Pecunia means money in Latin. Why didn’t I just write Money Troubles as the title? Because to me, writing an occasional word or phrase in Latin makes it just sound, I don’t know, that much more intellectual somehow. Mind you, I am not out to impress anyone – I just like looking at titles in Latin. And well, why not?

The Title Is Not A Joke
I just got my last direct-deposit from the job where I quit, and it ended up being something along the lines of eleven dollars and fifty-two cents. That’s two dollars and fifty-two cents more than the bank charged me for not having a whopping ninety-nine dollars in my account for a couple of days. I don’t have enough money, so they take money away from me. Yes, now that is definitely going to help me have more money somehow.

Somehow, it doesn’t cost them anything to maintain my account when I have $99, but if I am four dollars short, they need nine dollars to maintain it. Or, as my father put it, they are taking advantage of the fact that I didn’t maintain my minimum balance. It was probably written in the fine print: “We’ll take your money if you don’t leave enough with us. But you know, that fine print is really fine. I’ve seen ants that give up on the fine print section.

Why I Have Given up on Retail
I got an interview offer from an upscale retail store today. In all likelihood, given my retail experience, I would have immediately gotten a job. But you know something? I don’t want to work in retail anymore. I am dead sick of people looking me straight in the eye, with an enormous size chart right behind me, and asking me a question about size. What do I always do? Look at the size chart. I don’t know sizes any better than they do, despite having been there two years. Is this item on sale? Well, is the price reduced? Is it under a large sign that says “SALE”? No? Then it isn’t on sale.

Do we have any of that in the back? Yes, we have hundreds more in the back. It just so happens that we left out exactly one of the item in only one size because, hey, we’re silly like that. It sickens me to see people returning clothing they bought three years ago, as if they suddenly realized that they actually didn’t want it and the priceless look on people’s faces when we tell them what it is worth now, given that they have no receipt. What? I paid fifty dollars for this sweater in 1998! What do you mean you can only give me seventy-five cents for it now?! I think that’s even a law of economics – diminishing returns, isn’t it?

No Retail, But What?
Enough about retail. I think you get the point. I’m a communication major at Rutgers University, and I should be doing something at least even slightly related to the field. If that means that I am an assistant teacher, so be it. If that means that I’m an assistant at a law firm and get coffee for the two partners, type up memos which are barely legible and take dictation, I would prefer that to retail. At least at the law firm they were offering seven dollars an hour. And steady hours!

The way my retail environment was going, it was four or eight hours at most, on a good week! Who was I kidding with this stuff? But the jobs, I don’t seem to be seeing them. I don’t think I’m putting nearly enough effort into getting a job. Why? Because I am being ridiculously picky. What would I really like to do? Write freelance for a magazine about things like tea and relationships and love and death and all of the silly things which run through my life all of the time. But that doesn’t just come knocking at the door. Yes, that entails much searching.

That, essentially, is how I have found myself writing an article about my financial problems for Go Inside magazine. I realize that writing for a magazine which doesn’t pay the writers won’t solve the financial problems directly, per se, but it certainly is a great way to write an article like this. I can’t imagine this article appearing in Esquire, that’s for sure. I told the publisher what it was I wanted to write about, and he told me to go for it. I even mentioned the words “Carte Blanche” in my letter and it didn’t seem to be objected to. And so I sit here. And write. Because that’s what we do. Writers write.

Comments are closed.