Category Archives: Work

Revisiting My Past (or Enjoying An Amazing Concert)

I recently did a temp job for my old workplace doing some telesales. This workplace was the theater that I worked at when I started this blog. I hadn’t worked there in a long time, so when they asked me if I could help with a short telesales campaign, I felt flattered that they wanted me to help. It was a bit weird doing that job again since it had been years since I had done it, but things came back to me pretty quickly.

The show that I was campaigning for ended up selling almost all the seats, so that’s good news. I wasn’t able to do the sales that I know I could do, so that wasn’t so great. But I am glad that they sold out and that they were able to get the fundraising done that they needed to.

But even though my sales weren’t what we were hoping for, the theater offered me 2 tickets to go to the concert and I immediately said yes! I hadn’t been back to the theater since I worked there and the concert was a night of Josh Groban. I am a fan of his music and I did a music video for him (although they ended up not using any of the scenes they filmed with any actors in the final music video). And to get to see him perform live and in such a small venue is such a special treat.

Since I hadn’t been back to the theater in years, I wasn’t sure how it would feel to be back. And I’ll admit, it was a bit weird. I did see a few people who I worked with and some of them seemed happy to see me again. Other people didn’t recognize me and I didn’t want to bother them while they were busy working. I felt like I belonged there and I was out-of-place at the same time. Fortunately, I had a friend with me so we were having an awesome time at the pre-show reception and I didn’t stress too much about how odd it felt to be back there.

The pre-show reception was fun and they had some really great food. There was also some free wine, but we both stuck with water. We hung out outside eating and catching up on life. It’s always nice to catch up with a friend and even better when that is distracting me from feeling weird.

When I was told I was getting some free tickets, I assumed they’d be in the back of the balcony. None of the seats in the theater are bad ones, but I figured they’d put us in the back since they were free tickets. But to our surprise we were pretty close to the front and almost in the center!

I was not expecting to have as great of seats as I had so I was even more excited once we were sitting down! And the energy in the theater was so amazing because everyone couldn’t wait to see Josh Groban come out.

The songs were mainly Broadway songs (which I loved!) with a couple of songs from his various albums mixed in. And he was telling stories and jokes in-between each song. He was very entertaining and if anyone in the audience wasn’t a huge fan of him before I know that he won them over by the end of the night. And not only did he sing, but he also played piano and the drums! That seemed to be a surprise to everyone in the audience and he impressed us all!

The show was about an hour and a half without an intermission but I think we all wanted it to last longer. He is so talented and sang some amazing songs. But I know that the event also had a dinner after the show for guests with tickets at a certain level so they couldn’t keep the concert going all night. Even though I think everyone left wanting more, we all left with smiles on our faces.

Even though I felt weird being at an old workplace, I’m so glad that I got to go. I wasn’t deliberately avoiding going there, but I know that I didn’t make an effort to go to any shows there. And it is an amazing venue that isn’t that far from my house. I need to take a look at their schedule for this season (which is their 10th anniversary season) and see if there are any other shows that I can go to. It will be a while before I’m back at the Pantages, so I need to fill my love for theater at other venues. And I have a feeling that I’ll probably be back sometime soon.

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My Version Of Back To School (or I Need To Get Out Of My Summer Mindset)

Most of the schools in LA went back this past week. It was cute to see all the first day of school photos from my friends with kids and most of my friends are pretty excited to have some free time back in their lives. It’s crazy to see some of my friends’ kids in school when it seems like it wasn’t that long ago that they were born. Especially since I don’t feel like I’ve aged as much as those kids have!

Back to school time used to mean so much to me. When I was in school it was a great way to reset things in my life and get them back on schedule. Even when I was working as a substitute teacher it had that effect on me. There’s something about knowing that school is back that triggered a sense of seriousness in me and I’ve realized that I don’t have that anymore.

I don’t miss school. I do a lot of learning through various things on my own every day so I don’t need a set class that is fall to summer. But I do miss the feeling of resetting things and getting back on track. And getting back on track is something that I do struggle with at times and yet again I’m going through that.

I have to feel lucky that I have my fitness stuff down and that doesn’t need to much work. I think things would be so much worse for me if I didn’t have that in place. But food is still a struggle and I know that things have gotten a bit out of control again. It’s a combination of my schedule being crazy, having lots of adventures and outings, and just being lazy because of the heat.

