Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Working For a Living...

So, what the devil have I been up to? Well, working - and doing a ton of it.

Back in October I was offered a neat little freelance project. It was doing some work that I knew something about, but an aspect of the job that I never actually done before. I was hired on by someone I knew at a local college. It’s the same place where I take classes whenever I can, and they like to use students; so, even though I am sure there are people who are more qualified to do the work, I got asked to do it. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I have worked many times with the gentleman who was head of this project, so he knows me and he knows my work.) I had a great time on it, appreciated the extra money, and was eternally grateful to my friend Shelly who had suggested me. And when all was said and done I thought, “Well, that was fun, I probably won’t be doing any more of that for awhile.”

Then, in December, I got another call. Another manager (same college) called me and said he’d heard I’d worked on the other project. He wondered if I could help him out. I said yes and that project got under way in January and should be wrapped up sometime next week.

But then, I got another call...

It was the first gentleman again. This time he wasn’t working for the college, he was working for an independent group and had hired someone else... who had just quit on him. It turns out that the Pro that he had hired, who I know quite well (we’ll call her Kelsey) had just found out that someone very close to her has a fairly severe medical condition. Kelsey wanted to take time out to care for them and couldn’t do that and the freelance work. So, the question was, would I do it?

The “exciting” part about all this was that my college freelance project and Kelsey’s project coincided. They completely overlap. I talked about this with the manager, but we decided that since neither project was huge, I could treat both projects like one big one and just work on them both at the same time.

Now, don’t forget, all of this is going on while I still have a full time job and I volunteer on a regular basis, but the good thing about it is that the work can be done on in my free time. I can work on it on my lunch hours and after work. I can squeeze things in here and there and get a lot done that way. The hard thing though was that right in the middle of it, my part time job needed me for a week! A typical day looked like this:

6:50 a.m. - get up, get ready, be at “real” job by 9:00 a.m.

1:00 p.m. - leave job (I took 1/2 day of vacation time all week.)

Spend one hour either running errands for freelance work or working on building things for it.

2:30ish - Take a nap.

3:30 - Get up, eat dinner

4:30 - Be ready to go work at part time job

11:30 to Midnight - Get home, relax for a few minutes, then go to bed and be ready to get up and start it all over again.

Am I crazy? Maybe. But I can’t shake this feeling that my life arranged itself so that I could step in and help Kelsey just when she needed it. If I hadn’t done that first show in October or if I hadn’t accepted the second one in December, I wouldn’t have been ready to pick up her work and pitch in.

Plus, don’t get me wrong, there is a financial benefit to me as well. I will be paid for my work, and I don’t have kids or a spouse so having a few weeks of chaos really isn’t the end of the world. If I can make a good living and help someone out at the same time, you know I’ll do it.

...oh, and did I mention that another manager called me to fill in for Kelsey for her work in April?

Photo by: The Tim
Via flickr

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