Wed. May 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 368 — Last Day On Site

image courtesy of Jose Antonio Alba via pixabay.com

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Full Moon

Lunar Eclipse

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Cloudy and warm

Today is my last day onsite with my local client. It’ll be interesting to see how that all shakes out. I started there in October of 2017. Definitely time for a change.

I was up way too early yesterday, although I got some sleep. Puttered around, read, not being very productive. Gearing up, mentally and physically, for an intense weekend of packing, although I do intend to give myself breaks here and there.

I went into the office for a few hours, to clean up some stuff and to work on the Cheat Sheets with instructions of how to do various things that I’m leaving my replacement.

Dropped off a stack of library books. Swung by CVS to get a new pair of clip-on sunglasses for the summer. Nothing really fit properly, but I have something with which I can get by.

Typed up and sent off script coverage on two pilots. Read a feature, which I didn’t like at the beginning, but loved by the end. I will write that up and send it off today.

Not sure how much coverage I will take on in the next few days. Tomorrow is busy, and then there’s Memorial Day weekend. Maybe I’ll do one or two more? Last week, I had a really solid coverage week; this week is a little less due to the house hunting. There are some interesting things coming up via the agency, but I’m hesitant to take anything that intense on until we’re moved. That may make June a lean month, and I need it to be a lucrative one. But if I break my health, it will derail the move and set us back further.

We have an appointment to see a place tomorrow that seems perfect. Fingers crossed that it really is the right place for us, and that the landlord likes us well enough to rent it to us. The space is great, the price is perfect, and the location is a good place for our next chapter.

I hope I don’t run out of boxes for the packing.

I also need to purge more.

It took me 35 minutes to drive 8 miles yesterday to get to the office. We are already at July levels of traffic, and the incoming tourists are ruder and meaner than ever. Everyone here is expected to Die for Tourist Dollars starting this weekend.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. The kids are exhausted, scared, and excited to end the school year and start their summer. The parents are all just exhausted. Last session tomorrow.

Hold a good thought for me that tomorrow goes well.

All these retrogrades, and I have to make major life changes. But retrogrades are about resolving unresolved issues, and what’s a bigger unresolved issue than not knowing where we’ll live for the next cycle?

Peace, friends.

Published in: on May 26, 2021 at 4:12 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 368 — Last Day On Site  
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Tues. May 25, 2021: Drunk on Lilacs/Ray of Sunshine

image courtesy of jplenio via pixabay.com

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

First Day of Full Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

The weather is gorgeous, and I am absolutely drunk on lilacs. DRUNK ON LILACS is actually a title for a friend’s WIP. She’s been a good reader on my work, especially my Coventina Circle series; I’m excited to read her book, once she’s ready.

It was a bit of an overwhelming few days, especially on the house front. Looked at a lot of listings. Found a few that sounded decent, and one that sounds absolutely perfect. The guy’s description was great, and he had a couple of lines in the description with which I just connected.

Heard back from a question I’d sent through Zillow, and went back and forth with the agent, to the point of putting in an application (even though it wasn’t the one that was so absolutely perfect), only to then hear back from my due diligence work that the guy had no authority to rent the apartment, and, in fact, it had been rented for months.  I didn’t have my bank information or social security number on the application, but, in any event, I warned my references, warned the bank, and filed an IC3 with the FBI.

The due diligence on the place we really love is coming out clean – the guy is who he says he is, we had some good exchanges via email, and then a great phone conversation on Monday. So, fingers crossed that it all comes through. We plan on seeing it on Thursday.

On a happier note, I love, love, love the script coverage job. I’m already earning more than I did with my onsite client (it’s nice to have the overlap with two incomes coming in for a couple of weeks). In my first two weeks, I’ve received 5 “writer satisfaction” bonuses (where the writer liked my feedback and found it useful), and one tip. I’ve read 11 scripts, so it’s nearly half.

I’m on track to earn at least double from this job than what I earned from my onsite client; with other freelance work picking up, we should be okay. But landlords want guaranteed income, not estimated income, and what I made the last few years is irrelevant to what I’m making in the next few months. Although all of it is more than enough to cover rent and expenses.

At least, as of Saturday, I’m fully vaccinated.

Overwhelmed, but fully vaccinated.

Working on cleaning out the garage. Packing, Purging. Dump runs. Trying to keep up with earning money. House hunting.

I am one of those freaks that is very, very happy when I take recycling to the dump.

Then, Monday morning, I go outside to check the grass and make sure the wasps aren’t building a nest and chasing the woodpecker from the house – and there were giant ants coming out of the seam of the deck roof over the kitchen door.

I hate ants.

These were giant ants.

I hosed them off the deck and then sprayed the seam with ant killer. I looked up online what they were – carpenter ants. Bad news.

I called the landlord, he came over, and we figured out a plan of action. He wasn’t as upset as I was about it. I was picturing the back of the house coming down from the chomping. Because there are never just a few ants.

There aren’t any ants inside the house – we had sugar ants during the septic switch out and I scrubbed with vinegar every day, so once they were gone, they were gone. We’re keeping an eye out. I have permission to use chemicals as necessary (usually we use all organic).

He also mowed the front for us, which was very nice.

I got into the office later than usual for me, but was still the first one there. Had a decent workday. I’m setting everything up as clearly and as smoothly as I can for my replacement. Because I wish someone had done that for me in oh, so many jobs! Came home, had my phone meeting, sorted everything out for Thursday’s viewing.

More script coverage, more packing.

I hope Thursday works well. We love the pictures of the place, the sound of it, it’s in our budget, in an area we really like, and I really, really, REALLY liked talking with the landlord.

Fingers crossed. At this point, I’m almost afraid to hope, but it feels right. I want a place that feels right, where we can feel at home, and live our lives quietly.

Fri. May 21, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 363 — Frustration

image courtesy of Sasin Tipchai via pixabay.com

Friday, May 21, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Foggy and cooler

Yesterday was another day that was all over the place.

I was up worrying way too early. Got up early, fed the cats, dozed on the couch a bit, which calmed Charlotte’s anxiety a bit.

Cleaned out the garage some more; almost finished sorting all the plant pots. I mean, there’s a lot more to do in the garage, but getting that done will make a big difference.

Handled a few things for the soon-to-be-ex client. Sent off a bunch of LOIs. Sent off rental application information. Most of these “property management companies” ask for inappropriate information and wanting me to carry 100K of renters’ insurance “in case I damage the apartment” is way out of line when there’s a security deposit involved. That’s what the deposit is for. Also, the properties that want additional monthly payments per cat – ridiculous. Again, that’s what a security deposit is for. And who can apply to dozens of rentals when every place has an exorbitant fee just to apply? It should be illegal.

The housing crisis was manufactured by landlords, and they need much harsher regulation.

Got my hair cut. I think the last time was October 2019. The hairdresser chopped about a foot off. She really didn’t do much other than cut the length off and do a bit of cleaning up. I wish the guy who gave me the great cut in 2019 was there, but he wasn’t. She was supremely disinterested in being there and doing much. On the one hand, I didn’t need much done, and she told me that the hair salon opened LAST MAY, at the height of the pandemic, so everyone’s stressed and completely burned out. I wasn’t going to fuss, because the cut is perfectly functional. I just would have liked a bit more care and attention devoted to it. Like, maybe even 5 more minutes. I was in and out of the salon in 10 minutes. But again, they’ve been under huge stress and burnout, and the cut is fine. It’s not brilliant, but it does the job. And yes, I tipped well, because hairdressers have been under huge stress for the duration.