I’ve said this so many times before, but I really need to get back to my meal planning. Or at least having better options in my house to choose from. There have been far too many days where it’s 3pm and I’m done with work and I’m going to the grocery store because I’ve got nothing to have for dinner. And unfortunately, when I do that I will sometimes buy things I don’t need because they seem good to me in the moment.

I’m working on getting back to the way I was meal planning earlier this year, but it’s not exactly what I think I need right now. So I’m back to experimenting with what things will work and what will help to make me as successful as possible with not having problems with having the right food in my house. I know that my schedule is still a bit crazy and will continue to be a bit crazy, but that can’t be an excuse for me anymore. Life will always have moments of craziness and that can’t be stopping me.

I also need to refocus on work and time management. For the next month things are extra crazy for me because I’m doing the temporary job for an old boss of mine. I have to manage when each day I’m doing each job and I really need to focus on it because I need to get it done when I plan on getting it done. It would be so easy to let time fly by and not have the chance to do what I need to do a certain day. I make sure that it doesn’t happen, but I also see where there are cracks in my plan and where I can improve things.

It will be so nice when one day I don’t have to stress about these things as much. Maybe one day food will come as easy to me as the workouts do now. And maybe one day I’ll only have one job (or one job with a few side jobs that are related to that job) so I don’t have to color coordinate my schedule to know when I need to work each job each day. Fortunately with work, I am an organized person so it’s not too horrible to manage things. But I do look forward to when things are simpler in life and that I can focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking every single hour and day.

It’s Like I’m Back At The Beginning (or Muscle Memory Is Weird)

I started my new temporary gig for my old job this week. It’s kind of weird doing this job but I’m so grateful for it. It is commission only so there’s no guarantee that I will make money, but I’m hopeful that I’ll make some sales and it will be extra money that can be used for paying down my debt.

I’m so lucky that this is yet another job that I can do from home. I think originally this was supposed to be something I did from the office, but because I’m working so few hours each day and I’m doing split shifts it wouldn’t make sense if I had to commute back and forth twice a day. But to know that they are letting me work from home is a sign that they remember me from when I worked before and that they trust me.

Even though I’m not going into the office, it’s so crazy how much this reminds me of my old job. I worked for this company when I started this blog. It’s almost creepy how much this job is like my old one. There are plenty of differences and it’s nice being able to work from home, but it still feels so much the same. And it’s crazy to think that it’s been quite a few years since I had worked there and that’s where I was when I started this. I’m not the same person I was back then, but it still has a weird deja vu quality to it and I’m trying to remind myself I’m not the same.

When I started the job, it took a few calls to get back into the groove of making telesales calls. This is different from what I was trying to sell before (back then it was memberships and tickets and now it’s tickets to a one night only gala) and I’m not as familiar with the theater as I was when I worked there before. I don’t need to know about the season since I’m only working for this gala, but I probably should be doing some research so I’m not totally uninformed. And it is still a bit nerve-racking because I haven’t made a sale yet. But I’m sure I will and once I make a sale I’ll feel so much better about this all.

But the weirdest thing for me is how quickly everything came back to me. I haven’t worked in telesales in several years yet I seem to remember everything. We used to code our leads based on if we got a hold of them or what they said. We had different abbreviations and ways of sorting things so we could stay on top of everything. That was necessarily since there were 5 of us making calls and we didn’t want to call someone back who already said they weren’t interested.

But I’m working on my own and can code and organize things however I want. But even from the very first call, it was an automatic response to code my lead the way I used to. I didn’t even think about it before doing it. It was like my body was on autopilot and I didn’t have to do anything to remember. And I even remembered all the various codes we used (I had to use 5 of them on my first day back).

I know that I remember so much from past jobs, but it’s never been like this. I remember so much from when I was a tour guide at WB, but I couldn’t give a tour again. I just remember lots of random facts and stories. I’ve even gotten a bit lost and turned around on the lot when I’ve been there more recently even though that never would have happened when I worked there. And I still remember lots of weird stuff from when I worked in credit card disputes, but I couldn’t probably win a dispute if I tried from the corporate side now (I can still win probably from the customer side).

