Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Road Work

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have been traveling in our fifth wheel home for two years. We are both retired teachers. I actually get bored once in awhile and think about working part-time but do not want to make any long term commitments. My wife thinks I'm nuts. I don't need the money, I don't want to do any of the jobs I see posted on workcamping sites, and I only want short stints here and there. Besides thinking I'm nuts, my wife tells me I'm delusional if I think I'm going to find interesting work whenever I decide I want it. I'm not asking you to find me a job, I'm just curious if you think I'm delusional. I'm writing you because I know my wife reads your column every week. Maybe if you give me some words of encouragement she will take me more seriously. I just feel working occasionally would broaden our travel experience and that I should not be accused of being a workaholic.
--Working it out in West Texas

Dear Tex:
You're not delusional, you just haven't figured it all out yet. I have no idea what kind of work you are looking for, but I can tell you it's there if you pursue it aggressively enough.
A great way to find interesting, short term, jobs while traveling would be to sign up with a temporary service such as Kelly Services and Manpower. I can tell you from personal experience that they have all kinds of diverse job opportunities. At one time I thought I was the George Plimpton of the working class. My wife and I had over a hundred jobs in seven years working mostly through temp services wherever we wanted to live for awhile. My wife worked mostly clerical jobs, but I dispensed beer, moved office equipment, delivered furniture, worked at a thoroughbred horse auction, fish processor, gold mine, and got paid for filling up helium balloons, just to mention a few. Between the temp services and networking with people you meet along the way, you will turn down many more jobs than you actually take. Many of these opportunities can be as short term as one day, a weekend, a week or a month. That should solve any disagreement the two of you have as to how long you want to spend in one area. You can work together or get some alone time.
The bonus to this whole program is you are going to meet a whole slew of new friends. Some of our best friends, all over the country, we met working various jobs while we traveled.
There are numerous little online businesses you could start and do anywhere. Maybe you should start by working on a plan. Plan your work and work your plan.
I just had a brilliant idea this morning. I just bought a new Winnebago. I told my wife we could operate a "designated driver service" every weekend. We could drive around local watering holes and offer rides to people over the legal limit. I told her we would call it "Bagawino." She thinks I'm nuts.

--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink


PapPappy said...

The central theme here, seems to be that our wives think we're nuts! :)

If a person wants to work, why is that any different than wanting to play cards, or have any hobby? I agree that the Temp-Agency idea is a good one, and I would suggest, with a career in Teaching, you might want to sign up with a local School System, as a Substitute, if you stay in on area long enough. I don't know what credentials would be needed, but it may be an option.

I love the idea of "Bagawino", but have seen to much vomit in the backseat of cars, to want to subject my MH to any drunks looking for a ride home. There are also certain laws that may apply to transporting folks for money.

Anonymous said...

Really suprised that no one has mentioned volunteering. The writer's comment was that he didn't need the extra money but wanted the other perks of social interaction. Any area that you stop in has multiple opportunities for volunteers. Try a local church, the Red Cross, schools needing reading tutors, and many more.

Anonymous said...

I've recently seen postings from national/regional parks soliciting ex-teachers to act as teaching tour guides...seems tight up his alley.ylishme

Bob H said...

I agree about "volunteering". Check out WorKamper website and go from there. I don't really need the money and I don't want a "job" that brings on all the crap that goes with wages and taxes. My wife and I seek opportunities at non-profits where we are compensated with a FHU campsite and work 10-20 hrs per week. Working or volunteering gives you a purpose and an opportunity to stay in one place long enough to get acquainted with the area and the people. We love it.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe volunteering was omitted from the article! You don't need the money and so many organizations need help! So, be a hero and volunteer. You will be able to find something you are interested in helping out with.