There was a point yesterday when I needed a brief distraction from my intensive directory submitting, so I went and took the 1930s wife test, and came out pretty well. I did lose some points for wearing pajamas, but at least I don’t have frequent crooked stocking seams. There is one for husbands, too. Probably for maximum accuracy, I should have had my husband answer the questions about me and I should have answered the questions about him. I provide the link in case you need to waste some time today yourself.


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

I had a call from one of the local colleges. Not the one that is in my town; the one in the next county. They have a corporate learning center and a regional technology center in my town, and they do distance learning, but their main campus is thirty miles from me. I applied for the job — teaching English, and they specify that their staff must spend 40 hours a week on campus — shortly after becoming unemployed. I have passed through the initial screening. They want to interview me by phone.

I am not articulate over the phone.

On the other hand, I don’t necessarily want the job, either. Time enough to think about that if and when they offer it to me, of course. If I work 40 hours on campus and have over an hour of commuting each day — in fact, given how I feel about freeways, I’d probably have to take the back roads and have a couple of hours of commuting — they might have to offer me a lot of money for the job to be worth it.

On the other hand, they might let me teach business English at their corporate learning center. I could let them all in on the secrets of The Dark Art.

It just adds a little layer of stress. Also adding a slight layer of stress is the fact that my clients who are needing new web sites want me to make them. I show them the sites done by Client #2, clearly superior to mine, and they say that’s okay, they want one of mine. On a free web host.

Here’s the thing: my web sites are done with things I know how to do. I just pick from the range of things I know. I don’t start from what’s needed and then do those things. The sites look good, it’s true, but I am kind of like the girl who learns to cook a couple of awesome dinners. You may have her lasagna and her Steak Bearnaise and conclude from those meals that she can cook, but that doesn’t mean she can stir-fry.

I must spend more time with my recipe book.

Now, this is okay from the point of view of providing the service. I’m a content provider and SEO, not a web designer. I have offered these people a referral to a really good web designer and they don’t want him, so it is not my fault if they end up with a site that is not the best they could possibly have.

But it’s a bit of a quandary when I think about what to charge them. If I have to look things up in my cookbook, so to speak, and learn how to make cascading style sheets instead of just recognizing them, do I charge them for that learning time, or just feel happy that they’ve provided me with a good project for my study? Do I stop the clock while I look things up, or just go ahead and make them Steak Bearnaise even if that isn’t exactly what they wanted?

If I got to pick my future employment, I would cast my lot in with Client #2, so that all our combined clients would get my content and his design. I’d say, “Can you do me a stylesheet with graduated shades of sage green and the breadcrumbs on the side, please?” and he’d say, “Can you make this pharmaceutical page sound exciting?” and we’d be irresistible.

That’s one of the possible branches on my probability tree. Another is that Client #6, who is supporting the family at the moment, will not keep me on past the initial contract, Client #2 won’t include me in his future business plans, and I will commute to the next county to teach Freshman Comp all day and then come home and see to Clients #s 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 in the evenings.

I’m glad to have that as a possibility, of course, because there is also the branch that ends with me not having even enough freelance work to eke out a meager living and no real job at all, and having to become a waitress.