Sitting in Michael's Lap
Here is my situation: I live in a small town, population about 5000. Due to its location in the mountains of central California, my hometown has pretty slim pickings in the way of business; the biggest employer in town is the local state prison (yikes!) since Enron (the previous to employer) went under.
Pretty much since I graduated high school, in and out of college, I have been working in the restaurant business since it is a ready source of daily cash. Since 9/11, though, the restaurant business has taken a pretty hard hit (at least where I live) and that coupled with some recent and recurrent car troubles has landed me pretty much taking two steps back for every step forward in my current job. Added to that, for some reason my boss has hired more employees, reducing hours all around, and the dismal nature of things begins to be revealed ...
To top it all off, I'm just getting too old for this business. I dread going to work every day, and that just isn't good.
So, given the lack of any meaningful or adequately paid jobs in the area, I have started searching for things I can do at home. I have always been leery of "work at home" programs, since many of them are basically scams wherein you just market the work at home scheme to someone else and tell them to market it to make money and so on ... and ripping people off is NOT what I want to do for a living. Other schemes want you to market products as a sort of middleman. I'm not much of a saleswoman -- in fact I'm not a saleswoman at all -- so any investment I put into that sort of thing might as well be thrown to the fireplace as kindling for all the good it will do.
What I am wondering is, do you know anyone who runs a legitimate, moderately paid business from home? I'm not asking to be a multimillionaire; my current job *used* to net me about 300-350 a week which was more than adequate for my needs. I don't mind hard work, long hours, late nights, etc -- as long as the time that I put into whatever I am working on pays off in the end.
I suppose I could buy one of those directories that claims to have reams upon reams of companies that employ work-at-home subcontacts, but at $40 that would be pretty disappointing if it turned out to be a scam or a listing of scams. MLMs and the like are not for me ...
I'd appreciate any suggestions you might have.