22. August 2008 · Comments Off on An Arthurs Life · Categories: Domestic, General, History, Veteran's Affairs, Working In A Salt Mine..., World

I worked at home entirely today, for almost the first time since the beginning of the month. Was that only three weeks ago? Guess it was. Time does fly, when you are having fun. Or working your ass off.

I had to face the inevitable evil and go back to work for a corporate giant – but only part-time, and only for as long as it takes for assorted writing projects to begin bearing fruit. Not all of those writing projects are my own – that is to say, my “Truckee Trail” book and the “Adelsverein Trilogy” in which I repose so much hope. I have also begun working on various projects for the proprietor of a local publishing company. She is a lady of certain years and considerable skills as an editor, locally very well connected… but of an age to where a bit of slowing down is expected and encouraged. Her dearly beloved husband died in March, about two weeks before my friend Dave the Computer Genius, whose client she also was. Dave was always on about how I should connect up with her, as we had so many interests in common and so many complimentary skills. He had an appointment with her the very week that he passed on himself, and had promised that he would set up a meeting of sorts for the two of us. Of course, such a meeting did not happen at that time, and perhaps it was for the best.

I finally took it up when I began looking for regular and reliably-paying employment again, and called her. We hit it off, and I am accepted more or less joyfully as a fellow scribbler… but I have to generate some business first. And come up with some ideas for a redesign of the website. And figure out some marketing strategies. And show her how to download attachments into a file… The nice thing about working for her is that I can do most of this at home. If things come about as we both hope, I will be able to do research and writing on various of her company projects as will pay as much per hour or more as the Reliable Corporate Entity.

Ah, yes, the Reliable Corporate Entity. I will say no names, although anyone so inclined and with specific or local knowledge can probably make an accurate guess. It’s a call center, within a short distance of Chez Sgt. Mom, which pays a fairly acceptable hourly wage for reliable workers. Of course, they are generous about considering employing anyone warm, breathing and able to speak more or less coherently, which assures an eclectic assembly in the company break room at any hour of the day or night. The varied range across socioeconomic, and ethnic classes within in the employee force, is of such breadth as I have not encountered since basic military training. That particular experience was limited only to those within a certain age and fitness capability – the Reliable Corporate Entity provides a much broader spectrum of humanity; reentering housewives, laid-off corporate drones, feckless college students, wastrels of every conceivable stripe, a fair sprinkling of military veterans of every possible vintage, bored senior citizens, single parents (an astonishingly large number of them, actually) in search of flexible hours and a salary which is several degrees above minimum wage and in a safe neighborhood.

We take incoming calls for hotel reservations – which is not too bad, as these things go. The clients are happy and accommodating, they are looking forward to a bit of a holiday – and we have the power to expedite that for them. The only hard part is that we are expected to do a free-form and personalized sales pitch based upon artlessly whipped-up-on-the-moment conversation about the various delights offered at this destination, at the very same time as we do a fairly complicated bit of data entry. And we must perform both of those duties flawlessly and in record time. Eh… I am already setting up a short-timer calendar. I will last at this until January. I will last at this until January.

I am buoyed by consideration of my books. Today, I received my copy of the final print version of “Adelsverein: The Sowing”. This is the volume which takes the story of the Beckers and the Steinmetzes and the Richters through the Civil War… the episode that I had the most worries over, because I ventured onto so much unexplored and unverified territory… but there it is; blessed by a good editor and a local historian.

December – I am living until December, all the hours that I spend at The Reliable Corporate Entity. Every hour, every paycheck, are spent and collected with a purpose. Every reservation I set and minute that I spend with a client looking to spend their holiday hours beside the sea – those times bring me closer to being a ‘real Arthur’ and making my living with words. Written words, not just spoken words.

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