But to have everything come back to me immediately was just mind-boggling to me. I even texted my old boss to tell him how I was doing this work again and how everything came back to me without me needing to think about anything. He said that muscle memory is a weird thing and I agree. But then I also joked that this information has been taking up space in my brain that could probably be used for more important stuff.

Since this job is only about 6 weeks, I’m probably not going to try to change anything. It’s nice that I don’t have to worry too much about remembering how to do anything and there’s no reason for me to try to do things differently. When I was doing this before, I made lots of sales. All I can hope for is to do the same with this so that I can make enough money to balance out that I will not be getting hourly pay (which was an option for half of the commission rate). It’s only the first week and I can’t be too worried since I know that sometimes it takes time to get the ball rolling on sales.

Even though it feels like it was years ago, I probably need to still remember that I won’t be able to be back to where I was at the end of my time with that job at the beginning of this job. I need to build up my momentum and soon enough it will feel even more like old times.

Work Begets Work (Old Bosses Possible New Jobs)

Work has been pretty busy for me lately. Busy can be good sometimes though. For my research job, I just finished working on the big database update we do each year and doing that job means I get to make more money (it’s on a different contract than my main job). And extra money does always help out with things. My main box office job is the same as always, although we are getting back into the busy season again so things have been a bit crazier. And I’m still doing my occasional in person box office job and might be working a few shifts this fall.

I’m in a pretty stable place with my day jobs right now and that’s something that has been hard to get to. But of course, nothing ever stays stable with work but this time it seems like the change might be all positive.

With my research position, there is a chance there will be a job opening that I would be right for. It would be a full-time position so I’m assuming I’d be making more money. It would still be a remote position so I could work from home. And depending on what the pay would be like, there is the potential that it could be the only main day job I would need. I don’t plan on quitting my main box office job any time soon (I wouldn’t do that until I have paid my credit card off completely), but it would be nice to have the potential to only have one main day job.

I don’t know when this job would become available or if I would get it. But it is nice to know that my boss knows that I am always looking for better opportunities for myself and thought of me. But even if I don’t get that new position, I’m very happy in the job I have now and the flexibility I have with it. It’s a luxury that I appreciate so much.

And there are more potential changes with other work. My occasional box office job is a job I got through my old boss at my telesales job (that’s the job I was working when I started this blog). I rarely see him since I work the job when he can’t be at the venue for the shows, but we still stay in touch pretty often. And he let me know about a job possibility that is actually at the old company I used to work for.

This job would be a temporary telesales position for the next month or so. I would be able to work from home and it would pay only commission (no hourly pay). But the commission would be much higher than any job I’ve had and the potential is there to make a pretty decent amount of money in a short period of time. I do miss commission jobs a bit since it was always nice to have a paycheck that was double or triple what I had the paycheck before. It always felt like a nice present!

My old/current boss is passing my information on to the people who are running this telesales campaign and they are supposed to get in touch with me soon. But from what I understand, it’s looking very likely that they will hire me to work this gig because they remember how much I was able to raise when I worked the old telesales job.

It’s good that this job would be temporary because if I do it I’ll be getting close to working 80 hours a week. That’s a lot, but since most of my jobs can overlap it’s not really 80 hours a week. But I don’t think I could maintain that sort of schedule, pace, or balance for more than a month or two. So hopefully I can make a lot of sales in that job and then when it’s done I’ll be able to relax and know that I made a nice amount of money.

If I do get that telesales job, I would love to put all the money I make from it toward my credit card. If I could cut my credit card debt in half, that would be incredible and I would be so happy! And there is a chance that this job would actually allow me to do that! I know that I’m not just working as hard as I do right now to pay off debt, but to have that weight off my shoulders would be so nice and is a goal that I’ve been working toward for a very long time.

As of right now, both of these new work possibilities are only maybes. Hopefully in the next week or month I’ll have a better idea of what might be coming up. But I have to say that I’m feeling really optimistic about work stuff right now and it’s been a while since I’ve felt that way. It’s nice and I’m really feeling like things are turning around for me in this aspect of my life. It gives me hope that more things will change for the better for me soon.

A New Computer (or Out With The Old And In With The New)

I’ve been writing about wanting to get a new computer for a pretty long time (my computer frustrations have been happening almost as long as I’ve had this blog). And the day that the new MacBook Pros were announced, I knew that I’d be getting one. I didn’t have the money at the time of the announcement, but I knew that between what I was able to save and the check I was going to get from my grandma for Hanukkah that I would have enough. So I immediately started to plan for the new computer.

