Friday, September 24, 2010

Do I stay or Do I go now?

The strangest thing happened to me today, my English student proposed that I work for him.

Apparently, he´s looking for an executive secretary and asked me to name my price. Really? Name my price? $1 million dollars! 

Ok, I didn´t go that far.  I asked him what the hours were and he said that I didn´t answer the question. Well how am I going to answer the question if I don´t know anything about the job!

So I said R$5,000 a month.  Just fell out of my big old mouth.  He said could be.  Could be?  Is that before or after taxes? Can I ask for more?

But that is, seriously, a difficult question to answer. In my mind, he´s asking me how much life as I know it is worth? 

It´s priceless!  Of course I´d like to play with the idea and R$5,000 a month is nothing to scoff at.  But how could I part with my boys?  I can´t help but feel that the increased financial ease would calm a section of my and my husband´s brains but not benefit our kids.  It breaks my heart to think of them in school full time. 

Get a Nanny!  Oh I see how it is. Of course it would be cheaper than paying for full time school and they could, more or less, continue with life as normal.  But it wouldn´t be Mom. Call me an egomaniac but it would kill me to have someone else taking my kids to the park or helping them get dressed. 

I want to be here when they are sick. I want to be able to keep them home if they really don´t feel like going and I don´t have class. And I just really want to be around.

Of course I´m being all dramatic before I even have a job offer. It was just something put out there for consideration.  I mean, I don´t write well in Portuguese (which I mentioned) and I have no experience as an executive secretary.  Of course, that has never stopped me before.

And yes, my kids would be fine. Kids all over the world are at school/daycare while their parents work and they don´t have any more complexes than anyone else.  

The funniest part of all, I didn´t think he enjoyed our classes or liked me that much at all. Don´t get me wrong, we get along great but he always has something to say something.  You know what I mean?

Well, go figure.  Just when you think you might be slipping, you get a good review. 



  1. Exciting!

    I think it's worth looking into, but that 5k might come at a high cost, esp. if you're working for a businessman in Rio!

    I agree that in many ways, mommy time is irreplaceable. But you're right that you might be able to offer a lot more things to your kids if you have so much extra cash.

    I say get the details of the job. far away is the office? Does the company have day care? Would you be able to have a long lunch to go home and eat with your kids? How flexible are they if your kids are sick and you want to stay home? Would you be "registrada"? etc etc etc.

    I'm so on the fence about being a stay-at-home mom vs. a working mom. Good thing I won't be having kids for at least like, 8 years, if ever.

  2. OK - so what do I know about the reality of moms, or parents, or princeses?

    But I'm a pretty good negotiator.

    You have already made an opening bid. (Generally you ALWAYS want the other person to speak first) but you did a good job with the R$5,000/month opening. You can work with that.

    Now your job is to decide what is your bottom line. It could be higher than the R$5,000, especially as it relates to Brazilian workplace compensation standards (time off, clothing costs, bus costs, lunch costs, etc.)

    What are your priorities and what are your long term goals? Do you need to enter the workforce to realize these or is the call of money egging you on -- VERY AMERICAN - be careful!!!

    Remember: Qualidade de Vida is the key.

    The key to successful negotiating is knowing solidly what your terms are - and especially your bottom line - BEFORE you begin to talk seriously/finally. Stick to your convictions. If it is a good opportunity you will get what you want.

    Good luck - and be careful what you wish for!!

  3. I totally hear both of you! And Jim, that´s exactly what I was thinking... I actually thought of you today when I was thinking about it and your post on the difference in life.

    And to give me more to think about, Mr. Rant came home and informed me he has to travel for work for week next month. It just got me thinking, my boys would have two working parents who would occasionally have to do work things first.

    And the executive secretary position is not easy work! Especially (as Danielle pointed out) attached to a busy and normally catered to Carioca man! lol

  4. Lots of things to consider here. Lots! So I'll just speak personally...

    As a SAHM myself, I cherish the time with my 2 year old and realize that in the blink of an eye my little one will be off to school full-time, and I won't be able to stop it. I won't be able to turn back or slow down the clock.

    My little one will only be this little once, and once she starts school full-time at 5, she and I will never share this precious time together again.

    Though I do need a break every now and then, I wouldn't trade being a SAHM for anything else in the world right now. I'm grateful to have the choice to stay at home full-time and believe that the time I'm spending with my little one is priceless, especially since she's only this young once.

    There are some things in life that can be postponed and embraced at a future time, but childhood comes and goes in flash and can't be re-done once it's over.