Frank Sanders is a nationwide syndicated columnist who dispenses his “hillbilly wisdom” to any who will listen. Frank works as a painter and sometimes graveyard landscaper in Beckley WV.
I fell so embarrassed to write you about this subject. My husband has been a good decent man for the past twenty years of our marriage. He lost his job about three years ago, however, and has become very complacent about finding new employment. He has turned down multiple offers for work, some even paying nearly as much as he was making before. I have been working two jobs and am considering a third to help make ends meet. How should I help my husband understand how difficult it is for me to provide for the both of us and how important it is for him to start working again?
Darlene in Des Moines, Iowa
As you know, the economy is very difficult these days. Some folks have been looking for work for years. I think that you should sit your man down and tell him how you feel about things.
But he should definitely accept whatever work he can. I remember one time, I even accepted work in a pencil factory. To be honest, I wasn’t even qualified for the job. I was just up there to complain about how my pencil tip kept breaking when the manager offered me a job. Two hours later, I was painting the black spot around the “2” on the number 2 pencils. I had never realized how important it was for the customer to be able tell the difference between a number 2 pencil and a number 1.
Anyway, the pay consisted of unused pencil erasers. It still seems weird to me that the foreman would always order too many of those little pink bastards.
It all came to an end about five years later when I had a minor accident on the production floor and was told that I had never actually been an employee there.
At that point, I began to understand the pain of unemployment, especially when the unemployment officer looked me in the eye and said, “you have been working for free for the past five years. There is no record of your employment and we have never heard of someone working for pencil erasers. Have a good day, Mr. Sanders.”
I quickly became depressed and humiliated as I walked out of the unemployment office, my pockets bulging with pencil erasers. It was then that I would accept part-time work as an animal control officer’s assistant. It was easy enough, just fill out an application and start work the same day.
At the time, it sounded like a glamorous job. But after being bitten by a rabid raccoon and spending three nights in a hospital, I was informed that there was a problem with my application. They couldn’t verify the last five years of my work history and unfortunately, hospitals don’t accept pencil erasers for payment. I’m still paying off that hospital bill.
Darlene, my point is that working hard always leads to good things. I mean, look at me!