Thursday, May 12, 2011

Daily Report: Right Idea Wrong Spot

I got a bunch more "failure notice" e-mails in the spam folder of my Yahoo e-mail account, meaning that another batch of click-to-get-the-virus e-mails were sent out in my name. I can say with complete certainty that my e-mail address has not been hacked further: I deleted all 700 entries in my address book after the first incident. The e-mails being sent now are coming from a source other than my own account — they only have my name on it (and thus return to me from the vacuum of cyberspace when they are undeliverable).

I put in a test "job application" for a job advertised on The job was so much tailored to my skill set that the company posting the job might as well have just written, "Wanted: One Jil Wrinkle with 5 years of Jil Wrinkle experience. Must be a Jil Wrinkle kind of person, able to work Jil Wrinkle hours. Knowledge of Jil Wrinkle a bonus but not necessary." I wrote a kick-ass introduction and offered to do the job for $15 per hour. The rejection letter came back a few hours later: Price quoted was too high.

Screw that, man. I used to do the same work for $30 per hour. Back in 1999, when I first had an interest in moving out of New York, I looked around Austin, Texas, for job opportunities and the agencies there were only paying $15 per hour for that work (thus the reason I quoted $15 per hour for this job 10 years later). That low hourly rate in Austin was one of the reasons I stayed on in NYC for another 3 years.

So far, my experiment with oDesk's online contract work world has yielded me one e-mail hacking and the realization that in that world, $15 per hour is too much money for a "Photoshop/CorelDraw/PowerPoint expert with at least 5 years of experience."

On a whim, I called up one of my old agencies in New York City to see what their job market and salaries were like... to see if this "$15 is expensive" bullshit was actually the case. They didn't have as much work as they used to, but they were still paying the same rates as they were 10 years ago: $30 per hour. I chatted with my old recruiter from the 1990s for about 20 minutes.

On a second whim, I asked him if he was willing to set me up with some telecommuting work from his New York City clients. Amazingly, he said that might be a possibility.

On a third whim, I asked him what the possibility was of sending that work all the way over to my beach house in The Philippines, as compared to Florida. He said it was about the same possibility as sending the work to Florida. Wow. That really raised my eyebrows. (I probably wouldn't make that move — as I mentioned the other day — but the blithe manner in which he "no problem'ed" it was more than encouraging.)

He e-mailed me a copy of my old resumé he still had on file and I updated it and e-mailed it back to him. I don't know if it will lead to actual work, or how much, but the possibility of getting my old New York City contract work over the internet: that's about as good as I can hope for.

My new exercise bike arrived today. I got it for $200 on and it was exactly what I wanted: A recumbent bike that I could sit back and ride for a couple of hours in front of my TV and laptop, with an icy diet soda on the table next to me, and air conditioning blowing on me. (Check out the video below. It looks like somebody had a similar idea. To bad that wouldn't work with my job: I do need my feet to work the foot pedal when I transcribe.)

The grass/weeds project is coming along nicely. Uncle Bob says it is a bit of a waste of time because next month the rainy season will start and the grass will be growing nicely then if I would be willing to wait for it. Oh well: I want my weedy-grass turf covering now. Besides, I'm beginning to discover that my daily 10 minutes taking care of the weeds (and flowers and bushes) is something enjoyable. It was a damn nuisance when I first started it, but it's becoming more relaxing now that I just meander around the yard spraying with the hose instead of lugging and lifting a heavy watering can back and forth. It's like the exercise bike above: Once I find ways to make something enjoyable, I... well... I enjoy it. Duh.

I baked some leftover fish for supper. The freezer is almost empty. All that I have left now are pork chops and frozen green beans. If anybody out there finds a meal of pork chops and green beans appealing, give me a call and I'll have you over for dinner.

No comments: