Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Career Changes

Yesterday I worked like MAD on CM's website. Five hours and I finally ironed out all the mistakes and problems with the navigation. Holy crap was that a mess. My big fear now is that everything will break when we go to give it to the high school for their history department site and I'll have to fix everything again. Dreamweaver has been doing all kinds of crazy crap lately on me -- coding links to point to my C drive, to the root directory of the college site when I don't WANT them linked there. I was very frustrated yesterday, and now that things look fixed, I don't feel better... I'm nervous.

He just sent me a boat load more content, so I have a ton of work to do today. I haven't called catering man to see if he needs me this week and to be honest -- I'd rather not work for him with all this webstuff in my bag. I'll call him tonight, I can probably work for him Friday.

I also have a lot of work to do on MF's site, this week and the next four weeks are lacking content and need some sprucing up in a big way. I also have to find out from the students if they don't know how to create a powerpoint presentation, and make myself available to them to teach them, because their final projects are 50% of their grade and I want to make sure they know what they are doing. I will reserve the lab down at the college some night if they want me to. So much to do.

I extended my unemployment 13 weeks, which is nice but I'd like to not be on unemployment anymore and have some kind of real income.

Last night I got a phone call from an old friend. The woman Doug and I worked with to buy this house, S, is a buyer's broker. We've kept in contact over the last 6 years, but hadn't talked for about a year. She just had a new baby, and was calling to let us know the life update for her and her husband (who, by the by, is a contractor and has done a load of work on our house).

We were chatting about me getting laid off and not working full time, and she told me I should look into getting a real estate license and coming to work for her.

Now, normally, I'd cringe at the thought of being a real estate agent. But a buyer's broker is something totally different than a real estate agent.

Real estate agents work for the seller, want the house to sell for absolutely the most money so they can make the biggest slice of pie, and have little care about what a buyer wants. Our personal experience with real estate agents was pretty negative until we met S.

A buyer's broker works for the buyer and does things that the real estate agent will not do. For instance, S went to a planning board meeting on our behalf when we were trying to buy this house and there was a problem with the property line. The listing broker for the house didn't give a crap, and certainly the seller didn't want to put that much effort in. S knew that unless we went before the planning board, unless SOMEone went before the planning board, the house would never get sold, or in our case bought...

We never would have gotten this house if she hadn't been on our side. The same goes for the real estate agent who listed and sold the house next door to us twice in the last six years. She was a bonehead, and I just can't get into why.

Buyer's brokers don't make a lot of money off the sale -- they have to split the commission with the listing broker, so real estate agents hate buyer's brokers because they do no work whatsoever to show the house and only get half the money. They feel ripped off for doing no work. But last year, S worked six months and made over 50,000. She told me that in this market working part time and doing something else part time (in her case, parenting) she's still making money. But it isn't about the money per se. It is more about doing something fun and challenging.

She said that her job changes every day, with every client, kind of like doing web design... and that's what keeps it fresh and interesting. So that appeals to me greatly. She's made great friends with people and has kept in contact with people like us. The office where she works is going to be losing an assistant broker soon because the woman just found out she's pregnant with twins (sound familiar, Chad?) and will be going on bed rest at 20 weeks. So the timing could be perfect if I wanted to step into it. I'd have to take a weekend class, and then a test, and pay for a license.

With houses selling around here for $400,000, 2 to 4 percent of that is pretty nice. I may just have to look further into this.

I got a nice email from a college friend who said:

"I did celebrate Samhain as I have for many years.. I would like to you to know I remembered Clayton not only for You but for me, he always made me laugh and that is something I need to do more often.

"As I threw the corn into the fire.. " I honor you Clayton, for your gift of Laughter.""

And that made me feel pretty good. Knowing that someone actually read what I said, didn't get mad that as a Christian I'm wishing people a happy Samhain (honestly, I fear people who read this journal sometimes. If they are from my college past and are all hyper-evangelistic, they now think I'm going straight to hell because I'm tolerant of other beliefs, read homosexual blogs, I swear and had a heroin-addicted friend). But the person above who emailed me went to my same Christian college and she herself celebrates the ancients. Good for her. I honestly believe -- good for anyone who celebrates their faith in nonviolent, non-oppressive ways. May I continue to celebrate my faith in Father, Son, Holy Spirit in a way that may inspire others when they've been scared by the overtly zealous in the past.

Anyway -- I just thought I'd share that little email from J. Thank you J. You rule.

What else -- ah yes, today being election day I will simply encourage readers to do one thing today -- go and vote. I don't care who you vote for -- go vote.

We live in a society filled with the "I don't give a shit"ness types who don't go out and vote but continually complain when politicians aren't doing the right thing or their taxes get raised or proposition 2 1/2 overrides do or don't get passed.

You cannot complain if you don't participate. As Homer Simpson says, "Don't blame ME, I voted for Kodos."

I don't care WHO you are or what you think -- if you do not take an active role in picking your world leaders, from local representatives to the president -- I don't want to hear your whining.

The Onion recently had a funny article about a guy who votes in EVERY election. His coworkers think he has a problem. He thinks it is his civic duty and an honor as a free citizen to vote in everything, from electing the town dog catcher to electing the governor. It was a very funny article, poking fun at overtly active voters but also poking fun at people who think voting is a waste of time. Unfortunately, it isn't archived on the web, but trust me -- as usual The Onion hit the nail on the head.

Alright. This entry has taken me a long time. I'm going to get showered, go vote, eat food, and sit back and watch who ends up being my governor tonight in probably the too closest to call election in this state since Bill Weld got elected. Go vote, damnit. And have a great day.

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