I spend roughly 45 minutes in my car during the drive to work. It has officially been summer for nearly 36 hours, but North Carolina has been feeling the unofficial summer for some time now. I've been feeling a little more than just summer during that drive to and from work each day. You see, my car has no air condition at the moment.
A few weeks ago, on Memorial Day weekend, the fan in my car's ventilation system shorted out. Again. This is the second time it's happened in the past year. I got it fixed just before winter hit last year, so that I could have the luxury of heat and defrost on those frosty, cold mornings. But the guy that fixed it, well, he didn't fix the root of the problem. He just replaced the fan. He didn't repair the issue that caused it to short out in the first place. Thus, it happened again.
And now I'm sorry to say, I'm getting used to not having any air. I'm growing accustomed to sweating profusely as I drive around town with the windows down. As hot and humid as it is, having the windows down does very little to cool things. It merely moves the air around so it doesn't get quite so stuffy. But you know what it's like when you open the oven for the first time after letting it preheat to 450 degrees? That's kind of what it feels like driving around in my car. The air that hits you in the face from outside is nothing but hot air. No, it isn't 450 degree air, but you get the illustration I'm trying to make?
So why don't I get it fixed? Well, that's because I spend all my money (from the two jobs that I work) on little inconveniences like bills and groceries and gas for my car. I buy gas a lot. Especially since I spend about 90 minutes in the car just driving to and from the bank, then spend about 6 hours a week in and out of the car when delivering pizza. All these things don't leave much room in the budget for the luxury of getting a new fan for my A/C.
But Aaron, it can't cost that much to get that tiny little fan replaced, can it? Besides, you're just a Single Guy with no kids, how many bills could you possibly have?
No, it doesn't cost all that much to get it fixed. At least, it didn't last time. But I've lost my connection to the guy that fixed it last time, so that could effect the repair costs. And you know, I really don't have that many bills. My cost of living really isn't all that much. And that's why the amount of money that I bring in from my primary job is so pathetic.
Now, I have no problem with needing a second job to make ends meet. But most of the people I've met with two jobs are family men and women. These are people with more than just themselves to take care of. They're working two and sometimes three jobs because there are kids depending on them to keep a roof over their heads and keep food on the table. I only have myself to take care of. Shouldn't one job be enough?
Not the way I do it though. I have two bachelor's degrees, but barely make enough to get by each month. I have a savings account that I automatically put $50 into every two weeks. But then I just have to turn right around and transfer it back to checking most of the time. Something usually comes up, like the need for food from the grocery store.
It could be argued that I could very well be making more money at the bank if I would just try harder. I've generally accepted the fact that, from week to week, the powers that be will heap on more responsibilities to the people that work in the branches. They raise the expectations, but give little to no incentive to their employees to reach those new expectations.
One of the old expectations, however, is the selling of crap to every fool that walks through the door. Some people are very good at this. Those people see nice little bonuses added to their paycheck at the end of the month. That's what we like to call commissions. I, on the other hand, am not good at selling crap to every fool that walks through the door (and we have a bunch of fools, believe me). In fact, I'm not good at selling anything to anyone. And it's because I'm not very good with the spoken word. Sure, I talk a good game on this here blog. Put a piece of paper in front of me and I can write the crap out of that thing. But when it comes to a real conversation with someone about their personal finances and what products the bank may have to offer them, I draw a blank.
By nature, I'm an introvert. Socially, I think I do pretty okay. I mean, I meet new people, I can hold my own in a normal conversation. Just don't get me to try to sell them something and we're fine. But that's what the powers that be want, nay, it's what they insist upon. Alas, my paycheck, as a rule, fails to come along with any commissions tacked on. Month after month it's the same story.
Mid-year reviews are coming up. Now, I suppose that, if I were to receive perfect scores in all areas, I could expect to receive a decent increase in pay. However, the best I can probably hope for is a middle of the road kind of review. Again, the powers that be have some pretty high expectations of their tellers. Therefore, to achieve a perfect score all the way around would be nigh impossible. I'm sure there are one or two overachievers out there in the country that have been able to reach such heights, otherwise they wouldn't be allowed to set the bar so high. But your average introvert who sucks at selling crap to every fool that walks through the door, we get negligible raises. I was doing the math today, and if I were to receive a 1% raise (which, if memory serves, is being quite generous), that would be equivalent to 10 cents more each hour.
You know, I don't know why I'm complaining. I don't think I'd know what to do with myself if I got that kind of raise. I'd probably start doing crazy things like buy houses and walk into bars and yell, "The drinks are on me!" Maybe it's a good thing I haven't gotten that kind of pay increase. I'd hate to think I'd start being irresponsible with my money.