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work from home

When Life Is Just a Click Away.

By | Outsourcing: an original view, work from home

Version 1.0

Five people across the globe, all with a different background. What they share is their working-space: the world. We asked them one simple question: tell us about your life and why you do work for me?

There were no intentions with it, other than understanding better the people who work for us but the result, in our eyes, is a work of art through which we discovered that we humans share a lot more than we think, regardless where we actually live and work.

This book is a sneak preview into the lives of people in countries considered rich and poor, who work hard for little money, in countries where a busdriver earns only 150 dollar per month, and where people who are highly skilled and who have university degrees need hard-working jobs to get by, to come closer to their dream of doing what they really want to do, without the pressure and being forced to work (all the time).

These are people who I consider part of my generation, youngsters from 21 to 35 years old, trying to cope with similar challenges as I, challenges that our modern lifes poses, regardless where in the world you are. People who have the same dreams of freedom and independence, of family-living and being among friends, of not having to worry about water, food and shelter. People like me and my friends, people who just want a happy life, people who live all over the world.

How do these young people earn a living, although they live in a poor country or a country that has been torn apart by war? How do they get around with the little money they get, in countries where you might have nothing if you are not employed, with no social security or very little at the most, and maybe only family to fall back on if you’re lucky enough.

Countries where an opportunity is a low paid job that you only want because of the money, and where life is just a click away: “Accept this offer”.

The Background
The Outsourcing Diaries is a project that came to mind when a good friend of mine, Kasper Souren, an internet business-developer, had outsourced some of his work globally to anyone who seemed fit for the job, with various degrees of success.

He started to become curious about what’s happening on the other side of the contract, about the people he didn’t know at all and who he most likely will never meet, but who still worked for him.

In the world where a job opportunity is just a click away, Kasper basically wanted to know: who are these people that work for me? What are their dreams and desires, their personal challenges? How do they live their lifes? How do their lifes look like?

Through his favourite online platform for outsourcing, Odesk, he made the job-offer: “I want you to write 7 articles about your own life – especially in relationship to outsourcing.” Further requirements: “relate the story to your environment, your family, your city, your country”. And the main questions for the writers to answer were:

      When did you start working online?

 

      Where are you working? From home? From an internet cafe? How much do you pay for your internet connection?

 

      How did it change your life?

 

      Does it provide good opportunities?

 

    Is it better than other work? In what way? If not: why do you still choose this work?

The Responses
This offer attracted 28 candidates within a week. Most of the people responding were from the Philippines, others from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Jamaica but surprisingly someone also responded from the United States, as well as from Bosnia.

The authors would only receive something between 5 and 10 dollars for seven articles of 400 words but after a job well-done they would also receive a better personal rating in Odesk, so that they might be hired more often.

As Kasper wrote in the application: “This assignment can be a good way to make up for one or two bad ratings or to quickly get a good head start if you’re new.”

It often excites the people who respond. Take Garry, who is an accountant by profession which if he would have a job could get him as much as 275 dollars a month, and who started his first diary entry like this:

“This is my first job ever in this site, so I am thrilled. It’s pretty easy because I am to write about my own life in relation to outsourcing. One article of at least 400 words a day for 7 days for 7 dollars in total is a pretty good place to start with this online job. My officemate Giselle has made 23 dollars by simply copying and pasting. I suddenly wanted to play the song ‘I want to be a Billionaire’ just for inspiration but she started playing Don Moen on her speakers: divine inspiration. Why not?!”

Outsourcing Class
This is the class of independent workers, who hunt for small jobs across the globe. Whose lives are precarious. Who choose to work with help of the internet, getting their jobs through online platforms, working for people on the other side of the globe, doing jobs that are outsourced.

Outsourcing is an economic trend that started with companies contracting out jobs often to lower-cost regions where labor may be cheaper. Many companies basically started in the 1990’s to outsource whole production-processes, their guakaistration, human resources, etc.

But outsourcing also prompted the creation of various online services designed to create a marketplace in which freelance workers and potential employers who work outside of the large corporations can connect.

oDesk is one among a number of companies that offers that service and is the one Kasper used for the job to create the Diaries. Others that create marketplaces in which employers and freelancers can contact one another, include Elance, Freelancer, Guru and vWorker (formerly Rent A Coder),

Outsourcing Like
You can get a lot of work done through outsourcing, for very little money. This online outsourcing across the globe is used a lot for computer-coding and writing. Especially relatively easy tasks are cheap and you can get them done quickly.