The first thing I had to figure out was which one I was going to get. I knew I’d do the smaller size since I do like to bring my computer with me when I travel or to different events. And since the Touch Bar was the new thing they were introducing with the MacBook Pro, I figured I should splurge on that as well. And because the main problem I had with my old computer was that I ran out of storage space, I wanted to max out on storage (the maximum was going to be 4 times what I had on my current computer).

Since I wanted to upgrade the storage, I wasn’t totally sure that I would be able to just go to the Apple Store and get my new computer. So I sent a quick text to a friend who works at the Apple Store to find out. And since I was doing this the day they announced the new computers, I started my text with “don’t worry, I’m not asking you for a discount on the new MacBook Pro”. My friend answered my question (I would have to order it online), but then he also offered to let me use his friends and family discount! I wasn’t expecting that at all, but since it is a better discount than my educational one, I was so grateful that he was going to let me do that.

It ended up being an easy enough process to order the computer once I had the money together  (I was on the phone with my friend while he was online typing in the information) and according to my order it would be arriving at the Apple Store the first week of January. So I figured that I would spend most of December preparing my old computer to transfer my data over and that in January I’d be able to get everything set up super quickly.

Of course, I didn’t get time in December to work on the transfer stuff and then this past week I got a message that my computer was ready to pick up at the store! I couldn’t go the day it arrived so I planned on going to the Apple Store in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve (when I had free time). I knew the store would be insane, but it would be ok.

Then, on Christmas Eve I logged into work only to find out that we were given the day off! I still had other obligations in the afternoon, but since I didn’t have to work I had 3 hours free and figured it would be the perfect time to get to the Apple Store and deal with the crowds. But I discovered that 8am (when they opened) at the Apple Store on Christmas Eve is pretty empty! There were maybe 20 employees there and only 3 customers if you include me. And since all they had to do was go into the back and grab my laptop, it was a pretty speedy process.

Once I got my computer home and unpacked it, I was shocked at how thin and light it was! It feels like a kiddie toy compared to my old one! And when I set the computers up side by side (to help make sure I’m transferring all that I need to), the size difference was really obvious.

I’ll eventually get a protective case for the new computer once they start making them since it makes it easier to travel with the computer and it makes it stand out more when I’m in a room where a ton of people have the same computer. And I managed to spend some time over the weekend and the beginning of the week getting stuff transferred over to the new one (I’m typing this on the new computer). My game plan is to try to work on the new computer with the old one nearby in case I figure out something that I need that I didn’t transfer yet. And once I feel comfortable enough with the new computer only, I’ll wipe my old computer clean so it can go to its new home (a friend of mine will be buying it from me).

While it would have been nice to have a new computer sooner, I’m so glad I finally could get a new one! I’m still getting used to things so it feels a bit weird to work on it, but I know that this is going to make my life easier. It will be much faster to work on it, especially at the box office job where I need dozens of windows open at once to work. And I’m hoping that this will also make my blogging better as well (I can start doing more stuff with my blog that the old computer couldn’t handle).

I know I’m incredibly lucky that I got money that helped me pay for this. The fact that I got it on Christmas Eve and the first night of Hanukkah really made it the perfect gift! And I’m so grateful to my friend who let me use his discount. The money I saved helped to pay for unexpected expenses I had recently (like the new power steering I had to get for my car).

My old computer made it about 7 years, so here’s to making this computer last for the next 7!

Adventures In Banking (or More Customer Service Stories)

Since I work in customer service, I know that sometimes someone is having a good day and sometimes someone is having a bad day. As a customer service rep,  I can’t make every customer happy (I just got in trouble yesterday by a customer who called me rude to the owner of the company I work for because I refused to do things that I either have no authority or legal right to do). I’m aware that because of my job in customer service, I can be a tough customer from time to time. I do expect a lot out of customer service reps since that’s the standard that I have for myself, and I really hate when I have a bad experience.

