Thursday, May 7, 2020

Microstory 1359: Flex

TDS Management Representative: Hello, and welcome to TDS Management. I’ll be your TDS Rep today. Go ahead and have a seat. Did you happen to bring in an updated résumé?
Single Father: I do, right here. I have many copies, in case you wanna pass them out at your coffee shop.
TDS Rep: Haha, well, we don’t have to do that. I’m sure we’ll find you something good. Um, wow. This is a busy résumé. It looks like you have quite a bit of experience. Everything from gardening to middle management.
Single Father: Do I?
TDS Rep: Yes, when I see two-pagers, it’s usually because it’s filled with high school minimum wage jobs, but you have some real stuff on here.
Single Father: Yes, I moved around a lot in my younger years. I also just kept getting really good opportunities that I couldn’t pass up. I assure you that I’ve never been fired. All of these transitions were my idea.
TDS Rep: I would assume that. The gaps you have between positions aren’t large enough to suggest you were fired, and had no choice but to look for something else. Um, according to this, you’re still in a management position at a Magnate manufacturing facility. Are you not happy there?
Single Father: Oh, no. I fully intend to keep that job. It pays well, but maybe not quite well enough. I need a little bit extra now. I just adopted an older son. He has some special needs, and I’m not sure I can afford everything on my current salary alone.
TDS Rep: I see. Well, does your employer know you’re looking for a secondary job?
Single Father: They do not.
TDS Rep: Are they going to become more flexible on your hours, or...?
Single Father: No, everything about that job will stay the same. I just need a little more.
TDS Rep: If you take on another job, will you have time to care for your son? I only ask, because you specifically mentioned his special needs.
Single Father: It’s not going to be easy; I probably won’t get much sleep, but it’s gotta be done. I was hoping you could find me something with flexible hours, so I can decide when my son doesn’t need me. The job board listings aren’t that precise or detailed. I’ve been having to contact the employers directly, and ask them if they could theoretically accommodate me. You can imagine how awkward those conversations go.
TDS Rep: I don’t have to imagine. I’ve heard those conversations before. Look, flex-time is trending right now, but that still generally involves an individual only having the one job. Even grocery stores need you there at a certain time, and for a certain number of hours. You’re not going to find anything on the job boards, and I’m not going to fare any better.
Single Father: So, there’s nothing I can do?
TDS Rep: I didn’t say that. The gig economy is also trending. You could work for a ride-sourcing service, or a third-party delivery service. There are several apps you can download that let you just complete short tasks for people, like moving a TV, or waiting in line for a highly anticipated video game. Your résumé says that you have experience in graphic design. I’m sure there’s some kind of freelancing website that lets you advertise your skills. That would let you work from home, even when your son is there with you.
Single Father: These are all really good ideas.
TDS Rep: We can work together to develop a plan. That’s not what I generally do, obviously, but I don’t see any reason not to. If I had a full plate, I would have to turn you down, but I have some time right now.
Single Father: That would be lovely. Thank you.

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