How to ultimately fail at keeping a promise to write blogs. Also updates.

Well, like I usually do, I only remember to write here when there has been some sort of development and then I promise myself that I will be awesome and write more often and bla bla bla. And then inevitably I become caught up in the rest of life and this falls to the wayside.

It totally does NOT help that my f key is broken and I have to ctrl+v every time I want it.

Excuses, excuses.

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But! There has been a development. I completed my internship with Borgen Project back in September. The whole experience solidified my desire to work as a writer full time. But reminded me how difficult that actually is to pull off as well. It also brought out something that I didn’t really expect.

I realized that I want to work for non-profits. I mean I want to make a profit because I have grown really attached to being alive and eating and living in a place with walls and shit. I just really got into the idea of working for a greater cause. Of working to help people and make the world a better place. That, too, is hard to get into.

Borgen actually had an opening for a paid position that I didn’t even get an interview for. That’s okay, though. I’m sure someone more qualified got the job.

So I have just been plugging along at my dead end grocery store job. Making money and doing my best to keep from going totally insane.

When I came back from Ireland, though, I decided to sign up for a website called flexjobs. It is really very neat. You have to pay, of course. But you get access to a TON of online, telecommute, part-time, full-time, flexible jobs. Like writing or design or whatever artsy thing you’re into. And I mean real at home jobs. Not the “give us all your money and we will let you stuff envelopes at home” jobs. But really businesses that are either internet based with no building at all. Or a business with a brick and mortar situation and no desire to have another employee taking up space. They also may just want to open the job up to people in other citites.

So I sat down the other day and applied to 6 jobs.

By the next day I had an email from CEM about a content writing job.

That night I had a phone interview.

And a job offer.

Now it isn’t totally glam or anything. I work for $12.50 an hour starting out. After a two week probation I either get let go, stay where I am, or have a chance to test into the senior writing level. Which means more money. More work, but more money.

At the moment I am opting to stay at my current job, especially since there is really no guarantee that I will even get to move forward. Although I think I will. I also want to make sure that this is something I am not only good at, but something I can sit down and make myself do for hours a day in order to make enough money to live on. I also worry that, while they have a lot of projects and not enough writers right now, the situation could change very quickly and I wouldn’t be making enough money anymore.

The work so far is pretty boring. They want a 1000 an hours output. I seem to be averaging 840 right now. Not bad for just starting out. It’s all very keyword driven. You know, that word vomit that no one really ever reads that is just supposed to get someone’s name up higher in google searches. I did some blogs on chiropractic for them tonight that were a bit more interesting than the other stuff.

Again, not glamorous. But it’s a job writing. And that is a step in the right direction.

I have also been doing some freelance work with blogmutt. They’re a crowdsourcing web site that gets clients to pay for blog posts to promote their business and get more clicks to their site. I go through as the writer and choose which people I want to write for and then write like 350 words on a chosen keyword. Like fashion tips or party ideas or valentine’s day. This writing is actually really enjoyable. I don’t get credit for it, but I get to have a voice and learn some stuff and be creative with it. Unlike the CEM stuff.

And then I had another response to a resume that I sent in. A fashion site has selected me as a possibility for a job blogging for them. It’s 200 blogs a month. $5 a blog. So $1000  month. The writing is really basic. You find an item and a picture of it. Write a description. Done. It could be tricky getting the item and formatting the picture. But once you get into it would be a cinch to bust those out. So something else I can pursue.

Maybe the trick right now is to cobble together a bunch of different writing jobs instead of trying to rely on one or even just find one that can be an everything job.

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OH. I also have an interview for a promotion at the grocery store tomorrow.

Geez.

Well I am doing my very best to keep a positive outlook on all this new found stress I fell into. I am actually writing every day whether it is in my journal or for money. And that’s more than I can say about the last few years. I also just have to keep reminding myself that I want this. I want this chance and this change and not only do I want it, I absofuckinglutely need this shit. I need it before I lose my mind already. And get stuck at a menial job for an eternity.

