I have been doing unpaid work for a year now. For most of that time, my people have found this to be quite useful. I organized two moves in one year, I make a lot of customized meals for some VERY high-maintenance dietary regimens, and I serve as the Durable Power of Attorney for my 74 year-old mother, who suffers from dementia.
BONUS PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: I always think “parenthetical” is spelled with TWO A’s at the beginning. But that is not really my parEnthetical thought. Here’s the real one:
For all women who perseverate about their unclean/unorganized/multiple-things-need-fixing homes because they are working full-time for money and never have any time to clean/organize/fix, I have only this to say: STOP WORRYING.
The only people who can possibly keep stainless steel polished, stove tops wiped, countertop appliances spotless, sides of major appliances dripless, inside kitchen drawers crumbless, cabinet faces unsticky, kitchen floors swept and mopped, wood furniture dusted, sheets changed regularly, laundry done before people run out of underwear, floors/carpets/underneath-couch-cushions/upstairs carpet/stairs vacuumed, pantries organized, toilets cleaned, showers/tubs scrubbed and bathroom counters presentable for company, are people who are looking for work or people BEING PAID TO CLEAN YOUR HOUSE. So, please, cut yourself some major slack. It is A LOT of fucking work and it took me forever to do when I was working part-time. And when I say, “took forever to do,” I mean I finally did it when we had to sell our house in a hurry.
So, yeah. I’ve been busy. While simultaneously not being paid.
It’s a funny business being unpaid, especially when the unemployment rate is at 3-4% and tech workers are in great need. This tends to make me feel like A#1 Loser and/or A#2 Very Old. Let’s face it: tech is a young, white male business and who’s gonna want 51 year-old me when 28 year old Katherine is out there for your technical writing needs. Also, 28 year-old Katherine is not charging as much as I am. WHICH IS ANOTHER THING.
Pay here sucks. TERRIBLE. I’ve been horrified by hourly rates offered to contract tech writers. I kinda thought, with all the PDX hullabaloo, that rates would be like Boston pay. Not_even_close. That’s what happens when a C-level city becomes a perceived A-level city: real estate prices go up, but pay/infrastructure takes years to catch up.
The point? In order to NOT feel like a loser (’cause I’m not) or old (’cause even though I’ve been looking forward to my Sports Medicine doctor appointment for WEEKS, so the cause of my searing shoulder pain can be diagnosed, 50 is STILL the new 40), I tend to focus instead on What the Universe Is Trying to Tell Me.
My children recently told me that I “do everything” (except bring in funds). Should I market my “do everything” services? First of all: everyone will think I’m a hooker. Also, people will want someone cheaper, who does not have a college education, a 2-year professional certificate in computer programming and 8+ years of technical writing experience who GRADUATED MAGNA CUM LAUDE FROM A PLAYBOY TOP 10 PARTY SCHOOL. That is usually the first sentence I write in my cover letters, which may be part of my paid-work-getting problem.
I thought about selling my organizing services again. I’m a natural organizer. My mom once told me I organized my umbilical cord and the placenta in the womb. The problem is, you think you’ll be organizing — say — someone like your best friend’s office, when — in fact — it’s an out-of-town family that needs you to purge their mom slash hoarder’s basement that smells like cat shit.
THEN … it struck me: I hate people; my fantasy diet would consist of coffee all morning, a bowl of popcorn for lunch and then potato vodka come evening; I love spending time alone; and — I am 100%, completely, disgustingly self-absorbed. It’s so obvious: I AM A MAN! Just kidding! I’m a fucking writer!
WRITE. That’s what I’m gonna do. EVEN THOUGH it is not making me money. If no one is going to pay me to be a technical writer (who is skilled, conscientious and capable), then I’m gonna WRITE for free. Which is what I did with this blog post. You’re welcome!
Look! A picture of Trumpy, PRE-Penisdent, with my thoughts in his head:
Categories: general humor