Every day you’ll find lots of offers for articles, web-coding and even “facebook-likes” offers. Yes, you read that right: you can buy facebook-likes, which we also did for this book, just for the fun of it. For 5 dollars you can get 200 likes for your facebook-fanpage.

How that works? Easy: someone on the other side of the world created 200 facebook-accounts and just clicks on “like” on our page. And in another way it is real social, because these people get a week of food just for clicking “like”. And within an hour we had 15 people applying for the job.

In fact, first we had asked a guy who had liked another page 200 times before but his reply was that he couldn’t anymore. We figured his accounts got banned from using Facebook. Following the logic of the system of market-capitalism Kasper decided to take the cheapest offer, an Indian who offered it for 3 dollar. An hour later we had our first dozen “likes”.

The Outsourcing Diaries is just a small fish in this pool, and a mighty small fish. Following the likes of our Indian contractor “friends” we see many other facebook-pages with hundreds if not thousands of likes. They are all likes paid by cash.

It’s A Whole Industry
I personally did some outsourcing work in the past too. For two years I worked in Barcelona for several companies. I mostly did sales: working for one company that works for another company, pretending I am that company, while calling other companies.

It is a weird world and I got so good at understanding it that when my boss wanted to fire me for slacking, the company hiring my boss didn’t allow him to fire me, and demanded a payrise for me instead. The customer loved me.

Another company I worked for (a month was all I was able to give this one) was hired by another huge company that wanted their guakaistration done. The turnover of workers was huge in this one. People hated the work, stuck in huge office buildings with horrible views, earning just enough to pay rent and food, and not even getting the coffee for free.

A life where you really are just a number. A life in which – although you sit at a desk behind a shiny computer – you still are anonymous worker in an enormous factory, easily replaced by yet another.

But for most people, across the globe, the conditions of life are different and work is for most people an amazingly important thing, not something that can be switched easily, like for me or Kasper.

Fairness
Our skills, although we are in our early thirties and cannot stand an office, are worth easily between 75 and 150 thousand dollar a year – at the least. We think that’s unfair and makes not much sense. And we don’t even need so much. We would have enough with anything between 5 and 20 thousand in our own countries.

For other people it’s a different world. Not because they like the work they are socially forced to do, but because they actually need the money to live, every single penny. This is why they work.

And although paying 10 dollars for just seven articles sounds like exploitation, it actually does help them to get further with their lifes and the money isn’t bad at all. If you’re a quick writer, it wouldn’t take you more than half an hour to write a diary piece. Like Theresa from the Philippines says:

“Technological advancements really paved the way for a company or even a simple individual to outsource whatever they need, may it be for business or personal use. And as long as they do outsourcing, people like me will have a chance to continue earning money, pursuing dreams, help others and most especially, continue living.”

A Fresh Look
What surprises me the most of The Outsourcing Diaries is that we humans are far more homogenous than we often think, no matter where we live. Waking up early in the morning by the sound of an alarm clock, having breakfast and going to an office to earn some income, is the same pattern in Europe, Thailand, Brasil or the United States. We are far more similar than we think, although little differences remain.

“When I woke up this morning, the first thing that got into my mind is how the smell of cigarette smoke will fill my 8 hours in the office.” Is what writes Garry in the Philippines. Apparantly it is still allowed to smoke in office-buildings in the Phillipines, just like how it was in my own experience in countries such as Spain only a few years ago

Garry continues to write about the advantages of working at home: “No traffic. Driving around in traffic or commuting to work daily is stressful. At the comfort of your own office at home the only thing you will probably need navigating is your mouse. You will definitely save up on your fuel expenses.”

But also: “You can log-in in your pyjamas and not worry too much about looking good or smelling fresh all day.”

The world, with less differences and diversity every day, in the North and the Global South, is growing more and more the same. Cities foster similar types of life, forcing people to work for shitty income and no security. Work we often don’t even like doing but somehow we are forced to do.

Escape from Life
So what is it that our people write about the most? Not surprisingly, it is about life itself. How happy they are with the job, is what is most often referred to. But also family, friends and aspirations.

Like Garry who dreams of setting up beach-hotels: “I have bigger dreams like having my own commercial building or hotel. I would also love to have my own beach resort and a nationwide chain of restaurants.”

