Tuesday, June 28, 2005

“Summertime, and the livin’ is . . . “ NOT easy

This past Spring semester, the Punster taught four college courses.

His private tax and accounting practice is expanding to the point that his freelance work for a former colleague is now interfering with his own practice.

And I’ve been employed pretty steadily since late last August.

But now, it’s summer, and, as usual, our income is dropping precipitously.

Sure, there’s “tax extension season,” ending August 15, for those who didn’t quite manage to get their tax returns done by April 15. But it’s not nearly as lucrative as the regular tax season.

And it’s almost impossible for the Punster to teach more than one course during the Summer semester. The poor guy’s teaching two hours per night Monday through Thursday evenings, and that doesn’t include the time that he spends preparing for class, writing and grading exams, and determining and turning in final grades. And he’s still running a private practice. How much more can he do?

Adding to the excitement is the fact that my Boss # 1 is still in the market for a permanent employee to take my place. So my days of reasonably steady employment are probably numbered. Sure, they’re using me more and more for special projects. But the last time I worked on a major special project, I was unemployed for four and a half months after the project was completed. And that wasn’t the first time that I’d gone for months without any assignments from my usual temporary employer.

Did I mention that none of my temporary employment agencies employed me last year?

To make a long and thoroughly unpleasant story mercifully short, we rarely take vacations: When we have the money, we don’t have the time, and when we have the time, we don’t have the money. This can get “interesting” when we’re among some of our better-off friends—when everyone else is giving their “what I did on my vacation” reports, all we can do is stand there “schtum” (silently) and hope that no one notices.


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