Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lancing Never Free

Interesting couple weeks in the freelancing biz. Slowly but surely things seem to be headed in the right direction, despite the usual setbacks and roadblocks to suckcess. Not that I'm bitter or anything...

Middle of last week it was looking like Friday was gonna be an off day. LT said they didn't "need" me to come in, that I should come back Monday and to plan on working Tuesday & Thursday as per usual. But Thursday morning I received a welcome call from K., one of my main contacts at A., the world-famous freelance agency I "belong" to, asking about my availability for Friday. It seems S.Comm, the ad agency over on Varick Street, was requesting my earthly presence for a choice assignment. It turns out they've been renovating their offices and needed someone to work off-premise. I fairly shouted into the phone, Yea, verily!

It turns out they needed someone to go over one of their in-house style guides, something I was quite familiar with as I've worked on similar projects for them four or five times at least over the past year. The guide outlines the rules the ad- and copy-writing people are to use when dealing with a high-end crystal/jewelry (actually jewellery in this case) operation. The beauty of the assignment was that I could stay in Astoria; as I still have no functioning home PC, I based my operation out of the Internet Cafe that I so frequently frequent. All I had to do was print out the 50 or 60 pages and then went home and worked on it by the light of my kitchen window.

The folks at S. were under an enormous deadline, and so I turned it around for them in short order. I caught a myriad of stuff, from misspellings of words like typeface and article to larger problems with page numbers, etc. Basically the guides set rules regarding which typefaces to use, where the Swan logo should reside in the ad, etc. The bottom line is that S. was extremely grateful for my input and expertise, as they should be, because I take a back seat to no one in my field. That's just a stone cold fact. So instead of an off day, I was able to bill them for almost 5 hours of work at $25 per hour. Sweet. (LT gets me for "only" 22 an hour.)

Yesterday morning as I headed to LT from the train station, I got another call from K. informing me that the folks at V magazine were specifically requesting me for a choice two-day assignment. I had worked for V just once before, a one-day dealio back in November, but apparently I made such a big impression that they asked for me, by name! Of course it would be difficult to ask for someone other than by name, but I'm sticking to my verbiage as this post is supposed to resemble a stream of consciousness outpouring of my deepest, barest emotions. How'm I doin' so far?

Well, that really jacked me up as you can guess. Just to work on the premises is reward enough, and they also pay 25 per if I remember correctly. But V needed someone to work either Wednesday & Thursday or Thursday & Friday. But being the loyal sumbitch I am, I was already committed to LT for Thursday, and before I got a chance to see how flexible they were willing to be this week, A. pulled the rug out from underneath me and K. called back with the news that V decided to use someone else. I was a little put off, but that's life as a freelancer: easy come, here today, gone fishing tomorrow ... I chose to focus on the positive, on the fact that the V folks specifically requested me. K. did say she'd try to make it up to me, although not in those exact words.

The reason I'm able to remain so positive is because a good friend of mine, Kate, just got a new job at a huge ad agency and has decided to use me as a freelancer for them starting this very week! Kate is a real take-charge, alpha type (she basically planned our entire November reunion along with the Gatt and got all the details together to make that shindig such a memorable event), and apparently has moved up the ranks at her new company with such alacrity that she's able to use me for such an important project. It's a huge assignment for their pharmaceutical division which involves going over a PowerPoint presentation for a new diabetes drug. She's even got me into the system as of yesterday, when I filled out a bunch of forms including a W-9 statement, so I'll be paid weekly according to Kate. This could be the killer break I've been needing for some time.

Yesterday at LT, I was going over some ads for a new show of theirs that will be running in publications like TV Guide, People, etc. That's par for the course. What was unusual was that in the ad, the character's name, whose love interests are a vampire and detective, was spelled wrong. I know, I know, it's silly, but this is what women are going for these days. Usually I will Google any actor names that I'm not familiar with, but the poster itself didn't have any, but something told me to check the spelling of the character, and it turns out that according to the information on LT's very own Website, it's spelled wrong. I live for catching stuff like that. Now I'm smelling like a rose because I caught that little gaffe before the ads left our department en route to wherever it is these things go after I look at them. And last week I caught another few major things, including another actress's last name spelled incorrectly. Damn I'm good.

Not only has it been an interesting few weeks, but indeed as I started getting my tax stuff together, I realized that it's been a unique year for me in terms of all the stuff I went through as I tried to get back on my feet following my unceremonious departure from TWST, followed by six months of unemployment checks, which ended just about exactly a year to the day. To be precise, my 2006 tax statement includes the following (legal) sources of income: the last four or five weeks of unemployment in early 2006; a strange one-day job at Cornell Medical Center; a brief interlude as a telemarketer/market researcher; an even briefer period working as a shipping clerk for a friend's office supply/novelty company; a futile, fruitless turn as a gold coin salesman for another friend; a somewhat more successful stint (still technically ongoing) as a caterer for yet another friend's company; as well as all the different freelancing jobs I've had. All these escapades and more are chronicled in-depth and with appropriate levels of irony and self-deprecating humor on this very blog for those interested in more detail. And who wouldn't be fascinated by the continuing misadventures of a modern-day Ignatius J. Reilly rampaging headlong through the work force. Show of hands please...
Postscript Wow! Talk about your serendipity. It's now 10 minutes after I completed the above communique and I just seconds ago got a call from C, another of my contacts at A, informing me of an assignment for CL that has my name written all over it. I have never worked for them before, but it involves going over some alumni stuff, and get this: I can work off premise. Again, there's a deadline, but it looks like I can get started ASAP and work at home after I've printed all the stuff out. As it was, I knew I was back at LT Thursday but we hadn't discussed tomorrow or Friday yet. So now that I have all those blanks filled in and then some, I just hope K doesn't need me to get started for her project until Friday night. But it's a nice dilemma to have for a change: too much work! C's gonna get back to me to confirm with all the details any minute now I guess, but I am jacked up like a meth addict who just got a new script filled. Very.

1 comment:

jimithegreek said...

You go warden, 2007 will be a good year for you! It is the year of the golden pig after all asn all us men are pigs or dogs!!!!