Last year I ended a 23-year career in state government to pursue writing full-time. With my husband’s encouragement and support, I am working on my first novel and writing every day. It’s wonderful to do something you really love, and neither he nor I regrets the decision I made to quit.
In November, I wondered if we could continue to live comfortably on just his income, and thought perhaps I should work part-time, just to have a little extra money (in November, thoughts turn to higher heating bills and Christmas expenses). So I contacted a colleague who runs a temporary-placement agency and told him I was looking for some part-time work. In my previous life I investigated white-collar crimes (and still hold the credential of a Certified Fraud Examiner). I found the work very fulfilling, especially when it led to the prosecution of a fraudster. But because I want to concentrate on my writing, I requested work that would be less intense. Two weeks later, he called me with a position. After describing the company and the nature of the assignment, I confirmed that it was part-time work (the office was located about twenty minutes from home, but you know, in Rhode Island that’s like a cross-country trip). Ah, he told me no, this was full-time work, so I declined. Then he said he might have another position. It wasn’t definite, and then, with a giggle (yes, he actually giggled), he said he wasn’t sure if I’d want to work there. Engage radar.
“So, why did you laugh when you said that?” I asked.
“Um, well, it’s just that, coming from your background…” and he asked me if I’d ever heard of a certain adult-entertainment chain of stores.
“I’m familiar with them, from the outside.” More nervous laughter – from him, not me. I waited. He told me that the company did millions in business (no kidding) and that they really could use some help in human resources. Not that I ever thought I’d be their pick for behind-the-sales-counter. He asked me to think about it.
And I did think about it. I thought about how I would tell my husband, my sisters, my father-in-law, my friends, my law-enforcement colleagues, my dear priest friend, how I could tell them all about my new part-time job. Or would I be so ashamed that I wouldn’t tell anyone except my husband? I may have spent a lot of years not loving some of the jobs I’ve held, but I’ve never ever been ashamed of them.
Look, I’m not saying they’re doing anything illegal. The adult-entertainment industry rakes in over $12 billion a year (that was in 2007). Porn is big business. Some organizations have underworld ties. Some, not all.
So it was a personal decision. And this one was amazingly easy.