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Friday, May 22, 2009

Tech Talk Tic Tock

One of the only things (aside from my friends and the veggie roll-ups made by Louis in the cafeteria) I still miss about the old job is the easy access to technology and resources. Just a few weeks before the old heave ho, I was budgeted for a new computer and once installed, I reveled in its speed. In addition to that luxury, strategically placed outside my last office and making quite a bit of noise I will add, was a monster high-speed laser printer, scanner, email combo that created multiple color copies in seconds. At my current “office,” if you discount my laptop, which our teenager has appropriated, we have a five year old, which means antique, computer with a printer that does pretty well as long as you don’t ask it to touch an envelope. A critical function missing here at my house is a “Help Desk.” Heaven forbid if I need help, because the closest thing to a desk in this location is a chair placed in front of an open cupboard, and I am the one sitting in it.

To be truthful, the outplacement group I’m working with offers fully outfitted offices for use, but it’s a 25 minute ride from home and I’m feel more organized in my own space. So I have been managing over the past few months, but felt a little disconcerted this week, when I had an honest-to-gosh-deadline for an honest-to-gosh-article that required honest-to-gosh-pictures that weren’t taken digitally and for which I have no negatives. My printer scans, but poorly and the resulting photos were not good enough quality for the publication.

Easily solved; off I went to the camera store, where after a 24 hour delay, they produced beautiful reproductions, for a price. Then, however, there is the editorial agreement, signed by me, which will take a trip to the post office to mail, along with the three photography releases which had to be signed by the varying parents of the kids in the pictures. All of which could have been emailed back and forth between all parties, were I to have better equipment. The documents must be copied for my records making me envy the deafening machine outside my old office which, with a press of a button, would slurp pages from a feeder and zip them right through. It’s a page by page proposition at my house.

None of this is killing me. It is simply interesting to note that what might have taken an hour or so at best with the proper tools has taken me several, in addition to the cost of the scans, my computer paper, ink, envelopes and gas for all the running around. That’s called overhead, I guess.

Duh! If, at the current moment in time, my not-very-gainful-but-quite-meaningful work is as a self-employed writer (and here’s yet another moment where I wonder, if I write it does it make it so?) at a minimum I can deduct the $15.00 highway robbery charge for the two scans off this year’s income taxes, right?

Awesome--now if I could just locate the receipt.

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