4 Here is the table runner with the binding half done. I like the print binding much better than I did the plain ready-made, so it is a blessing that I ended up a bit short on that and had to be a bit resourceful.

The Empress and I were doing inventory yesterday, and got to talking about jobs. We can both see that there are a few things about our present jobs that we will not miss. But it is hard to think of what we might do next.

I’ve been looking at the want ads, so I know that there are some interesting job titles out there.

For example, “Manifester 4.” Wouldn’t it be cool if, when people asked “What do you do?” you could answer, “I’m a Manifester 4”? Doesn’t it sound like a robot or something?

But what, The Empress wanted to know, does a Manifester 4 actually do?

Naturally, I looked it up on Google. First I came up with this (it’s a PDF file, but very cool — I am thinking of adapting it for my daily to-do list ;-)), but we discovered in short order that it is something to do with shipping. Like a ship’s manifest, you know.

Not nearly so exciting.

That Man and The Empress suggested that I do freelance SEO/SEM for local businesses. I pointed out that, as an unemployed person with no liquid assets, I wasn’t in a position to fool around with such things.

“You could do it at 4:00 a.m. Then you could go to your day job,” That Man suggested. He was quite emphatic that I ought to be able to cash in on the skills I’ve learned this year, and I like that idea. However, I pointed out, I could not get into the SEO club. I am too old, I don’t use all the jargon, my degrees are not in IT or engineering, the people who work in that field do not seek their new hires among motherly writers who are good at getting things to the top at Google …

Over lunch, though, I looked for local SEO firms. There is one. I checked out their portfolio, ran their clients through some SEO tools to make sure that my numbers were just as good as theirs, and emailed them. I pointed out that there were lots of local businesses who would benefit from their help, but would never be able to find them on Google, or to understand the page where they list their services.  

Before getting back to work, I tracked down the people of the firm. Their website is very cagey about their identities. This is interesting in and of itself. At the store’s website, we have pictures of all our people and the dog and down-home stuff about where we’re from and all our names — this is normal. It inspires trust in potential customers. The SEO firm behaves as though there are no humans working there at all.

Fortunately, as a plyer of The Dark Art, I am able to find these things out. The firm appears to be a one-man band, just one of several online ventures by a young man who not so long ago was winning prizes at the business school. Conjure up your mental image of a computer genius, and you probably have this guy.

A firm like that could definitely use someone as reassuring and harmless-seeming as me. A motherly person who can clearly explain what the firm can do for local business owners in normal English. I’m also better at blogging, frankly, and that is one of the services they offer. A firm that offers blogging to people who don’t know what a blog is or how it could help their business needs someone who can show them examples of how it has helped people.  But does a firm like that offer secure employment to someone who has children to feed? 4

We shall see. He has invited me to meet with him next week. I also have had an offer to help with my resume, and I have five jobs that I plan to apply for. One of them (an instructional design position) sounds very good to me, but I had been thinking I wasn’t really qualified. However, a friend who works at that place emailed it to me yesterday, saying that she thought I should apply for it.

So I may be unemployed, but I have some jobhunting adventures planned.

This weekend, though, I intend to finish my table runner, buy groceries, plant the garden, and clean house. I also have meetings and — quite soon now, actually — a date to get the church’s music into a database.

And there is the email I got last night sayng that, although I had arranged a male soloist for Sunday’s 8:45 service, the bulletin reached the pianist with the choirlet listed instead. I don’t know what I will do about that, but I clearly have to do someting.