It’s another bright and early Monday morning and I am leaving my house in Durham to drive to Chapel Hill to take the girls I babysit to school on the other side of Durham. After they are dropped off, I rush home to try to squeeze in an hour nap then I head to a popular Durham restaurant to wait tables. Once that is all said and done and I have been graced by the presence of people who are rude, have extremely complicated orders/are over the top picky, OR feel the need to not leave a tip, I drive to United Way of the Greater Triangle to regain my sanity as the marketing intern. When my work there is complete or when 5:00 hits, whichever comes first, I head back to Chapel Hill to babysit for the evening. I make it home just in time to get my recommended 8 hours of sleep so that I can wake up and do it all again the next day. Who needs a social life at the ripe age of 22 anyways?
While driving the girls to school I am ever-so-lucky to hear Justin Bieber being belted at the top of two elementary school girls lungs, which makes me often think to myself “What am I doing?!” I know that I did not spend four years at a University earning a Bachelor of Science degree to kart children to school; nor did I go to college to wait tables at a restaurant.
Tired of hearing me complain? GOOD! Because even just writing about my daily duties s-t-r-e-s-s-e-s me out!
I graduated from East Carolina University this past August and am on the hunt for a full time job. I often find myself frustrated about what seems to be 5,000 different “mini-jobs”, not having a “real” full time job, and always being on the run.
Through the busyness of it all, I found some time to think about what I do have and realized that even if they are a few part-time jobs, at least I have something. After reading the above paragraphs, it may not seem like it but, I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been offered.
Many people in the Triangle don’t have any sort of job, and no source of income. The statistics are astonishing and heart-breaking. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in October of 2011, North Carolina hit an unemployment rate of 10.4%.
The News&Observer states that 1.47 million North Carolinians were living in poverty in 2009. This number rose dramatically from the previous year, which is a clear sign of our struggling economy.
During this holiday season, I challenge you to take some time in the midst of your busy work day to think about those in the Triangle that are living in poverty because of unemployment. If you find some extra time at work in between answering phones, sending emails and talking to co-workers, I challenge you to go even further and think about what you can do during the holidays to help the unemployed and the ones living in poverty; and realize that you are lucky to stay so busy.
Visit www.unitedwaytriangle.org to find different ways that you can give, advocate and volunteer.
Elise Cranford is our wonderful United Way intern who does a lot of hard work for no pay. She really wants a full-time job so she can utilize her education and her skills. You can contact her via United Way of the Greater Triangle.