Kelly has a degree in chemical engineering and works at NASA; people were stunned that she needed a second job to support herself.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 19, 2021. It has since been updated.
The American economy is in a fix as workers are quitting en masse across industries and demanding better wages, benefits and working conditions. The rising living costs mean many are working two to three jobs to support the family and put food on the table. The problem doesn't appear to be limited to just hourly wage workers in the service industry, with some even in top jobs having to take on another to support themselves and their families. An instance of a NASA engineer seeking a second job to keep up with the living costs has raised eyebrows. Kelly, who goes by @sexybabypartygirl on TikTok, posted a video showing herself preparing for an interview for a second job and sparked debate on living costs and salaries of employees at reputed companies. Kelly has a degree in chemical engineering and works at NASA, reported DailyDot. She also posted a video of herself dancing during her lunch break with her NASA work clothes on.
Kelly revealed in the original video that she was applying for a second job at Tiffany & Co, as her job at NASA doesn't cover her loans, rent and her regular expenses. “I am a NASA engineer and I’m applying for a job at Tiffany’s part-time, and I have an interview in 40 minutes,” she can be heard saying in the video after arriving at a mall in Houston for her job interview. Later, she posted a video saying that she got the job and was offered $20 an hour. The video went viral as many couldn't believe a NASA job was enough to support her.
She addressed the comments, writing, “I like my job at NASA, we get paid well. I just want a little more money, I’m not looking for a new full-time job, but my rent is high, I’ve student loans, I’ve car loans, and I like to thrift a lot.” One person quipped in the comments, "You know capitalism has failed us when a skilled highly educated person who helps us go to SPACE has to get a second job,” wrote one person. Kelly said, “I make enough money, but I want to do more fun things and not have to worry about it. And also, I just have a lot of time right now, so I don’t mind working a little more so I can spend more.” She also added that she was "trying to make money to visit my family more. They live in Wisconsin."
Kelly didn't take up the job at Tiffany & Co after securing a part-time job at an Apple Store. One person lamented, "Soo even NASA doesn’t pay that well?” Another person added, "If someone at NASA needs a second job, I have no hope for my future." One person provided a reality check, writing, "I know y'all think NASA is cool but it's a government job quite like many others that don't pay astronomically." Another weighed in, "It's a federal position. Unless she's in leadership or has been around 15+ years, she's not making 100k+." Another person said it was a reflection of the system. "A NASA engineer needs a part-time retail job, yet people are still not taking the wage crisis seriously." One person commented that it was completely normal in America. "Y'all this is a pretty common thing to do. I work retail and so many of my part-time co-workers have other jobs at places like Stanford University."
The sharp living costs in America haven't been helped by inflation that has surged. The consumer price index, which measures prices paid by the typical consumer, is up 6.2% over the past year, making it the highest inflation rate in more than 30 years. Prices of everyday items have shot up including that of gasoline and meat supplies. According to CNN, for a household earning a median income of almost $70,000 per year, inflation is likely to cost them an added $200 per month in living costs.