Saturday, August 14, 2010

Back to Proofreading

So my new job is super-easy, mostly because it's like I've stepped back 20 years in my career and started over again. I'm a receptionist again. Wheee. I do daily posting in the books (and they use paper ledgers o_0 alongside using QB), invoicing, and price verifications on incoming customer orders, but *yawn* I do about an hour's worth of work and the rest of the day is spent waiting for the phone or fax or email to ring or beep.

The first couple of months, I cleaned up the desk drawer where the supports had fallen in, relabeled the peeling files, typed new labels for some customer pages in the shop and p.o. books that had changed their names over the years but we hadn't updated our book tags although we use their new name on their invoices and in the price book, so just updated the other books to match. Oh, what else? Made a couple new A/P files as needed. Anything miscellaneous I could find to do. I was sorely tempted to ask if I could dust and label all the part sample shelves, but after watching what they use them for, I decided they might find that annoying, so I didn't ask about that.

Oh, I've made some new templates, both paper and electronic. Fixed their fax cover sheet using the correct letterhead that matches their invoice. Oh, yes, and when the one computer that had a USB wireless adapter kept having trouble staying online, I fixed that by hooking up an unused hub between that computer and the other one in that room that was already wired in to the network.

I've run out of things to fix unless I really start going around and poking into stuff that is not in my area.

So I started spending a lot of time reading e-books on my Blackberry, or browsing the net on my BB, but lolcats load really slow on the BB, and I didn't think it would be appropriate to browse lolcats on the work computer. My counterpart (or I guess she's supposed to be an assistant? I don't quite get why that position was created, but I'm not going to pry since it sounds like they've had an assistant for my position for many years), anyway, she plays Solitaire all day and occasionally checks Facebook, and an IM program loads on start-up on her machine - I noticed this when she was gone for two weeks) so I suppose she chats, too, but I haven't actually seen her use it.

I can't bring myself to play Solitaire - ugh - and I generally don't type-chat with anyone; for gaming we get on voice chat if there's really anything going on. So I dove into reading. After I read a variety of books, both paper and electronic (Slan, Homonculus, Snow Crash, Moby Dick, and The Iliad, plus several short stories from a 1930's sci-fi magazine), I downloaded The Odyssey to my BB and started it, but I ran out of steam and needed a break from the classical works, but also wanted to do something other than read all day.

Then I was at the store and spotted a word search book ! aha ! so I bought that and took it to work last week. I did half of it Monday and Tuesday, bought the Guild Wars' book Ghosts of Ascalon and read that Wednesday (yes all in one work day), and then finished the word search book by Friday. All 64 puzzles. I bought another one to work on this week, plus bought a new game for my BB - Mahjong - so Monday I started on the word searches again and played some Mahjong. Tuesday and Wednesday, same thing again. I could tell this was only going to entertain me for a couple of weeks before I would have to do something else, but I was okay with the thought that I could alternate between word searches, Mahjongg, and reading books and that would suffice.

Now, I had been to Project Gutenberg to download those e-books I just read, including the 1930's magazines, so pgdp - Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders - had been on the horizon of my mind, but I hadn't consciously dwelt on it.

And then I got an email from pdgp. It was an automatic notice that someone had posted in a thread I was following at the forum. I hadn't been back to pgdp since last July! It had crossed my mind a couple of times, but see, last August was when I started that job that I never should have taken but it was an adventure so then again it's neat to think that I did it, and anyway that job had me wiped at the end of the day every day, so I didn't even think about pgdp till this year a month or so after I was let go (they lost their contract with US Cellular) and I had been job hunting for awhile. But then I was so busy sending out hundreds of resumes that I didn't have the time or the inclination to do volunteer work - I was too worried to relax.

So receiving that email couldn't have been better timing. I'm in a better state of mind, I'm searching for something to occupy my time while still being able to instantly focus on the phone or visitors and easy to set aside or abandon (pages that are inactive for a short period of time automatically get returned to the round), and I really do enjoy doing something productive rather than just wasting time with games. Games are great for a temporary diversion, but it gets tiresome playing them all day long.

So Wednesday evening I logged on at pgdp and refreshed my memory on the guidelines and such, and proofread a few pages. And Thursday, not quite an hour after I arrived, and when work had nothing more for me to do but wait, I logged on and started proofreading. And omigosh, the day went so quickly. I felt like I was actually doing something productive. And Friday morning I awoke looking forward to the day!

Aaaaah - it's so much better to be busy than to feel like a seat-warmer.

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