Coffee heat rising

Paying Work DONE! At last….

Oh, the TERROR OF PAYING WORK for the indolent freelance operator. 😀 Over the past nine or ten days, I’ve actually had to (gasp!) WERK, a horrifying prospect, rather than play at pretending to write things.

Hence the regular posts at Plain & Simple Press fell off the side of the earth.

First one, then two, then three scholarly papers flew in from our Asian writers. One of them was quite arcane: higher mathematics, on a subject so celestially abstract it exists only in orbit around Pluto. Another, thank God, in from an êminence grise in Asian journalism studies: intelligible. On media law…not exactly my specialty, but at least I once read the AP Libel Manual from beginning to end. And finally, just as looked like it was safe to go back in the water, along came a statistical study testing the allegations of a theory that says an individual’s propensity to indulge in victim-blaming is mediated by her or his own physical height.

That was weird.

But once you plow through the experimental construct and the calculations, it’s pretty interesting. It actually does appear that — probably because of psychological and biological perceptions of the social significance of body height — people do experience an effect on their world-views and attitudes from their relative body height. There is, as it develops, a whole sub-branch of sociological study on this topic, with its own jargon.

Who knew?

Well, needless to say, I haven’t gotten any of my own diddlings-around done over the past some time.

And as usual, God. Damned. Word decided to indulge a catastrophic crash just as I was wrapping up today’s project. It shut down and disappeared the entire edited version of the mean-short-folks paper.


I hate computers.

Fortunately, I now generate edited versions with Compare Documents: Make all the changes, unmarked, in a copy of the original. When finished, run compare-docs on that against the original. The result shows all the changes in “Track Changes,” in a new file.

It crashed my completed cleaned-up file, too. But mercifully, when I re-opened the file I found it had not lost any data (that I could see) in that file. I hope not. Because I just sent the damn thing back to its author.

This project was rather more time-consuming than I would like given what I was paid. At 3 cents a word, it only generated about $93, hardly worth the number of hours I put in on it. I mean, the number of hours above and beyond the time required to rescue it from Word.

But it pays the bills. I guess. The three of them together probably generated enough to cover a couple months of Cox bills, plus the Web guru’s fees and the hosting charges for FaM and P&S Press. Thus I’m not earning anything, but I’m not going broke, either.

Hm. How much did I bill this week? Hmmm…. $242.74

Let’s see…if I cleaned house, at $80 per job….yup. It would’ve taken me 3.03 days to earn that much. Just about a third of the time I spent on these three papers. Only without the computer aggravation…

How much does one earn greeting Walmart shoppers? Here in Phoenix? $9.82 per hour, 48% below the national average. That would come to just about 10 bucks less than my three clients paid, in toto: $235.68. Not counting the tax withholding…

So I guess I’m doing better than I would at Walmart.

Heh! Here’s a site that says Costco greeters make $24 an hour, or $50,000 a year. Dayum! That’s as much as I earned teaching at ASU with my fine Ph,D.! However, here’s another site that begs to differ: says Costco pays $15.71 an hour, 17% below the national average and a far cry from 50 grand. Still, three days of smiling at the unwashed masses would have grossed $377.04…that’s $134.30 more than I earned reading Chinglish math papers.

Hm. I doubt that withholding would’ve come to $134. And about all you’d have to use a computer for would be checking in on the time-clock. Think o’ that!