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OK, I'm out of materials for the Census, and haven't heard back from my bosses at BRCF so I don't have anything to edit either, so I'm going to catch up on blogging instead!

Yesterday was pretty fun. The day pretty much went pancakes - ringing - barbecue - more ringing.

Ringing pt. 1 was at Old North, and featured meeting various and assorted visiting ringers I hadn't met before/occasional ringers I see once in a blue moon. I tore out of there five minutes early, hauled butt to the train station and caught my usual train home,* and then NOT usually retrieved my car and picked up [personal profile] nineweaving, then slavishly followed Siri's directions out to [personal profile] sovay's parents' house for the annual ice cream churning and Grill All The Things. Neither of these exactly went as usual: they have a new ice cream maker (much needed), but the vendor had sent S's Mom a motor instead of a crank, so we just sort of sat on the stoop and watched the motor make the ice cream. And then we decided we were too hot (and/or too busy juggling toddlers) to grill, so we just did hamburgers and such in the oven. But a good time was still had.

I ducked out early from this as well to haul my butt BACK downtown for the annual rite of providing the bells for the 1812 Overture on the Esplanade.** Being me, I arrived waaayyy too early, and so hung out with people (inc. even MORE ringers I'd never met) and watched them eat dinner, since post barbecue I was mostly too full for the various yummy things that people had brought for the (equally traditional) picnic in the church courtyard.
Then ringing happened. [profile] lauradi got a video if anyone's interested, which features decent ringing and me looking emaciated. Apparently I need to eat more, despite my All The Muffins diet and effectively eating dinner twice that day.

The fireworks were pretty awesome, even without the bit where I think they were trying to reproduce the shape of the continental US in FIRE.

* Incidentally: a vote of thanks to the MBTA and all of their employees and assorted auxiliary people who did sterling work to public transit moving through a federal holiday.

** CotA is a couple of blocks away, and so we'd be audible from there if it weren't for all the soundproofing. BECAUSE of the soundproofing, there've been microphones permanently installed in the bell chamber since 1976.

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There's a contra dance in Cambridge tonight, and I'm just not feelin' it. Which is a pity, since (a) I think practically every bellringer under 30 is going, and (b) this is very possibly going to be my last opportunity til sometime in September.

ETA: Subsequently fell down an internet rabbit hole, and now I hate all the political parties of England AND France, and most shades of political opinion in the US, too.
Remind me never to go on Facebook again unless it's absolutely the only way to coordinate something important. (Though "looking up stuff on random bits of Anglo-Saxon history" was also a contributing factor, so maybe I need to just never go on the internet again.)
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SooOOoo... a solid week ago I got this new job. And I thought my problems were over.

Guess what? They're not. Read more... )
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OK, well, I should be putting an Arisia proposal together right now. Well, TECHNICALLY I said I was going to do my Census post-class self-study today, so I should be doing that, but for reasons that will become clear in a few moments, Fuck That.

Sooo... the week before last, I think it was, I applied for a job as a...junior researcher, I think it was, at [Boston Research Consulting Firm]. VERY unusually, from my experience, the department head subsequently got back in touch, albeit mainly to tell me that I was horribly overqualified. (Which was possibly true, but a) I'm switching careers, kinda, so that's expected, and b) Hey, it's a job.) Usually, even if they DO get in touch to tell you you're overqualified, that's the end of it, and you're left feeling like "Well, fuck." In THIS case, though, he said he was going to forward my résumé on to Matt, the head of their Editorial department, because they might have some freelance editorial work down the line. And that could STILL have been the end of it, but Matt actually DID email me, to say "...please let me know your bandwidth (how many hours a week you would be available to edit our research content) and let’s set up a time to talk." So I write back, and then don't hear from him for over a week, while I sit around wondering what the heck has happened THIS time.

On Wednesday, after asking myself What Would My Dad Do?, I took a moment before Census training and called Matt's number to ask more or less exactly that question, and in due course we set up an appointment for this morning.*


So I get there--it's the fifth floor in a faceless office park in Waltham--and have to wait a bit, and then meet Matt and get ushered into a conference room: all of which was expected. And THEN we spend like fifteen minutes chatting about German History--which was definitely NOT--before we get down to the nitty gritty of what the job entails. As I had expected, it was going to be more of what I've been doing for [cheapskate client in Germany], namely taking stuff written by experts and editing it so it's actually decent prose.
What I had NOT been assuming was an on-the-spot job offer.

And then came the moment I had been hoping wouldn't happen. "So what do you think would be a reasonable starting rate?" he asked.

Oh Shit. I mean, I know I've been horribly underpaid in the past, but this is a potentially globalized field, and I don't want to get to greedy, because I REALLY want this job...

"Let's start me at $15?"

Matt actually laughed in my face.** "Well, I'd LIKE to employ you at that rate--or at any rate my bosses would..."
"What can I say, I've been really underpaid!"
Anyway, I somehow managed to recover from this screw-up,*** and we agreed that I should start at their standard starting rate for editors.

...which is $45 per hour.

Pause to let that sink in.
I'm going to be working part time, but still.

I guess I should have learned from Harvard Business School that any time you add the word "business" to a job description, they jack up the salary.

* At this point in writing this, I took a pause to go look at what was probably a juvenile bald eagle, sitting on a tree about fifty yards down the shore. As you can guess from the preceding, I'm in Maine again.

** You probably just did too, given that $15 was what we figured MRE should have been paying me, and this is a much more highly-skilled job. (Though it's also a much more pleasant one, and you can't outsource [University]'s mailroom work to someone with good English in Mumbai.) What can I say, I panicked. Fortunately, [see above]

*** I should perhaps note at this juncture that Matt is yet another person who got a PhD but then decided he didn't want to teach, AND got it in German studies, so PART of all this was that he took pity on my post-academic floundering.
That sounds more self-pitying than I feel, I guess: the OTHER part is that I'm hella good at editing papers in questionable English, and amply demonstrated that I'm experienced in the same in the course of the interview.
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Yoiks. I never posted about LAST weekend (well, the non-theater bits),* and now I'm headed for Maine again.

Well, as soon as I get this job interview done.

* The fact that the ten-foot long fast sketch artwork has been riding around in my car all week pretty much says it all.

ETA: OK, that was one of the most wtf job interviews I've ever had.
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OK. So, while it's somewhat fresh in my mind, I should write up a quick review of the play I saw on riday night, namely

"I'd tell you to tell more people to come," the stage manager told the audience at the end of the show, "but our last performance is tomorrow, and we're sold out already." So I will tell you: go see this show when they do it again, in Summer Stock or at Portland Stage or wherever. Badger people to bring it to Boston, to Chicago, to the up-and-coming theater in the suburbs or the new performance space that just opened or the outdoor theater festival. Go see it, when- and wherever it goes up again.
This was an incredible experience.

Footnotes. )
choco_frosh: Bede, from a MS in Benediktbeuern or someplace (baeda)
1. I've realized what the worst thing for productivity is, where job applications are concerned.

It's not trying to map the lost wetlands and burhs and shires of Anglo-Saxon England. It's not listening to Ursula talk about masturbating cats and her IUD. It's not snacks or books or chores or a caffeine habit.

It's when someone is supposed to be contacting you about a job interview for something that might actually pay the bills, but hasn't bloody done so yet.

Arrrggh. (tears metaphorical hair.)

2. Yes, the city did-- eventually--come remove the half a tree that was leaning against my window. No, nothing else seems to have broken in the process, so the only apparent casualty is one of my screens, which my landlady has promised to replace.

3. Yes, I did get my car into the mechanic this morning. The check engine light had--inevitably--turned itself off the moment I made the appointment, but they did put a patch on my muffler and replaced all the [untranslatable mechanic-speak], which they assured me would make a big difference.
And replaced a busted tail light that I'd failed to notice, which would have been the thing that would ACTUALLY have got me into trouble.

The rust was apparently nothing that was going to make my car fail inspection, but just to be on the safe side, I had them do one a month early. So now it's all inspection-stickered and stuff.
I must say, though, it's a bit disconcerting when you can remove bits of your car with your fingernails...

4. Jheesh, what is with me and the MBTA this week? The subway was massively and inexplicably delayed each of the last two days, and today it's apparently the commuter rail's turn.

Sent from my iPhone
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It is way too bloody hot. "OK, Hell has officially frozen over," I told my barrista. "I'm getting an iced coffee." ("I think the problem is actually the other way around," was her reply.)
So while I did actually get myself to go running this morning (ugh!), I am abandoning plans to take the train and walk across Boston for my thing this evening. Air conditioned T, all the way.

