DW job in dangerous area

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Topic Author
B3GINN3R
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DW job in dangerous area

Post by B3GINN3R » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:18 pm

My wife just graduated school. I make about 200k. We have no debt and we are both 26 y.o., so we just started saving. She has been working very hard to get a job and finally landed one! She will make about 40k pretax. i.e. her salary will not push the needle lifestyle or savings-wise. Unfortunately, the job she got is in a pretty dangerous part of town and she works at a school. Would your advice be for her to take the job even if she feels a little uncomfortable safety wise so that she can start her career? or is it worth it for her to keep interviewing, perhaps unsuccessfully, and pass up on the job in the dangerous neighborhood? Really struggling on safety vs. career importance. Looking for some boglehead wisdom.

Rupert
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Rupert » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:23 pm

Define "pretty dangerous part of town." I find that people have vastly different ideas about what is or isn't a dangerous neighborhood.

Globalviewer58
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Globalviewer58 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:25 pm

My vote would be to keep interviewing. Are you concerned about the gun violence in parts of Chicago? That problem has no solutions identified so my expectation is this will not be resolved in the next few years. I would opt not to take the job.

senex
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by senex » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:28 pm

By asking the question, I bet you already have a gut feel for the right answer.

I would not sacrifice immediate health or safety for some nebulous long-term career plans. Career plans change dramatically over time, especially if kids are in your future picture.

Unemployment is very low right now. It should be straightforward to find an entry-level job.

Random Poster
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Random Poster » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:29 pm

B3GINN3R wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:18 pm
My wife just graduated school. I make about 200k. We have no debt and we are both 26 y.o., so we just started saving. She has been working very hard to get a job and finally landed one! She will make about 40k pretax. i.e. her salary will not push the needle lifestyle or savings-wise. Unfortunately, the job she got is in a pretty dangerous part of town and she works at a school. Would your advice be for her to take the job even if she feels a little uncomfortable safety wise so that she can start her career? or is it worth it for her to keep interviewing, perhaps unsuccessfully, and pass up on the job in the dangerous neighborhood? Really struggling on safety vs. career importance. Looking for some boglehead wisdom.
Going with the assumption that your wife is a newly certified teacher....

If that is the case, such people tend not to get their first job at the school with the best test scores, the most endowed PTA, and the most manicured lawns.

Instead, they end up at the schools where free/reduced-price lunches are for everyone, the ceilings are crumbling, the books are 20 years out of date, and the staff turnover every 3 to 5 years. And, of course, where teachers are expected to be and do "everything" for the students.

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B3GINN3R
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by B3GINN3R » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:32 pm

Random Poster wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:29 pm
B3GINN3R wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:18 pm
My wife just graduated school. I make about 200k. We have no debt and we are both 26 y.o., so we just started saving. She has been working very hard to get a job and finally landed one! She will make about 40k pretax. i.e. her salary will not push the needle lifestyle or savings-wise. Unfortunately, the job she got is in a pretty dangerous part of town and she works at a school. Would your advice be for her to take the job even if she feels a little uncomfortable safety wise so that she can start her career? or is it worth it for her to keep interviewing, perhaps unsuccessfully, and pass up on the job in the dangerous neighborhood? Really struggling on safety vs. career importance. Looking for some boglehead wisdom.
Going with the assumption that your wife is a newly certified teacher....

If that is the case, such people tend not to get their first job at the school with the best test scores, the most endowed PTA, and the most manicured lawns.

Instead, they end up at the schools where free/reduced-price lunches are for everyone, the ceilings are crumbling, the books are 20 years out of date, and the staff turnover every 3 to 5 years. And, of course, where teachers are expected to be and do "everything" for the students.
Yes this. And not exactly southside of chicago, but very similar.

Isabelle77
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Isabelle77 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:39 pm

When I was in my mid-20s I was laid off during the Dot Com bust. I took a temporary job tutoring at a school in Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, which was not a safe neighborhood. While there were certainly times when I didn't feel totally safe, there were more times where I just felt out of place. I was from a very privileged upbringing and was very much out of my comfort zone. Once I got past that I came to realize that most neighborhoods are just people going about their business just like anywhere else. Some of the kids I worked with had devastating personal lives that really opened a window into a world I hadn't encountered before. I count those six months among the most valuable of my life.

