- Candace Davis, a special education teacher, took another job in insurance when she faced a medical problem.
- She considered enlisting in the Air Force, but instead went back to school and became a teacher.
- At Starbucks, her medical plan costs more than she makes, but she said it’s worth it.
This candid essay is based on a conversation with Candace Davis, a 39-year-old teacher from Statesboro, Georgia, about her side hustle at Starbucks. Edited for length and clarity.
I grew up in Thomaston, Georgia with my mom and a single parent, but my dad still supported my brother and me. My grandmother and aunt were also integral to my upbringing.
We always had food on the table, but seeing how other kids grew up and seeing what they had got me motivated.
wanted to save the world from injustice
After high school, I went straight to Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, where I majored in sociology. I wanted to become a social worker and solve all the injustices in the world.
After graduating with a degree in sociology, I interned for several months in Henry County’s Family and Child Services Department. I was depressed, so I thought about joining the Air Force later. Instead, Georgia he decided to pursue a master’s degree in special education at Southern University.
I started teaching before I left school
Other than an internship and tutoring a younger cousin, I had no experience in teaching or children. However, the schools at that time were in desperate need of teachers, so I worked as a teacher before starting my master’s program.
My first day as a teacher was nerve-wracking — I always hated public speaking and was sweaty. However, I was assigned a mentor who told me that I could not treat my students like friends. I said it was important.
That advice pierced my heart. By the end of the day, I thought I might be able to do it.
I had a house and the bills were piling up
I got married and bought a house with my husband, but after a few years the marriage ended. After my divorce, I kept my home and expenses.
Eventually, I became a full-time special education teacher and then the school’s special education coordinator. I still play that role today. Of course, there were some raises, but not much.
Despite my salary increase, I was no longer a dual income household and my credit card bills were increasing. That’s when I started a side job as a tutor after school.
I have been suffering from uterine fibroids for years. The only relief for me is myomectomy, the surgical removal of fibroids.
I had my first surgery when I was still married. About a year later, the fibroids came back, and I was still paying the deductible for the first surgery. But I continued to have surgery and couldn’t break the bank to pay my hospital bills.
Turns out Starbucks has far better medical care than my school’s insurance plan. Provides compensation for partners who work an average of 20 hours or more per week.
I applied to a Starbucks outside of Savannah, which is about a 45-minute drive from my house, but this was the closest and they hired me. My friends and family thought I was absolutely crazy. They couldn’t believe I was driving so far from home three or four school nights each week.
I felt like I had no choice. My medical bills had to be paid and my health problems weren’t over. After nearly a year of commuting, I was finally able to switch to Starbucks, which is three minutes from my house.
my salary is $0.00
My Starbucks income doesn’t cover the full monthly cost of the premium insurance plan, but it’s worth it.
I chose the most expensive premium carrier because my doctor’s office doesn’t require me to submit pre-approval prior to the procedure. I need documents to do.
But on the top plan, everything goes to pay for insurance, so my salary is $0.00. Starbucks won’t let employees pay the remaining monthly premiums if their monthly premiums aren’t covered by their salary. Just be overdue. If I quit Starbucks, the company won’t try to collect the delinquency unless they rehire me. In that case, I will have to pay arrears again while I am still employed. Of course, I don’t think I’ll be leaving anytime soon.
This is not how I painted my life
They are a very kind company and I am very grateful. It can be depressing because it feels endless and alone. I have a nice house but I don’t have a significant other or children to share it with because I don’t have time to spend with people in my life outside of work. I feel like my chest is about to explode.
This is not how I imagined my life at this age. The pace was fast and it was tough, but we have to keep going until things settle down.