Sunday, July 1, 2012

It's time for some tough love

It's time to nudge one of my little cubs to start feeding themselves.  I'm not ready to push him out of the den yet, but he sure needs to step up and start taking on some grown up responsibilities.  He's done with school.  At this point he doesn't want to go on to a 4 year university to get his Bachelor's degree.  He is content to use his AA in Computer/IT  to start working. I have no problem with that and I'm sure eventually it will work into a decent job for him.  But jobs are hard to find and he'll soon be 21 years old.  Time to grow up.

He hasn't had any work from his part time seasonal job since the end of May (as expected). He did work on Friday for one of the franchise owners, directly, and he has some work for him, at least over the next week or so.  (and he got this little extra work by taking the initiative to call this franchise owner and ask him if he needed any help, so that is good)  He is looking and applying for IT jobs but hasn't even had any nibbles or interviews.  I really didn't think it would be quite this bad in terms of finding a full time IT job.  He interviews extremely well and I figured he'd get a few interviews and find something he'd like with decent pay.  Now, in hindsight, he probably should've taken that job offered at $38k a year a couple of months ago.

I think at this point he just needs to take any full time job he can find (IT or not) and just keep on looking/applying for the jobs he wants to get into.  He needs to start supporting himself somewhat.  To me that doesn't mean he has to pay rent (though at some point, if he was working full time, making good money and just wanted to live at home, I would charge rent) but it does mean he pays for his own auto insurance, his own vehicle - buy his own or buy the one of ours he drives (I'd sell it to him very cheap), pay for his own health insurance (if not employer paid), and buy his own clothes, toiletries, etc.

Add in GF to this equation and we have some issues.  She goes camping with her family several weeks out of the summers. 2 weeks to an out of state place and one week at an in-state campground. I don't think she went to the 2 week trip last year (she was working) but she and Ds have gone for the one week in-state camping trip every year.  Today Gf''s family is leaving for the 2 week trip out of state.  She is taking off work and going for one week.  This is the same girl who is taking out $15k in student loans for next school year. She could/should be working her butt off this summer, she makes really good money as a restaurant server.  She could have even added a 2nd part time job to earn more money. But she has hardly worked and spent most of her money on tanning, getting her nails done, $50 hair cuts, etc.

Ds made NO mention of going on this trip with them. In fact, Friday he told me he had to work on Monday for the franchise owner. He also has pushed me off every day last week that I wanted to sit down and figure out exactly if he has enough hours put in to apply for unemployment starting July 1st (I'm pretty sure he does). We need to do this today or tomorrow!  He also tentatively was to meet up early this week with a guy that owes him $400 for a website Ds did for him.

He and Gf come home late last night and he tells Dh he's going to go camping with them for the week.  Um NO, we don't think you are!  Dh pretty much laid down the law (I was already in bed) - we will support him to go to school, we will support him while he tries to find a job, we will support him if he wants to pursue his dream of being a professional race car driver (but he would need to focus 100% on that and he's not), but we are not going to support him so he can take off for a week on vacation.  We've had this discussion before with him - last being when Gf wanted to go on a spring break trip (with my car!!).  I'm sure he's spent the last week listening to her pout that she wants him to come with them.

I will sacrifice and make-do for any of the above scenarios, but I'm not paying his expenses if he can go on vacation.  I DOUBT he will find a job next week, but by being gone and out of state he ABSOLUTELY will not find a job, that's for sure.

He's a great kid. Friendly, helpful and will work hard when he has to.  But, he's been living in this world where he thinks it's all just handed to him and he doesn't have to go out and work for it.  He's going to wake up in a few years and find himself working, with nothing saved, married and a wife with $50,000 in student loans to pay off on a teacher's salary. 

Me? I think I've supported him for almost 21 years and it's time to cut the strings a bit.  If I were financially well off and stable I might feel differently, but I'm not and it's time he shared some of the responsibility of supporting himself.

I just now had a talk with him this morning as he got up to go take care of an errand.  His "idea" of going on this camping trip was because it would be his and Gf's 3 year "anniversary" of being together and that would be something they'd do together (that didn't cost him anything, since the camping is with her family) and now that he's not going he has to spend money to celebrate their anniversary! I'm like - you don't have to spend money to celebrate that you've been together 3 years! Good grief. But Gf makes him feel like he does.  I'm glad she'll be gone this week.  It will give me some time to talk to him more during the week about these things.  He needs to learn that it's ok to just hang out together and tell each other "I love you" when they both need to be watching every dime they have.

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