There’s something about money: It brings out the best, the worst, and the most awkward side of people. Since I’ve dedicated a fair amount of time this summer to side hustling, I’ve had to do some explaining for how I’m spending my time. I get it. A lot of people think teachers have summers off and spend time eating
bonbons ice cream straight out of the carton. But even fellow educators have had some really interesting things to say when they hear about my hustling. As usual, my interactions lean more towards awkward rather than awesome.
“You don’t need the money.”
One of the people with whom I teach summer school questioned why I teach summer school in the first place. We were passing each other in the hallway and stopped to chat briefly. In an instant, she remarked, “You don’t need the money.” Not only are we not close — we teach at different schools during the school year — but how in the world could she possibly know what I need? Though, I suppose it could be worse. It could be like that one time a coworker really thought I was struggling.
“I don’t have money like that.”
When I was sharing my post-summer school plans with an acquaintance, she stopped me mid-sentence when I brought up our upcoming trip to Costa Rica. “I don’t have money like that,” she lamented. She then proceeded to tell me how she and her boyfriend were planning on renting an AirBnB home in Michigan for about $400 a night since it was right on the water. Not only is our trip to Costa Rica clocking in below that price point, it includes meals, alcohol, and airfare. I tried to explain that I used to always write off the possibility of international travel, but it was pretty clear that conversation was headed nowhere fast.
“Well, you’re young, so you should earn extra money.”
It is always fascinating to me how people react to side hustles. A few people respond favorably, but the majority of the time people hear about my other jobs, the conversations get awkward really quickly. One teacher who chose not to teach this summer commented, “Well, you’re young, so you should earn extra money.” Fair enough. I suppose a really pithy reply would have been something akin to “Well, at least I’m still young.” I just don’t get this mentality. It’s true that my salary will increase every year that I teach thanks to my salary schedule. What’s less true, though, is the fact that only millennials can benefit from side hustles. Extra cash never hurt anyone as far as I can tell.
So Tell Me…What’s the weirdest money conversation you’ve had lately?