Currently, on the ‘road of life’, I am on a straightaway. The GPS is telling me, “stay straight for 22 months and 10 days before turning south”. Sounds simple enough. I know that the ‘road of life’ is never simple, but assuming I reach the next turn, what then? What happens to the ‘road’ when I wake up on June 1st, 2021?
As the calendar on the wall counts down, I am more drawn to this question. I think of what will be happening on that day, and how I will be feeling. Will I regret what I have done? Will I be excited for what is to come? How long will it take until I realize that I am unemployed and panic sets in? June 2nd???
My job consumes countless hours of my life, but it has also funded my life. On June 1st, 2021, that all changes. No more 3am alarms, and no more weekly pay cheques. Just writing that causes me panic! This week I sent a letter of inquiry to the Human Resources department of my company, seeking specific personal information about my pension. Their reply will either increase or decrease my panic. I doubt anything they tell me will make the panic go away.
Getting up that morning in June will be the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life, but it is not a brand-new life. It will carry quite a bit of baggage from the last chapter. How I manage to deal with it, will determine whether I get to winter on a Dominican beach, or I must work as a greeter at the Big Box Store.
My initial thoughts are that I will need to supplement my pension in some way. My pension will only be one-third of my current income and frankly that will not be enough to continue as I am. I will need to earn something on the side, at least that is what I think. I will know much better once HR gets back to me, with my actual panic assessment.
The problem I see is that if I require some kind of income for the first while, what can I do from a beach in the Dominican Republic? Is there a way in which I can earn some scratch on the side? I know it won’t be teaching English/Spanish. The obvious choice would be, to take what I do now for the business at The Playa and expand it. Find other little places in the area, there are plenty of them around, and work as their ‘Booking and Customer Relations’ agent. Handle all the crap they don’t want to, for a small fee.
Both Ginger and Uncle Jeremiah have suggested this to me. Although Ginger said “I could sell you to the neighbours for a fee,” which may have little to do with me earning a ducat or two. But why not? I have helped get The Playa full of paying guests in less than 3 years, I’m sure I could help someone else. The thing will be to convince others that I am offering a valuable service. The majority of what I do is behind the scenes, no one knows about everything but maybe Honey, and I don’t think I tell her about some of the requests and questions I get.
The downfall to this is that the work for The Playa is a 365 day a year job. Even when I go on holidays, I’m only getting away from one of my jobs! This agent thing is with me all the time, there is no escape. I’m okay with it being The Playa, I have a personal investment in it, but how am I going to feel about trying to deal with a plumbing issue at some place half-way up a mountain? That I’ve never been to!! Will I really care??? I guess that depends on the money.
Bookings are simple but customer relations on a global scale is not. I deal with some odd things in many languages before a guest ever arrives at The Playa. Just this week, I have dealt with arranging airport transportation for a wine-maker from Belgium, a mis-communication about a phantom child staying in the room of an older German couple that refer to themselves in the third person, and I have been trying to arrange a wedding between an American bride, a Dominican groom, and a Dominican restauranteur… from Canada!!! Do I need to do this for someone else? Do I want to be recommending a sunscreen for somebody staying at some clothing-optional resort outside of Rio San Juan??? The plan is to retire and get back the hours of my life that my paying job takes, not to replace them. How much will I care about filling someone else’s rooms?
I like what I am doing for The Playa. I’m invested and have taken a certain amount of ownership in the enterprise there. The people that I am associated with, Ginger and The Earl, Wendy and her family, I consider my friends. They are people I like. The Playa is a place I like. I do what I do because I want to, not because of compensation. Dare I say it… I do it for love!
No… I think I will need to look elsewhere for beach income. Maybe I could get Honey to make seashell necklaces, and I could sell them to the guests…