Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Partial Employment Chronicles, Chapter 17

Oops, I did it again. Got work, that is.

The best part of waking up is not, as is commonly believed, Folgers in your cup. No, it's e-mail in your inbox from a former colleague who needs a hand with a freelance project of her own — and the suggestion of more to come if this one works out. So huzzah to that.

Yesterday also brought encouraging news on the search for the Holy Grail, by which I mean a job I could do from home, and enjoy, that offers health benefits. A recruiter contacted me about just such a gig, and our conversation was positive enough that he's going to present my credentials to the hiring manager. I imagine I'm looking at another lengthy chat/wait/chat/wait cycle, but that's all part of the game.

If I got the Grail gig, I'd have the 10-hr/wk dissertation editing, plus my handful of regular clients, plus the odd project from that former colleague, plus a full-time job. Not bad, eh?

I'd need them all, actually, because the Grail doesn't pay enough to support me by itself. But I'm good enough at managing my time that I can work smaller projects into the gaps.

Yesterday I also spent a few hours surfing craigslist.com. There are plenty of writing & editing jobs listed in cities around the country (and probably around the world, although I didn't look that far afield). Because I am a HUGE GEEK with time on my hands, I figured out how to create searches for writing & editing jobs in all the major cities, then have Bloglines (my news aggregator) read the RSS feeds from the searches. So depending on how often I check Bloglines, I can see new job postings almost as soon as they're listed. Cool, right?

And let me tell you, some of those jobs are crap. This category attracts huge numbers of ads with headlines like "Work from home! Make billions of dollars in your spare time! Perfect for stay-home moms and students!" And those are the legitimate offers of $10/hr data entry sloggage. There are also plenty of "Get paid for taking surveys!" and "Ask me about my secret formula for making money without working!" (The formula: Get people to pay you for your secret formula.)

I tried one of the survey things just out of curiosity. I was promised a $500 Victoria's Secret gift card if I would take a survey online. Sound too good to be true? Yep. You know what comes next. I spent 20 minutes supplying a huge amount of demographic information, then got to the "almost done" page.

But you can't be done, and therefore can't qualify for your gift card, until you "participate" in a certain number of "sponsor promotions." Which of course means buy crap from their friends the crap dealers. (Not craps dealers. That's in Vegas. I had a friend who was a craps dealer in Vegas once. But I digress. And believe me, the digression is the best part of the story.) I signed up for seven "free" CDs — for which I had to pay shipping and handling — and bought several Dr. Seuss books for cheap (to have on hand when CNE visits, or when I'm jonesing for green eggs and ham).

Alas, I was supposed to participate in four promotions to qualify for the Victoria's Secret card, and there just weren't four sponsors selling anything I wanted. So I cut my losses and skipped to the end. Sigh. I should know better by now.

On a much more practical note, this week I downloaded some business card templates so I can design myself a good one. I also bought some card stock so I can print them in the back room, just like counterfeit $20 bills. And I signed up for six networking events over the next two weeks so I'd have somewhere to distribute these new cards. Settling on a design and doing some printing are my tasks for tomorrow. That, and studying the sample materials for the dissertation editing gig.

Did I mention that I went to Goodwill on Wednesday and bought myself a leather laptop bag to replace the one that was stolen last year? I did. It's a little scuffed but otherwise sound, and it has pockets for paper files and small objects (which my cool messenger bag, alas, lacks). For $6.99, I'm not going to complain. Maybe I'll try spiffing it up with one of the black shoe polish kits Mother Media keeps giving me.

But for tonight, I'm done. It's movie time. I need to choose among the four flicks awaiting my viewing. Which would you pick?

  • Batman Begins
  • Beavis & Butthead Do America
  • For Your Consideration
  • Groundhog Day



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