I feel so much better, too. I just don’t feel as brilliant as I felt with the last cut.

But then, in the ten years I lived on Cape Cod, I’ve only had two haircuts that were good; most were serviceable, and some were truly awful.

And yes, we were all masked, thank goodness.

Came home and worked. Got out coverage of one script; read another one; claimed two more that I will read and turn around today and tomorrow. I’m getting into the flow of it.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. Last week will be our final week. Most schools are running into June, and the kids and parents will be in touch with each other, but the official online homework group will be finished as of next Thursday.

Managed to sleep until 2 AM before I woke up worrying. Charlotte started fussing at 3. I let her into the bedroom. She was good for awhile, all purry and cuddly, but then she started fussing at Tessa, so she got kicked out of the room.

We are really at a crisis point in the house hunt. We need to get out of here. We are perfectly capable of steadily paying rent on the places to which we’re applying, but we’re being turned down because the overall income isn’t high enough to please the landlord. As long as we pay rent – and since we have decades’ worth of positive rent-paying history – that should count more than an overall number.

People deserve decent living situations. It shouldn’t be this impossible to find a clean, safe place to live in our budget.

Anyway, I’m off to clean out more of the garage. I actually forgot to do a grocery run yesterday, so I’ll have to do it today.

Most of the day will be script coverage and trying to finish that damn article that’s not working. The weekend has to be house hunting and packing.

12 more hours spread over 3 days. #CountdownToFreedom.

Peace friends.

Published in: on May 21, 2021 at 5:04 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 21, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 363 — Frustration  
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Thurs. May 20, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 362: Loving the Lilacs

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

I have a post over on Gratitude and Growth about the lilacs. More photos, too.

Yesterday was a little all over the place. I was up half the night, worrying. Worked on cleaning out the garage early in the morning. I got out some LOIs and some rental information requests. Heard back from some of the rental possibilities, and am waiting to hear back from another one that sounds fantastic and is in a place we love.

Went to the client’s. She was fine today, acting like Monday’s outbursts never happened. We got a lot done. She interviewed someone to replace me, who would be good. The second interview of the day didn’t show up. Two more are being set up for early next week.

I’m under no illusion of not being replaceable. I know I am; in fact, they need someone with different skills to replace me, because the focus of the business, for the next few months, is not on what I’ve been doing, but on other stuff I don’t do and don’t want to do. So it’s all good. I’m wrapping things up and writing up notes and cheat sheets. And, I’ve always believed that it’s important to set things up so it can run without a particular individual, because one never knows what life brings. Hoarding information and knowledge sets a bad tone.

I was exhausted by the time I left; picked up a prescription for my mom. Got home, had a few exchanges about rentals, joined Remote Chat, which was fun.

I was wrecked after chat. I rested for a bit (reading the latest Donna Leon Brunetti mystery). Then, we took the cats out on the deck in their playpens while I watered the grass, and I read another script. I’ll write up the coverage today.

Collapsed into bed early, which meant that I was up by 1 AM again, worrying. Charlotte started fussing around 4, as usual. I got up and fed everyone, then settled on the couch for about 45 minutes, which calmed Charlotte down, and I got a bit of a doze.

Getting ready to do some more work in the garage. Then, I’ll get out some LOIs, join the online meditation group, and I have a few errands to run this morning, before getting back to the script coverage job, articles, LOIs, packing, and house hunting.

To say I’m exhausted is an understatement.

Published in: on May 20, 2021 at 4:36 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 20, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 362: Loving the Lilacs  
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Wed. May 19, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 361 — The Cheese Stands Alone

image courtesy of Shutterbug75 via pixabay.com

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Still dark out

Yesterday wasn’t too bad, but I’m gearing up for today.

I was up early, cleared out some more in the garage first thing. Got appropriately dressed, and headed on site to the client’s. I had the office to myself, which is as it should be. I cleared up a bunch of stuff that needed to be cleared, tossed out a big stack of my own scribbled notes on this and that which I no longer need, filed, wrote up the notes for what I’m wrapping up, with each thing dated. I will keep one copy for myself in case there are any questions. I will keep adding to it until I leave.

I took down the online store I’d set up during the pandemic, closed out some of the social media accounts. The client seems to think this will upset me (and is happy about it), because of the work I put in to create and maintain them; but it’s not about me. I did the work that was necessary at the time; the client does not want the new person to maintain the sites. Ergo, it makes sense to take them down. It has nothing to do with me. This is what the client wants as part of my wrap-up; then this is what I’ll do.

Taking down the Square store took some doing, because, of course, the information in the tutorials and what came up on the screen had little to do with each other. But I got it done.

Worked ahead on email blasts – I’m trying to get the next few months’ worth done, so all they have to do is send them. The client is grumbling about that, too, so I created cheat sheets both on sending emails already drafted, and creating new ones from scratch. I write good step-by-step directions; if the client or the new employee choose not to read/follow the directions, again, that has nothing to do with me.

There were some responses to the job ad posted on Indeed the previous day; with the client’s permission, I went ahead and set up some interviews.

I left on time, with the client constantly emailing me for this, that, the other well into the evening, which will have to stop. I didn’t get one of the emails until I got up this morning. I am not on call.

I came home to find my mother very, very upset. Against my advice, she’d called the family in Maine, to check in and see how they were doing, and let them know the progress (or lack thereof) in the house hunting. Instead of offering supportive solutions, they said the following were “our only choices”:

–get rid of the cats

–get rid of all our furniture, mementos of our trips, gifts, etc., and, especially, my books because “you don’t need books” – um, yeah, I do, I’m a writer. I have four floor-to-ceiling bookcases in my office of the books that I use constantly, and I’m always digging through for the other books.

–I’m supposed to go to the Town Manager. He will find my mother a “room” in an elder care facility, because she’s 96 and doesn’t need more than that (the subtext being she’s going to die soon, so why not die alone in a shabby room).

–I’m supposed to rent a room in someone else’s house

–I shouldn’t have given my notice to the onsite job, and the client’s behavior toward me was totally justified (the threats and verbal abuse)

–Oh, and we deserve all of this since I’ve “played” at being in the arts all this time, instead of getting a “real job.” Right. Broadway’s not a real job. Copywriting and marketing aren’t real jobs.

We’re not being separated, and I’m not putting my mother “away.” We’re not getting rid of the cats; they’re family. We may well have to put some things in storage, and I am purging quite a bit; even if I wanted to find a share, there aren’t any in all of Cape Cod.

To build on a previous post about the moans of “no one wants to work” – no one can find any housing. A colleague at my client’s called me to offer support and apology for the way the client is behaving towards me. She told me that she’s renting a room to a kid out of college who wants to work in her friend’s new restaurant, but would be forced to turn down the job because there isn’t any housing; another friend of hers is also renting a room she had no intention of renting for the summer to another restaurant worker, who would also have had to turn down the job due to lack of housing. There’s a housing crisis here – a completely manufactured one, by the towns allowing corporations and shell companies to buy everything up as short-term rentals at huge prices. Where do all these tourists and visitors think they’re going to eat and shop and do activities when there’s no housing for those who would work there?

