Working Knowledge

Friday, August 31, 2007

We kick off the Labor Day weekend with our Labor Day news quiz and your stories about moonlighting. Quizmaster Ken Davis is the author of the "Don't Know Much About" series, including the latest, Don't Know Much About Anything: Everything You Need to Know but Never Learned About People, Places, Events, and More! (Harper Paperbacks, 2007).

Listener Lewis Epstein is our Labor Day Scholar Contest winner!


Kenneth C. Davis and Lewis Epstein

Comments [30]

Robyn Stuart from Manhattan

Thanks Brian for taking my call on Wednesday, and for taking my calls everytime I call. I mentioned briefly about the excessing of 700 teachers and paraprofessionals and school secretaries from District 79 and the non representation by our Union during this summer. I wish you would follow up on this story. We agreed to keep it kind of quiet because everyone promised the "smoke" would clear, but most people got the shaft and many good teachers were let go while others who certainly deserved to be fired were given political appointments. It shows there is really something really foul going on. I need to keep my name out of any of this because at the last minute I got my appointment, but I could get in trouble anyway.

Aug. 31 2007 11:48 PM
Sarah from Brooklyn

Thanks Caty!

Aug. 31 2007 03:33 PM
Caty from Westchester

Sarah--I was left a list of clients by a friend who retired down to Florida. It sounds ideal, but the downside is that I'm pretty much on call for my main clients (I'm booked there at least once a month for at least one week) which means setting my vacations around them (though in reality it's working for them that pays for my yearly vacay in Portugal). Ok, so that's not horrid, but it's definitely a wearing job when I'm doing 4 houses at a time (checking on the properties, feeding animals, walking dogs, etc etc).

It's a word-of-mouth business, all you need is one client to recommend you and it snowballs. But be prepared to live out of a bag!

Aug. 31 2007 02:44 PM
Sarah from Brooklyn

How do you get to be a paid housesitter? That sounds like an ideal job....

Aug. 31 2007 02:28 PM
Caty from Westchester

My side-jobs have always been interesting. While I was working as a proofreader at a (well-known and evil) comic book company, I spent nights working in a world-class wine cellar organising and taking inventory, getting paid in food (so worth it!). Now my moonlight involves being a librarian by day and house-sitter by night. It gives me a posh place to sleep for a couple weeks a month and nets a nice cash income to cover gas and books for my masters program so that I can become a proper librarian.

[sidenote to Trevor---I too resent the whole "intern" thing, though right now that's exactly what I'm scurrying around to find in order to complete my degree.]

Aug. 31 2007 02:25 PM
Scott from Park Slope

Ummm Harnasnian, I do work for a living. My first job is a P.E. teacher/coach and my SECOND job is being a dad to my kids.

Aug. 31 2007 01:51 PM
Trevor from LIC

Yeah, its "Industrial Workers of the World", as the other one is rather glaringly redundant (guess Ken Davis needs to read more). Also, May Day was not taken by Communists "for their own ends" but was rather an extension of the same spirit that informed it since pagan days and Walpurgis Night.

Curiously, it was not mentioned on the show about the cancellation of New York's Labor Day parade this year due to lack of interest-- complacency of middle America grows, and the multinationals champion globalization of capitalist ideas, even as trade grows with the disgusting Chinese government and its human rights atrocities.

They are winning.

"Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell." --Edward Abbey

Aug. 31 2007 12:07 PM

May Day was a festival in Europe, (clearly pre-dating the industrial revolution) when the serfs and farm workers were given the day off.

In ancient times the celebration included maidens each holding a coloured garland or ribbon dancing around the may pole.

The communists took this already established ancient holiday and applied it for their own ends and philosophy.

Aug. 31 2007 11:57 AM

Over the past year I have been working ALL of these jobs in order to make ends meet:

Technical Writing
Arts/Performance Teacher
Massage Therapist
Studio Administrator

Aug. 31 2007 11:54 AM
Daniel from Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn

Ken Davis said the Wobblies were the "International Workers of the World." Weren't they the "Industrial Workers of the World"?

Aug. 31 2007 11:46 AM
TM from Brooklyn

12.5% union membership??? Remember that the next time you hear some blowhard politician ranting about "Big Labor."

Aug. 31 2007 11:45 AM
shindiganna from brooklyn

Tarot reader/Psychic

At one point, while going to college full time, I worked 3 days/week as a Recreation Assistant in a school for kids with MR/DD, 3 days in a health food store and in my spare time did Tarot and psychic readings in a new age shop. My monthly income was $5 short of qualifying for food stamps......

Aug. 31 2007 11:43 AM
lisa from Brooklyn

Funny this topic--I'm home sick today, worn down by my multiple of jobs: one that I love at a museum, and the three medical editing clients who enable me to work at a museum and still pay my bills.