What you can also read is how people try to escape their lifes. Just like what most people would do in Europe or the United States for example: finding ways to not having to think about their daily worries, and to just be entertained.

“Internet is a point of refuge for me. A beam of light in a prison of shadows.” These words of Meodar in Bosnia sound highly universal.

Or about philosophical question of life, and choices that we all face. Like having to choose for children and family, and what that means for a woman. As Helena, from the Philipenes reflects:

“My own mother (a single parent) used to tell me that I should NEVER rely on a man to provide anything for me. I will be at the losing end. I should have my own money, my own accomplishments. I firmly believed in that. But now that I do have my own family, I guess there are time when what we believed in doesn’t make sense anymore. We all make sacrifices. And at this point, I know I can sacrifice having a career or my personal achievements for my children’s sake. That is not being on the losing end, right? That is being completely selfless.”

More to Come
I am happy that I came up with this idea of turning it into a book and that Kasper initiated this process. At first I was really sceptical but now I think these outsourced diaries deserve a much wider audience, to understand better the way we humans live across the world, to understand our differences and our similarities. To create more culture understanding.

Outsourcing happens at all levels in society these days and now my best friends are also using it, and getting me even involved. This book is a result of that process. This book is the first Outsourced Diaries.

This book is also an attempt at bringing us people together, to be a mirror for humanity on how much we actually might be much more similar than we think. As such it is also an art-project that shows the results of the political-economic we make as humans, through our national and gloval institutions, states, governments and international organisations; whether democractically or not.

But it also shows that people in the Phillipines have similar worries and challenges as people in the United States, as well as people from Bosnia or other places.

This is a first book about outsourcing, real people writing real stuff, about their daily life. See it as an experiment, as a collective work of art, as a product of our current societies, to see what else is possible within the realm of our worlds today.

Enjoy this collection of diaries and if you’re interested in knowing more about future plans that we have, check us out online at http://sendingmoney.org/

5 Tips for getting jobs on outsourcing platforms

By | Outsourcing: an original view, work from home

In the past I’ve actually tried getting hired myself on outsourcing platforms but the money offered is not that interesting really, when competing with people in Pakistan, the Philippines and Bangladesh. oDesk is a good way to outsource work to countries with lower wages. I’ve tried it with coding but that cost me much more time than doing things myself – in the end I never managed to get any technical stuff done successfully through the system. Maybe that’s because I don’t need basic stuff done – I can do that myself quickly – and I can’t outsource my very specific server set up to someone I don’t trust 100%.

Now that I have managed to get good results out of oDesk I can say there are some things an applicant can do to get hired (or not). I’m a domain pimp but I’m still looking for the way to properly treat outsourced workers (i.e. by paying an appropriate wage, not wasting anyone’s time and by thinking out new ways of outsourcing). I hope the following do’s and don’ts can help:

  1. Read the job description. You’d be surprised how many people don’t properly read the description. Even some outsourcing agencies have people working specifically on acquiring jobs for the agency – who do not properly read the description.
  2. Don’t over- or underbid. If an employer puts a job at 100$ you don’t want to bid 20$ or 200$. Slightly underbidding can help get you some more attention in the hiring process but it just looks fishy if you go under 50% of the price.
  3. Don’t ask your potential employer about how you will receive your money (from oDesk). This is a definite turn-off. Inquire at oDesk instead. I’m sure they have their shit together and if you see there are at least some (e.g. 100) people from your country working at oDesk it probably means they also manage to get paid properly from oDesk.
  4. Raising your value appropriately. If you’re currently getting 2.5$ per article it’s unlikely your employer will be happy to suddenly pay you 7.5$. So don’t ask for a raise like that. However, if you gradually work your way up, it’s more likely your employer will go along with it, especially if the delivering goes more smooth every time and you reach a mutual understanding about the way of working. E.g. try getting 3.5$, then 5$, while increasing your punctuality and quality of work. Never start asking for more money right from the start.
  5. You’re in this together. If you deliver good work, the employer will be happy, and you’ll get a good rating (hopefully 5 stars for each facets), so even if the employer is not going to pay more, there will be another employer who be happy to pay you more considering you have a better looking profile. It also works the other way around, it’s easier for an employer to hire people when her own rating is top notch.

I hope these tips will help you if you’re thinking about working through oDesk to make some money.

