Friday, December 31, 2004

The Yid's profound thoughts for the new year

As 2004 comes to an end, I find myself thinking quite often about a movie I saw some 20 years ago, which suddenly seems strangely relevant.

That film is Transformers: The Movie.

Why?

I loved the Transformers when I was a kid. It was my favorite tv show and they were my favorite toys.

The movie, which came out twenty years ago, started with a voice-over, "it is the year 2005."

Hmmm. Tomorrow it will be 2005, and we still don't have them there flyin' cars, or robots that transform into tractor trailers or anythin'.

What up wit' dat?

Blogging was so much easier during the summer...

Jesse Ogden and Robert are AWOL. They must not know the completely inocuous penalty for their actions, or they would still be writing today.

Jesse Ogden is a writer I've respected since I first read his writing on Lew Rockwell before he graduated high school. While I have total sympathy to any libertarian who is a philosophical anarchist, I can't comfortably place myself in that category at this time.

Robert, however, seems to be a genuine limited government type, like me. I know what we want is a pipe dream, but it did exist in this country, for the most part, until Uncle Abie came along and destroyed it.

Anyway, go read Lew Rockwell's column today. Mighty fine read, yessirree.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Would you care to visit my office?

This calendar year, 2004, is going to end, shortly. It had been, from an employment standpoint, a rather interesting year for me.

Things keep happening to me that make it look like a private, independent consultancy might be the path that I should take now.

Tonight, my synagogue had an annual fundraiser/dinner, and I set next to a few friends of mine. One of them is someone with whom I've been working on a business possibility that might be coming together that will earn me some money to feed my womenfolk, and another is an attorney I've known in shul for quite some time, been friendly with him, but never knew him so well.

The attorney inquired about what I'm doing for a living now, and I brought him up to speed on the current situation. I told him about my current striving to do independent, freelance work. He told me he has office space, 400 square feet, that he'd let me use in return for me performing technical support in his office.

Imagine that. Yid's getting himself his own office!

Heh.

Tomorrow, I plan to head down there and see what his operation needs in the area of computers and see if I can fit the bill.

In other news, I went down to former employer, the grocery store owner, and saw that he basically wants me to do exactly the same work I was doing a year ago. I told him that he had mentioned on the phone that what I'd be doing would be different than before and more challenging, which were his own words. He denied that he had said these things. I didn't take the offer very seriously, considering that he had me fired by his brother, and that said termination occurred over the phone. I told him I'd work for him for 50% more than what he'd been paying me before. (Before you think I was being haughty, he wasn't paying me an incredible amount of money that 50% is such a huge increase.) I had another condition for employment that I won't mention here. He told me he'd get back to me, but I knew then that my conditions killed the offer. I didn't care, because like I said, I didn't take his offer seriously. I didn't think he really wanted me, considering how bad the experience was last time.

I'm moving on up to bigger and better things. I'm getting my own office.

Wouldn't you like to hire your friendly neighborhood computer consultant?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

They were wrong, I was right.

Starting January 1, 2004, I began working for a local grocery store in Brooklyn, working with their POS system and trying to maintain their inventory with it. POS stands for Point of Sale, but in this case, POS meant something far more colorful. I begged and pleaded with my boss to cut the computer loose because his system was garbage and that I could find a more suitable system that would actually work.

To make a long story short, my words went unheeded, and I got fired after working for him for two and a half months, unable to be productive with the lackluster tools I was given to do my work.

Seriously, this computer guy was full of it. He actually thought the old DOS text editor "Edit" was a great, revolutionary piece of software. Insert a statement about the greatness of Vi here.

Last night, I got a call from my former employer, who told me he finally let go the computer guy because I was right that the fellow didn't know what he was talking about. Now, he wants me to come back to the store and work for him again.

So, tomorrow morning, I'm going back to the store to hear what the guy has to say. If I can do the work, and the pay is right (my fee schedule has changed a tad in the last year :) I might actually go back to work for him.

What a world.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Being this good is quite a burden

JOB UPDATE: I scored me my first consultancy job this past week, making a website for a family business (not THAT kind of family business) in Boro Park. If this works out, hopefully Hashem will put word of mouth on my side, and this could become a somewhat lucrative side business.

I went to a temp agency yesterday to submit a resume and put in an appearance. I was tested on Word, Excel, my spelling ability, and my typing skills. I was told that I scored high on Word and Excel. I scored the second highest test on the spelling test of all the scores my interviewer had ever seen, which I thought was dismaying, as I didn't think the test was particularly difficult. Lots of bozos out there, I guess. My typing speed, he said, was "insanely fast," and I was quite happy to see that I'd increased my typing speed up to 80WPM from my previous record of 70. I was told that if I ever wanted to change vocations, a career as a legal secretary would be waiting for me.

Anyhow, the interviewer thought he had a job for me that day, working inventory in an operation where I'd have the opportunity to learn AS/400, a server environment I've only read about. I was excited about the prospects, but I just got off the phone with the recruiter, who told me that Potential Employer felt, based on my resume, that I was over-qualified.

Gee, I'm flattered. I thought you had to be in your fifties to be overqualified for a job.

All the flattery in the world won't pay my bills, though. Back to the drawing board.