I’ve been dealing with a lot of customer service people from banks lately. After setting up my DBA for work, I’ve had to do a couple of things and one of those things was getting a business bank account set up. My first stop was my current bank since it would be easiest to have everything in one place. Unfortunately, I would have to pay $15 a month to have a business bank account until I had a minimum balance in the account which was higher than I’m comfortable with.

Even though I couldn’t do the account at my bank, they were so nice to me there. They looked into some possible loopholes that might be able to get the fee waived for me, they tried to find other options, and they really did everything they could to try to find a solution that would make me happy. I’m sure that they also want to keep my business, but any bank should want my business whether or not I’m already a customer.

I ended up doing some searching online for business bank accounts with no monthly fee and found a bank that happens to be one block away from my current bank. My first attempt to go there to talk to someone was not a success because I forgot it was Columbus Day and the bank was closed (totally my fault for not looking into bank holidays). But I was able to go back the next day and that’s exactly what I did.

When I arrived nobody greeted me or asked me what I was at the bank to do (they do that at my current bank), so I waited in line to talk to a teller to find out what to do. They directed me over to some chairs and said there was one person ahead of me needing to discuss business accounts. I took a seat and got my book out to read.

The person ahead of me went back and before they did, a bank employee came to look to see if I had the paperwork I needed to open a business account. They quickly glanced at everything, said it was fine, and said they’d be back soon to help me. I ended up waiting almost 2 hours to be helped. By the time they got to me, the bank was closed. But since I had been waiting since before they closed, they weren’t going to send me away.

They started to look at my paperwork and process things and then told me that I needed $100 to open an account. I’m aware that this is my fault, but nobody told me how much I needed to open an account and I didn’t have $100 in cash (or a blank check) with me. I asked if there was any way I could run over to my bank and get cash from the ATM, but they said that since they were already closed that if I left to get money they couldn’t let me back in.

I left that bank feeling pretty annoyed. In the 2 hours I was sitting and waiting, I easily could have gone to my bank and had the cash that I needed. When they came to check my paperwork to see if I had what I needed, they could have told me that I needed $100 or they couldn’t open the account. But instead I wasted 2 hours sitting on my butt in a bank with nothing accomplished.

I put a bit of a rant up on Facebook that evening because I decided that even though they seemed to be the best option for a free business account, I didn’t want to give them my business. I deserved to be treated better than how they treated me. I never should have waited as long as I did because my time is valuable. And I wasn’t going to be devalued again.

A few of my friends recommended a credit union that they believed had free business accounts. So yesterday, I headed over to the credit union to talk to them. First, I have to say that doing business in a credit union that is housed in a building owned by a major studio is pretty fun. In the entryway there were a bunch of props and other things from movies the studio has done before. And in the credit union, they’ve got a lot of movie themed stuff (sorry that I didn’t get any pictures of it!).

I wasn’t able to get my account set up while I was there because I actually need some more paperwork that I will be getting from the LA County courts in the next few weeks. But once I can do that, I can set up the account (and while it’s not always free, there’s a low enough balance requirement that I can handle it).

Even though I couldn’t do the bank account at the moment and that was discovered within minutes of sitting down, I couldn’t have asked for a better customer service experience. The woman helping me was more than willing to answer all my questions that I’ve been coming up with. I’ve never opened a business bank account so this is all new and sometimes overwhelming to me. But she was patient and took her time making sure that when I left there that I had all the answers I needed and that I knew exactly what I needed to bring with me the next time I come in.

Hopefully my paperwork from the court will come soon so I can set everything up, but there is no question that I am going to go with the credit union (as long as everything works out for me) instead of the bank. I want my money to be a place where I feel comfortable going in to talk to a banker or where I know that they won’t waste my time. It’s important to feel good about where you are giving your business, and clearly the customer service experiences that I had influenced me.

Being A Business (or Making Things Official)

I’ve been running this blog for a pretty decent amount of time so far. I’ve gotten packages delivered to my house with my address and the name as “Finding My Inner Bombshell” with no issues. I haven’t made any money on this blog so I haven’t had any issues with checks coming in with the blog name. But I’ve known for a while that it would be smart to create a fictitious business name for the blog, I just never got around to it.

I also started a production company a while ago. I really haven’t done much with it, but it will be listed as one of the production companies for “Single Parent Date Night”. I had another project in mind for my production company, but it fell apart when another project with the same concept came out and had a lot of positive press. But many people produce their own work so having my own production company is a good thing for me. Again, I haven’t made money in my production company name, but I figured creating a fictitious business name would be a smart thing to do.

