Closing doors, opening doors

14 08 2008

Life takes some interesting twists and turns, with things popping up out of unexpected places. Here are a few work-related things from the past couple of weeks in no particular order:

  • As I mentioned the other week, my time on the big project for the Queensland company is coming to an end. They’ve employed a full-time Brisbane-based replacement for me. He starts this Monday and I do handover with him next week. I’m fine with it—my other boss there still wants me on board for other work, but we’ve yet to work out the details of how much time etc.
  • I get a phone call this week from a lovely lady I’ve worked with before. She works for a BIG global oil and gas company, and has wanted me to do work on her project for some months. She hasn’t been ready—and I haven’t been available. Meantime, one of her colleagues desperately needs someone to help out the full-time tech writer with environmental reports for submission to government etc. It sounds like it’s just formatting, troubleshooting Word issues (my favourite task, NOT!), editing, and PDFing ready for submission. Once the administrative and contract stuff is sorted, I should start on that part time late August/early September. I’ve been told it’s a minimum 6 month contract, so that’s good.
  • I’ve picked up some ad hoc Author-it consulting work with a company in Israel. So far it’s involved setting up HTML templates and troubleshooting Word template issues. Because it’s too expensive for them to do electronic bank transfers per invoice, we’ve set up a prepaid situation where they pay for 10 hours in advance, I send them detailed timesheets as I go, and then send them a new invoice when the prepaid 10 hours is nearly up. So far, we’ve put in place two prepaid plans.
  • My great friend, Char, asked me if I’d like to be a moderator for an email list of some nearly 7000 Help authors around the world. The main moderator, Bill (*waves to Bill*), has left his position and Char has taken it on (amongst the hundreds of other things she does in a day!). But they needed another moderator to fill the gap so that it wasn’t left in the hands of just two people. It’s not arduous work—just watching out for spammers who want to join the list, and monitoring the first few posts of newbies. So now we have true 24/7 coverage—Char’s in North America, Paula is in Israel, and I’m in Australia. We have all time zones covered!
  • Oh, and I’m off to Sydney at the end of October to spend a few days in the Queensland company’s Sydney office (where my other boss is now located), and to speak at a conference there.
  • And then yesterday I get a call from an old friend who I worked with back in the late 90s at Hamersley Iron, and they’re coming down this way early in October. They love wine so it’ll be an opportunity to introduce them to the wines of this region and to catch up on lots of gossip! (Yes, Suzanne—it’s B&L)
  • Almost forgot! A few weeks back I wrote some comments on a great article that Luke Wroblewski wrote on the UXMatters website. The editor emailed me and asked me to write an article or a series based on the information in the presentation I did at the WritersUA and AODC Conferences. So I’ve been busy with that and sent off my 6000 words yesterday.
  • Yesterday was another ‘completion’ day too! One of the things that I put off until I can’t put it off any longer is getting together all the information for our annual tax returns (personal and company). But I got an email from the accountant earlier this month telling me she’s pregnant and could we please have our stuff in to her by the end of August as she’s going on maternity leave in October. Brisbane had a public holiday yesterday, so it was an ideal time to get it done. Courtesy of Express Post, it’s gone and she should have received it today.
  • Oh, and I washed my car yesterday too—it really needed it! It’s been so wet lately that I haven’t had a chance; yesterday was lovely and sunny. Not hot, or even very warm, but sunny.

At a more personal level, my friend Bobbie has offered me her almost brand new sewing machine to test for a couple of weeks. It’s a Husqvarna Sapphire 830, so it doesn’t have the things I really like about the Sapphire 870, like the auto thread cutters, but it will give me a good feel for the machine. She may offer it to me for purchase as she’s thinking of upgrading her Pfaff to the new model when it gets released in a month or two. But thanks to her generosity, I get to try it out for a while before making a decision. Now, I just have to find the time to get back to those quilt blocks! I’ve got the log cabin ones all made—I just haven’t had time to start putting them together yet.



One response

14 08 2008

Way to go with all the new work. Anyone in their right mind would be jumping at the chance to employ you! I hope you and the gels have a FANTASTIC time in October. Don’t drink all the wine – you’ll drive the price up and WA wine is already too expensive.

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