A transom, as it is used in the jargon referred to above, is the glass slats that sometimes adorn a space just over a door; it could be opened for ventilation and you don’t see them as much these day. The manuscript would be pushed between the slats by whomever, usually surreptitiously and at night, where there it would lay on the floor until discovered by another whomever on entering the office in the morning.
The phrase is actually incorrect; the correct term would be “transom light”. A transom is actually the beam above the door; a window in the space above a door, sometimes comprised of a few horizontal glass slats, like louvers, is a transom light…
…but I digress…
So, as I was saying, I get this e-mail from a woman in Mexico. She does not read English but found my e-mail address on my author’s page on amazom.com, which she had translated using Google translator.
Based on my last name, she thought I might be able to speak Spanish and asked me, since my books are about managing money, what I would do in her position, which she went on to detail for me in her e-mail:
Thirty years of age, single mother, daughter nine years of age. She went on…no education beyond high school, and no particular skill of value in the marketplace (I am paraphrasing here). And, she told me, she was currently employed as a clerical worker. Her income is approximately $100 a week and she works six days a week, Monday through Saturday.
She and her daughter live in a rented house; the rent is just about $100 a month. Bottom-line? She is barely making it and sometimes ends don’t meet. Last week she pawned her computer and now goes to a nearby internet café and pays $10 pesos an hour to get online.
She then asked me what I would do or advise her to do to make some financial progress because all she could see in front of her was the same struggle day after day after day for the rest of her life. She is poor. I do not know if it is grammatically correct to modify the word poor, to say, for example, “really, really poor,” or if it is even appropriate to do so, but she is really, really poor!
I told her, I would think about it and get back in touch. So, that is what I am doing now…I am thinking about it. I do not open this blog for comments but if anyone reading this has any ideas for her, please e-mail.