A few weeks ago, I found out that with one of my day jobs they will not be able to pay us as individuals anymore. It’s a long story, but basically we all needed to have a business that they could pay us through. We had the option to create a sole proprietor or a LLC, and after doing research (and realizing how expensive a LLC would be each year), I decided it was time to make both the blog and my production company official.

Fortunately, there is so much stuff online about how to create a DBA and it’s not a horrible process to have to go through. I had to submit some paperwork to make sure that neither the blog nor the production company names were taken already (neither were but I had a moment of wondering if I had screwed up for not doing it sooner). Then there was some paperwork to fill out online and I got a bar code to bring with me to the county courthouse to pay and complete.

The county courthouse was a pretty easy step and I was prepared with all my paperwork and money (possibly over prepared because I did more forms that was required) and I was out of there quickly. Another step I had to do is to get my DBA announcements into a newspaper for 4 weeks. Fortunately the county website lists dozens of eligible newspapers and their prices so I went with one of the cheapest ones (that actually price matched so it became the cheapest one) and my announcements will be in the paper soon.

This is all very professional and official, but because it was so easy for me it’s a bit hard to believe that I’ve officially created 2 businesses for myself. I’ll be setting up a business banking account in the next few weeks (I need that for the day job) with my DBA names on it so I can start being paid as my blog or production company if I ever make money off of either.

This was a step I had to do to keep my day job, but I’m glad I was forced into doing this. I needed to do it eventually and I didn’t have a good reason to do it so I was procrastinating. But it was really a simple process and it’s pretty much all down so I’m officially a business owner now of 2 different businesses! I think that’s pretty exciting!

Day Job News (or Things Are Getting Better)

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my day jobs. For the most part, things are the same as always. I’m still working my box office job plus my data entry/calendar management job from home. I’m also working for my old boss time to time with in person box office work and I still babysit on occasional weekends. My hours each week range from 43 to 68 hours in a week depending on how many hours I work my occasional jobs, but even at the lowest number a week I’m finally making a more livable income.

What I’m making isn’t making it easy to pay off my credit card debt. I was recently able to pay off about 5% of what my remaining debt is, but that’s less than I was hoping. I really felt like I’d have it paid off by now, but I think it’s going to be a bit more time before it’s gone. But each of the jobs I work adds to my income and adds to what I can pay off each month so I’m grateful for each work hour I get.

But while I’m not making as much money as I would love to make, I’ve gotten some pretty awesome news with all of my jobs in the past few weeks. It started with my occasional box office job. I’m going to have the opportunity to have more shifts in a month now. There needs to be some coverage for the box office at other shows than the ones I typically work, so I’ll get a couple of extra shifts. Each of the extra shifts will only be 2 hours, but I might be able to get 3 of those in a month. 6 extra hours isn’t a lot, but that money will pay off one or two utilities bills at a time so it adds up!

I also got some good news about my work from home box office job. A few weeks ago I got an email from the owner of the company asking me to call him. My first thought was that I was fired (even though there was no reason I should be fired) so I called him back immediately. The stuff he needed to talk to me about was only about how our pay system works (he needed some information from me that he didn’t have) so I didn’t have to worry about anything. And during that call, he asked me if I was having any issues with the job that he should know about.

I told him that while I love working this job, it’s not giving me all the flexibility I was expecting when I took the job. Since I don’t get scheduled for full shifts each day, I have the potential to work an extra 2 hours each weekday if I had to make up hours. I’ve made up hours in the past when I go out-of-town or have a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day. It’s never been too big of a deal, but I’ve always had to go through both my boss and manager.

Fortunately, the owner agreed with me that flexibility should be fine since I do have those hours each week that I usually don’t work that can be used as make-up hours. I just have to go through my manager (which is easier since we are both on chat together every work day) and I can make up the hours based on when we feel it would be best. Now I have the flexibility for auditions that I’ve been needing and hopefully as I get more auditions this arrangement will continue to work for us all.