Aug. 31 2007 11:39 AM
Josh from Manhattan

In my 2006 fall semester at NYU, I was a full-time student, worked about 20 hours/week at a student job in the financial aid office, another 35 at night as the news editor at our student newspaper, 15-20 hours on the weekends at a catering hall, and also interned for a few hours a week at Gotham Gazette. And I tried to have a girlfriend, too.

But I survived!

Aug. 31 2007 11:39 AM
tina from nj

16 years ago, I was 27 years old and took a part time job at a Kosher Deli. I did this to earn extra money and to give my friends an excuse to stop going out with them at night to clubs...I was really getting sick of that!!

At the deli were 2 muslim men who introduced me Islam and a few days later, I accepted Islam and have been a practicing Muslim since.

Aug. 31 2007 11:37 AM
Harnasnian from NYC

Yes, but the Puritans had that great magazine.

Aug. 31 2007 11:35 AM
Harnasnian from NYC

wOW, Scott how admirable you don't have to work for a living. I once had 6 jobs at the same time: Blocbuster, cab driver, Ebay entrepreneur, dancer, baker, and full time pita.

Aug. 31 2007 11:34 AM
Trevor from LIC

Americans have little to no knowledge of labor history because its a subject hardly taught in schools; otherwise children might learn about robber barons, wage slaves, the Pinkertons, the Internationale, the Triangle shirt waist factory fire, and other such "dangerous ideas" to the current hegemony of consumer capitalism.

Aug. 31 2007 11:33 AM
Jeffrey S. from East Elmhurst

You can tell that American culture is descended from the Puritans: not only do we have to work our asses off but we brag about it.

Aug. 31 2007 11:12 AM
hjs from 11211

they keep saying the economy is doing great, why are so many people working more than one job?

Aug. 31 2007 10:53 AM
Margaret from Tarrytown, NY

I work as an adjunct English professor at a community college. It's more intellectually rewarding than my primary job although we're typically treated like 2nd class citizens compared to tenured professors.

Aug. 31 2007 10:52 AM
Bird from New York, NY

I have a rewarding full-time career managing public service message campaigns for nonprofit organizations. But while I am using my analytical skills to make the world a better place, my creative energy had no outlet, so I launched a second career as a burlesque dancer/performance artist. It can be exhausting, and it definitely requires good time management and setting definite boundaries.

Aug. 31 2007 10:19 AM
JL from Westchester

I wouldn't say I "moonlight" but I do a few things for pay. I run a nonprofit organization full-time; the nonprofit sector isn't all that lucrative so I supplement my income by also teaching night classes at a local university and by consulting. All of it adds up to little pay and a lot of exhustion, but I like it!

Aug. 31 2007 10:19 AM
Ed G. from Manhattan

In order to pay down debt accrued during the search for my current job as a director of fundraising, I write grant proposals and do research for a few nonprofit organizations -- importantly, there is no overlap in mission between those of my nonprofit clients and that of my day job.

Aug. 31 2007 09:58 AM
Katrina from Manhattan

I never thought that once I became a lawyer that I would stil have to work a second job. But in order to do Plaintiff's work and really help client w/limited resources, I also work on legal document review projects. If I was to only work document review projects then I would make a lot more money but be lot less fulfilled.

Aug. 31 2007 09:49 AM
Tom from FL

During the day, I do technical writing and editing for a large software company. For the past year I have had a variety of second jobs, still staying within the IT sector -- everything from freelance web design to database management. Thanks to some real estate investments that have sunk along with the rest of the market, I'm also working a customer service job for a rental car company three to four nights a week. It's not much, but it helps keep a roof over my family's head and food on our table.

Aug. 31 2007 09:11 AM
Dan from Kearny, NJ

By night I'm a police officer who specializes in Fatal Accident Investigation; by day I design manholes for a local foundry whose products cover most of the utility holes in NYC, the airports, tunnels, and bridges. Sometime make the actual pattern for these items to be cast from in iron. I do not 'moonlight' with the police department, by the ned of the shift I really need the break; this drafting and design work is relaxing.

Aug. 31 2007 08:44 AM
Els from Connecticut

Working two jobs has actually given me more flexibility in time off. While working almost full time for a construction firm, I supplement my income with at home data entry for a local non-profit whose mission statement is close to my heart.

Aug. 31 2007 08:36 AM
Scott from park slope

I don't get a pay check for my other job. It's being a dad. I don't know how kids grew up in my time with their dads totally uninvolved-- "go ask your mother" and "go play outside."

Aug. 31 2007 07:28 AM
Trevor from LIC

At one point in college, I held four different jobs over a period of four months-- eventually I had to cut down to three. It was always difficult to pay bills, go to class and find employers who were understanding and flexible enough to continue going to school. I think as a result, I've always resented the internship crowd a bit, as I think it caters to young people who have the time and money to work without pay, for months at a time. Now I'm in my twenties, and LOOKING for a second job to pay my student loans , so I guess I'm just running in order to stand still...

Aug. 30 2007 10:18 PM

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