construction gal 3m 849
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Before I begin this first and most painful of a series of professional confessions, I think a little background is in order. I am a single mom of two boys and have been working to provide a better life for them. If you are a parent there isn’t much of anything you wouldn’t do to make sure that they are well feed, have decent clothing and a few toys. Suffice it to say I clearly recall times when I was growing up and the only thing to eat was bread with butter, or if we were lucky enough cereal with water. I am not complaining mind you but I do not wish for my children to know such hunger or pain. So on to the ‘good’ stuff.
At one time I worked for a.. let’s say construction company. Times were hard and I was only getting $8.00 per hour. It was a good job not difficult or demanding. The thing is, it was hard making ends meet like rent and utility bills etc.. not to mention groceries.
The company was owned by a family complete with ‘Mom and Dad’ as owners and their children running the show. I was on friendly terms with everyone there. At one time it was really rough I didn’t have money for the rent or even food for my kids and was really depressed by that fact. So much so that one of the owners (let’s call him Dad) asked what was wrong. I didn’t want to mention my financial situation and tried playing it off. He was very kind and understanding and coaxed out of me what was going on. He told me not to worry he would help me with a small loan to hold me over to which I replied that I would pay him back as soon as possible which he laughed off. He said he had to go to the bank to make a withdrawal and he didn’t want the others to know. Which I understood, I didn’t want anyone else knowing my personal life and trials. So he told me he would stop by my place and give me the money later that afternoon.
Later that day he as promised stopped by the house and asked about my kids (who were at that moment in their after-school club) so after chatting for a little while he casually mentioned that he had the money. I was extremely grateful and kept telling him that I would pay him back asap. He told me I didn’t have to pay him back with money…
I didn’t think I understood him so I gave him a queer look as if to say come again?
He said look all you have to do is (for sake of the reader a time for innuendo) perform a service and all would be ok.
At first I was shocked and outraged, then I thought well hell I guess I should have seen that coming when he said he would come by my place. Still I used to prefer to see the good in people and didn’t let that thought enter my mind previously.
So needless to say I am ashamed to admit that I did what he asked and he gave me the money.
Holy cow I felt so cheap, like a whore. The only thing I could think about was that my kids would be able to eat now. I mean I didn’t even have enough for a damn hot dog. I cried for a long while and called my sister who lived up north. She heard me distraught on the phone and asked what was going on. After I told her what happened she said hold tight I am coming down.
She arrived after a while and grabbed me and held me tight the whole time saying ‘It’s ok, you’re gonna be alright. You should have called me, I would have helped you.” To which I replied “you have your own problems and bills to take care of and I didn’t think you would. “This is the same sister who always swore that even if a small juice cost a quarter she wouldn’t lend it to me in a million years. When I reminded her of that we both started laughing and she said “Damn you remember everything.” If it weren’t for her I don’t think I could have forgiven myself for sinking so low. It has taken me a long time to get where I am at right now and I can say that I have never let myself get into that situation again. I have held tightly to my self-respect and self-worth and no matter how tight things got financially I always found a way out of it thanks to God.
Speaking of God, apparently he doesn’t like ugly, several years ago I heard through the grape vine that the company I worked for was under investigation and several of the owners went to jail.