There is no need for a housing crisis, except that the towns are greedy, and are allowing shady corporations to come in and destroy everything.

Tangent, but a necessary one. So much for family, right? They’re not required to fix anything financially or offer us shelter (although they own plenty of real estate). But emotional support rather than cruelty would be nice. They’re not being “realistic” and “honest”. They’re being cruel. And, since two years ago, they helped out with that major car repair, they feel they have the right to dictate these choices now. My mother and I are the cheeses that stand alone, I guess.

No idea where we will end up, but it needs to be in a town that’s not tourist-centric.

Managed to take an hour outside on the deck, with the cats in their playpens, to read and enjoy being outside as I ran the sprinklers. It’s actually really fun to watch the grass grow.

We came in so covered in pollen that I had to take a shower and scrub down. I also had to scrub the tub out, because the pollen I washed off glopped in the bottom.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. We are so ready for the end of the school year. This attitude of some of the schools to force kids back to in-person learning for the last month of school is ridiculous. Some of their schools are no longer doing virtual learning, and refuse the online option. So the kids are taking the assignments and doing them without any classroom support, just what we do in the homework group, each other, and their parents.

You know what else would be nice? If society didn’t use school as child care, and if it was actually, you know, education.

Wrote up the script coverage for the script I read yesterday. I have two scripts to read, still, this week, and might take on a third. I should have done more, but I’ve felt so beaten down.

My Llewellyn editor is contracting me for the 2023 almanacs, which is great. I got the next book assigned for review. I sent out a bunch of LOIs.

Read a bit at night, went to bed early. Wasn’t on email, so didn’t get some of the client emails until this morning. Have to set more boundaries today, for these last few days (16 hours spread over 4 days). Of course, I may get fed up if she goes on another rant today, and leave today.

Nothing like leaping into the day with no idea of where I’ll be by the end of it.

Tues. May 18, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 360 — Inappropriate

image by Peggy Marco courtesy of Pixabay.com

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and warm

Well, it’s been an interesting few days.

On Friday morning, after sending out a slew of LOIs, I went onsite to a client’s, and told her I was giving two weeks’ notice. It’s the last onsite client with whom I’ve been working since the start of the pandemic. The scope is changing into something that’s not what I do, and I also don’t want to work from the office. Since we’ll be moving off-Cape, probably not in commutable distance, it doesn’t make sense. It makes more sense to leave now (well, in two weeks) before things ramp up for tourist season, than when things get too busy. The conversation went well; we will see how the next two weeks go.

Driving away from there, I felt a huge weight had been lifted; while I am sure the next two weeks will be challenging, it was the right choice, right now, for all of us. They can hire someone who wants to be there, who can do the physical lifting and shipping and whatever else changes in the scope of the job, and I can move on to work for which I’m better suited.

I’d written up a comprehensive job description for them to list; if the ad went up Friday, resumes would come in over the weekend, they could interview/hire next week, and they will be some overlap the following week. I saw the ad they posted – used the intro paragraph and no financial information. If they don’t get a lot of resumes, they’ll blame the whole “no one wants to work” myth.

But that’s not my problem anymore.

When it comes to the myth, remember:

–nearly 600,000 people died in the past year, and that’s what we know about. Most of those people had jobs. Those individuals are DEAD. They no longer exist to fill those jobs. That’s nearly three times the year-round population of Cape Cod.

–Around here, many of those people died because they were put in unsafe working situations by their employer. Last summer was a nightmare of “Die For Your Employer” and “Die For Tourist Dollars” which made the Cape a red zone for COVID from the autumn until just a few weeks ago.

–People who were laid off/furloughed don’t owe loyalty to companies who showed no loyalty toward them when things got difficult.

–Somewhere between 100 and 200 people in my wide network of acquaintances discovered that they can do other things and liked doing it. Many of them started on new career paths that pay better and are more fulfilling.

–I see a couple of dozen of excited posts a day about people starting new jobs and being happy about it.

“No one wants to work because the gubberment pays too much” is a malignant myth by those who are frustrated they don’t have enough people to exploit.

I sent out LOIs, ran some errands, and read, both for the script coverage job and for pleasure. I really enjoy the script coverage job. I just hope I can keep up the pace, and even pick it up a little.

House-hunted sent out a bunch of requests, dithered. I can’t afford to pay multiple application fees for places we won’t get. I just can’t. That cuts into moving money. I also think it’s yet another scam by landlords/property companies to make money off people who need to find a place to live.

House hunted all weekend, actually, and sent off a bunch of enquiries. Fingers crossed I hear something back that’s positive.

Worked on some script coverage over the weekend, although I’m trying to keep weekends clear of that work. Kept up with watering the yard. Did some grocery runs. Did a dump run with garbage/yard waste/recycling. We’re cleaning out the garage. I’m tidying and packing up the pots, and seeing what we can toss. I have a feeling there will be multiple dump runs in the coming weeks.

Did eight loads of laundry done on Saturday, including switching out the curtains, and washing blankets and covers and stuff that can be packed away both for the move and until next winter.

I still wish that lovely little duplex in Bennington would come through for us, but I need to reconcile myself to the fact that it probably won’t.

A painter was supposed to come and take a look at what needs to be done to the outside of the house, and the landlord was going to stop by to see some tree work that needs to be done at the property line, but neither of those things happened. I just have to carry on with what I’m doing and not worry about the rest of it.

Got some packing done on Sunday in my office. I have to up the packing pace.

I’m reading the Meg Lanslow mystery GIFT OF THE MAGPIE by Donna Andrews, and it’s quite wonderful.

Read the book for review. Wrote the review, sent it off, waiting to get assigned my next book.

Got my first positive writer feedback from the script coverage job; a writer was really pleased with my comments. It’s a relief that I’m on the right track, at least for that particular writer. The place pays twice a month; I started near the end of the pay period, and they’ve already paid me for the work I did through the 15th, which is comforting.

I have to set up the binder and a new flash drive that’s just for the coverage this week.

Up early yesterday. Did some cleaning out in the garage first thing. Then it was the book review and LOIs. I had to go to the client’s in the morning for a few hours. Between this week and next week, I have a total of 24 hours spread over 6 days. My plan is to go in and get them as set up for the summer as I can, keep my head down and my mask on – because you know they’ll refuse to wear masks around me, even though I’m not considered fully vaccinated for another week, because “they’re tired of it.”

Looked at photos of hairstyles. As of Saturday, when I’m fully vaccinated, I plan to get my first haircut in 18 months.

Went into the client’s site to finish my last 24 hours spread over 6 days, winding up projects for her, and setting things up for whomever comes in next, if there’s no overlap. She became verbally abusive and completely, inappropriately unhinged, making threats. I told her to stop it; if this continues, I will not work out the two weeks. I gave notice as a courtesy; this is an at-will state. An employer can fire an employee without notice; an employee can quit without notice. Since I am on a W-2 instead of a 1099 with this particular client, those rules apply. This is a part-time job, with the job scope changing to something I don’t do, and the demand of being in-office when I’m leaving the area. The entire response to the perfectly reasonable notice is disturbing and inappropriate. Beyond hostile.

