Moonlight madness: Lake City couple works multiple jobsLAKE CITY — It's Monday evening and Tracy Dominguez is spending a night at home with her family.
By: Jen Cullen, The Republican Eagle
LAKE CITY — It's Monday evening and Tracy Dominguez is spending a night at home with her family.
Everyone will be there to watch the epic Vikings/Packers tilt. The three kids. Tracy. Her husband, Mike.
Tracy greets her husband with a kiss as he walks in the door. The after-work affection and quality family time is far from their normal routine.
"We usually wave as we drive past each other on Highway 61," 38-year-old Tracy said. "Sometimes that's the only time I really see him."
Tracy and Mike are each juggling two jobs — a necessity since Mike was laid off from Lake City's Federal-Mogul.
Tracy works full-time as an information technology specialist at Wild Wings. She heads off to Red Wing's newest Italian restaurant, Provenzano's, on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
Mike's full-time job is at Charter in Rochester. He moonlights most nights at Red Wing's Verizon store.
"We aren't people who live beyond our means," Tracy said. "We're doing this just to pay our bills. It's not fun."
At one point this summer, Tracy worked four jobs to make ends meet.
Jinny Moore — area manager for Workforce Development in Goodhue and Wabasha Counties — said the Dominquez's situation is becoming more common in many southeastern Minnesota homes.
"People are applying for multiple jobs. I think that's just kind of the nature of what happens in a rough economy," Moore said. "There are not as many full-time jobs so they need more part-time jobs."
Tracy said the loss of Mike's full-time, good-paying job at Federal-Mogul was a tough blow. The couple had a hard time making their mortgage payment and paying other bills.
@Sub Heads:Family life changes
@Normal: Working multiple jobs is not ideal for Tracy and Mike.
The three kids — ages 16, 13 and 10 — have learned to adjust but Tracy said the lack of quality family time has been tough on everyone.
"It's really affected so many things you don't even talk about," she said. "The dynamic of the house has totally changed.
"It's good when we have our moments," Tracy added. "We cherish them."
Tracy said she enjoys working as a part-time waitress. But she wishes she could work at the restaurant because she wanted to — not because she has to.
Tracy does not buy into the hype the recession is over, though she's confident her family will weather the tough times until it is.
"Do I wish that we'd win the lottery? Yes," Tracy said. "But that's not going to happen and we don't rely on that.
"And you have to continue to hope things will improve because then all your hard work is worth nothing."
Kirsten Morell with Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development said that agency does not keep track of how many Minnesotans are applying for or currently work multiple jobs.
Goodhue County's 7.3 percent unemployment rate is the lowest since last December and down .2 percent from July.