My Father Is A Blogger

Bradburyonwriting

There is an almost 7 year-old girl standing ten feet away from me. She stayed home from school today, the victim of a bad cough, she has made a miraculous recovery. Had she not spent part of last night coughing I would have sent her to school, but with nine days left I figured it would be wiser to let her rest so that she doesn’t miss a chunk of days.

But the best laid plans of mice and men go astray and so did mine. This little girl of mine says that she is bored. She has had all day to play games and watch television. Hours up0n hours to do nothing while dad toils away at his computer.  Fortunately she is a healthy lassie but this is not the first time that she has stayed home with me. Several months ago we shared this space in the home office and had similar conversations to those we had today.

I explained to her that since I am working I can’t play with her. I told her that I would take some breaks and that during those breaks I would spend time with her, but that they would be limited. She forgot about how bored she was then and spent a chunk of time today trying to get me to stop working so that she wouldn’t be bored today.

What she doesn’t know/understand/realize is that I am what the government calls underemployed. It is a euphemism for man who works on projects sometimes but doesn’t have a full time position. To be clear, I have a number of projects that I am currently working on. The scope of need and personal responsibilities varies greatly so there are moments where I don’t have enough to do. I hate those moments.

It has made budgeting a prodigious nightmare. The lack of consistent work is both painful and frustrating. When I have free moments I work on finding new projects or trying to gain interviews for full time work. If you want to work on 100% commission basis there are lots of opportunities out there.They are available in a million different industries, but I am not interested in a commission only position.

I am an experienced professional and the companies that retain my skills benefit from them. Every time I make a sales call for a company they benefit. My time is worth something. If I make a sales call for you than I am providing you with advertising. I am working as an evangelist.I am helping to market the company. You can’t measure my worth solely based upon sales. I expect to share some of the risk with the company.

This is not a popular position to take in companies that try to recruit based upon no caps on income. Many of them will tell you that if you work their program hard you will be successful. Failure isn’t their fault, it is yours. Well I understand and appreciate why they would take that position. I understand that there is a benefit to the company in sending out wave after wave of people to knock on doors. It is not unlike the attitude that they had on D-Day when our forces stormed the beaches.

You knew that a lot of people weren’t going to make it so you expected casualties. But you also knew that many would and that if they did it would most likely balance things out. I get it. I understand it. I appreciate it. But I am not willing to work that way. It would be different if it was my company, but if it is not than I expect to be compensated for my time. There is nothing unreasonable about that.

So when that almost 7 year-old girl stares at me and asks what I do I tell her that I am a blogger. I explain that it means that I am a writer who works with both businesses and people to help promote their products and services. She wants to know if I have to work this hard to do it and I nod my head yes. I work that hard because I want to provide for her and her brother. I work that hard because the effort will lead to good things.

She looks at me again, with a Cheshire cat grin and sparkly eyes says, “I am going to tell my friends that my daddy works as a booger.” And that my friends gives you a little inkling of the girl who stole my heart.

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20 Comments

  1. StartYourNovel June 1, 2011 at 2:59 am

    Thanks for sharing, Jack. This is very similar to my own experience. I work as a booger, too.

    • The JackB June 1, 2011 at 7:17 am

      @StartYourNovel:disqus Who knew that so many people worked as boogers. 😉

      • StartYourNovel June 2, 2011 at 3:57 am

        “Boogers” is a great word, and a meaningful one — plenty of people out there take a dim view of the self-employed. Which is definitely not fair. You have to be three parts crazy, nine parts brave (yeah, that makes 12, or 120%) to follow the path of the freelance warrior. 

        I believe the general conceit is, if you’re self-employed, you can go under at any time. And this frightens those who value stability above everything else.
        Except being on a payroll is not as safe as all that – businesses can and do sink. Hundreds of thousands  find themselves out of a job every week, in any given country.I say we take the word, make it our own. Boogers of the world, unite.

        • The JackB June 2, 2011 at 8:32 am

          @StartYourNovel:disqus I am with you. I have worked on both sides of the fence and there is always risk involved. More importantly I appreciate your math because I crazy and brave equal nuts. 😉

          But sometimes you have to step off the side of the mountain and see if you can fly.

  2. Anonymous June 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for sharing, Jack. This is very similar to my own experience. I work as a booger, too.

    • The JackB June 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      @StartYourNovel:disqus Who knew that so many people worked as boogers. 😉

      • Anonymous June 2, 2011 at 11:57 am

        “Boogers” is a great word, and a meaningful one — plenty of people out there take a dim view of the self-employed. Which is definitely not fair. You have to be three parts crazy, nine parts brave (yeah, that makes 12, or 120%) to follow the path of the freelance warrior. 

        I believe the general conceit is, if you’re self-employed, you can go under at any time. And this frightens those who value stability above everything else.
        Except being on a payroll is not as safe as all that – businesses can and do sink. Hundreds of thousands  find themselves out of a job every week, in any given country.I say we take the word, make it our own. Boogers of the world, unite.

        • The JackB June 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm

          @StartYourNovel:disqus I am with you. I have worked on both sides of the fence and there is always risk involved. More importantly I appreciate your math because I crazy and brave equal nuts. 😉

          But sometimes you have to step off the side of the mountain and see if you can fly.

  3. Stan Faryna May 31, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Hope she’s feeling better, Jack.

    So why don’t you build that social media/social business agency on the side? Build it with other people. Share the risks and rewards. i have a feeling that this is something that can pan out for you.

  4. Stan Faryna June 1, 2011 at 5:48 am

    Hope she’s feeling better, Jack.

    So why don’t you build that social media/social business agency on the side? Build it with other people. Share the risks and rewards. i have a feeling that this is something that can pan out for you.

  5. Carina Clark May 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Well, I gotta say it – at least you’re a number one booger in someone’s eyes. 🙂

  6. Carina Clark May 31, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Well, I gotta say it – at least you’re a number one booger in someone’s eyes. 🙂

  7. Columbiarose May 31, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Yeah, I’ve done the try to work with a sick bored kid tango a few times. My kids know they’ll only get to read or nap. No electronic delivery devices. I have my work to do, and if you’re too sick to go to school, then your work is to rest your body and get well. If you’re doing better, then do some school work or I can give you a job to do. Let me know if you throw up, something starts bleeding, or you need meds. Eat and drink bland things to get well. No junk. We’ll reevaluate at the time that you would have come home from school, to see if you’re well enough to use something with a screen. They trudge off to go read, and I can work.

  8. Columbiarose May 31, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Yeah, I’ve done the try to work with a sick bored kid tango a few times. My kids know they’ll only get to read or nap. No electronic delivery devices. I have my work to do, and if you’re too sick to go to school, then your work is to rest your body and get well. If you’re doing better, then do some school work or I can give you a job to do. Let me know if you throw up, something starts bleeding, or you need meds. Eat and drink bland things to get well. No junk. We’ll reevaluate at the time that you would have come home from school, to see if you’re well enough to use something with a screen. They trudge off to go read, and I can work.

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