Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Oh, internet, we simply have so much to catch up on.

I will provide you with a lovely touristy post soon, but here are the highlights from Mom's visit: Inner Mission, Make Out Room, Ferry Building, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, 49 mile drive, Mt. Tam, Stinson Beach, Presidio, Dolores Park, Tartine, Bi-Rite, El Faro, Sutro Baths, Ocean Beach, Mission Bar. We'll do the real re-cap of that later.

Today, we're discussing the job situation. Again.

So, I moved to San Francisco because I had no money and I really wanted a job. The midwest showed interest but didn't really love me. So here I am, California. Employ me.

Yeah, me and the rest of the assholes that recently got out of college. Then Wired laid everyone off. Then Current. Then... well, you get the idea.

My first client was amazing - a banner ad for one of the city propositions. (The campaign was ultimately successful, and they sent me an email later thanking me for my work on it. Score.) My second client was the one that paid all my bills for November, but we had to split ways because we were honestly not suited for one another. His process and mine just did not line up. He paid me as soon as I had completed a day's worth of work, he paid me incredibly well. I'd paypal him an invoice and he would have money to my account within 10 minutes. I was grateful for him, but our differences were just too much and we had to end it. Haven't heard from him since one mixup where I didn't reply to his email within a day of him sending it and he flipped out. Probably for the best.

Then there was the little animation that I took about a month to do and could have finished in a week. I am a bad person. He was an amazing client and loved the work I did for him. He also didn't seem to mind that I took way, way too long to do his very small job.

Then came the biggest success yet: on-site freelancing with a really amazing little firm. This company showed me what my life could be if I could really sustain this lifestyle. They loved me and I loved them, and that's all I have to say about that. I am invited to their Christmas party despite not being salaried with them. They're Net-30, so I have yet to prove that they pay their freelancers, but they are an amazing little company and I sincerely hope to maintain a relationship with them.

They are all wrapped up by one of my favorite people I've gotten to meet in San Francisco. I talked to this gentleman in August before I ever moved here. He gave me hope that I'd be employed. Then I bought a plane ticket. Then I wasn't employed. But he kept in touch with me, by god, brought me in for a coffee chat in October, then randomly emailed me out of the blue a month and a half later to ask me if I could do some freelance for them. I was - and still am - ecsatic. We had our first meeting this morning after over three months of email tag, and now my foot's in the door and I actually have files to work on.

Leaving the meeting, I got the phone call with my full-time job offer from the company I thought had given up on me. 

Allow me to show you a timeline:

September 26th: Apply to job from craigslist.
October 1st: Get email asking salary requirements.
October 1st, 12 minutes later: Reply with salary requirements.
October 24th: Get email at 4:18 on a Friday asking if I can come interview on the following Thursday.
October 24th: Reply at 4:29 that oh my god I absolutely can.
October 30th: Trek to Mountain View, learn how to operate CalTrain, have amazing interview and get really excited that they're going to hire me.
November 11th: Send email, nervous that they hired someone else and that I'm not going to be able to pay my student loans ever.
November 12th: Receive email saying they have three more interviews but hope to make a decision soon. Cry.
November 27th: Tell mother that job will not be mine, pretend it's for the best, get excited about continuing to freelance.
December 2nd: Receive phone call while in 30 minute meeting with newest freelance client, offering job. Make three very important phone calls to closest family and friends. Take job.

It is not enough money and it is in Mountain View. But I am employed, after six months of being out of college and financing my life mostly on credit.

So I'm a commuter now. I think I've decided to try and be a pseudo-bike commuter. Riding from 21st & Guerrero to 3rd & Bryant every day? Not an issue. But now we've got Caltrain to contend with. I think biking to 4th & King is honestly my best way to go. I could BART it to Millbrae - I live close to the 24th St. station. But it takes me 10 minutes to walk there, I don't get any exercise, and I don't save enough money losing that one zone off my monthly Caltrain pass to justify the daily BART expense. Plus it's one more method of public transportation I can't control. I can basically control the time it takes me to ride to 4th & King. I can take my bike on Caltrain, though I've heard the horror stories about not having adequate room for bikes. At least I'll be getting on it at the very first stop, so as long as there are less than 32 of us trying to get bikes on there every morning, we should be okay.

I never really wanted to be a commuter. But we don't always have control over the way things go. Here's to commuting - and to getting a paycheck, by God, perhaps even before 2008 ends.

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