The above is another reason the PROACT, with the ABC Test, will hurt freelancers. This crap.

Not to mention she now refuses to wear a mask in the office, in spite of the fact that I’m not fully vaccinated for another week, and I don’t even know if the third person in the office is.

Nightmare. We will see what the next few days are like.

On top of that, she wants me to come in for one hour once a week indefinitely to “answer questions.” No. I’m working remotely for other clients past my end date. She can send me an email or book a (billed) phone call or Zoom call. I’m not losing half a workday to come onsite (when part of the reason I’m leaving is that I no longer do onsite work) to “answer questions.” Everything in my former job scope can be done remotely and should. The same with questions.

I should have tidied up the front lawn (too small a job to bring in my lawn guy), but I felt like I’d been battered. I managed to read a script for the script coverage job and take notes, which I will write up today.

My Llewellyn editor is going to contract me for the 2023 Almanacs. I’m excited.

I had a telehealth conference with my doctor. She was kind and helpful, and is referring me to resources I need to get through this next bit. I’m very grateful to her.

Felt sick most of the night, probably from stress. Up way too early. Posting this, then have to do some more work on the garage before I leave for the client’s – whether I stay there or not until the two weeks are up up in the air.

Peace, friends, and hold a good thought for me.

Fri. May 14, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 356 — Taking a Risk to Clear a Path

image courtesy of Manfred Richter via pixabay.com

Friday, May 14, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

Somehow, yesterday seems like months ago.

Meditation was great. The theme was “self-compassion” which is something that I sorely needed (and continue to need).

I sent out a bunch of LOIs. Got an almost immediate response from one, asking for more samples and other information, which I turned around immediately.

I felt dizzy and exhausted off and on for most of the day, so I didn’t get as much other work done as I would have liked. I had to keep taking breaks.

Amongst all the reading I’m being paid to do, I’m reading a rather wonderful book for pleasure, DANCE WITH DEATH by Will Thomas.

I did not get an offer for the job where I blew the interview on Tuesday. They went with someone else (and were very nice about it, points to them for class). While the stability of the position was attractive, at least for the next stretch of time, the money meant I would have to take on a lot of extra work, and we just weren’t the right fit for each other. They made the best decision for everyone.

I took the day of script reading (which means I have to make up for it today, since I have coverage due tomorrow morning). I was just exhausted.

I didn’t get any packing or purging or cleaning up done.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. The teens are getting appointments for their vaccines. The younger kids are jealous!

I did some house hunting; there was one possibility that looked good and wasn’t a scam, but I have a feeling it’s only a summer rental. Still, it was worth an email, and maybe I’ll hear back, or maybe I won’t.

I keep seeing us in that adorable little space in Bennington, even though someone else got it. It feels so vivid and right. I need to let go of it.

I was, however, weighing different scenarios on an issue that has to be faced down today. I’m going with my gut on it. Things have reached an untenable point, and, although what I’m going to do is a financial risk (which I shouldn’t take right now), it is also necessary. It has to be done in person today. It is mostly likely to be extremely unpleasant (potentially dangerous, since I am not considered fully vaccinated for another week); it could be a reasonable conversation that works well for all of us. The former is more likely than the latter. But I must remain calm and firm. I need to look after myself in this situation.

I’m weary and overwhelmed even anticipating what will happen, but it has to be done. I’m hoping that making this difficult decision and taking this risk will clear the way for something better. Because the situation now is unsustainable.

And then, we move forward. The next two weeks will be especially rough, but time moves forward no matter what, so it’s about getting to it.

I could use all the good thoughts you could spare today, on both this and the home front.

Have a great weekend, friends, and peace. We’ll catch up on Tuesday.

Thurs. May 13, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 355 — Do I Listen to My Head or My Gut?

image courtesy of Gerd Altmann via pixabay.com

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

I have a post on the garden progress over on Gratitude and Growth. The lilacs are blooming, which always makes me happy.

Yesterday was an enormously stressful day, and it’s not appropriate for me to discuss the details publicly. But, believe me, it sparked plenty of discussions on the home front about choices we need to make in order to move forward.

I’m hesitating to make a choice out of fear, but my gut is telling me it is vital to make this choice and make it NOW.

Was in touch with my doctor, and we have a telehealth consultation late Monday afternoon. That will help, although there are some decisions and actions that need to happen before Monday.

Remote Chat was a lot of fun. Turned around some more script coverage. I’m worried that I’m not giving them what they want; I’m happy to adjust to whatever they do want, but without knowing, I’m just plowing forward in the way I’ve been trained for this type of job. It’s a little nerve-wracking.

Still feel bad after the vaccine dose, but at least I’m on my feet, moving around, and keeping food down. Let’s celebrate the small improvements, shall we?

Watched a documentary about New Zealand last night, which was interesting. I only passed through New Zealand on my way to Australia when my show was in Adelaide, but the place fascinated me. I’ve always wanted to go back.

Online meditation group this morning (much needed), then client work, script coverage work, work on the short story and article, more LOIs, setting up more conversations with potential clients, packing, starting to clean out the garage. Busy day ahead, yeah?

Hope you have a good one!

Published in: on May 13, 2021 at 5:41 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 13, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 355 — Do I Listen to My Head or My Gut?  
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Wed. May 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 354 — Still Feeling Poorly

image courtesy of Myriams-Fotos via pixabay.com

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

I’m still struggling to get back on my feet after the second vaccine dose. I’m not complaining (exactly). I’m grateful to be vaccinated. But the process of getting my feet back under me after this shot has been difficult.

I managed a good night’s sleep for once, Monday into Tuesday, although I woke up feeling awful. I managed to shower and get dressed and even put some makeup on, and then I had to go and lie down again. The weakness and dizziness and nausea were overwhelming at times.

I considered trying to postpone the Zoom meeting with the potential new client, but I know they need to move forward, and with all the juggling I’m doing, I need to know if they’re going to make me an offer, so I went ahead. If I don’t get the offer, I have no one but myself to blame, both for not presenting well in that meeting and for being utterly myself on social media. And I will live with those consequences.

I was far, far, FAR from my best. I would say it was one of the worst interviews I’ve ever given in my rather long and varied career.  I’m amazed I didn’t pass out during the meeting. There were one or two moments where I thought I would.  On top of that, the landlord had landscapers walking around the house looking at what needs to be done. At one point, they were right up against the windows talking (although I think I only flinched once, and I’m not sure that was caught by the other meeting attendees). Charlotte nearly got into the picture at one point, but I managed to keep her off my lap and off camera. And, of course, the neighborhood tree cutters were out with their chainsaws destroying more habitat.

The work itself? I could do it. I’d be good at it. I have years of most of the skills they need.  I’d sharpen some skills, especially with Excel and Adobe Creative Suite. I’m good at staying on deadline and keeping on top of organizational things, and it’s well within my field. I still might not be who they want and need for the position. And IF they make an offer, I have to look at the numbers and the benefits package and whether or not there’s relocation support.  It’s not just me in a studio apartment with the cats. I have a household to run and family for whom to care. No matter how much the job is in an arena I love (and this one is), if I can’t make the numbers work and need to take on a bucket of extra work in order to survive when I’m already working full time – I have to see how it all balances out.