That said, I didn't hang out there after dark. I stuck to populated areas only. I had a coworker that took the subway with me each way. I didn't engage with any parents on my own. The kids I tutored were elementary school age so I wasn't concerned about violence from them but some of the parents were intimidating. I also knew that I was only there in a temporary capacity, I think for a permanent position I would have moved on after a year or so.

If your wife is uncomfortable, in an economy with lots of positions available, I think she can probably find something else. If she wants to work with these kids then I think she should, it is rewarding. Not really helpful, sorry! :)

The Wizard
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by The Wizard » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:39 pm

This is arguably the best website for Chicago's gun violence:
https://heyjackass.com

Scroll down a ways to the map of deadliest neighborhoods...
Attempted new signature...

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Que1999
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Que1999 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:41 pm

Bad things happen in the real world, believe me I know... SAFETY and HEALTH are the 2 most important things in this world, even for Bogleheads.

No amount of money or opportunity is worth putting you or your families safety at risk.

Keep it moving. You guys will be fine.

Cruise
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Cruise » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:43 pm

OP: Statistically, the greatest danger to tour wife is taking the job that requires her to drive the longest mileage.

Topic Author
B3GINN3R
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by B3GINN3R » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:45 pm

Cruise wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:43 pm
OP: Statistically, the greatest danger to tour wife is taking the job that requires her to drive the longest mileage.
touche. In the end it will come down to her comfort level. I appreciate all the feedback.

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dodecahedron
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:50 pm

Isabelle77 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:39 pm
When I was in my mid-20s I was laid off during the Dot Com bust. I took a temporary job tutoring at a school in Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, which was not a safe neighborhood. While there were certainly times when I didn't feel totally safe, there were more times where I just felt out of place. I was from a very privileged upbringing and was very much out of my comfort zone. Once I got past that I came to realize that most neighborhoods are just people going about their business just like anywhere else. Some of the kids I worked with had devastating personal lives that really opened a window into a world I hadn't encountered before. I count those six months among the most valuable of my life.
I have volunteered for decades in a high poverty, high crime urban neighborhood like the one the OP describes. I brought my daughters along with me as assistant volunteers when they were young. They are grown up now. I am proud that one of my daughters has chosen to work in a school in a similar neighborhood near the one where I continue to volunteer. (She turned down other jobs that paid more and would have been easier and safer but less meaningful.)

No easy answers, but I would say that this is a decision the OP's wife needs to make for herself. I hope the OP will support whatever decision she chooses to make.

I do agree with Isabelle77 that sensible precautions, e.g. being careful about commuting routes, after dark schedules, etc. are a good idea.
Last edited by dodecahedron on Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dodecahedron
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by dodecahedron » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:00 pm

Cruise wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:43 pm
OP: Statistically, the greatest danger to tour wife is taking the job that requires her to drive the longest mileage.
Good point!

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Pajamas
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Pajamas » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:06 pm

B3GINN3R wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:18 pm
My wife just graduated school. I make about 200k. We have no debt and we are both 26 y.o., so we just started saving. She has been working very hard to get a job and finally landed one! She will make about 40k pretax. i.e. her salary will not push the needle lifestyle or savings-wise. Unfortunately, the job she got is in a pretty dangerous part of town and she works at a school. Would your advice be for her to take the job even if she feels a little uncomfortable safety wise so that she can start her career? or is it worth it for her to keep interviewing, perhaps unsuccessfully, and pass up on the job in the dangerous neighborhood? Really struggling on safety vs. career importance. Looking for some boglehead wisdom.
"A little uncomfortable" would indicate to me the need to perhaps look at the situation closer, at the actual crime statistics in the neighborhood and at how safe the school itself is. Maybe she could talk to a teacher or two who works there already to get their opinions on it since she doesn't have any personal experience with it to draw upon?

Globalviewer58
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Globalviewer58 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:20 pm

Here are the YTD stats from Chicago homicide deaths:

Cause Homicides %
Gunshot 263 83.5%
Stabbing 23 7.3%
Trauma 14 4.4%
Strangulation 5 1.6%
Auto 4 1.3%
Arson 3 1.0%
Child Abuse 1 0.3%
Unknown/TBD 2 0.6%
As of 7/25/18

While not shown above, the number of children and innocents caught in the shooting spree is alarming.

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Tamarind
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Tamarind » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:26 pm

Check your gut feeling with some numbers before deciding. I live in the neighborhood with the "highest crime rate" in my city, which leads some folks from other neighborhoods to jump to conclusions. What that means in practice is an increased chance of losing an unlocked bicycle, and occasionally witnessing drug use in public. The relative status has to be taken in context of a small, safe city.

