on food. Working two jobs, I might be able to to earn an extra $2-300 a month if my wages aren't garnished further. I can maybe return to school then, but only one class at a time since 4 credit hours costs $650.00. Working three jobs, I can funnel all of the earnings from the two part-time jobs into the debt repayment plan, and have it paid off in maybe 2.5 to 3 years. Then in another 2-3 years save up, then quit the two jobs and return to school.

    Thanks for replying.
     
  5. Aug 29, 2011 #4

    Zryn

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    How will working 76-80 hours for 7 days a week for 5 years impact on your current levels of stress and depression?
     
  6. Aug 29, 2011 #5

    dcm

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    Well, I was hoping to have a chart made up showing my weekly progress of erasing the debt. Then another chart showing a ladder of savings so I can climb out of this pit of despair. Seeing that progress week after week should provide some relief. Hopefully.

    Also, all or most of my problems stem from being around my miserable family members. If I were working 12hr days M-F, then 16hrs on the weekend, I would never see them. I would just go home and go to sleep. I usually feel pretty good when I'm at work. When I get home though, I almost completely fall apart. I don't feel like doing simple things such as brushing my teeth.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  7. Aug 29, 2011 #6

    Evo

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    Staff: Mentor

    Can you afford to a doctor about your depression? Your wages are being garnished?
     
  8. Aug 29, 2011 #7

    dcm

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    Yes I have health insurance, but I don't wish to take medication. In the other thread, professional help was suggested, but I still have not investigated that yet. This particular problem requires cold hard cash as a solution: I am not happy living here, and I need to move. A doctor's medicine or friendly ear cannot help.

    Yes my wages are being garnished. Two different garnishments totaling about $90.00 each week. My take home pay is $200.00 per week. After all expenses are paid for the month, I'll have about $40.00, if I'm lucky.
     
  9. Aug 29, 2011 #8
    Ah, that's why you're tired. I've done shift work most of my life, and after particularly long shifts I've been known to just crash in my car for a couple of hours before attempting the drive home. Not safe or allowed in some areas, though, so I'm concerned for your situation.

    Here's what I hear you saying about your third option:

    Job 1: 8.50/hr. 1h20m commute. Stable.
    Job 2: 10.08/hr. 20m commute. Not stable.

    The commutes factor in to at about $0.20/mile. Averaging 35 mph, that's about $7/hr, or $0.12/min, so let's break things down on a daily basis:

    Job 1: Wages are $68 daily, less Commute Costs of $19.20 = $48.80 daily, or $976 monthly
    Job 2: Wages are $81 daily, less Commute Costs of $4.8 = $75.84 daily, or $1517 monthly.

    The question becomes whether or not that extra $541 a month is worth the possibility of being laid off.

    If Jobs 1 and 2 are roughly the same shifts, I'd hold onto Job 1, obtain Job 3 and work at it long enough (a week or two) to know that you'll stick with it, then dump Job 1 and go with Job 2.

    Long commutes are no fun.
     
  10. Aug 29, 2011 #9
    I empathize with you. Hope there are more suggestions to help you. Keep trying.
     
  11. Aug 29, 2011 #10

    dcm

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    Yes I do shift work. Often I can only drive for maybe 3 miles before pulling over to take a nap in a parking lot.

    I didn't even think about your numbers for commute costs. I was thinking more about getting less oil changes. I'm commuting about 1000 miles a month.

    I asked the HR lady and the company President about the health of the company, because I didn't want to be laid off again. It is a union job, so I would be first on the chopping block, just like last time. I was told that they cannot predict the future, so anything can happen.

    Because the company has a work overload, they are running 2 shifts for 7 days a week. I was told that I won't know which shift I'll be working, because they are just throwing people where help is needed.
    So, I can't secure Job 3 until things settle down and they lock me into a shift.

    I work in an industrial park, and there is a business right next door that seems to be picking up speed. I was thinking of applying there for a second full-time job, but I think burning the candle at both ends would be a very bad idea. One of my sisters lives about 9 miles from my job, so maybe it would worth a shot?
     
  12. Aug 29, 2011 #11

    dcm

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    I hope so too. In the last thread, a few people suggested joining the military. I was very excited about it, but found out they don't accept people with large debts and bad credit. They are seen as administrative burdens and are also likely to sell secrets to the enemy, take bribes, etc.
     
  13. Aug 29, 2011 #12

    Evo

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    What shifts do you work?
     
  14. Aug 30, 2011 #13

    dcm

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    I only work 2nd shift currently, 2pm to 10pm.
     
  15. Aug 30, 2011 #14

    Evo

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    That's not bad at all. I actually wish I could work a shift like that, I did when I was in school.
     
  16. Aug 30, 2011 #15
    Driving 1000 miles per month will burn up a car rather quickly. Can you afford this long commute?
     
  17. Aug 30, 2011 #16

    dcm

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    I don't have a problem working the shift. It is the drive home that worries me. Putting in 12-16 hour days then driving home for 40-60 minutes is dangerous.
     
  18. Aug 30, 2011 #17

    dcm

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    Not really. I spend about $200 a month on gas. It seems every time I check the odometer, its time for an oil change.
     
  19. Aug 30, 2011 #18

    Evo

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    You work an 8 hour shift and you said your commute is only 21 miles one way. Did I miss something?

    Sorry if i have a hard time feeling sorry for you, but when I lived in PA, I had a one way commute of 75 miles to work that took me 2 1/2 hours one way, I had a baby. I had to get up at 4am in order to get her dressed and fed and into the car so I could drop her off on the way to work and get to work by 8am. I had to wear a suit, so I could not just throw anything on, and I had to have my hair and makeup done. I was often up until 2am preparing presentations to give to the board of directors of large companies. My job required I drive all over the state during the day.

    On the way home I picked up the dry cleaning, did grocery shopping, and made the family meal that night.

    When I moved here, it was not unusual to get to work at 7am and leave at 9pm, I was management, it was not unusual. And I was salaried, so I was not paid overtime.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  20. Aug 30, 2011 #19

    Zryn

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    Gold Member

    You don't have to do anything, you always have a choice.
     
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