Friday, July 3, 2009

The end of an era

On Monday, I start a new job. A proper, honest injin, regular five day a week permanent part-time, grown-up person job. And the most ideal one, for me: the home-based kind! The one that'll be easy to keep even once the LGBB starts school because the hours fall within drop-off and pick-up times. The kind you never hear about because it's not advertised but snapped up speedily from the inside. It's an inside job.... And what's more heart-warming is that I didn't even apply for it.

Two weeks ago, I came home from dropping the LGBB at occ. care to discover an email from a company for whom I have been doing some casual hours editing, offering this to me if I wanted it (well, duh!). I originally got this little cream casual job from services rendered to their company with the auditing work I've been doing on and off over the past year or so, having to top up the amount I was bringing in after our outgoings were expected to skyrocket with our building works this year. I had apparently stood out to them because of my anally-retentive spelling, punctuation, grammar and attention to detail. The Senior Editor must've felt done out of a job whenever she edited my reports because she continually had to correct nothing and, bless her, instead put my name forward (unbeknownst to me) some months ago to be considered for suitability testing next time they had an influx of work - they've just picked up two large national companies and so enter stage left.... me!

I couldn't believe my eyes when this job offer just fell in my lap. An hourly wage, four hours a day, five days per week. And possibly more exciting, I'm part of a team! A group of strong, business-minded women who are also WAHM's and have built a huge and competitive online business. It's astounding and they are growing all the while.

This is one of those organisations that I never knew existed. They pay people a fee to go out and assess the customer service of any given retail outlet you could possibly think of. Mystery shopping, some would call it. It's a whole other world, I'm telling you! The perks, if you do enough and are registered with enough companies, are really cool. But because I only half-did it and couldn't afford the time to apply myself to the six or so companies I signed up with, it only ever topped up what I was earning via the business.

Now, I have found my ideal. I don't have to go traipsing anywhere. No finding carparks in the rain in the middle of winter, no berating myself when I can't remember a detail about a shop I have just completed whilst I'm doing paperwork.... No turning up at the entirely wrong shopping centre to conduct an audit on the wrong outlet. D'oh. I only did that once.... And the icing on the cake is that I get to be on the other side of the reports - I think I must have always been a frustrated editor, perhaps I missed an opportunity to go to uni and make anything of my obsession for finding spelling mistakes in printed material, TV commercials, billboards and so on. It amuses Steve no end, he says I must be the only person he's ever met who can spot a double space at ten paces on a commercial that's up on the screen for only 30 seconds. "Who cares?" he says. Me, I say.

It's my first permanent position in six years. I can't wait to sink my teeth into something new, not to mention all that regular dosh. Whilst it's been fun carving out a living via my business, which I set up the month after Ellanor died (in her name, no less) and mostly because I just could not fathom meeting any new work mates or hunting for a job - both prospects that struck fear into me at the time, not to mention that it seemed incredibly indulgent and unnecessary having just lost my baby - I am now quite pleased not to have the feeling hanging over me that I must always keep myself available (as the song goes) "all day and all of the night" just in case a job comes in that I simply cannot refuse because it is income and I don't know when the next ad hoc job is coming in.

I did have a regular client until Christmas last year. For four years, I toiled under a set of headphones and worked this around the ad hoc design stuff. It worked well. Mostly for him because I don't feel I was ever quite recompensed enough considering the amount of time it took away, especially, when the LGBB was a baby. Steve would come home from work and take up the 6pm-9pm shift and I would get my work for that client done mostly in that time. It wasn't pretty.

And I'm quite amazed to realise that this will pay me in a week what I was earning with that client in a month. Hmmmmmm. I feel robbed! But ah well, it's in the past now.

The main thing is, with works due to start on our renovation-extension as early as the end of this month (EEEEEEK! WHAT?!?! So much to do before half the house goes out of action...), we have this regular cash injection that I just could not say no to.

It just plopped into my lap. Funny old Universe.

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