Obviously some places have much higher violent crime rates than my example but even then dig in to what exactly is going on. A high rate of bar fights is different from a high rate of knifepoint muggings is different from a high rate of random shootings of bystanders. Look at police stats and don't rely on stories that highlight the most lurid occurrences.

Kudos to your wife for taking a job with the potential to change many lives!

Rupert
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Rupert » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:29 pm

Tamarind wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:26 pm
Check your gut feeling with some numbers before deciding. I live in the neighborhood with the "highest crime rate" in my city, which leads some folks from other neighborhoods to jump to conclusions. What that means in practice is an increased chance of losing an unlocked bicycle, and occasionally witnessing drug use in public. The relative status has to be taken in context of a small, safe city.

Obviously some places have much higher violent crime rates than my example but even then dig in to what exactly is going on. A high rate of bar fights is different from a high rate of knifepoint muggings is different from a high rate of random shootings of bystanders. Look at police stats and don't rely on stories that highlight the most lurid occurrences.

Kudos to your wife for taking a job with the potential to change many lives!
+1. This is what I was getting at above when I asked OP to define "pretty dangerous part of town." The statistics for Chicago in general aren't terribly helpful. (I assume OP and his wife already live in Chicago). I would try to talk to other teachers at the school and see how safe they feel, what strategies they use to avoid unsafe situations, etc.

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goodenyou
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by goodenyou » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:38 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:00 pm
Cruise wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:43 pm
OP: Statistically, the greatest danger to tour wife is taking the job that requires her to drive the longest mileage.
Good point!
I would find zero comfort in that statement for me let alone my wife. But, that is just my opinion.
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iasw
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by iasw » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:42 pm

Talk to the local police precinct to get a read on the area. Talk to other teachers and support staff.

getthatmarshmallow
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by getthatmarshmallow » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:44 pm

Rupert wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:29 pm
Tamarind wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:26 pm
Check your gut feeling with some numbers before deciding. I live in the neighborhood with the "highest crime rate" in my city, which leads some folks from other neighborhoods to jump to conclusions. What that means in practice is an increased chance of losing an unlocked bicycle, and occasionally witnessing drug use in public. The relative status has to be taken in context of a small, safe city.

Obviously some places have much higher violent crime rates than my example but even then dig in to what exactly is going on. A high rate of bar fights is different from a high rate of knifepoint muggings is different from a high rate of random shootings of bystanders. Look at police stats and don't rely on stories that highlight the most lurid occurrences.

Kudos to your wife for taking a job with the potential to change many lives!
+1. This is what I was getting at above when I asked OP to define "pretty dangerous part of town." The statistics for Chicago in general aren't terribly helpful. (I assume OP and his wife already live in Chicago). I would try to talk to other teachers at the school and see how safe they feel, what strategies they use to avoid unsafe situations, etc.
Seconded. I have lived in areas that are perceived to be much, much more dangerous than they actually are, and sometimes "dangerous" is conflated with "low income" in ways that are less than helpful. Look at the stats, and talk to people who work there.

Lake Living
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Lake Living » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:46 pm

St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Memphis, and Newark all have higher homicide rates than Chicago.

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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by bottlecap » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:56 pm

This is completely subjective, so personal opinions and statistics don't matter. People that fear flying aren't told to take jobs as airline stewards because, statistically, flying is safe.

You have to be comfortable with it and, more importantly, your DW has to be comfortable with it.

If you will be worried all the time and she will be a nervous wreck, don't take the job. It's not worth your mental health, no matter the physical risk, real or imagined.

She could also try it an quit if she can't get comfortable.

Good luck,

JT

ddurrett896
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by ddurrett896 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:03 pm

But a gun, learn how to shoot, carry the gun.

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KlingKlang
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by KlingKlang » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:30 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:03 pm
But a gun, learn how to shoot, carry the gun.
I'm an NRA Life Member but I don't have a concealed carry permit for my state. Without the correct mental attitude having a handgun available may be worse than useless. Also you cannot concealed carry in prohibited areas like schools.

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Nate79
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Nate79 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:33 pm

I disagree that $40k income doesn't move the needle on your savings/investing future. In fact it has a big impact as the after tax amount will be completely on top of your existing savings. That's a lot of money and will have huge growth potential for investing. Lifestyle creep, kids, etc will slowly erode the savings amount from your $200k and having additional $40k is gravy on top.

