Wednesday June 11, 2008

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.






11 responses to “Wednesday June 11, 2008”

  1. CharlotteColors Avatar

    At this crazy/ exciting time in history, be sure to account for the expense of gasoline needed for a long commute. Is there an end in sight for those prices?

  2. pink_hebe Avatar

    I don’t have frequent crooked stocking seams either: too much practice with ballet tights! ~x~

  3. chanthaboune Avatar

    Well really. If these clients are saying “Oh he’d do it perfectly. But we’ll take the cheapest option,” then they can’t really complain. It’s like buying the Madden knock-offs and then being mad that they aren’t higher quality.

    Afterall, they are aware you aren’t a web designer.

  4. lostarts Avatar

    I’ve been there and done that.

    It’s horrible, and stressful, but you will survive.

    At the moment, you have unemployment to fall back on.

    Just take advantage of every opportunity you get, and something good will happen.

  5. ozarque Avatar

    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. IMHO.

  6. fibermom Avatar

    @lostarts – I sure hope I haven’t given the impression that it’s horrible. I’m fully employed right now, and have a variety of interesting possibilities on the horizon. If I’ve made it sound horrible, I’d better reign in the dramatic effects.

  7. fibermom Avatar

    @chanthaboune – Actually, they loved my pages. They didn’t even look at my code

  8. lostarts Avatar

    @fibermom – 

    MY experience was horrible. I lost my job in March of 1003, couldn’t find another one, did some occasional work for an assortment of people (as you are doing) and stretched my unemployment out for a year,

    Here’s were it gets bad, I ran out of unemployment, was existing on whatever bits of work I could find, got sick (horribly sick, with no health insurance, for a year), and became homeless.

    I’ve had my ups and downs, but I’m still here. I still survived. And you will, too.

    Although you probably won’t be in as bad shape as I was most of the way.

    You sound like you’re nervous that you don’t know what’s going to happen or where your next paycheck is coming from. That’s all. Your experience so far is unnerving.

    Good luck with it, by the way.

  9. fibermom Avatar

    @lostarts – That is indeed horrible. Are you back at work now, or what?

  10. lostarts Avatar

    @fibermom – 

    I was doing some work for some people, but my car was repossessed in February, so I couldn’t get to work on my own, but they were nice enough to give me a ride to work, until their company went under in May.

    Right now, I’m collecting Social Security and trying to figure out where I can come up with enough money to start a business. I have an Amazon store, now, and a computer that a friend gave me, and as soon as I finish upgrading, I can sell knitting patterns.

    But the IRS is currently giving me a bad time and either I am going to wind up getting money back from them (which is what is supposed to happen–I’ve been told by several peopol there that they owe me money) or they will be collecting about $540 from my SS, a bit over $100 per month.

    Needless to say, I did everything in my power to prevent all of this. The economy is just SO bad!

    Before I lost my job, I was making so little that I could’ve been getting subsidized housing for low income people through the government, and for two years straight after that, I made less than I paid in taxes during the last year I had a job. Living on about $3,000 per year is difficult.

    I’m making more like $9,000 per year through Social Security, so it’s a little easier.

    If you plan to buy something through Amazon, let me know, and I’ll put it up in my store, and you can buy it through me.

  11. JewelE19 Avatar

    I don’t think you have to worry about becoming a waitress! I will pray extra hard for Client # 2 strategy and if that’s not possible then that Client # 6 will hire you on full-time.