What I should have said when they asked what I’m going to do about my other clients is say, “With the salary discussed, I have to keep some of them while working for you” but I wasn’t on my game enough to be that straightforward. Which could also kybosh the whole thing, but it would have been a more solid answer.

The likelihood they would give me an offer after that dismal performance today? Maybe 1%.  Possibly zero. I can’t imagine they don’t have better options from what they experienced this morning. When the best element of an interview is that one didn’t pass out, there’s a problem. Would it have been better to wait until I felt better? With so many other variables out there, maybe better for me, but they needed this to happen so they could make their decisions and move forward and stay on their schedule. And I need to know if I’m getting an offer, so I can figure out some of my own moving pieces.

As I said, I made the choices I made, I live with the consequences. Because hey, even if I had been at my best (or at least, better, or maybe even coherent), I STILL might not be what they’re looking for, and that is just the way things work out sometimes.

Still, by the end of the meeting, I was a total wreck.

I sent my thank you email. I got out a couple of LOIs. I sent the test sample contract to the other company who wanted me to go through a series of assessments.

I had an email meltdown with a friend who, because she’s a genuine friend, was very understanding.

I wrote up my next script coverage and sent that off.

I heard back from a few more LOIs who want to set up meetings to discuss upcoming projects. One of them even made it clear that any test samples requested are paid – and the rate they quoted me is more than satisfactory. So that’s an ethical company for whom I’d like to work.

Just for the record — I went back through the requests for unpaid labor/samples/tests as part of the interview process since February. Had I done them all, I would have put in 150 hours of unpaid labor since February. That’s 3.75 WEEKS of unpaid work. This is not counting the requests for one-way video interviews. I have a post on the actual cost of those up on Ink-Dipped Advice here.

And people wonder why I put together a contract for tests/assessments/project-specific samples.

Looked at some other rental possibilities online; got some paperwork to fill out. Will see if I can set up a few virtual tours for later this week.

Read the next script for coverage, and took a lot of notes. Will write them up later today and send them off. Was assigned the next script to cover, which I will read later today.

Tended to the lawn watering. I’m going to have to get the garage cleaned out this weekend, I think. I want to get it done before the landscapers start work, and I don’t think they’ll start work until the grass seed starts growing properly. I also want to put a few things up on craigslist. If I can get the ball rolling on that tomorrow, I’ll feel like I’ve made some progress.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. They missed me last Thursday, although one of the parents covered. The teens are excited that they’ll be able to get vaccinated soon, too.

Watched the last season of WILLIAM AND MARY. That was really a lovely show.

Woke up at 3 worrying. Made the mistake of going on Twitter, where the BOSTON GLOBE has an editorial from a “behavioral scientist” about how working from home isn’t healthy or natural – citing studies from the 1970s. Yet another privileged misogynist who calls himself an “influencer” and was obviously paid by some corporate entity to write this crap. Probably the Chamber of Commerce or some commercial reality place.

Still feel like absolute crap. I have to go onsite with a client today – at least, I’ll make the effort, and if I feel too bad, I’ll leave. I need to get in touch with my doctor and see what’s what. Being under the kind of stress I’m under right now isn’t helping me heal from the vaccine dose, I’m sure; I also want to make sure I don’t make bad decisions while I’m feeling awful.

There’s Remote Chat today, which should be fun.  I need to work on a short story due later this week, and on that article with which I’ve been struggling. A few calls for pitches landed on my desk (well, my inbox) yesterday, so I want to go through and see if there’s anything I should answer.

I desperately need rest, but I can’t right now, even though I know I’ll pay for not resting in a few days. Or maybe hours.

Onward.

Published in: on May 12, 2021 at 4:48 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 354 — Still Feeling Poorly  
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Tues. May 11, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 353 — Vaccine Dose 2 Takes Its Toll

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

New Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Cloudy and cool

The last few days have been a ride, let me tell you. Seriously, that’s what I’m about to do. Tell you. So, get the beverage of your choice and settle in. I didn’t blog or post on social media about it, because, frankly, I didn’t want people weighing in who aren’t living in my skin right now.

Late Wednesday afternoon, we headed over to Enterprise by the airport and rented a car. We just didn’t trust our old car for the trip. The Enterprise rental seemed like a good price (until the extra insurance was piled on). It was tiny, a Chevy Spark. It felt like driving a tuna can. Not stable at all.

Anyway, we packed, and set up feeders and waterers for the cats.

On Thursday, we left a little bit after 9, to miss the worst of the traffic. We had a bit of a delay, because a recruiter wanted information. I sent him what he initially requested and told him I would be out of the office until Monday, and he kept at me two more times for more, so we were a bit delayed. There was still road construction and bridge work, and all the rest. But we took the Sagamore Bridge (the work is on the Bourne); although it was slow, it wasn’t too bad. The car doesn’t accelerate well (unlike the rabbit, which roars into action more like a lion than a rabbit, even as old as it is). We saw some constructions on the other side of 495, so we plotted an alternate route coming back. The car had Nova Scotia plates, which got us a few looks, since the Canadian border is still closed.

We made good time to the Mass Pike, and took gas for the first time just past Worcester. Honestly, just about anywhere we drove through is somewhere we could live, except for Springfield, which has one of the highest crime rates in the country.

Western Mass was gorgeous – spring is ahead of what it is on Cape. Things are in bloom, and it looked just, just lovely. There was a lot of road work around Lee, so, again, we plotted a different route to head back.

There were a couple of places in Pittsfield – they were okay, but not great. Lack of storage and lack of parking were the big concerns. All smaller spaces than what we live in now, but that’s to be expected, within our budget. One place was proud of its additional security system, which reinforced the feeling that the neighborhood was sketchy. We absolutely loved Williamstown. I’ve always liked Williamstown, but we really loved it. Unfortunately, the place we’re interested in – a loft – well, they haven’t finished building it yet and they already have more than a year’s wait list once they do.

We headed into Bennington, which we absolutely adored. It’s been several years since I’ve been to Bennington, and it’s a great town. The place we looked at was in walking distance of downtown, but in a terrific neighborhood. The place itself was tiny – supposedly 1000 square feet of living space, which meant it’s 2/3 the size of where we live now, but it seemed like maybe half. But charming and workable. Delightful details, lots of storage space in the basement, its own garage, a storage shed with lots of space. A small, screened in back porch. A larger, covered porch in the front. A narrow portico along the side that could be more outdoor living space in the good weather. The next-door neighbor is a delightful older gentleman who loves to decorate. Oil heat, which is a worry. Very little closet space. Each closet has less space than our hall closet.  A stream runs behind the house, which, on the one hand is peaceful, but on the other hand, I worried about flooding, although the landlord says it doesn’t flood. If we lost the car and the books, I’d be devastated. I already lost one car to a flood in Rye. Images of Blind Brook regularly flooding came to mind.