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Pajamas
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Pajamas » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:43 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:03 pm
But a gun, learn how to shoot, carry the gun.
She probably wouldn't be able to get a permit to do that at school and the penalty for doing so illegally is up to $5k or 5 years under federal law and she would almost certainly lose her job, as well, which undermines taking the job in the first place.

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Riley15
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Riley15 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:52 pm

B3GINN3R wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:18 pm
My wife just graduated school. I make about 200k. We have no debt and we are both 26 y.o., so we just started saving. She has been working very hard to get a job and finally landed one! She will make about 40k pretax. i.e. her salary will not push the needle lifestyle or savings-wise. Unfortunately, the job she got is in a pretty dangerous part of town and she works at a school. Would your advice be for her to take the job even if she feels a little uncomfortable safety wise so that she can start her career? or is it worth it for her to keep interviewing, perhaps unsuccessfully, and pass up on the job in the dangerous neighborhood? Really struggling on safety vs. career importance. Looking for some boglehead wisdom.
Wondering what kind of job pays 200k out of grad school without any experience. Are you in a highly specialized area of tech?

Schools are generally considered safe even though they may be in less desirable parts of town. Sure there have been recent incidents around the country but I don't think they correlate to what kind of area the school was in. And security has become a very high priority at schools now. I think your fears may be overblown, give it a chance at least and then take it from there.
Last edited by Riley15 on Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Pajamas » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Riley15 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:52 pm

Schools are generally considered safe even though they may be in less desirable parts of town. Sure there have been recent incidents around the country but I don't think correlate to what kind of area the school was in. And security has become a very high priority at schools now. I think your fears may be overblown, give it a chance at least and then take it from there.
Seems like most of the most deadly school shootings have not been at schools in dangerous urban neighborhoods, just the opposite.

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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by goodenyou » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:59 pm

Being shot is not the most likely thing to happen to your wife. Other crimes are much more likely.
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Tycoon
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Tycoon » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:35 pm

I would pay my wife a 40k/yr. salary to not take the job.
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Sasquatch
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Sasquatch » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:45 pm

Do your due diligence as suggested. However, if your uncomfortable why do it? It’s neither right or wrong but your perception is your reality.

ddurrett896
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by ddurrett896 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:24 pm

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:43 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:03 pm
But a gun, learn how to shoot, carry the gun.
She probably wouldn't be able to get a permit to do that at school and the penalty for doing so illegally is up to $5k or 5 years under federal law and she would almost certainly lose her job, as well, which undermines taking the job in the first place.
Don’t do it at school. Carry to and from school
And lock in vehicle.

GoldenFinch
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by GoldenFinch » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:36 pm

If your wife doesn’t feel safe, she should continue looking. If it’s only you who doesn’t feel safe, I would defer to her. It is awful to not feel safe in your day to day life.

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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:56 pm

I wouldn't want my wife going into a dangerous part of town even if she wanted to.
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by qwertyjazz » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:13 pm

Does your wife not feel safe in that area or do you not feel safe thinking about your wife in that area? It is not a question of just money. It is a question also of your wife being able to do something she has invested a lot of time and energy in training to be able to make a difference. So start with who is worried and then why and then get actual data and then discuss.
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by mary1969 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:20 pm

My sister and brother in law taught at a high school in a rough neighborhood. My brother in law stayed and my sister moved on to a school in a wealthy suburb. They both had a great experience at this school and it opened their eyes to a different world. They took precautions to stay and feel safe.

Its a personal decision and obviously the safety of your wife is non-negotiable. Just be a opened minded and do a little more investigating. It could be a great experience for her and she can make a huge difference in some kids lives. Good luck

The Outsider
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by The Outsider » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:24 pm

Whats the worst that can happen? Are you both willing to pay that price? If yes then take the job. If not decline.

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Pajamas
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Pajamas » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:55 pm

ddurrett896 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:24 pm
Pajamas wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:43 pm
ddurrett896 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:03 pm
But a gun, learn how to shoot, carry the gun.
She probably wouldn't be able to get a permit to do that at school and the penalty for doing so illegally is up to $5k or 5 years under federal law and she would almost certainly lose her job, as well, which undermines taking the job in the first place.
Don’t do it at school. Carry to and from school
And lock in vehicle.
That's really bad advice as the law applies to school zones, specifically 1,000 feet around the school.

There's no evidence that it would increase her safety to carry a gun, anyway. It might make some people feel less afraid to carry a gun but it doesn't actually make them any safer.

