Widgets Magazine

Jul 3, 2011

My Tupperware Obsession - part 2

Sorry for the cliff-hanger, I didn’t mean to stress anybody. So as I was saying, with the Tupperware thing I was working full time as a Tupperware manager with around 50 consultants, I was also working full time as a Technical Writer, and I was teaching college writing classes two nights a week. We had three little ones at home and the Drama Queen was just past a year when I got pregnant with Teach.

Little baby Teach
Remember the story I told you about how we made some stupid financial mistakes when we first got out of school? Well, that’s the reason I was working three jobs in the first place. But I didn’t have to work the Tupperware job so hard, in fact, being a manager and worrying every month about keeping my sales up so they didn’t take my van or my bonus cost me more money than I was making! Sometimes I had to order in extra product so that my numbers didn’t drop, then I had to sell it to break even the next month. There were some Saturdays that I held three parties a day!

That’s about when my sweetie said we needed to find a cheaper place to live and we found the scary little house out in Magna that would keep our expenses down. Remember, then we were actually able to buy the house near our babysitter by not paying our bills for a month? So all through that time, Tupperware was a constant. Teach was born in June after we had been in our house for about 5 months. Some people said she was “born in a Tupperware bowl.” It almost felt like it! I was working like crazy, just trying to keep my head above water. Thus ended the year 1991.

In 1992 I vowed that things would be better, but even though our house payment was about the same as our rent had been, we now had additional expenses that we didn’t have before. Bossy and the Gym Rat were in a Montessori school and Drama Queen and Teach were heading off to my neighbor’s house every day. The childcare costs were almost as much as the mortgage. We sunk deeper and deeper into debt. I couldn’t possibly take on another job! My sweetie was also working three jobs – his regular day job as an engineer, his work with me on the Tupperware unit (if you look at the pics from yesterday, you can see him doing a demonstration at a party!) and he was also teaching some night classes.

The day I decided I just couldn’t do it anymore, I hit my knees and asked God to grant us some sort of miracle. I wasn’t sure what it could possibly be that would help us out of this mess, but I figured He knew. About a week later, my sweetie was given an amazing opportunity. You all know that he is an Electronics Design Engineer. He worked for a little company called Dayna Communications. (It was swallowed up by Intel several years after he changed jobs.) Anyway, they had some circuit boards that were having issues. They told him that for each board he could troubleshoot and repair, they would pay him $90.00.

Picture credit
Since my sweetie had designed the boards, he was the perfect person to spot the problems in manufacturing. The best part about it was that he could do the job at home. All through that long, hot summer, he brought home huge bins of these boards and identified all the problems for manufacturing to fix. The kids and I helped him run the diagnostic tests and we fixed almost all of them. Twenty-three thousand dollars and three months later and our financial problems were fixed! But we still had all those jobs and all those commitments.

Little baby Dog Walker
 As we headed into the fall selling season of Tupperware, my sweetie became more and more convinced that we needed to quit. My vanity kept me at it just a little longer until he put his foot down. He absolutely refused to even let me consider having a fifth child until we were no longer selling Tupperware. So after the Christmas selling season was over, I spoke with each of our consultants at our Christmas party. I asked them where they wanted to transfer and made a long list. Then my sweetie and I walked into the distributorship, handed them the list and the keys to our van and we walked away. We were listed in the Top 5 for December…by January 1, we were gone. The Dog Walker was born the following November.


Sara Bell said...

I remember my mom selling Tupperware too; this brings back memories!

Mom to Many said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T.Irwin said...

Thanks for finishing the story. I loved it! It's a great story and what a lesson!!!


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