The last day job I got great news about was my data entry/calendar management one. When I was hired, it was just under a 2 year contract. The end of that contract is coming up at the end of this month and I’ve been stressing a bit about if that contract wasn’t going to be extended. That job is over half of my income each month, so I need that money. I just got the email this week that my contract is going to be extended for at least another year! The budget is still being worked out so the number of hours each week may change (I don’t know if that would go up or down), but as long as I’m still working that job at least I know I’ll have some more regular income coming in.

But since I was so worried about that job not getting an extension on the contract, I’ve been spending time over the past month looking for another job that I could do. I focused mainly on jobs that I could do along with the jobs I already have, but I was also open to finding a full-time job that had the flexibility I need. There really aren’t a ton of full-time jobs with flexibility (more people who have those either start as part-time or start with no flexibility), but then I was listening to a podcast that had an interview with a woman who owns a virtual assistant company.

In the past, I’ve tried to get jobs as a virtual assistant. But so many of those companies require you to use a PC and I have a Mac. I didn’t want to have to buy a different computer just to work a job with, so I never applied to them. But when I found out that the company that was interviewed loves people who have Macs, I applied immediately! Because of my schedule and when they could do Skype interviews it took a bit of time before I could interview for the company, but I finally had my interview this week and it went really well! The next step is to wait to see if they have a client that needs a virtual assistant that matches my skill set. And things tend to start at 5 hours a week, which I feel pretty confident that I could do.

Eventually, the virtual assistant job can be more hours (and you can take on more than one client), so over time it may become one of my main day jobs. I’m not thinking that far in advance right now, but it doesn’t hurt to have some potential plans in mind when I’m looking at new day jobs. Of course, I hope that sooner rather than later a day job won’t be necessary as I will hopefully make all my income with acting. But I also have to be realistic.

Considering that not long ago I was completely out of work and feeling hopeless with my day job situation, I’m pretty happy with how things are going right now. They can always be better, but I think the path I’m on is one of the better ones that I’ve had lately. I’m finally feeling some stability, I can make some plans for purchases I’d like to make, and I’m making steps on my debt reduction. I can’t ask for that much more than that.

Staying Super Busy (or Another Job)

I’ve been super busy with work lately. I’ve got my regular box office job which hasn’t really changed since I started there almost 2 years ago. But because I will be out-of-town for a weekend in July, I’ve been working extra hours to make up what I will be missing (that way my pay doesn’t get docked). I’ve been so grateful for that job since I got it, even though it doesn’t have the most flexible hours. I’ve also been busy with my data entry job. I actually just got some more hours with that job and a new process that I’ve been helping with. It’s nice to have variety with that job since it can feel very repetitive researching events and entering them into the system.

Between those two jobs, I’m working 43 hours a week (not counting the extra hours I’m working now with the box office job to make up for July hours). I’ve also got my random box office job on occasional weekends and babysitting. So in a single week, I can easily be closer to 60 hours in a week. It’s great, because I do need the money and I know that I’m so lucky to have any work right now. But of course, I had to add another gig in as well.

I’m now working very part-time (4 hours a week) for a friend of mine doing some assistant/producer work. It’s not hard work, but since she is so busy she doesn’t have the time to do it. Again, the extra money is nice and I know that this can lead to more work so I’m super grateful for it. Plus, working for a friend is pretty fun and I know that we work well together. This job is only going to be for the next 6 weeks, but any extra work is helpful in getting my bills paid and saving up for my new computer (which sadly doesn’t look like it will be released until the winter). Since I know it can lead to more work, I’m totally fine with temporary work. Technically my data entry job was temporary since I was only going to be able to have a 2 year contract, but now I’ve got more hours than ever and it looks like I might get that 3rd year contract. So if I have to start at 4 hours a week to end up with a regular gig, I’m fine with that.

Only my box office jobs and babysitting have set hours. Everything else is on my own schedule and I don’t want to seem like I’m slacking because I set my own hours and there are no quotas I have to reach each day. With my data entry job, I think I’ve got a great line of communication with my boss and she’s been telling me how everyone has been happy with my work. And I doubt I’d be getting additional hours and possibly a contract extension if they didn’t think I was meeting or exceeding what they expected of me. And since the other job is with a friend, I know she’ll call me out if she isn’t happy with things and we have already had multiple texts back and forth just making sure we are on the same page with everything.

