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Published: October 7th 2018
I had an interview today at a girls' home in Valparaiso. This was after calling repeatedly for over a week by the way. Finally they told me to come in. I was Mary Poppins, my large umbrella in hand, dressed to the nines and puddle hopping in the steady rain. I was excited and just knew it'd be a GO. Eagerly, I waited underneath a bus stop awning a block away until it was time. Then I went in, professional, resume in hand. The director of the girls' home greeted me and invited me to her office.
She began her spill by telling me that some of the girls have meltdowns from time to time. A few of them are traumatized from being removed from their families, or from things that happened to them with their families. "Okay", I said, "No problem. I've dealt with that before." Then she added that they can at times become violent while in crisis mode. "Okay...", I thought. "I can take a 10 year old." Next, she informed me that there is no part time, only full time at 45 hours a week. "Yeah...okay," I hesitated. That seemed like a lot of work to me. Full time in the U.S. is only 40 hours a week. Still, I mentally shrugged, "I suppose I have to adjust to something
here." After that, she said at times I'd work weekends and have 12 hour night shifts. My enthusiasm waned even more, but didn't fully come to a hault. "Um...I suppose I could do that," I thought.
Then she mentioned the pay.
Let me say that I felt like the freaking roof opened up and a BOMB of epic proportions, dropped on my head. The only thing I could do while sitting in that chair, was pretend that I wasn't mentally lying on the ground, completely deflated, flattened, and burnt to a crisp. My monthy pay would be a grand total of what equates to $374 USD. Let that number waft in the air for a moment as you soak it in. Ponder, reflect, take a moment of silence. Whatever you need. This is how much I would be paid for the ENTIRE month. I repeat, 45 hour work weeks, nights AND weekends. Three hundred and seventy-four dollars. Not even in Chile is that close to a livable wage! She said they would call me. I left the girls' home feeling like I had just received a slap in the face. I got on the micro
, in a daze, completely incredulous. Chilean reality had just run me over.
I went to Jumbo to buy something and ran into my host dad. When I told him about what happened, he was livid. He said that it seemed to be even slightly less than the absolute minimum wage. He said they were taking advantage of me and that I shouldn't accept it. Now I'm conflicted because I want to work in an orphanage or some kind of home. But I also don't want to have all of my time tied up for base pay like that. And I don't want to be abused. That pay is indecent for ANYONE, especially someone doing the kind of work that a childrens' home requires. But on top of that, I have degrees! This can't be happening...
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