But we could work with that. We liked the landlord. It was a good conversation. We liked the feel of the space. We liked the house’s history – it’s from 1913, with a colorful story. We took a rental application. I explained I wouldn’t be able to get it in until we got home, but we would do so as soon as possible, definitely before I got my second dose vaccine, because I wasn’t sure how long it would take me down. He said he’d be away with his family over the Mother’s Day weekend, so it would be next week before he got to the paperwork anyway.

Of all the places we’ve seen since the beginning of this journey, this is the one we liked best. As with any place, there are compromises. But we could be happy there.

By the time we were done, we didn’t have time to go over to Troy to look at another place we were interested in. I’d had a feeling we wouldn’t make it, so I hadn’t booked an appointment, although if we had had the time, I would have called ahead and seen what we could do. But we were at the end of the day by now, and pretty worn out.

To avoid the traffic, we took Rt. 9 East over to Brattleboro and then 91 down to Springfield. We had hoped to take a look at another duplex, similar in size to this one, in Brattleboro, but hadn’t heard back from the landlord. From there, it was back on the Mass Pike to Sturbridge, to stay at our favorite Publick House, n their funky lodge building.

The Publick House had just opened to guests. In fact, only one lodge was open and running. All the ground floor rooms were booked, so we took one upstairs, which was fine. They warned me that the TV wasn’t working – it was supposed to be, but the company screwed up, as usual. But the internet was. We don’t have cable TV at home, so it didn’t matter. To my dismay, they’d also taken the fridges out of the lodge rooms.

However, we’d packed food in an insulated bag, and it was still cold. There’s no way we’re indoor dining yet. It was a calculated risk to travel even as we did, following safety protocols.

The positive part of the risk was that, once we were off Cape, everyone we encountered followed masking and distancing protocols WITHOUT MAKING A FUSS. Unlike here, where they don’t, and when they’re called out, they pull a Karen.

People were cheerful (from a masked distance) and doing what needed to be done. No fussing. No whining.

So this is what it was like elsewhere in the state during the pandemic? Not the nightmare that was Cape Cod, with reckless tourists coming in, determined to kill us all for their “freedoms”?

I kept hearing stories about how MA residents were being so responsible, and it looks like they were, in other parts of the state. Just not here.  Where too many people don’t give a fuck about anything except tourist dollars.

Anyway, at the Publick House, we unpacked our picnic and had a nice supper (we’d skipped lunch). We sat on our balcony and watched the sunset, with all the flowering trees. It was beautiful and peaceful. It was a lovely little break from all the stress.

We talked about possible ways to arrange things in the little duplex, and what to put in the shed, the basement, the garage, and what we still need to purge. The recruiter from the morning was at me again; but the money is insulting for this job. It’s entry level hourly for what should be a senior level salaried position. No. I told him to withdraw me from consideration. I got a message from another potential client about a second round Zoom meeting for Tuesday morning, to which I agreed, although I worried about aftereffects from the second vaccine dose.

The rent on the duplex is considerably less than what we pay now; it would give us some breathing space. It gives me a chance to settle in with the new script coverage job and see how much steady earning I can get from that, and also add in more clients, while still not being frantic every month. The move itself would be a bigger expense, but because it’s all going to the house instead of to a house and a storage facility, that would help. We could do it.

More importantly, we could be happy there. Even moving during Mercury Retrograde, which beyond terrifies me.

We had a decent night’s sleep (although I found the mattress too soft). We didn’t have to worry because we were the first people to stay in the room for over a year, so they were definitely clean. We saw them loading furniture in one of the other lodges. So they stripped all the rooms during the pandemic?

It was cold enough outside to store our insulated bag on the balcony.

In the morning, we headed down to the bakery. They’d set up the flow of traffic and outside seating area for maximum safety. Everyone followed protocols and no one fussed. We got our coffees; they prepared a lovely assortment of pastries (more than we would have taken). We took it back up to the room and ate on the balcony.

We waited until a little after 9, to avoid rush hour traffic, checked out, and headed back on the pike. Filled up with gas again (really, this little car is not more fuel efficient than the rabbit). The seats in the Spark were uncomfortable, and we were a little sore by now.

But we sailed across the Pike and back onto 495 South. We’d timed it well. We took Rt. 44at Taunton from 495 across to Rt. 3 to miss the road work, then took 3 south down to the Sagamore Bridge, which was a little slow, but not bad. We took 6A from the bridge to home, so we could enjoy the scenery.

We were home a little after noon. We unpacked, to the sounds of chain saws and leaf blowers. We realized we hadn’t heard a single leaf blower in the past 36 hours, no matter where we were. It was the first time we had a break or even a mini vacation since 2019.

We returned the car, and came home. Got the cats sorted; Charlotte was anxious; Willa was unsure and puffy; Tessa was angry. It took awhile to get them sorted out.

Unpacked, did the onboarding for the script coverage job. That took longer than expected. Started the rental application for the duplex.

The landlord here had set up an irrigation system while we were gone, for the resodding, so I got that going, too. It looked dry.

The recruiter with whom I’d had a meeting last week who was so hot to have me meet with a client early next week and promised to set a date by Friday – never got back in touch. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I haven’t met a recruiter in the past ten years who wasn’t a complete and utter waste of space and of my time.

Saturday morning, finished up the rental application, scanned it, and sent off the PDF.

Headed to Mashpee for my second Moderna Dose. It hurt more than the first one, and I was already feeling woozy by the end of the 15 minutes. My mom drove us home.

Even with its problems, our old rabbit feels better than that little Spark!

I didn’t feel too bad initially. Even managed to get the laundry done. The fatigue and the thirst started up fast, though, followed by chills and body aches. I was in bed by early afternoon. I managed to hoist myself out of bed in the late afternoon to water the lawn.

Sunday added fever and swollen lymph nodes and nausea. I was awake for maybe 45 consecutive minutes. I slept and slept and slept. I read a little bit – nothing that was work, just for pleasure. Charlotte and Tessa called a truce, so that Charlotte could come on the bed and play nurse, and even Willa came in to visit occasionally.

Monday, I still felt like hell. I told my client I’d work from home, and that is what I did, off and on. Got everything done and out that needed to go out; I just had to take frequent breaks. It had rained quite a bit Sunday into Monday, so I didn’t have to worry about the lawn.

I also turned around my first coverage for the new job, and accepted two more assignments. I read the second one, and will write up the coverage this morning, and will read the third one later today. I need to make up for the money spent on car rental, gas, and hotel.

Plus, I have a feeling that I need to get our car repaired, and I’m worried that will be a large bill that eats into the moving money.

The landlord brought some people to look around the outside of the house. I don’t know what’s going on there, but I feel even more pressure to get the move sorted out.

There was a rental up in Worcester County that looked good, so I sent off an email. It had an open house last night, but there was no way I felt well enough to go anywhere. It will probably be rented from the open house – it’s a nice space at a good price – but it was worth an email.

We heard from the landlord of the duplex. He’s giving the apartment to someone else – a couple who didn’t even come to see it – they cancelled their appointment to see it on Friday, but they got in their application before we got in ours, so he’s giving it to them. Which is complete and utter b.s. The only reason he would rent to someone he’s never met over someone he has is that he didn’t want to rent to us, and he’d rather rent to someone with more money. We happen to be outstanding tenants. May we find something more suited to us.