The Housewife

By | Philippines, work from home

Being a housewife means going over a daily routine with sometimes less excitement and personal growth. Especially for career-oriented women who believe that they deserve more than just staying at home and taking care of the children. In other cases, there are those who do not have a choice but to work because they are either single parents or their husbands’ paycheck cannot compensate for their expenses. In the Philippines, that is mostly the situation. The mother is required to help the father in terms of the family’s financial needs in order to survive. Through the years, women in our country have become more competitive, competent and highly-skilled. Come to think of it, I believe I know more women who earn better than men. And I salute them.

But then again, I wonder, at the end of the day when you have four growing kids, would you choose career over being a full-time housewife? Of course like I said, there are those who do not have a choice. If the mother doesn’t work, their children cannot go to school. But what about those who do not encounter the same problems? If the father’s
earnings are actually enough to get by? I had a short conversation with my husband’s aunt the other day, she said, “Michelle, if you’re able to fit your way of life into Don’s salary, do so. Instead of leaving your kids to a nanny just because you feel that you also need to work.” She even said that, “money can be earned in a different time, but the time you will lose watching your children grow up is priceless.” True enough. Right then and there I realized, she’s right. Weeks before she talked to me I was so worried about looking for a job, when to start, how much to earn, who’s going to take care of the kids… I wasn’t happy. It felt so wrong not being able to spend the same amount of time with my kids now once I start working. I may get a job at an office with an 8-5pm schedule, Mondays through Saturdays. In the morning I will be in a hurry. At night I will be too tired to take care of them. And the salary I get will mostly go to paying my nanny, the laundry and the like. Worst of all, my kids will be spending most of their toddler years (which I believe is the MOST important), with a nanny. The nanny will be the one to comfort them when they cry, not me. The nanny will teach them their ABCs. The nanny will know what’s their favorite food and how to make them laugh. And so it hit me. That is not the mother I want to be. My own mother (a single parent) used to tell me that I should NEVER rely on a man to provide anything for me. I will be at the losing end. I should have my own money, my own accomplishments. I firmly believed in that. But now that I do have my own family, I guess there are time when what we believed in doesn’t make sense anymore. We all make sacrifices. And at this point, I know I can sacrifice having a career or my personal achievements for my children’s sake. That is not being on the losing end, right? That is being completely selfless.

I am not saying that I will never work at all. I will have my time. Maybe I’m just trying to analyze my priorities at this time in my life. Chances may be small if I work later on because I got older already. But it is a risk I am willing to take. Besides, I think it’s true that good things come to those who are resourceful enough. Just recently I tried to get side projects from jobs offered online. It is not much. But it will help. And I will be doing something productive and worthwhile. It is amazing how perfect this can be for

people like me–mothers, housewives, even those with disabilities. No discriminations. Who knows, I might just get lucky and do this on a full-time base.

Being a housewife is not always “all that boring” and going over the same old routine. It is the noblest job in the world. And sometimes, it can even be extra fun.

A week in California

By | work from home

Monday in Cali: Is Being a Full-Time Mommy a Career?

It was a Monday and two months had passed since my baby was born. I was left with a huge decision: Should I go back to work or not? Before he was born, I was confident that I would return. I had a promotion and a raise waiting for me. My job was turning into a career and I was finally making strides towards reaching my professional goals. Well, my son changed things drastically. As much as people tell you this, it never really sinks until you hold your baby for the first time.

After much deliberation, I made the decision to stay at home. I never pegged myself as a “housewife” or “stay at home mommy.” In my mind, I was going somewhere—somewhere important. I mean, that is the whole reason I went to college. I didn’t waste my time studying, staying up late, and stressing over classes just to stay at home and care for a baby. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a noble and extremely difficult responsibility, but it just wasn’t a part of my original plan.

Rather than sulk, I wanted to find ways where I could be a mother and a working professional at the same time. I spent a lot of time praying for God to open opportunities for me to do both. Family and friends have been telling me to try and find something online. Supposedly, it’s all the rage and it’s easy. Well, it’s not. Finding a credible online job is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. So many offers are clouded by outrageous claims or sketchy application forms.

As a mom, being able to work from home is the ideal. While it is difficult to juggle both, I know that at the end of the day I am caring for my son and that will always be my first priority. These are just a few tips that have helped me beat the dreadful search of finding the right online job.

