Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I'm employed again -- Strawberry Madness!


No picture today, because it's 1:12 a.m. and I can't sleep. Oh and my Windows XP crashed and I had to re-install, then discovered I (not being Cindy) accidentally installed TWO copies of XP on my machine and made a mess of things. I haven't lost anything -- thank you for external backup hard drives -- but while I write this on my laptop I am installing XP updates and other applications on my main computer.

Today you get a stream of thought from me, because I had too much caffeine thinking my school board meeting was going to go late, and it was pretty quick.

First off, I have a job again. You are probably as surprised as I am. My last day was last Monday, I hung around the house of Tuesday and by Thursday I had a new job.

What happened was that my old boss sent me a job posting about a part-time government reporter position for the Wilsonville Spokesman. I didn't think much of it, but that Tuesday I played with the girls I wondered if they would be willing to have me freelance it. You know, instead of being on staff, get paid per article to write it up for them. Kind of like a independent contractor.

So I fire off an e-mail and I didn't hear anything. I sent a second e-mail to make sure I didn't get spam filtered, and the next thing you know ... the editor wants to meet. I ask if it's an interview or just a meeting, because I wasn't all that interested in a position. Just a casual meeting.

At some point sitting at Jamba Juice, I decided that a part-time gig wouldn't be that bad if it really was a part-time gig. You see, newspaper folks aren't too good with the numbers. They say things like "This is a 40 hour a week position," which is really code for "We don't understand how numbers work, and someone told us once that 40 hours was full time, so we say that, but really it's more like however long it takes you to fill the paper."

So when I saw 20 hours a week, my first thoughts where it was code for: "We want to pay someone half for doing a full week worth of work."

When talking with the editor, while sucking down my Strawberry Madness, I realized that it really was 20 hours a week, and if I go over I get yelled at. The editor, you see, has four kids and understands my situation. She even said she would help me limit my hours.

No way.

Now, before I got too excited, I realized that the whole thing had to be approved by a publisher I really like, but wasn't sure if he was still a fan of Pat. The whole City Council member fiasco always has me wondering who my friends and enemies are when it comes to Canby.

Turns out, he was my biggest supporter as far as taking the job. I am still unclear if he thinks I did a good job as a council member -- but I think I sucked so I don't begrudge anyone who also things that.

After the great conversation at Jamba Juice, I was told that I would be contacted about the position and an interview. Great, I love interviews ( end sarcasm).

Well, I get a call Thursday offering me the position. Bam. No dressing up. Talk about an ego boost! After talking with Cindy, and the babysitters, we decided it was a good idea to take the job. I can still freelance a bit on the side (however I am probably going to limit myself to quick weekend things until I get my feet under me in Wilsonville).

Now I am government reporter for the Wilsonville Spokesman. If everything works out, I will still get four and a half days a week with the girls, and work two and a half days a week. Not bad, if I can pull it off.

Tomorrow, errr, today (1:26 a.m.) I go to the office for the first time in my official capacity. The Strawberry Madness didn't make me fail the drug test, so I am back at Eagle. I really hope this position works out and I can stay long term.

With the freelancing and all I was with Gannett for six years (if you consider the majority of my freelance work was with them), so I would like to be with a local company at least that long. I have worked for Eagle before, and they are great people. Now it's just a matter of making the hours work and not stressing about writing stories.

From what I can tell it's about two stories a week, and I am sure I can handle that. But I am a worrier, and of course the mind is racing about how I am going to get two stories done in 20 hours, when in 40 hours at the Silverton paper I was producing anywhere from seven to 10 a week.

So, my dreams of being Captain Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, and steering my own direction and hanging out with my little ones lasted about, oh, three days. I think I am getting the best of both worlds with this deal.

If not, I could always attempt to nuke my career again.

I have been watching Ice Road Truckers... I could do that.

Anyway, I should at least pretend to sleep.

I will post pictures when I have appeased the computer gods...


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