I’ve been slowly getting things up on Etsy. I want everything to be perfect. That means taking pictures, cropping, editing, and all the while writing down ideas that come from the air whenever something creative is going on.
If you want to see the etsy page with just two items listed, it’s here: Ballew Family Artisans
I have tissue packs that say “Do not open unless for tears of joy” that need to be photographed and put up next. Then I have some vintage toys and jewelry… you know how it goes.
I’m also getting antsy now that the summer break is half over. Soon, the kids will be back in school and me and E-man will have the day to ourselves while I’m not driving the taxi. LJ and A won’t be going to the same school, so it will be quite the taxicab.
I’ve been a SAHM for over a year now and it’s freaky. It’s good, it’s just abnormal. I’ve never been without a job for so long. Like a job where I got to get in the car and go somewhere else for several hours at a time. It’s nice because I can do things around here the way I like them, but when it comes down to it, I’m not good at the home-ec stuff. If I can’t program it or hack it, then I’m not good at it. I can’t garden worth a shit. I can’t sew or knit or any of that. I’m a halfway decent cook but I really dislike cooking. I’m decent at cross-stitch but that’s only because you can count it out a like little pre-computer ASCII art project.
And now we’re back to the idea of work. I need SOMETHING to keep me from going brain-dead and I also don’t want industry to run off without me while I’m playing at home-ec. Really, I just want the kids to have a mom at home when they are. They may not want to be close to me all day, but they like the freedom of playing in their rooms or reading or beating the new DS game. I like it too – I always learned more when I had time just to screw around.
So I joined Etsy and I signed up on LinkedIn. I already have a Facebook page and a Myspace page I never, ever log in to. LinkedIn is a strange site. It’s not built… to be user friendly. It’s like a technology test to see if you’re astute enough to actually use it because none of the buttons are in places you’d think to put them and all the links are vague. Plus, they want you to pay to see other people’s profiles. Um, no. I’ll put it up there so I have a consistent web presence, but I’m not going to pay to see other people’s consistent web presence.
Seriously – Google me. There are two Cynthia Dollins in the entire US of A. I’m the one that DIDN’T write the book on academics and I’ve never been a professor of anything. I’m the one that wrote the professional learning techniques article and the one that wrote the spiritual oneness article that shows up on all the pagan webpages. (Which I think is very odd and very cool at the same time.)
Social networks make you define yourself in new and masochistic ways. What is my specialty? Um. Being a geek. You can’t get up on the web and claim to be a hacker because people think that’s illegal. They’re thinking that you bust internet security. No, crackers break security. Hackers build shit from shit that used to do different shit. Also, saying anything about hacking or modding anything brings tons of little punk ass teenagers who want to talk about your notoriety or what programming languages you use.
So what do I do? Um… I solve problems. Don’t ask me how because I don’t know yet. First you have to have a problem. Then I need the context around your problem and access to your system. Then I need some coffee and some chocolate and some alone time. I’ll let you know if I need something else.
Really, that’s all I do. I make people’s lives easier. That’s a good one, but again, hard to define.
Let’s see. I have to be more skilled than that. Oh, I know: I’m great at pissing off developers. I’m not a code monkey – I don’t care if it’s beautiful and poetic behind the user-interface. I want it to actually fucking work.
If I click this, it’s supposed to do that. If it does that by doing this other thing, turning that date code to zero, and fucks up all my reports, you are going to have a problem. When it comes to software engineering – you should always expect one fix to cause at least seven other problems. The artistry comes in making the fix not trigger those other grenades. It’s possible, it just may not be pretty.
I don’t want to form a meeting of all the beta testers and their supervisors and the developers and their supervisors so I can tell you your link is screwed. I want your little pale ass to come over to my computer station (or link up with me on a web conference) and see what happens when you click the link. This way, I can with my finger point at the computer screen and go THAT ONE. This is so that you, as a developer, don’t go and break a link that worked just fine because the naming convention was off.
Um, I also translate geek to human and then from human to sales. That’s talent, right there! You could not count the number of times I’ve been pulled into offices to translate. Developers, project managers, BIS, analysts, middle management, service personnel, sales personnel, and upper management all have different languages. They’re all talking about the same thing but with the lingo, they don’t know it and suddenly there’s a huge fight and everyone is mad and doubts the other folk’s intellect, and managers are being called and it’s a big cluster fuck. This is where I come in. You tell me what you want. Now you, and then you.
Here’s a way you can all understand it and who is doing what. *everyone nods* Here’s what’s going to happen in two weeks. Here’s what’s going to happen in the mean time. Here’s who does NOT need to be involved. Once everyone is happy and shaking hands, my work is done.
How do you define that?
I think in another year, I’ll be ready to head back into the fray. Right now, I’m still a little too hot about it. I only got mild heartburn while recalling the events above. I feel things a little too strongly and my main value is in diffusing high stress situations but adrenaline can only take you so far. If you keep going after burn-out, alcohol, drugs, and other misguided decisions lay on the other end of the spectrum. You don’t believe me? Ask people who look 10 or 15 years older than me how old they are. What? Only 5 years? Yeah, buddy. Hard living shows on your body.
Everyone knows how to define a burn-out.
And no one is going to admit to it on social networking sites.