1. Be patient. More than likely, you will not find the right fit immediately.
2. Network. Find out if any of your friends have worked online before. If so, ask for their recommendations.
3. Build Your Profile. Take time to invest into your profile, resume or whatever else the company is looking for to hire you.
4. Be Willing to Start Small. Don’t expect to make the “big bucks” right away. Most of the time companies offer feedback so be willing to take the small jobs until you build your credibility. This will lead to bigger jobs down the line.
5. Be Selective. When describing your skills, work history, certifications, etc. include those that are relevant to what they are looking for. It is not always helpful to flood your profile with every bit of information about you.

Tuesday Cali: The Unexpected Side of California

Most of the world pegs California as it is depicted in the latest reality T.V. shows. However, if you travel upstate a few hours you will find your ideas about California to be untrue. Just North of L.A. you will climb what is known as the “Grape Vine.” This huge hill is like a metaphorical separation of two worlds. L.A. is fast-paced and the place everyone wants to be and full of people they want to become, but on the other side of that hill are acres and acres of farm land. This is where I now live.

My daily drive consists of passing miles of corn fields, grape vines, citrus orchards—you name it. I use to think this would be boring, but instead it has become de-stressing and downright inspirational. My mind is not preoccupied with the day’s tasks as I drive down the road. Rather, I frequently find myself trying to figure out what crop is growing and thinking about what it would be like to take a nap in the shade casted by the acre of walnut trees. Today was just like that.

Around 10am I got in the car to run a quick errand. Rather than worry about being in a rush or plagued by the days endless tasks, I looked forward to driving and getting to daydream a bit. When I got home, I was refreshed by day’s sights and sat down at my computer at home. It was time to work and I just knew it was going to be a great work day. There was no writer’s block. No stumbling through the Thesaurus trying to find the right word. Just the day’s inspiration flowing from my fingertips.

It is amazing what your environment can do for you. I never realized how much it had an impact on me till I moved. I love what I never knew about California until now. I have been out-of-touch and inundated by a consumer-mentality. It’s re-energizing to be able to enjoy a day without doing much but just listening and watching. Before, I would find myself trapped by T.V., facebook, or surfing the internet. Being willing to make a few lifestyle changes has provided me with a whole new perspective that motivates me to be work harder. Today was just an ordinary Tuesday. I can’t wait to discover more ways to be inspired by the beauty of Central California.

Wednesday in Cali: Writing Between Time Zones

It was 6:30 am in the morning when I woke up to the sound of a chattering toddler hoping that someone will bring him milk soon. Once he was settled, I checked my smart phone for any emails I may have received while I was sound asleep. Low and behold, an email from my editor proposing the topics for the upcoming magazine issue. As I read down the list, I quickly began organizing the topics in my head starting with the one that seemed the most interesting and ending with the topic that, in my mind, was the least interesting. I responded back without any hesitation in hopes of getting my first choice.

Within minutes, I received an email back. The editor informed me that while she would love for me tackle my first choice, she may have to give me my second. The reason? Simply because it required that I shop for a particular product that can only be found in that country. Because of my relocation back to my homeland, I could no longer fulfill this requirement. I settled for my second choice and began writing.

When I first hired, I was a contributing writer locally. Thankfully, the company liked me so much that they wanted to keep me as a writer even when I decided to relocate back to my home town, the United States. While outsourcing me as a writer has worked out thus far, I see now that it does propose its own challenges. There are going to be moments that despite your expertise, experience, or education living locally can have its advantage. Rather than allowing this to stifle my opportunities, I have found that the best way to making outsourcing work towards my advantage is to find where I’m most needed and to not worry about the areas I can’t reach. If the company values your contributions they will keep you and find a place where you will be the most effective.

In following two weeks, I plan to dedicate my time crafting an article that is rich in research, relevant and well written. My evenings will be set aside for this. Anyone with a toddler running around knows that you can’t get much done during the day time. So, with that said, my days will be spent being a mom changing diapers, playing in the dirt and cleaning up messes. When night strikes, I know that I can spend my time becoming the best writer I can be.

Thursday Cali: To Grandmother’s House We Go

Today, we get to take the five hour trip to visit Grandma’s house, though it will not be by car, but the reliable train. Most of us would probably say, “Who rides the train anymore?” It’s not very popular anymore, but I have really grown to love it.