2014 go!

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Volumes of Volunteering

In an attempt to fill my days, pump up the resume, and do some good in the world  I have started looking for some volunteer work. It turns out that Asheville is just teeming with volunteer opportunities.

I did sign up for something called the Book Sorting Bonanza! on September 19th. It’s a 2 hour long event where people get together to sort, organize, and clean out used books. Once that is done, the books are taken to children in need, the homeless, and prisoners. Should be  fun event and it’s  a great cause. If anyone is an advocate for more people reading, it’s me.

I also expressed interest in:

  • Helpmate – Reception
  • Western North Carolina Alliance – Office Support
  • Asheville City Schools Foundation – Education Coach
  • Asheville Greenworks – Office Support
  • YWCA – Clerical
  • The Rathbrun Center – Front Desk
  • Our VOICE – Prevention Education Volunteer
  • Green Opportunities – Office Support
  • Three Streams Family Health Center – Office Support
  • Smith-McDowell House – Museum guide
  • Asheville Art Musuem – Shop and Guest Services

I realize that is a lot to try and do all at once. But these are all “ongoing” opportunities. So I figure the ones that actually need volunteers right away will contact me first. And in this case it’ll be first come first serve.

Some of the things I want to do simply because of personal interest, like the Art Museum and the Smith-McDowell house. I chose Our VOICE because I’m passionate about sexual education and the prevention of sexual crimes. The rest are a combination of interest, passion, and the fact that the present really great opportunities for job related experience.

The more I can prove myself now, the better my chances are at getting a decent job later down the road.

Plus, I have always really wanted to spend more time volunteering, but have found it to be difficult with my insane work schedule and constantly changing availability.

I really think this should a good time for me.

Blindsided

I’ll be honest. When I think of the words “laid off”, images of 30 or 40 something year old men come to mind. These men anxiously meeting with someone from an outside company who has the pleasant job of deciding whether an employee is meeting the standards of the company well enough to continue being paid. Deep down, these men know it’s time to go.

Not me, though. I knew I wanted to go, as soon as I secured a better job. I just hadn’t realized that time was immediately and way ahead of schedule.

I went into work, like every other day, did all the work that was expected for the morning. Did some work that was completely unexpected. Nothing was different. The manager above me, Chris, came in. He was acting strange. Very strange.

Antsy and awkward.

Then the owner of the store came in and called me into the back. He was all dressed up. Salmon polo tucked firmly into loose khaki dress pants. Loafers, of all things.

I figured he had some important meeting.

Then he started talking.

I, was the meeting.

From the second the over-used business phrases for “you’re fired” started coming out of his mouth, I lost it. “We are moving a new direction, and unfortunately we have to move on without you.” Must be a hell of a direction.

I was so shocked and so angry that all I could even try to do was stand there and cry. Not very dignified, I know. But the body does what the body does. And I had relinquished all mental control. Thinking wasn’t even an option. He was officially marking me down as being “laid off”. And all I could do was cry. 25 years old. And a crier.

I did my best to keep it together. But once I actually realized what it was that was happening, that this was my last day and that I would never be setting foot in this store again, the anger started to grow exponentially.

And once that started, the only thing I could do was freak out. Why? What had I done to deserve this treatment? Did I deserve to be fired half way through a shift? Half way through my work week? With no warning and a half-assed explanation about money, organization, and something about being friends when I stopped being angry?

I don’t remember driving. But I did get home. I spent 5 straight hours talking to different people on the phone. The anger turned into panicked anger. Talking was the only way to keep my brain from imploding. Sure, I hadn’t lost anyone. My life was still significantly better than a lot of people in the world. But I had just poured 4 years of my life, almost exactly 4 years, into this job. I had put up with more than I should have. And it was all gone.

Time was simultaneously agonizingly slow and leaping forward in bounds.

Sleeping sort of came in spurts. My body ached. My brain jumped from thingtothingtothingtothing,

Waking up was an odd experience.

I was waking up into a new life.

What was I going to do with it?