Have SmartCard, Will Travel

My sister introduced me to a web site called “Thumbtack,” where you can basically hang out your shingle and get into business quickly. Mine is computer instruction, because there are plenty of little old ladies that have no idea how to use an iPhone in my zip code. I also put that I can lock down routers, because in my neighborhood, there are an alarming amount of homes with no security at all. I’ve got a profile up, and paid the money for a background check. However, what I did not know going in is that if you get a text message regarding a job, you have to buy credits in order to be able to answer them. For instance, if someone says, “I need an admin assistant,” to reply is 3 credits. 30 credits is $35.00, but I didn’t pay it (at least not yet), because the admin assistant position has gone off on my phone four different times, all from different people, and talks about package delivery in Vermont that can be done via e-mail. I believe it is spam, because never in my lifetime have I been able to lift a 50-lb box using only the power of my typing skills.

I also never have to worry about a background check. I once worked in an airport as a line cook in a pub. If I can pass that one, I can pass any of them. As you can imagine, airports are quite strict about who can be there every day.

The other thing I’m working on is tremendously difficult, but not because it’s beyond my capabilities. It’s just methodical and time-consuming, a mountain of work for what hopefully is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I signed up with a web site called Udemy, which is similar to Blackboard or WebCT, and making a basic linux class. The copy for it flows naturally. The hard part is recording my desktop. The David Attenborough part comes later (is there, in fact, any nature video not narrated by David Attenborough?). “So you see the cursor in its natural habitat, about to strike the submit button…”

It’s going to be a series of at least ten videos, because I don’t just want to demo linux. I want to be able to show people that you can get an operating system and a full set of software for free dollars. It’s not just about having a linux desktop and knowing shell commands, although that’s part of it. It’s being able to tell people that you don’t have to pay exorbitant sums of money for Microsoft Office, PhotoShop, Norton AntiVirus, etc… and you especially do not have to go to Best Buy just to get software to backup DVDs and Blu-Rays.

When I walk into a software aisle, it literally makes me sick, because manufacturers are releasing products that have a pretty box and it costs money so it must be better… and in fact, the more money it costs, the better quality it must be.

I will probably create a separate course for LibreOffice all on its own, because the ways to create formulas in Calc and format paragraphs in Writer are just enough different to make an inexperienced user’s eyebrows go over their foreheads. I am surprised at the number of people who cannot wrap their brains around software just because it looks different, but has the same functionality.

But then again, I wouldn’t make any money if people actually read manuals and tried to learn software on their own. It’s just little things that surprise me, like the upgrade from Office 2003 to Office 2007. The ribbon wasn’t introduced until later, so the products looked basically identical and people were still frozen in fear.

In fact, one of the reasons that LibreOffice is so popular is that it looks a lot like Office 2007 and people who still can’t use the ribbon have a word processor again. Because I’m not mean, I’ll also tell people how to install Microsoft Office on their linux machines. This is because sometimes documents do not translate from one suite to another as easily as LibreOffice says they do… but I do not view this as a drawback because Microsoft Office documents won’t stay together formatting-wise in different versions of *itself.*

In terms of my personal preferences, if no one else has to edit the document, I print to PDF. That’s because I’m a font nerd, and I want my resume (or whatever) to look the way it did on my screen. If I don’t, it will end up as Arial and Times New Roman (most likely). I like to branch out a little, and if the font isn’t installed on the receiver’s computer, it will be replaced with something else.

Did you know that? If you didn’t, here’s a free sample of what I can teach you if you hire me.

Have SmartCard, will travel.


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