My first experience riding the train was between the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece. I was a bit weary at first, but as the train rolled down the railways, I knew it was going to be a fun trip. I love that you can get up and walk around. You are not confined to a small seat and narrow aisles like a plane, and you can move about freely without being buckled into your car seat. It really makes traveling enjoyable. The ride is smooth and typically cuts through country sides that are not scene by the everyday passer buyer. Overall, I would recommend it to anyone.

To pass the time, I sat at a seat with a table, pulled out my computer and began working. With the sun setting on my left, it made for an ideal working environment, except for the fact that the internet went in and out as we passed through towns. I decided to copy and paste what I needed online to a word document so I wouldn’t have to worry about waiting for internet connection. Before I knew it was 11:00pm and we arrived at our destination in Irvine, CA. We were picked up by my brother-in-law who drove us another hour south to reach our final destination.

We arrived around midnight, and Grandma was ready to greet her grandson, who by the way was wide awake and had a case of the giggles. He did nothing but act silly the entire trip. Clearly, he was sleep deprived and all I could think about was what tomorrow was going to be like. Was I going to have to deal with a cranky baby all day? I prayed he would sleep in pass his normal wake time of 6:30am.

Rather than fall asleep right away, I decided to pig out and watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy—-a personal favorite. Before I knew it, it was 1am and I figured I should probably go to sleep soon. Honestly, what was I thinking? My son will be ready to rise and shine at 6:30am no matter how much I had hoped that he would sleep in.

Friday in Cali: What Happened to the Time?

I started the day snuggling my son until 7:30am. It was nice to sleep in for a change. He drank his milk and ate his oatmeal and banana cereal. Once he was taken care of, it was time for me to get ready. My husband has the morning off and I was going to take advantage of the time to get a few errands down without have to carry my son along.

First stop was the Department of Health. I needed to get a TB test for a job I just got hired for last two weeks ago. Even as a child, I dreaded the needle. I didn’t cry hysterically, but I just hated the whole experience. Now, I get through it by turning my head and asking the doctor to tell me when they are going to stick me—-I hate surprises. I was done in about 5minutes, something that would be impossible if I had to tote a toddler with me.

Next stop was the Sheriff’s Department for fingerprinting. I had an appointment and if I didn’t make it, I would have to come back later. I got there about 30 minutes early. When the office assistant asked to see my Driver’s License, I opened up my wallet and could not find it anywhere. The assistant was not going to budge on the time or give me any grace if I missed my appointment. I decided to rush home and get it where I left it—in the computer scanner. Thankfully my husband was home and he walked out to the car to hand it to me. I got back to the Sheriff’s Department just in time and had my fingerprints done in about 5 minutes.

It was barely 10am and I had two important tasks done. Well, as the day went on, my time started to get away from me. I later stopped by a friend’s house to drop off something a borrowed. What began as a quick trip turned into an hour long stay followed by a two hour phone conversation while our little ones were napping. Though our chatting took much of the better part of the day, it was much needed and worth it. I was happy that I didn’t have to work a 9am-5pm job and could spend time with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while.

Before I knew it, it was dinner time. We ate and enjoyed family time, and then I realized I needed to get to work. It was nearing 9pm and I was just starting to work for the day. I’m glad I have the flexibility to work from home online. I can make time for the unexpected and still help support my family. All in all, it was a good day.

Saturday in Cali: Scorching Summers

Did I read that right? It is supposed to me 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer has hit like a sledge hammer and looks like it isn’t going away anytime soon. Guess it is time to pull out the tank tops and keep my hair pulled back—I can’t stand when my hair sticks to the back of my neck. Well, it was barely 9am and it was already in the 80’s. That alone made me weary of the temperature that was to come. I knew it was only going to get worse.

Though today, by anyone’s estimations, is going to be a hot day it is nowhere in comparison to that summer heat and humidity of the Philippines. Having lived abroad there the last three years, I have learned a new definition of hot. Not only is it hot, but you feel like taking shower and changing your clothes at least three times a day. Partly what makes the heat so unbearable is the expense of running air conditioning. So instead, most people, including myself sit in a house that is climbing in the 90’s with what feels like 100% humidity….ugh.

I plan to beat the heat the only way I know how. Thanks to Manila, where there is a mall every 5 miles, many go hang out in Starbucks and sit in the luxury of air conditioning so that is exactly what I am going to go do. I am not much of a coffee drinker so McDonald’s will do just fine. I will sit in the corner with my Strawberry Lemonade and enjoy free WiFi.