To say we are disappointed is an understatement. It had faults, but it had enough positives and was in a good place. However, it’s not meant to be. A good cry, and time to move on.

With the first Moderna dose, I was hungry all the time. Now, I can barely keep food down.

Heard from the landlord that he’s bringing landscapers to look at the outside tomorrow.

Heard from another potential client to whom I’d sent an LOI. They want me to do a 40-minute initial assessment/personality test; if they like it, they want two additional samples. I’m sending them the test agreement this morning, and telling them I can schedule it on Thursday, provided I get the deposit by Wednesday. But if the “personality” segment has anything to do with DISC or Myers-Briggs, they can forget about it. It’ll be another no-go from a not-good match. Read my portfolio samples. Your lack of critical thinking skills is not my problem.

Watched more of WILLIAM AND MARY last night, and went to bed early. Had trouble getting to sleep, but once I did, slept pretty well.

Up around 5:30 this morning, later than usual. Charlotte waiting patiently outside the bedroom, instead of banging on the door and crying the way she usually does. I still feel awful – mostly fatigued and dizzy.

Posting this, then showering and preparing for the Zoom meeting with the potential client. Will work on writing up the coverage and getting it out, reading the next assignment, working on my article, and doing other client work.

I’m feeling absolutely beaten down, but the only thing to do is pick myself up and keep going.

Published in: on May 11, 2021 at 6:21 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 11, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 353 — Vaccine Dose 2 Takes Its Toll  
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Thurs. May 6, 2021: Nurturing Myself, Rather Than Dying For My Employer

image courtesy of Nico Wall via pixabay.com

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Still Dark outside

Yesterday was so stressful that my skull was ready to explode before 10 AM. But we got through it.

Of course, being up since 2:30 in the morning, I was already exhausted by 8. I’d put in a full day, at least mentally and emotionally.

There’s a post up on Gratitude and Growth about how the septic guys evened out, raked, and resodded the back. It’s going to look beautiful. With photos!

And the lilacs will be far enough along this weekend, so I can cut some and enjoy them while I recover from my second vaccine dose.

The septic guys were back early in the morning, right on time, to finish up. Then, at the time I should have left for work, the plumber arrived. Turns out the upstairs toilet needs to be replaced, and a new valve needed to happen in the hot water heater in the basement. We’d shut Willa in my mom’s room and Tessa in my room, which left Charlotte to supervise, and she took her duties seriously. Fortunately, the plumber adored her. He’s another good guy.

Having skilled people who care about their work actually do the work makes a huge difference. They were great, so they didn’t add stress, it was just trying to juggle everything all at once, and keep on top of some appointments I was setting up for today AND get to the site for the client.

I’m riding out that situation for a few more weeks, but it will change. What I do does not have to be done in the office, and the client is trying to change the scope of duties to work I don’t do and don’t want to do. But I’m supposed to be grateful.

On top of that, the client has made decisions on my housing situation that are inappropriate and don’t work for us, but says that I “have no choice.” Um, yeah, I actually do have choices, and choices that don’t involve this client and aren’t the client’s business.

Swung by the grocery store on the way home to pick up a few things for the next few days.

The septic guys were just leaving. The back yard is going to be gorgeous once the grass grows back in.

Remote Chat was fun.

I got some responses from LOIs. Some were “no, thanks” which is fine. One wants me to do a one-way video interview, so that’s a no. Another wants me to write a “case study” for free in the next 48 hours. I’m sending my contract for samples and telling her I can book it next week, provided the deposit arrives in time. And those companies go on my Toxic Company Culture list.

I’m waiting for my first assignment from the new client – hoping I can start next week. Waiting to hear back from a couple of other potential clients from materials I sent them last week and this week. Depending on how a few more pieces play out, I may decide not to go forward with one of them, because there are some red flags that concern me.

I finished the book for review; will write up the review and get it out within the next hour, so I can get assigned the next one.

I’m very, very worried about my car. The last thing I can cope with right now is another major repair. Think good thoughts for me.

There’s stuff going on today and tomorrow that I can’t discuss publicly yet – it’s all good, don’t worry. I hate vague posts, but things are at a delicate stage, and if I talk to early, I’m afraid I’ll crush them. Plus, it might not work out. Then, I can pour out my disappointment and ask for sympathy!

But I won’t be around much today and tomorrow, and I get my second vaccine dose on Saturday, so it’ll be next week before we can thoroughly catch up.

Peace, friends, and hold a good thought for me.

Published in: on May 6, 2021 at 4:54 am  Comments Off on Thurs. May 6, 2021: Nurturing Myself, Rather Than Dying For My Employer  
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Wed. May 5, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 347 — Things Are Shifting

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

There are several irons in the fire, all good. I will share information when I have it. I just don’t want to jinx anything by speaking about it too early!

Yesterday was busy; struggled with my article. It’s just not shaping up the way I’d like. Wasn’t able to get much done on the short story (which needs to be finished this weekend). Got some client work done, got some LOIs out.

Had a Zoom meeting with a potential new client. Actually, it’s a recruiter for a potential new client, so I doubt it will work out, but it was a pleasant enough conversation, and he asked for more samples, which I sent as soon as we were done. He says the client wants to move fast; I explained that I wouldn’t be able to book another meeting until early next week.

Meanwhile, I sorted out appointments for tomorrow – the ones I can’t yet discuss – going back and forth. Might set up another couple of appointments, if I can fit them in.

Working on the book for review. I want to get it finished and the review out tonight.

The script coverage I turned around on Monday was a hit, and the company offered me a long-term, freelance position. It’s under NDA, so I can’t talk about it in detail. The contract’s fine, the money seems decent. Until I actually do a few assignments, I won’t know for sure, but it seems like a steady, fun client. I’ll start either late this week or early next week, and I should have a better sense of them by the end of next week.

I’m having terrible tension headaches, but once things get sorted, I’ll be fine.

Knowledge Unicorns was fine. Everyone just wants to get the school year done, have the summer break, and see where we are in the fall. The kids who are returning to school in person (hopefully) in fall are optimistic that enough people will be vaccinated by then so they can. But there are several families who decided to home school instead.

At the end of the school year, we’ll have a big Zoom call with kids, parents, etc., and see where we are, and what the options are moving forward.

Watched more WILLIAM AND MARY, which is really a lovely show.

Woke up again at 2:30 AM, fretting. Hopefully, once the move is sorted out, I can start sleeping through the nights again. I have to come to terms with the fact that I’ll be moving during Mercury Retrograde. Amongst all the warnings of not making big purchases, not signing contracts, travel plans and electronics all screwing up, retrogrades are also about resolving unresolved issues. The move is an unresolved issue, so getting it done – even with the knowledge that there will be obstacles because of the retrograde – could be a relief.

Because it needs to happen when it needs to happen.

The septic guys worked through yesterday, in spite of the rain. My mom was fascinated, and to be honest, it was rather like a beautiful ballet. The amount of trust between the guy working in the pit and the guy manning the earth mover, a literal ton of machinery just inches from him, was amazing.

They finished the big leech pit taking up most of the meadow and started filling it in. There’s still more to do, but I bet they finish it today.

