Yesterday, a friend in an online writing community noted that I hadn’t blogged in a couple weeks.
Have you noticed? There aint no formula for juggling all the stuff in our lives. I feel like I ought to tell y’all why I’ve been away. Like submitting a report to a boss or something. Here are some of my goals outside of blogging which have been keeping me from it:
There have been creative things. The biggest of which was completing a series of pieces for an exhibition which opened this past Sunday. The show is running on autopilot, so I’m over the hump on this one. [Btw, the copper-clad, taxidermied bear was a huge hit.]
There have been business-related things: auctions, a ton of Ebay listing, and prep for the massive biannual show at our antique space down in Columbus. All the green tags are up and the stuff is selling like mad. This creates the need for regular trips to keep it fully stocked and maintained. The pressure will let off a bit when the sale ends this coming Sunday. Until then, the goal is to sell a ton of shit.
Ahhh, intellectual things. Catching up on some reading and helping a bud with his college Stats class. I know some folks may vomit at this statement, but…
I ❤ math.
Even though I never took a Stats class, I dig it. Part of the reason I like this task is because I’m only functioning in the role of tutor. The final grade isn’t up to me. I just get to assist, make observations & suggestions, guide the guy through the process and try to help him understand the concepts. He has failed this class twice already and it is the last monster keeping him from his degree. Once it’s slain, he’s got an easy ride. My goal is to help him skewer it. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot of concepts on number-crunching and have memorized the algorithm for Sample Standard Deviation. [It’s that lovely image serving as the intro to this post.]
As for writing, I’m continuing to hammer away at Phreak Show. Somewhere along the way I got a wild hair to check out paying markets for short stories & flash fiction. So, there has been a lot of editing of existing pieces and the creation of some new ones. The first batch goes out next week. My goal is to complete Phreak Show by March and have some shorter works out fighting for their right to be published.
Then there’s this: I start my new job this coming Monday.
The antiques business is a lot like gambling or playing the stock market. There are wins and there are losses, peaks and valleys. Expenses drop in massive chunks, then profits roll back in unpredictable waves. It’s cyclical. Feast or famine. All that. So, to augment that fluctuating income, I’m getting a day job.
Now, the search for this began 12/31. Part of the looking back at last year and moving forward, what do I want to accomplish this year process. A piece of that is knocking down some debt and doing some travelling. A solid way to make that happen is to have a steady, reliable income so I can set a monthly budget and plan ahead. [Which is kind of fun in and of itself. I ❤ math, remember?]
If I was keen on being a Truck Driver, an assembly line worker, or a CNA – I’d have no trouble finding a job. Those are just not my jam. There are more *interesting* job titles out there, but they’re not quite what I’m looking for either. Here are a few available positions from today’s feed:
“Swine Baby Pig Attendant”
“Special Agent (Cyber Crimes)”
My job title sounds pretty banal. I snagged an entry-level position as a Customer Care Representative just a short drive from home. You know the guy [or gal] that answers the phone when you call your cell company to ask about issues with your bill? Yeah, that. The position doesn’t use much math. It doesn’t tap into my years of management, payroll & human resources experience. As far as I can tell, I won’t touch a single spreadsheet. [Sadface.] The pay is, uhh, mediocre. But it will be steady money rolling in. The culture of the place seems very employee-friendly and I’ll only be dealing with inbound calls–not outbound telemarketing–so that’s a plus.
It’s all about the goals.
See, I like having a carrot to chase after. And there are solid opportunities to move up within the company. So, while I’m correcting billing mistakes and explaining why a client received Canadian Roaming Charges, I’ll be striving to be the best damn Customer Care Rep I can. Hitting the quality metrics. Making folks happy. Being a team member who’s pulling his own weight. Basically, excelling so I can move up one rung at a time. It’s happened in every job I’ve previously held and I plan to do it again. Supervisor in 6 months? We’ll see.
So, dearest-bosses-I-love, that’s my report on what I’ve been up to and some of the goals staring me in the face. I’ll do my best to be a better blogger boy. I’m still working out the algorithm for squeezing all these variables into my life. I’ll keep plugging in data and simplifying until I reach a solution. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to set some goals of your own. The final grade’s yours, not mine. It’s all on you. Consider this post a kick-in-the-rump tutoring session.
Whatever those goals of yours are: Quit stalling and make them happen. There aint no formula, but you can plug the data into your made-up one until an answer comes.
And if anyone lands the Swine Baby Pig Attendant position, send pics.
And (later) bacon.