8.28.2010

30 Minutes - I'm Temping and Making Up for Lost Time on Daily Posts

Hi. It's Joe.

I got me one of these. It's an LG 23" flat screen LED computer monitor.

Why did I get it? Well, mainly because it was surprisingly inexpensive. This was the top of the line model at BEST BUY, and it was only about $250 with tax. I have wanted a flat screen monitor for some time, to use in the music recording studio. I was finally able to make that small dream real.

I had originally gone to BEST BUY to get a new power cable for my Mac laptop. A lot of travel wear and tear eventually caused the other one to fritter away, and I could not see any way to repair the fine electronics myself. So, naturally, when I was in BEST BUY, I wandered over to the flat screen monitors section. After getting the necessary power pack, I began querying one of the staff people about the flat screens. They must have done a good job training this young lady, because I left the store with both a power adapter and a 23" flat screen monitor.

The monitor integrated seamlessly with my Mac laptop, once I got the right cable. The BEST BUY people gave me an adapter I didn't actually need, but failed to give me the cable I did need. The cable was actually cheaper than the adapter, so I got a small refund of like $3 or some crap when I took the adapter back to the store in the afternoon. But anyway, my laptop recognized the monitor and assimilated it into its operating system with almost Borg-like efficiency. I can easily change the setting on the computer and set it up so that I have more "real estate" on the computer screen, with an application blown up on the flat screen while I can still do other stuff on the laptop screen. Nice.

I am going to put the flat screen down in the music studio and use it for the Logic Pro program during recording. Then I can go online and do other stuff on the laptop even while Logic is doing its thing.

I can also watch movies on it in high resolution. It's a high definition screen.

I worked my first temp job in a while the past two days. Celerity Staffing in Madison WI hooked me up.

I like temping, and I like doing it through the staffing firm. Clients deal with Celerity and then when appropriate jobs come in, Celerity contacts available employees to see if they want the job based on the terms given. Contractors can decline or accept, based on their needs. There's no pressure to take a job if you don't want to.

I worked 15 hours over two (2) days, so I ought to get a decent check at the end of next week. I have a feeling "outsourcing" is going to get big here soon, with the economy in shambles. The economy might even favor contractors vs. employees, because employers can hire them at will, as needed, and they don't have to pay any overhead on contract labor. That is more efficient when times are tough.

I temped at Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation, and my supervisor, Pam, is very laid back and chill. I can tell I am doing good work because the stuff she is doing is dependent on the work I am generating (Excel data entry basically), and she said she has to hustle to keep up with my pace. Nice.

I also enjoy the focused, distraction free work environment. Although it's organized into cubicles, the office is relatively quiet. I like being free of my phone and Internet while I am there. It's kind of like working at the CSA farm. It's pure productivity. As a temp, I don't have to take phone calls or go to meetings, just do what Pam tells me to do and that's totally cool. I think I went on Google twice to research something I was working on. It felt great to just produce quality work at maximum efficiency. I strive for 80% efficiency, because that is realistic. At the CSA farm, I am at close to 95% probably, because I have the ropes down pretty good. There just isn't any time for waste and inefficiency. When we pack food boxes, it's like a manufacturing line, everyone adding their couple of items to the box as it literally moves down the line. If you lose focus, or have to go to the bathroom, or your mind wanders, then things back up, and you try to avoid that.

It's the same with temping. I know what I have to do and I just want to plod along, methodically DOING it. I am probably 85% efficient at the temp job, so well within my expected parameters for myself. I lose some efficiency in formatting the documents for consistency, something that Pam doesn't ask for, but I do it anyway. Down the road, that will just save time and minimize confusion about what is what. It will be more "standardized."

I'm going back to the temp job on Monday, before I head up to the cabin on Tuesday, where I will remain through Labor Day and BIKE WITH MELINDA, the family-friendly bicycle ride in northern Wisconsin that I host at the cottage every year.

Well, my time is gone.

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