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ram
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by ram » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:41 pm

Last summer my daughter had a choice of attending Johns Hopkins or Harvard. We (parents) suggested and she agreed to go to Harvard mainly based on the relative safety of Boston/Cambridge vs Baltimore.
Ram

Cruise
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Cruise » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:50 pm

ram wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:41 pm
Last summer my daughter had a choice of attending Johns Hopkins or Harvard. We (parents) suggested and she agreed to go to Harvard mainly based on the relative safety of Boston/Cambridge vs Baltimore.
Very smart....parents. :)

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B3GINN3R
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by B3GINN3R » Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:57 pm

This is all very helpful. The general sentiment that this is not about the money is a good point. Nothing is worth her feeling uncomfortable every day at work. And as many of you have cleverly deduced, this is a teaching job in southside chicago. It is truly her decision, but I am going to put my opinion in as keep looking for a place that she feels comfortable. All the stats and arguments in the world dont matter if she has to live her life in fear. Thanks to all for the opinions. Love the wisdom of the crowds.

AlphaLess
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by AlphaLess » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:07 pm

B3GINN3R wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:32 pm
Yes this. And not exactly southside of chicago, but very similar.
Southside of Chicago is not exactly the worse place.
Here it is:
- interactive,
- real-time,
- with many conditional distributions (by time, by race, by season, etc).

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/data ... story.html
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scorcher31
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by scorcher31 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:19 pm

I hear a lot of I wouldn't want my wife working there responses. I have to wonder if it would be different if it was a husband to some degree. I agree with your income compared to hers it's probably not really about the money at that point. She can also probably find somewhere else. What does she want to do? Does she feel unsafe or just you? For what it's worth I grew up in a relatively privileged area. I have trained and worked in very high crime areas over the past decade in medicine and never felt unsafe and enjoyed helping people in those communities. Most of the shootings, at least in areas I have worked are gang/drug violence involved and they generally leave other people alone.

With all that said, if she is not comfortable working in this "unsafe area" she should go with her gut. If she is not 100% comfortable safety wise than it's probably going to be unsafe and definitely unpleasant. Just make sure your not putting your fears on her.

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slayed
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by slayed » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:48 pm

I would not take a job like that unless I was incredibly desperate. You make 200k, so no, I would not take it.

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B3GINN3R
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by B3GINN3R » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:50 pm

scorcher31 wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:19 pm
I hear a lot of I wouldn't want my wife working there responses. I have to wonder if it would be different if it was a husband to some degree. I agree with your income compared to hers it's probably not really about the money at that point. She can also probably find somewhere else. What does she want to do? Does she feel unsafe or just you? For what it's worth I grew up in a relatively privileged area. I have trained and worked in very high crime areas over the past decade in medicine and never felt unsafe and enjoyed helping people in those communities. Most of the shootings, at least in areas I have worked are gang/drug violence involved and they generally leave other people alone.

With all that said, if she is not comfortable working in this "unsafe area" she should go with her gut. If she is not 100% comfortable safety wise than it's probably going to be unsafe and definitely unpleasant. Just make sure your not putting your fears on her.
That is fair.

jminv
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by jminv » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:07 am

It depends on how 'unsafe' the area really is and then how unsafe the school property is, since she will be commuting back and forth to a parking lot on or next to school grounds or if it's by public transport then how far away the stop is. Even the local crime statistics would be misleading since that's in the neighborhood, not at the school, and the majority of the targets are other people that live in the neighborhood.

If you want to find out how unsafe it actually is, talk to the other teachers at the school. If it were extremely unsafe to commute back and forth to campus and to be inside the campus, there would be no teachers or the pay would be hazard pay (I'm aware that some of these schools pay extra but not much extra because of their undesirability). There's probably some risk but it's also likely low. What makes the schools undesirable has more to do with classroom management, situations that are uncomfortable, and dealing with agressive parents. That's the part I personally would want to avoid. On the other hand, it can be good to have an experience outside one's zone of comfort.

New teachers have to start somewhere and in urban districts that's often at a school in a neighborhood you'd otherwise avoid. She's not going to find a job at the best school in town so if you hold out for that, you'll be holding out for awhile. It might be a good experience and a way to appreciate how much harder things can be once she moves on to a more advantaged school.

matthewbarnhart
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by matthewbarnhart » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:24 am

jminv wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:07 am
It depends on how 'unsafe' the area really is and then how unsafe the school property is, since she will be commuting back and forth to a parking lot on or next to school grounds or if it's by public transport then how far away the stop is. Even the local crime statistics would be misleading since that's in the neighborhood, not at the school, and the majority of the targets are other people that live in the neighborhood.

