----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: I'm Free!

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm Free!

**This post is dedicated to my one loyal reader, who takes the time to email me when he feels that the content is getting a little stale.**

Yesterday was my final day at my hated job. Here's how much I hated my job: When I had my appendix removed, I was glad, because even though I was in pain, I got to miss a week of work.

Oh, sweet, sweet freedom! I worked at a mortgage bank. An "Alt-A" lender--also known as lender who was happy to give out low-doc or no-doc "liar loans," and was now busy foreclosing on its customers. That really should be enough to explain why I hated my job, but allow me to elaborate.

No more "data checks." No more "disclosures." No more reading the exact same letter text four times each and every day. No more checking the marketing calender on the "SharePoint" to verify a telephone number. No more calling that number over and over to make sure it works. I got news for you--if it worked yesterday, it should still work today. No more reading the same exact outgoing customer email and hosted page (exactly the same text as the email, but hosted on our server, for those people who can't figure out how to display the images in their email!) and landing page at least four times--once in Yahoo, once in Hotmail, once in Gmail and once in AOL. But hey--those people who read their email in Outlook, we don't care how the email looks to them. And those people who have Macs? Yeah, the emails we send them look like crap, but it's their own fault. Why can't they just get PCs, like the ones we use at the bank? (I know this to be true...I have a Mac, and when I when I look at the emails the company sends out on my computer, they are all crazy and misaligned, with weird characters in them.) No more being on the "seed list," which required me to allow the company to send each and every marketing piece to my home address. I'd get three or four "loan offers" every day. And for some offers, we'd include a prepaid FedEx envelope. Now, we have at least 14 people on this seed list. Wouldn't someone finally think, "Hey, we can save a chunk of change if we stop sending prepaid FedEx envelopes to our own employees, especially since they are getting fake loan offers!"

No more computerized time card that keeps track of time by the minute and rounds up at the 30-second mark. I could clock in at 8:31:33 a.m., but according to my time card, I wasn't actually there until 8:32. And you had to be logged on to your computer and on the correct intranet site in order to clock in. And the computers were so slow that it could sometimes take 10 to 15 minutes to log on. (My record was actually 23 minutes--and every morning, it took at least a minute for the intranet site to load.) And those are minutes that you are not getting paid for, my friend. No more "big boss" who couldn't spell simple words like "shiny" (we had a "shinny star employee award" for two months running) and who didn't know the difference between "sense" and "since." "That just does not make since to me!" he would peck out on his CrackBerry. Yeah...he was my boss's boss. But then again, why would you possibly need to know how to spell when you're the first vice president of marketing? It's not like the marketing team sends out direct-mail letters to customers or anything. It's not like those letters need to be properly spelled. Oh, but wait, I forgot...this guy was too important to have to know how to spell. After all, he was so busy that he couldn't be bothered to send actual emails. No, he would just send subject lines, like "Where are we on this?" And then when you had the gall to ask for clarification on what "this" was that he was referring to, he wouldn't bother to respond for a good 24 hours, minimum. He was important! He couldn't be bothered with petty employee questions! Why weren't we smart enough to read his mind?!

All right, enough of that. I am free now. And today, I celebrated my freedom by getting a new, "sassy" haircut, definitely not approved for corporate work. It's messy! It has sticky-uppy pieces! It's short! My husband thinks it's sexy!

After my haircut, I returned home to work on my novel. That was the whole point of quitting, after all. I am taking a month off of "real work" to finish the first draft of my novel. I love my new job, but sadly, the pay isn't so great. So, I have to start looking for paid work that would start in July. I do have a couple of freelance invoices coming due, though (stupid net-30 pay policy), and I have a tutoring client right now, so I'm bringing in a little money for the month of June. Anyway, I have faith that it will turn out all right. And, I have faith that I will get my novel published. And first-time novelist advances are like, what, a good $10,000 or $12,000? We'll be rich! (Ha, ha.)


  • At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Kouklaki mou! Congratulations on your day of freedom. Little did we all know how insurmountably unhappy you were. And as for that pesky first vp of marketing, remember Molier's comment in the Misenthrope--something about going up the ladder and relieving one's self on those below knowing well that they intended not to reverse course. You are climbing.

    Your Patron will provide until the first draft is written. And by the way, that cash advance for the novel--that is pretax. You may clear maybe 75 cents after expenses, and Uncle Sam, and Aaanold take their bites.

    Me megali agape,

    O Kanenas

  • At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Missy said…

    Glad to hear you are finally free...can't wait to see your new "sassy" hairstyle. Remember the little people when you become a rich famous novelist! We were there to read the first chapter anyway, but I can't wait to read more.

  • At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Astera,

    Congratulations on your sweet, sweet freedom! Good luck on finishing your novel. If you're willing, please blog about your adventures in trying to get published. I'm in the very early stages of writing my first novel, and would love to read what works for you.

    Take care.

    - C


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