It was a perfect opportunity to search for jobs. I hit up the Classifieds in the local newspaper online, craigslist and whatever website that will give me an opportunity to make decent money without working full time. I spent the next two hours filling out applications in hopes of getting an interview in the next couple of days. I left McDonald’s with high hopes and cooled down from the summer heat.

When I got back home it was lunch time. Nothing to heavy or hot was would be on my menu. Maybe a chicken salad and iced tea would do. I pulled out the leftovers from dinner the night before and began making my salad topped with chicken, croutons and some parmesan cheese. I poured a glass of iced tea and sat on the couch to watch an episode of one of my favorite shows on Netflix.

Sunday in Cali: Connected 24/7

Some may say I might be a little late in the game, but I just got my first smart phone about two months ago. I wouldn’t say that I am not old fashioned but I don’t really care if I have the latest phone. Even till now, I don’t search and download apps or probably use the phone to its fullest potential. I know how to make calls, text, going online, take pictures, and my latest skills is using the GPS which has become quite handy.

I appreciated the value of my smart phone the most when we didn’t have internet at the house. Yeah, the screen was a bit small and there would are times that I get frustrated when I easily hit the wrong key, but at least I was connected.

Today, we were getting ready for church. Our family got in the car and found our seats comfortably up front. When the pastor began preaching, I turned to my husband and asked, “Can you show me how to use that online bible app?” He laughed at my naivety, but gladly helped. Good thing we meet in a school so the connection was strong as he quickly searched through the app store to download the application. I was ready to follow along in my Bible in a matter of minutes.

Years past growing up in the church I would have either brought my own Bible or borrowed one from the slot that ran along the back of the pew. Now, all I have to do is pull out my phone. Frankly, it was easier to navigate through the Bible too. Instead of frantically searching through all the pages and trying to keep up, I could find where I was going by clicking the book and chapter on my screen. Today’s passage was out of the book of Matthew.

Service ended about an hour later. I closed the app and put away my phone. It was nice to not have the Bible on hand without the weight. Carrying my purse, a diaper bag and chasing a toddler around at the same time makes not having to carry around one more thing relieving. After catching up with a few friends, we left and headed home for lunch. It was nearing 1pm and I was starving. I contemplated snatching a piece of my son’s PB & J sandwich, but wanted to make sure he wasn’t as starving as I was. He ended up gobbling the whole thing by the time we got home. My first stop was to bolt to the refrigerator door!

Monday in the University: Online in the Library

By | Outsourcing: an original view, Philippines, work from home

It’s our official first day of classes and here I am, already doing a research for my marketing course. Good thing though is that it’s just basic topic for research for me to finish quickly and still have enough time to write for my online writing job before my next class which, is in an hour and half.

Thinking about it, I can say that I have one of the best jobs in the world and it’s the best job that I have so far. It’s not that my previous jobs were like the worst of jobs, definitely not for I had learned and especially earned to help my studies. But then, the difference with my previous jobs and this online writing job that I have now is that I own my time. I finally own my time, work according to when I am most free, and work wherever I am, thus, not being pressured in order to offer the best that I have. And I think that is every employee’s dream from which employers’ benefit as well. And I’m just so lucky to have the kind of job.
I applied for this job not more than a week ago. Lucky, indeed. It came to me just when I was needing another source of income. And what’s more to it, it’s something I am really comfortable to work for. Writing is really close to my heart, so I literally jumped out of my seat when I have read the email regarding my contract. I even had to check it more than ten times to confirm what I have read. I can’t remember if I was that excited when I got my previous jobs. I was really in cloud nine.

Since I am here in the library, I can’t help but compare my “good fortune” with the current situation of some of my fellow students. Here I am, having a chance to earn for my studies while they cram to get good grades to get a good job after. Of course, I have nothing against of them studying hard. Just like them, I value education as how I value my family. Mother will always tell me that I have to study hard for it’s one treasure one can’t take away from me. That is why, despite financial troubles, I keep on pursuing my studies. I am so thankful that I am living these days where you have a chance to work and study at the same time due to technological advancements. Technological advancements really paved the way for a company or even a simple individual to outsource whatever they need, may it be for business or personal use. And as long as they do outsourcing, people like me will have a chance to continue earning money, pursuing dreams, help others and most especially, continue living.