If you want to find out how unsafe it actually is, talk to the other teachers at the school. If it were extremely unsafe to commute back and forth to campus and to be inside the campus, there would be no teachers or the pay would be hazard pay (I'm aware that some of these schools pay extra but not much extra because of their undesirability). There's probably some risk but it's also likely low. What makes the schools undesirable has more to do with classroom management, situations that are uncomfortable, and dealing with agressive parents. That's the part I personally would want to avoid. On the other hand, it can be good to have an experience outside one's zone of comfort.

New teachers have to start somewhere and in urban districts that's often at a school in a neighborhood you'd otherwise avoid. She's not going to find a job at the best school in town so if you hold out for that, you'll be holding out for awhile. It might be a good experience and a way to appreciate how much harder things can be once she moves on to a more advantaged school.
+1

Also remember: with very few exceptions, none of the "bad areas" of Chicago are war zones. They're neighborhoods where people live, work, have families, grow up, and otherwise live regular lives. Yes, there's more poverty and crime and other social problems, but in general they're full of people who just want to have a good life for themselves and their families. The chances of dying of heart disease, cancer, or yes, a car wreck are exponentially higher than being the victim of a random act of violence as a CPS school teacher. Basic street smarts and taking the time to know your neighbors goes a long way toward increasing your feelings of personal safety.

That said, none of us have to wake up every day and be your DW.

(For reference, I work in East Garfield Park [a "bad" neighborhood], commuting by bike from Logan Square (a recently-gentrified neighborhood) through Humboldt Park [a "transitioning" neighborhood]. I grew up in the country in Texas and spent most of my adult life in a relatively bucolic college town before moving here 6 years ago.)

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BogleFanGal
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by BogleFanGal » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:07 am

Tamarind wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:26 pm
Check your gut feeling with some numbers before deciding. I live in the neighborhood with the "highest crime rate" in my city, which leads some folks from other neighborhoods to jump to conclusions. What that means in practice is an increased chance of losing an unlocked bicycle, and occasionally witnessing drug use in public. The relative status has to be taken in context of a small, safe city.
This is so true - I once lived in a nice, peaceful suburban neighborhood with a high crime rating. All because there was a nearby mall (3 miles away) with a lot of shoplifting incidents. Because we were in the same zip, we were lumped in with that. Those stats can be misleading.
"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen." Mark Twain

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goodenyou
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by goodenyou » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:40 am

BogleFanGal wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:07 am
Tamarind wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:26 pm
Check your gut feeling with some numbers before deciding. I live in the neighborhood with the "highest crime rate" in my city, which leads some folks from other neighborhoods to jump to conclusions. What that means in practice is an increased chance of losing an unlocked bicycle, and occasionally witnessing drug use in public. The relative status has to be taken in context of a small, safe city.
This is so true - I once lived in a nice, peaceful suburban neighborhood with a high crime rating. All because there was a nearby mall (3 miles away) with a lot of shoplifting incidents. Because we were in the same zip, we were lumped in with that. Those stats can be misleading.
Didn’t the OP say he was referring to Southside Chicago? There is no confusion in the crime statistics there. I lived in Chicago and my wife worked at U of Chicago Hospital.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains.

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Meaty
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Re: DW job in dangerous area

Post by Meaty » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:43 am

B3GINN3R wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:18 pm
My wife just graduated school. I make about 200k. We have no debt and we are both 26 y.o., so we just started saving. She has been working very hard to get a job and finally landed one! She will make about 40k pretax. i.e. her salary will not push the needle lifestyle or savings-wise. Unfortunately, the job she got is in a pretty dangerous part of town and she works at a school. Would your advice be for her to take the job even if she feels a little uncomfortable safety wise so that she can start her career? or is it worth it for her to keep interviewing, perhaps unsuccessfully, and pass up on the job in the dangerous neighborhood? Really struggling on safety vs. career importance. Looking for some boglehead wisdom.
I have worked very dangerous jobs both in the US and abroad. If this really is “dangerous” (you and she have to decide) then it makes zero sense, in my view, to risk bodily harm to increase pre tax income from 200 to 240
"Discipline equals Freedom" - Jocko Willink

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