Sunday, May 12, 2013

M Is for . . . Maudlin?

I know, I know, I said I would post more often — but the last week or so has been such a symphony of crap, and my work schedule still hasn't let up for a second, so it felt the opposite of a win-win to take valuable time I couldn't spare to post about all the annoying things that keep happening to me . . .

But! My lucky readers — today is the day!

(Actually — you know how you put off a minor chore and then it feels like it starts to grow, larger and more oppressive, till it feels virtually undo-able? That's how "getting caught up on my blog" was starting to feel to me. Best to just dive in and get it over with, even though this will likely be a non-fun post. Sorry!)

So — what's been going on, you ask?

Work work work. I seem to be scheduled through June, when I'm taking a much-needed vacation (and I completely miscalculated the day school gets out, so my kids are missing the last four days of school, which I now have to deal with — I am an idiot). It's great to have the money — in theory, anyway, since several of these jobs have not actually resulted in money yet (cough . . . Penguin bastards . . . cough), but it's a little scary to see my schedule so tightly locked, since new people call me regularly and I have almost nothing to offer them. I work at night, I work on weekends, I work all the damn time. But yes, I recognize that this is a quality problem.

Penguin, my new nemesis. They are not, let's say, "overly happy" with the job I did on the Clive Cussler book, which of course I am horrified to hear. Please, I beg, give me some feedback, let me know what I did wrong. This request led to an exchange that I still can't quite wrap my head around. Here's a little taste of it for you:
  • Boss Penguin: When you made an edit on the laid-out copy, you didn't write the page numbers from the actual book next to your edit.
  • Me: Wow . . . um . . . I'm sorry, but I would swear that no one told me to do that. 
  • Boss Penguin: No, because our other editors know to do it.
  • Me: They . . . just know?
  • Boss Penguin (brightly!): Yes!
  • Me: They . . . magically . . . just know?
  • Boss Penguin (less brightly): Yes.
  • Me: How . . . wonderful.
Two things: (1) Besides not being stated to me, this request is not mentioned anywhere in their 20-page style guidelines. (2) I've been a professional editor and proofreader for 20 years, and no one has ever asked me to do proofing this way. (Once you're in the proofing stage, the original parent document is no longer relevant.)

And the whole conversation pretty much went like that: "Here's another thing that you didn't do, that we never asked you to do, and boy are we mad about it." Since my test was so good they want to give me another chance, but it was made very clear that this is a huge concession on their part. And I am truly torn; the stubborn perfectionist side of me wants to do one more job, just to show them that I am awesome, and the realistic side of me says, Seriously? When I have clients who love me and pay almost three times the Penguin rate, I'm going to willingly engage in a round of 'See If You Can Read My Mind Now'?"

But in any event, they still haven't paid me for a job I did more than a month ago. There was a problem with my first invoice, because I didn't put my Social Security Number on it, which you have to do on your first invoice.

See if you can guess what I'm going to say next:

Nowhere in the two single-spaced pages of instructions on how to submit an invoice did it mention this.

Did you guess right? Hey, maybe you can be a Penguin editor!

Anyway, my invoice got "kicked out" of the system, so I submitted a second one, which got forwarded to the wrong person, even though I named the correct person on the invoice itself. Boss Penguin's assistant called and asked if I could send a third one. I said sure — "but," I said, "what is to guarantee that the same thing won't happen again? Can't the wrong person simply forward my invoice to the correct person?" I would like to quite Boss Penguin assistant's response for you now:

"Ohhhh . . . I'll get back to you."

Yeah. The mind reels.

(And no, she has not gotten back to me.)

Poverty and squalor. We really really really need more money right now. I am still trying to pay off that $3K car bill from January, and other stuff just keeps happening. I had a hole in one of my crowns (my teeth are crap. It is so unfair. I groom and shellac and spay and do every single thing you're supposed to do for good dental health, but the genetic dental gods figured I already had enough gifts, ha ha, and they cursed my mouth. What can I do) to the tune of $400, then our water heater needed a new thermo-coupler, which Service Guy #1 couldn't fix because only Sears can fix this particular thermo-coupler, which didn't stop Service Guy #1 from charging us $200, then Service Guy #2, a Sears guy, charged an additional $100+ (the heater, fortunately, is still under warranty, and we learned a valuable lesson: Always Call Sears. Perhaps I should've had them do my crown), plus our car insurance went up by $200 (long story, more learnings), plus our property tax is due again, and I keep voting enthusiastically for all these tax increases because I love our schools and I know they need the dough, but man this bill is getting bigger!!!, and the side mirror on Husband's car got knocked off and needs to be replaced, and it's spring, and remember when the giant tree in my yard got ripped out by last year's storm? yeah, so now I've got a gaping hole in the front yard, and I need to plant something, a large-ish something, and large-ish somethings aren't cheap. And summer's coming, and the kids are each doing two camps, and three of the four are on the pricey side, but nonetheless, they still have these big blocks of empty time in July, and I'd love to find something for them to do so they're not around the house all day bugging me when I need to work.

Anyway. Lots of bills. And it's great that I'm bringing in more money, but it seems to go right back out again.

Black lung. I'm still coughing up lung crap like a coal miner. Bride Boy, what whack-ass form of tuberculosis did you give me???

But wait — there's more! The sad thing is that there's even more going on (we didn't have hot water for seven straight days, two of my bestys are dealing with significant health issues in their immediate families, the curriculum I'm editing for the UUs is making me gag, I may punch my minister, yada yada), but just writing this much has worn me straight out.

Anyway. Now you know what I've been doing: working, and not showering. ☺

But! Today is Mothers Day, one of my very special days, and I am determined to wring out every drop of joy that can be wrung from it!! (Even though I have a little headache. But I'm ignoring it.)
  • My day started with coffee in bed, reading the new book about The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and presents! 
  • Mimosa gave me dark chocolate and bubble bath and the most awesome card: "Mom—thought you might appreciate a little love and gratitude for Mother's Day . . . unless bowing before the awesomeness of your power would make you happier." And it plays a snippet from "Respect" when you open it. Maximally fabby!!!!
  • Li'l Martini gave me a set of homemade coupons, which is a tradition, and I use every one of them. This one included "A day of praising you," "Unlimited cuddle time," and "I will leave you alone for a full hour while you're working." Priceless.
  • Plans for the day include a good workout (I know it will make me feel better), lunch at Za, an afternoon on the couch with all my good books and some cold white wine, dinner at Summer Shack, the Survivor finale, and a hot bubble bath if I can squeeze it in. And lots of cuddle time with my adorable awesome children! And no work!! It will be a lovely day.
It needs to stop raining now. I want to walk on the bike path, and somehow doing it with an umbrella seems . . . weird. Stop raining, world! It's Mother's Day!

I'll let you know if the universe heard my plea.

The happiest of days to you all!

much love,

Lady C, infrequent blogatrix

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