I did a curbside pickup at the library and had a good, socially-distant conversation catch-up with one of my librarian pals. She feels the same as I do – the lack of transition. We’re being pushed into reopening without any thought for how hard most of us have worked through the pandemic. This attitude that we’ve all been on vacation for the past year is insulting.

I had to book some things online this morning, pay some bills, and then I’ll head out to the client’s office. I know she’ll nag at me with her demands of where I should move and how we should give up the cats and throw away all our stuff. I’m hoping to just nod and smile and ignore her. We will make the best decisions for US, not for someone else’s convenience.

The lilacs are starting to bloom. I might be able to put a vase of them by my bed this weekend, as I recover from the second vaccine dose.

Onward, stressful soldiers!

Tues. May 4, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 346 — Digging

photo by Devon Ellington

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Rainy and cool

I’m in a rocky period, and that’s the way it’s going to be for this next stretch. I have to figure out how to navigate it without killing myself.

Friday was a mix of frustrations. I managed to get some client work done really, really early to hand it off to the person who needed it, getting in early rather than waiting until this week. And then THAT person went and took credit for the work I’d done both Thursday and Friday. So there’s some clarification that needs to happen next week.

Friday was a bit of a fractured workday, although I managed to do a curbside pickup at the library. I’m stressed with most of my cookbooks packed, so I ordered more cookbooks from the library as a soothing agent.

Got a stack of LOIs out. Prepped for a late afternoon meeting. It was a video call, so that meant choosing the wardrobe, doing the makeup, fixing the lighting, checking to make sure the background wasn’t full of boxes.

I woke up on Saturday morning, filled to the brim with stress and rage.

I worked hard to let go of it – it was a gorgeous day outside. I did an early morning grocery run, got the laundry and the housework done, worked on the paperwork for the contest (I finished the third category), and then decided to give myself a day off. I’m completely cooked, and I am making myself ill. I read a book, I played with the cats, I sat outside on the deck and enjoyed myself.

It was Beltane, and I did a ritual. Let’s hope things are moving in the right direction.

The Kentucky Derby was in the evening. I was disgusted to see how many flouted the masking protocols and ignored social distancing. They should have all been removed.

King Fury was scratched, so he wasn’t part of my picks, poor baby. I didn’t actually bet this year, even online. With the move coming up, betting is an unnecessary expense, and, frankly, I didn’t put in enough work to make it worthwhile. Plus, it’s not the Derby where one makes money; it’s the undercard, and I certainly didn’t put in the work to bet on that.

I stuck with my choices of Midnight Bourbon as my first choice, then Essential Quality, Hot Rod Charlie, and Soup and Sandwich as my long shot. Had I bet, I would have put the first three across the board and Soup and Sandwich to Show.

The winner was Medina Spirit, who ran a beautiful, wire to wire race. Mandaloun came in second, very close, with Hot Rod Charlie third and Essential Quality fourth. Midnight Bourbon was sixth – I don’t know what was wrong with him today, he just didn’t show up. Soup and Sandwich has a good start, but faded to finish last, poor thing.

So I’m glad I didn’t bet! I would have only won a few bucks on Hot Rod Charlie.

I had good early morning writing sessions Saturday and Sunday. Sticking to writing first thing in the morning helps keep the rest of the day grounded. I’m going to work hard not to self-sabotage on that front.

Finished the decisions on the winners and the finalists for the contest on Saturday and sent them off. On Sunday, I received invoicing instructions, sent off the invoice first thing Monday and was paid immediately.

Sunday, I also read a book for review, sent off the review and the invoice from the last batch. Again, first thing Monday, I was paid. That’s how it should be!

Found some interesting listings for rentals on Sunday, and sent off a few emails. Heard back yesterday morning from the one I really, really liked, so I’m hoping we can set up a time for me to head up there to see it, although it’s a bit of a hike.

Got a little bit of packing done, but not enough. If we knew where we were going, it would be easier.

photo by Devon Ellington

Monday morning, we were up early to eat, do the dishes, clean the litter boxes, etc., before the septic people arrived. They were here on time, and very, very nice. And efficient.

I managed to get some LOIs out before I headed to the client’s. Unfortunately, the water needed to be turned off at the house while I was gone, and the landlord came in to do it. I was embarrassed that he came in among the moving chaos. I’ve got things spread out and boxes everywhere and it’s a mess.

My client figured out that I’m having a moving situation going on, and immediately started giving me advice – that serves her, not me. This is one reason I didn’t want to discuss it with her until I had more tangibles. It’s going to be a nightmare for the next few weeks until things get sorted out, with her trying to “fix” things so it suits her, and not what we need. I should have just lied, but I didn’t.

Got an interview request from another LOI. At first, I set it up for later this week, but then I moved it to this afternoon – another end of day interview, which I’m not thrilled about, but if we’re going to look at rentals toward the end of the week, before my vaccine on Saturday, I needed it to happen sooner rather than later.

Turned around a script coverage piece. If this company likes me, they might throw me some more work here and there. I loved the piece I read; if that’s an indication of the quality they get in, it will be a joyful job. But what I have to say might not be what they want to hear. Still, I had to give notes that I felt best fit the piece.

The backyard is quite in tumult. The septic guys will be back today, and maybe finish by Thursday. Che Guevara Chipmunk sat on the deck steps in the late afternoon, looking absolutely devasted (although his actual home, in the bushes, is fine). I felt awful for upsetting the chipmunk.

Absolutely shattered by the end of the day. Fish and chips were as fancy as I could manage.

We watched some more of WILLIAM AND MARY, which is so well-written. Martin Clunes and Julie Graham are wonderful, and the supporting cast is great, too.

The June issue of THE WRITER arrived on Saturday, with my article in it on “Food Sensuality in Fiction.” I scanned the pages (although I had computer issues – my curser and trackpad aren’t always working properly and letting me use the keyboard). But I got it scanned, and I sent the PDFs out to the authors who were included. They were all really pleased with the way the article came out, and I’m so grateful to them for their quotes.

I love writing pieces like this, and I hope I get to do more.

Decent, but not brilliant first writing sessions yesterday and today.  Today, I’ve got some remote client work, an article to finish, a short story to work on, and a book to turn around fast for review. My editor’s been so great since I started working for the publication; no one wanted to read/review this book, and it needs to be done quickly, so I said sure. It’s definitely got some challenges. But I want to be fair and give it a helpful, not a harmful review, while still being honest.

CAPE COD TIMES ran an article about how Cape Cod businesses can’t find enough workers for summer tourism season. Hmm, let’s see, people are refusing to work in dangerous conditions for crap wages? Good. Of course, the paper frames it as “lazy people making more on unemployment.” Hey, assholes, if they’re making more on unemployment, the job was crap anyway. They did point out that there aren’t enough of the visa workers who come in from other countries for the summer season. Again, these are people who work for subpar wages. They compete for housing with people who live here year-round. And the article barely touched on the fact that the lack of housing is a crisis. The ratio of actual pay to the cost of housing is completely out of whack. As usual, it was right-leaning whining, instead of actual journalism. Typical of this area.

It rained overnight, so the backyard is now a mud bath.

Should be interesting.

photo by Devon Ellington

Published in: on May 4, 2021 at 5:38 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 4, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 346 — Digging  
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