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Old 01-25-2004, 02:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Montreal , Quebec
Staying in school..or helping out the parents..

I dont really know what to do with this and its been annoying me for a while now. Most my life we have been pretty well off being as both my parents work - my mother as a nurse and my father as a telecommunications engineer bringing in a six figure income to the family by himself.

In 2001, my father lost his job and he's been unemployed since then leaving the family to rely on his savings and my mothers job to sustain our financial stability. Its been 2 years now and my dad isnt getting any younger ( he's 51 ) and i dont foresee him getting a job anytime soon but lets hope im wrong. My mother works 12 hour night shifts at the hospital which in itself is making her increasingly tired as she cannot recuperate well in the day plus she now has to work alot more being the only income. Also, she has been diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year. Everything seems to be fine now as she has gotten operated but she still should be resting alot more than she is now. Now my quarrel is with my father .. what the fuck is he doing. I get so worked up over this.. my mom needs her rest as her health has been declining but he doesnt do a thing. He still goes to job interviews and the such but he nevers get them. Im tired of seeing him waste away in his underwear 24/7, hoping for something to happen. I've told him many times to 'atleast' get a lower income job to help support so that my mother does not have to go overboard on the work hours but he doesnt listen..

I dont know what to do anymore. Im 18 and currently in college but still living at home and i have been thinking of quitting to get a full time job to help my mother. Now , i dont want to do this i want to stay in school and build myself a future but at the same time its heartbreaking to see my mother like this.

I guess i have to step up to the plate and become the man of this family..
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Old 01-25-2004, 02:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Yonder
Quote:
Originally posted by shoe
I guess i have to step up to the plate and become the man of this family..
Could be, but let me give you one thing to think about.

Do you have any idea what it's like being a 51-year-old professional man who suddenly is unemployed and unable to provide for his family? Having to watch your wife work herself like a dog--AND deal with cancer treatments--because you can't take care of her and your child(ren?) the way you used to?

I'd waste away in my underwear a little bit too!

I'm not trying to take his side here, but... I'd encourage you to try and develop a little sympathy for what it's been like for him, too.
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Old 01-25-2004, 02:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can always return to college.
Be there for you parents now.
Just my thoughts.
the Karma will be rewarding.
 
Old 01-25-2004, 02:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
Insane
 
I feel that if you drop out of school, you will only ne able to get a low income job. The small income that you will be making will not make that much of an overally difference in your current situation. Maybe you can think about working part time but to drop out of school completely is probably the best idea. just because with an education you will be able to earn a better living in a few years and then you can help your family . These are just my thoughts but You gotta do watcha gotta do. Good luck to you
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Old 01-25-2004, 03:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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you will be much more able to help your parents out if you get a education


go to school work hard try to get a degree asap


get a good job then help your family


thats what i think
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Old 01-25-2004, 03:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Rich Wannabe Hippie Town
I agree that Dad has a tough row to hoe, but I've seen a case or two like this -- I live near Silicon Valley, so believe me I have. His identity is tied up in being an in-demand techie who draws big bucks and can support a family all by himself. If he takes any other job, especially for low pay -- then who is he? Certainly a lesser being, by the standards he judges himself by. So he won't do it. He keeps looking just for those high-pay jobs that will validate him.

I've talked to people who've gone through all their savings because they were too invested in being The Software Marketing Exect or the Senior Tech Writer or the Product Manager to bow to mere survival and do the necessary to get some money coming in. It's not like they're evil people, or even selfish. They've made their former job status and income into their identity, and they won't leave it. Eventually, if they can't get back in the game, they have to leave it when the money runs out and the house is sold. The sitting-around-in-his-underwear thing is a particularly bad sign. It means he's stuck. Does the employment department in your area have job clubs for professionals? Maybe you could get him to go. Job clubs are motivations and job-seeking skills programs run by job-seekers that work almost like 12-step programs: lots of mutual support and reality checks, lots of lead sharing, lots of companionship. Might jar him out of his slump and get him to consider seeking other types of work. Because he'll find people just like himself who've done that and are willing to talk about it.

I don't know what to tell you to do. If you were in your third year, I'd say stay in. But first year, I dunno. If you think you can make enough money to make a difference, maybe so. But a McJob is only going to net 9-10K a year at best. Will that help?
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Old 01-25-2004, 03:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: North Carolina
Stay in school.

If your father does not have a job, then he is perfectly capable of working the sort of low-wage job a college dropout would get.

Your parents will live, and the money you will make after you get out of college will make the sacrifice worth it....if you want to help your family out you could use your new, greater income to help them pay off their debts.

