Not a proper job

Sunday May 29, 2005

I was disappointed late yesterday when two lots of my horsebrasses failed to sell on eBay and the third went through with only one bid, at the starting price. Not too disappointed, though, because that’s what eBay is all about. Today the last of the lots, a pretty floral pot, sold successfully at a sensible price and I still have three pieces to auction that may do as well. So my total outlay is recovered, and I have good expectations of realizing a small profit overall. That’s trade, good trade, the way trade should be.

My input is to get my body to the sale, pick out a few items that I feel worth presenting in the eBay arena, clean them up, take photographs and spend the time and a little money to get them there. Then, anticipating a sale, I take time and care to pack them carefully and, when a sale is made, making the trip to the post office to despatch them. Translating time spent into an hourly rate I could certainly do better flipping burgers. Just as well I enjoy eBay or I’d have to cast it aside as a failed venture.

There’s a big difference between a formal job, any job, even flipping burgers, and a little bit of casual buying and selling. If I committed to a job I’d feel obliged to turn up on my designated work days whether or not I felt up to it, and regardless of other things I’d rather do. With eBay, if I don’t care to do it I don’t have to. I simply haven’t been in the mood for it this past week. Didn’t go to the sales yesterday, haven’t put in the effort and time to list the items waiting to sell. I have no overheads, only a tiny investment, and no contract to honour so it really doesn’t matter. Not a proper job, in other words.

Just now I’d rather play with my cameras and sit quietly reading my book. We’ve had a spell of truly lovely weather, giving the garden a jump start towards summer, and even though the hotter days are a bit of a physical trial, my spirits and sense of well-being are on a good high. No complaints there, then.

Nor do I have any complaint on my progress on the photoblog. It’s done, uploaded, spinning, and generating traffic already. Again, because it’s not a proper job, I’ve been able to tackle the task on a strictly ‘when-I-feel-like-it’ basis. It’s a great feeling to have it done, because I no longer need worry about where and how to present photographs, and sketches, when I do them. And because I’ve made it clear that it’s not going to be a regular daily thing, I can take pictures when I want, as I want, and showcase them similarly. It’s not a proper job.

Jobs are all to do with fixed time and cost targets and neither of those are necessary. The only target we need to meet currently is the broadband connection scheduled for Wednesday. Even that is not an immutable target. We’d like to start with a fully implemented wireless network and today we ordered the Netgear box and PC cards[1] to do so. They are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, so it’s perfectly possible we’ll have a smooth installation. If not, no problem, we shall start off with an un-networked solution, using the freebie modem and just my computer, adding the wireless network side when we feel up to it. Most of the burden will fall on Graham, so I’m happy to take the benefits as and when they happen. Neither of us have a proper job attitude to it, and quite right, too.

Just mention the words ‘proper job’ to Dolly the Mega-cat and you’re in for a scornful glare. Or worse. Dolly doesn’t do proper jobs, at least not in any sense you’d readily recognize.

Am I happy not to have or need a proper job? You betcha. I am content to leave such things to other people. I honour and respect their efforts.


[1] For those interested in the details, we ordered one Netgear DG834G 54mbps Wireless ADSL modem/router/switch/firewall, and two Netgear WG311 54mbps Wireless PCI Adaptors. Graham’s PDA is already WIFI-enabled. The broadband suppliers will be sending us two freebie ‘micro filters’ so we can use voice telephone alongside the ADSL signal, and they are simple devices, as good as we can get elsewhere. I have no need to network my PDA so it’s no loss that it knows nothing of WIFI.



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