Some Things I Did for Money by Stephanie Georgopulos confronts the reader with a title that will lead many readers to make assumptions. And some critics will come back with “And why did you assume that? Because she is a woman?” So, we start out with conflict, always a cool thing for a novel.
There is so much humor in this well written short novel that some very sad parts and implications might get lost. As a baby boomer with kids and grandkids, I immediately felt a sense of sadness to realize this is/was a financial nightmare that my important people had to face. As a career government worker, now retired, I was never insecure about income. I could have used more, but I was never running from creditors. I would like to think that I was like the parents Stephanie writes of; even when they couldn’t support her financially, they could support her emotionally. In my case, not true.
This is a story of trying to make it and while doing so still having the ability to self-assess the effects of trying to make it on one’s core being. Written with humor that is critical of self while still inflicting collateral damage on all nearby participants, this can be a very informative read for those who have only read about these bottom-feeding sources of income. Not that Stephanie is a bottom-feeder, but the top-level people making money from work described by Stephanie, the organizers of these enterprises, fit the descriptive phrase.
This novel would be most enjoyed by people with empathy, those who have tried the similar jobs listed below. To attract those readers, I have listed the main jobs Stephanie enjoyed at different times in her life.
McDonald’s (as a teenager. Senior citizens also survive with McDonalds jobs)
Modeling (as a teenager)
Telemarketing (You hate them to contact you, now you are them)
Pizza sales (an interesting combination with telemarketing and drug sales)
Pot dealer (if you can avoid smoking your own product)
And other, more dangerous drugs
Digital Media (I don’t know what this means even after reading the book)
Hair Salon ( Stephanie seems to have done this the longest)
Pet Sitter (But what do you do when the bird dies?)
Focus groups (For this, and the clinical studies, I would think the interviews would be exhausting)
Online publishing (A job I get continuing offers to participate in)
Model for painter contacted on Craigslist (A lot of bravery accepting that one)
Stephanie did all of this while continuing her attempts to become a writer of works more extensive than a rant on blogs.
At the end, congratulations to her on her success. And thanks for sharing stories of the struggle in a way that I think will be meaningful to a broad audience of readers.