If your mother and father are capable of working, then it is up to them to come to an agreeable solution. If your dad doesn't want to work, and your mom is willing to shoulder that burden, then that is their business. If it is unfair to your mother, and she is being forced into that situation, then there is always divorce.

Don't get sucked into bearing the responsibilities of others simply because they are too lazy to bear them themselves.
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Old 01-26-2004, 03:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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In my opinion, you should stay in school. Maybe get a part time job, enough money for you and some groceries. Something enough to kick in and help out. Your dad might not have a job now, but he's probably not feeling the best about his current situation and hates it too. Just dont forget about all he has done for you and your family prior.
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Old 01-26-2004, 04:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: The Great White North
Dude.... stay in school. If you stay home and work it will only make your father feel less of a man. He'll make something happen when it's time. Your duty is to make something of yourself. then when they are both older and REALLY need the assist you'll be able to help them much better. Plus, you really don't know all your father does about his current situation.
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by shoe
I guess i have to step up to the plate and become the man of this family..
Stay in school. You think it is bad now, and you are right. But it is going to get worse. In five, ten years (maybe longer, I've no idea how old your mum is) your mum won't be able to work. Then things will fall heavy on your shoulders. You could help out now, but if you do so, you may not be in the position to help out when they really need it. Also, you might not be able to live your own life. Stay is school because it is what is best for you and in the long term what is best for them.
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Stay in school.

Quote:
Originally posted by Greg700
If your father does not have a job, then he is perfectly capable of working the sort of low-wage job a college dropout would get.
Thats the best advice Ive seen on here yet. Maybe if you keep going, he will realize some money needs to come from somewhere and get a job.

Personally, I think you need to talk to him. Tell him whats going on, what needs to happen. The thought of you possibly having to drop out to support the family may be catalyst enough to get him motivated again.
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: Springford, ON, Canada
Ok, here's a couple scenarios:

1) You drop out and get a job. You 'rents get pissed off at you, but you are contributing. It may also give your father the kick in the ass he needs.

2) You drop out and get a job. This may also drive your father deeper as he is now wtching his son do a better job supporting his family then he is.

Or,

3) You stay where you are. It's DAMN hard to go back once you've dropped out and there is no telling how long you will need to help support your family.

I'm sorry, I just can't feel sorry for your father. When your mother was diagnosed was your father's time to step up to the plate and take one for the team. Yes, it is difficult to go from a 6 figure salary to a more average salary. I know this as I have done the same. The job I am working at now is for 2/3rds what I was making at my previous, pre-bubble, job and I am doing twice the work. I count myself lucky to have a job period.
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Old 01-27-2004, 01:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: Florida
You need to tell your dad to get a job and provide for his family even if it means making less money. But that's where your responsibility ends. If he won't take your advice, that's a problem between him and your mom. You can't help anyone who doesn't want to be helped.

I'm in a similar situation; my mom is working at some menial crap retail job, mainly because she's living in an area with an extremely bad economy. I've offered to help her with her resume, and suggested that she move to a better area (I could even get her a job in some places). But she won't listen, so it's not my problem.

And enough with the "if you don't blow tens of thousands of dollars to get a sheet of paper you're gonna starve and die on the street!" bullshit. Sheesh. If you can do okay without college (and many people can) then by all means quit wasting your time and money. But make sure the decision suits you; don't do it soly on account your parents.
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Old 01-30-2004, 10:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: in the backwoods
It sounds all too familiar to me. I help out my 18 year old brother, who is starting school, but have not done the same for my parents. An 18 year old has alot tougher time getting an apartment/car/tuition/job than an adult, and I got a little help in school too (though not from my parents) There is a huge need for teachers, and you don't have to have a certificate any more. While teachers don't make crap, they make enough to live on, and get decent insurance. Your parents don't have to waste away.
Stay in school, but treat it as a means to an end. Dont take classes that are fun, unless they are easy grades. Take business classes, or something that can help you get a good job. You can't take care of your parents forever, and they need to pull their act together themselves. Don't enable them to keep up the current bad situation. I'm not trying to sound harsh, just trying to offer some advice from someone who has been there. Take care of yourself, and let them learn to do the same. It will be better for everyone in the long run.
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Old 01-30-2004, 12:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: The Great White North
Well, you've had a lot of pretty good advice. Hope things are working out. Let us know....
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Old 01-30-2004, 06:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
Comment or else!!
 
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Location: Home sweet home
Quote:
Originally posted by jay-g
In my opinion, you should stay in school. Maybe get a part time job, enough money for you and some groceries. Something enough to kick in and help out. Your dad might not have a job now, but he's probably not feeling the best about his current situation and hates it too. Just dont forget about all he has done for you and your family prior.
BINGO!! A part time job and stay in school. Maybe cut down classes?
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