With all these jobs, I’m getting tougher on myself with my time management. I used to think that time management was one of my strong points, but as my time as gotten more crazy and less structured I’ve realized how much more work I’ve had to put into planning things out. I’m a little OCD with things (I’ve always been like that with organization) so my calendar is color-coded and I’m using the alerts and reminder apps a lot so I remember to send invoices or other work related tasks that are time sensitive. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to view my schedule because I love the monthly view on the calendar app on my computer, but some days I have so many things scheduled that I cannot view all my plans unless I go into weekly or daily view (I’d love any tips from other people with this issue on what works!).

Besides all my jobs, I also have my career (acting) and my writing (both on here and where I freelance) to schedule so I’ve been focusing on making sure I meet all my deadlines for those too. So far, I haven’t run into issues, but I’ve seen where issues could have happened so I’m working on setting myself up so those issues don’t ever become an issue.

I know that most people work just as crazy or crazier hours than I do. A lot of people work 60-70 hours a week every week. I’m lucky that when I have a 60 hour week or have to work 3 jobs in 1 day that those are rarities and not the norm. I probably keep taking on all of these jobs because I’m finally getting to a better place financially and I remember when I wasn’t working or working enough and how much of a struggle everything was. I don’t want to get to that place again and the best way to stay employed is to have as many jobs as I can. I know that jobs can go without warning and I really want to be as prepared for that possibility as possible.

Missing Out On Some Fun (or Flexible Time Management)

This week has been a pretty crazy busy week for me. I’ve been very busy with the day jobs, including learning how to do a new task for my research job. I now have 4 extra hours a week plus a new aspect of my job that takes up 50% of my hours. I’ve done some phone training, but we’ve also had a bunch of technical issues and it’s required so many phone calls and emails back and forth (I’m so grateful that my boss is chill about all this).

I’m very happy to have the new tasks and the additional hours because the extra money helps and I want to make sure that this day job continues beyond when my contract ends in October. But learning new things and trying to balance the hours split between the two jobs for one job has been a bit much. I’m finally starting to get into a good groove with the new work and things are much more normal, but that definitely affected the beginning of my week.

And the beginning of this week was supposed to be pretty packed with social events. But because of the stress I was dealing with from the job, I had to make the decision not to go to them.

I’m not too happy about missing the events. Both of them were actor events. And I know I’m been slacking a bit with my acting career lately. I need to make more of an effort to make my career a priority. But that’s not easy when the money-making jobs need to happen too. I thought I had figured out a good balance, but all the technical issues really made me have to reorganize my time and figure out what things had to be sacrificed. And sadly, the free acting related things had to be sacrificed over the money-making jobs.

Time management isn’t usually my weakness, but I’ve realized that flexible time management is. I get my schedule set for the week (or day), but I don’t allow for issues to come up. I have to get from one thing to another really quickly at times, and if there is a delay it can affect multiple things at once. The delay isn’t usually traffic (I typically give myself double the time I’m expecting it to take to get somewhere), but something in my life that stops me in my tracks and requires my attention before I can move on. Sometimes, these things aren’t avoidable like health issues (panic or gallbladder attacks can easily ruin an entire day). But I need to be aware of other issues that might need extra time and to build that into my day at some point.

I am glad I stayed home to work on the things I had to do, but I can’t help but feel that there may have been another way for me to deal with them and still make it to the events that I want to go to. I’ve been looking at my upcoming calendar and the fun events I have planned. I want to make sure that I can add in some flexible time in there to help make sure that I can do whatever needs to be done without missing out on the events.

I think the reason why this has never really been an issue for me before is that I’ve never been as busy as I’ve been lately. I miss the days where I only had 1 day job and that was it. It was super easy to schedule around that because my hours were pretty set and nothing would change. While my box office job hours don’t change (unless they need me to cover for someone or I have to make up hours), my research hours can be at any time. I try to do them around the same time as the box office job, but sometimes they have to be done late at night. I try to keep things as stable as possible, but life happens and since my job isn’t restricted to certain hours I can’t say that if I miss work at a certain time that I get to skip it. I have to find the time to make it up.

I can’t go back in time to fix the scheduling issues so that I could attend the events that I wanted to go to. All I can do is learn from the mistakes that I made (or the issues that I experienced) and try to make things better for me for the future. Hopefully, I can find a great way to balance out life and work and I can make acting events a priority in my life again.