Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Sittin’ at the Front Desk

So here we are down at the church office, where I got impressed into a stint at volunteering as the front-desk receptionist. The staff is in a meeting for an hour, which means I have to take messages from all the callers. But that’s a good thing, because I am exceptionally stupid about operating the phone system.

For reasons I cannot even begin to comprehend, this thing utterly flummoxes me. I can’t for the life of me figure out — and remember — how to connect incoming calls with their intended recipients or to a recipient’s voicemail. Possibly this is because I’m not here enough to internalize the process — I’m only here about once a month, for 3½ hours, nowhere near long enough to make a series of tricks like these “mine.”

Ironically, my first job ever was as a receptionist/PBX operator for a large law firm. I loved that job! It was the best job I’ve ever had, during the entire 42 years of my working life. And I’ll tellya, that system was a heckuva lot more complicated than this system — we had three stations, each with six incoming lines. During a busy period, all six of your lines would be jangling at once. There were 40 lawyers plus their legal secretaries plus the people in accounting plus the people in filing plus the librarian plus the office manager plus…plus…plus. But it was simple and straightforward to operate.

This little volunteer job rarely has anything going on — as you can tell by the fact that I while away my time playing with the computer and scribbling blog posts. Someone named Jerod is supposed to show up during the staff meeting for our financial person; she wants to be hailed out when that person surfaces. Otherwise, there’s…well…nothing. The phone has rung twice this morning; often it never rings at all during a shift.

Hm. I see the Washington Post will let me into its games from the church’s network. That site recently blocked me because I refuse to turn off my ad-blocker, but I managed to replace all my favorites by finding them at the Great Day Games site. However, WaPo’s versions are a little better designed and the site lets you accrue a lifetime collection of points. Oddly, it seems to recognize me, despite the difference in the IP address. Interesting…

Good! Now I can play Dark Dimensions, a brain-bangingly pointless time-waster! 😀 One of my favorites…

Hmmm…. That’s interesting. I wonder if there’s a way to fake out their system so it doesn’t recognize my IP address? Hmmmm….indeed… Apparently the Tor Browser will hide your IP address. Evidently it’s slow, but it does conceal private (and not-so-private) information.

This is the first time I’ve taken on the morning stint for the receptionist job — they divvy it up into morning and afternoon shifts, and I’ve always been assigned afternoons. Seems a little busier than the afternoon gig…a lot of people wandering in and out. The Kelly Paper guy just surfaced in an 18-wheeler. He’s rolling in stack after stack of boxes full of paper.

Thrill a minute, eh?


Only 45 minutes to go.

Three and a half hours seems like a crazy long time when you have nothing to do. I could, of course, work up the energy to re-address the Ella story, something I’ve failed to do for…how long? Weeks and weeks.

As soon I finish here, I have to schlep Harvey the Hayward Pool Cleaner up to the local Leslie’s store. He committed hara-kiri whilst cleaning up after the last little monsoonlet, which deposited a layer of BB-like palm tree seeds all over the bottom of the shiny clean pool. I was able to get most of them up with the hose-operated leaf-catcher device, but about a dozen of the damn things just would not stay in the net. It only takes one to break Harvey…

From Leslie’s, it’s up to the Walmart grocery store, where I hope they’ll still have a few 20-pound bags of bird seed. The wildlife is almost out of the 40 pounder I ordered from Amazon. It was nice to be able to have the seed delivered to the door, except..

  • Hauling it from the door to the bin where I store the stuff in the backyard was highly problematic… And…
  • The stuff from the Amazon vendor was not what you’d call the highest quality. Walmart’s bird seed is unadulterated by small chunks of weird stuff (Styrofoam? plaster? whaaaa?) and it contains more millet, less sunflower seed.
  • And Walmart sells the same stuff cheaper.

Then the minute I walk in the door, I have to call a prospective client: apparently a memoirist.

The new flat rate of 4 cents a word seems to be working all the way around. It doesn’t seem to scare off clients (much, anyway), yet on a book-length work it returns enough to justify my existence. So if I can land another book, that will be helpful.

One of the Chinese academics talked their university into paying me with a check. So far no such thing has made itself evident. Nanyang Tech says it will send money, too…but again: no sign of a visible remittance.

So I’m pretty sure the China trade is defunct. That’s OK, though, as long as I can keep snaring in book manuscripts. It would take eight 10,000-word academic articles, at four cents a word, to pay as much as one rather short book-length project. And any day I’d rather hustle up one author instead of eight of ’em!

Six more minutes. WHERE is my replacement?????

Author: funny

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