The problem with Elance is that although it lists dozens and dozens of new freelance writing jobs every day, most of them end up being awarded to people living in Eastern countries where the cost of living is quite considerably lower than it is here.
As a result, I can spend several hours every day applying to and bidding for work, and maybe only get accepted for about one per week, since most people want to go for the lowest bid even if the writer can barely string a sentence together in English. This is a bummer. I thought I’d found a way around it, in that I would get an initial job by putting in a very low bid, and then impress the client with my general brilliance before persuading them to give me the next job outside of Elance, where I wouldn’t be in competition with people who can survive on a dollar a day, and where I would also sneakily bypass the commission fee that Elance takes on all earnings. Unfortunately it turned out that they were monitoring my messages on the site, and they suspended my account until I pleaded and grovelled and apologised and signed a letter promising never to do it again. This, too, is a bummer.
I have scoured the job pages of the local newspaper and the local recruitment websites, only to be reminded that there are actually no jobs going at the moment, what with the world being on its last legs and everything. I would even have been willing to go back to Sainsbury’s as a humble cashier for a while. But no… nothing. No jobs. Nada. Bummer.
So I dutifully performed all the paying work I had lined up for this week, sent off my invoice, applied rather pessimistically for several other writing assignments, scounged a cigarette off my dad, and came to stare moodily out of the back door. I think I’m going to have to go on the dole. I will most likely go mad. I’m not a Ballymena person, and I am not a sitting around all day doing nothing person. I want to work. There is no work. I would be quite happy to write, and write, and write, but when I’m not also getting paid, I feel like a scrounger and a layabout for doing that.
And it’s all in the happy knowledge that The Ex is apparently having a “great time!”. Not that I want him to be miserable or anything, but still. A little sadness or regret or something wouldn’t have been too much to expect, would it? It’s not exactly heartening to know that life without me absolutely rocks. This is also a bummer.
I have lost my joie de vivre. It may still be in Estonia. And I can’t afford to go back over and look for it. Nor can I afford a bar of chocolate. Or a drink. Or cigarettes.