Meantime, everybody remind me that TOMORROW I need to actually get my car to the mechanic. And NOT blow the entire morning modding maps of AU 10th-century England.
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I always forget how much the heat saps my sense of motivation.

Ah well. Got sworn in for the Census this morning, and apparently [company] potentially wants me to edit stuff for them, so I'm going to call today a win on the job front, even if I didn't get much of anything else done.
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- I should look up the details on the U.K. election results, though from what I'm hearing, it doesn't sound like anyone here is going to like them much...
- Related: qotd from someone here in Boston: "Remind me never to go to a casino with a Tory MP."

- Broke down and actually BOUGHT A Closed and Common Orbit Thursday; have spent waayy too much of the intervening time reading it.

- I seem to have found someone to replace one of the bell parts at Church of the Advent, which is good. I seem to have been suckered into helping him make it, which is less good, especially since I haven't done woodworking since I was, ooo, 12.
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Maybe I'll hit the Blue Hills this weekend.
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And of course, having given up on the Census, they called me today. So: yay employment! albeit part-time, temporary, mostly-at-inconvenient-hours employment starting (functionally) the week after next. So I should keep on with job applications and stuff, groan.
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OK, time to buckle down and do job applications. (The post-Mailroom euphoria has evaporated, due to the contemplation of my lack of income and structure. Seriously, I always forget how huge that last one is. Either that, or I need to find a career designing anachronistic architecture. And I'm pretty sure those don't exist.)

Also being reminded of the fact that job applicating tends to turn into a giant "WHO can write the best cover letter?" contest. And of how much I hate that fact.
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Today, I am reflecting on paradoxes, and on some minor fails on my part.
(Well, also the weekend. Mostly the weekend, actually.)
Read more... )
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Today I took most of the day off from work, in favor of getting a tour around Harvard Business School from an acquaintance I know who works there. (I keep writing them job applications, since they will give you lots of money to assist with research projects, and they DO have a history of hiring Humanities majors for the purpose.*)

Sovay, we said Hi to Tethys for you.

(Whoops, more on this later: I need to run out the door.)
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No contra dance tonight. bother.
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How much does it cost to fix an iPhone screen? Like, does taking it to a non-licensed repair shop work?
choco_frosh: Konstanz, imaginary depiction in a map of the Swabian War, 1500 (Costenitz)
Various work-related $#!7:

Fustest: So my boss, after I'd told him I was leaving at some point in the near future, asked me to write out a letter of resignation, because the higher-ups had been asking for one; and so I did, but didn't specify an end date.
Allegedly, since that was the case, they are simply going to PICK my end date, based on when we get my replacement adequately trained. So I could be out of a job as early as next Friday.

The fact that I find it plausible either that my supervisor is screwing me over OR that the upper management of MRE are being a bunch of callous, shooting-themselves-in-the-foot cheese-parers is one more reason why I need to get out of this job.

As D. at bellringing last night put it: "I mean, it's good that you're finally getting out of there! But money is good too."
(Everyone at practice expressed congratulations that I was finally leaving this job. I guess I may have been bitching about it a bit. I guess they thought the bitching was deserved.)

But yeah. Unemployed in the near future. And...

2. I thought I was being hired by the Census. They're not replying to my emails, though.

3. On the other hand, it's a three-day weekend. Or, well, 3+ days, since [University]'s closing at 2 tomorrow.* And nothing planned on Saturday, 'cause practice got cancelled due to practically every ringer in the area road-tripping to Quebec. Anybody want to do a thing?

(Friday afternoon is going to be catch up on chores and make a strawberry-rhubarb crumble, unless somebody talks me into doing something more exciting. Sunday, of course, is choir followed by more choir followed by ringing followed by more ringing followed by Fall Over. Followed by contradancing. Monday, who knows?

More Later.

PS: Everyone remind me that I need to check twiddle pins!

* 3a. Supervisor, in one of his many questionable moves, is actually giving several people the ENTIRE day off; I volunteered to be the one to come in so as to have some leverage for taking half a day off NEXT week, to meet a friend of [personal profile] sovay's at his (ridiculously well-funded research-based) place of employment, in the hopes that having some of the people there actually know my face will increase my odds of getting hired there at some point...
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Oh, and: Sunday afternoon, wound up playing some bizarre Finnish analog of bocce called ?moelkky with a bunch of neighbors I'd never met before.
Just thought that was worth commemorating.
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Reading List:

Paper Girls
Left Hand of Darkness
Last Things, Marissa Moss


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