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Archive for the ‘Amazon Mechanical Turk’ Category

Man, the last 2 days at work have dragged. Still continuing to feel antsy about all my money issues, but a few positive things have cropped up. First off, I spoke to my rep at the temp agency (called her while I was on a break) and she’s working on getting a pay bump for me. She’s waiting on confirmation from the HR person. Apparently, they gave a pay raise to the other temp in the auditing department once he transferred over like me, so it looks like this will go through. (By the way, he stopped by my cube today. I thought the “other temp” was the big guy in the cube next to my supervisor, but no!  This dude is actually kinda cute…we had a very quick, whispered convo about our jobs — the “yep, it’s boring as all hell” mutual agreement. I hope to talk to him more again soon!)

However, I don’t understand why, but my rep said she wouldn’t be able to make this pay retroactive for the time I put in doing it last week (about 9 hours or so), only this week forward. Now, I realize it’s on 2 different pay periods, but still — this sort of change in responsibility must happen all the time to their temps between pay periods. I can’t believe they are unable to pay me the difference with a separate check for last week. We’re talking what, about 6 bucks after taxes?   I’m not sure if the error is on my part for not alerting them to the change on Thursday or Friday, but if the client agrees on when the changeover occurred AND the agency was alerted in a timely manner (i.e. not weeks or months after the fact), why the hell can’t they cough up the extra dough? Then again, I believe the client should also be responsible for mentioning changes in job duties to the agency, so I doubt this falls squarely on my shoulders. I know, it’s a small amount of money to worry over, but with things as tight as they are, it’s very annoying I might get gyped on what I’m owed.

As far as what I’ll do if the client refuses to pay me more for this new project?  Yikes. In many respects, if that happens, I’ll need to extricate myself from this place as soon as possible, but if neither agency has no place new to send me, then I’ll be worse off than before. This stint is definitely better than nothing, but geez, what a reason to stay, huh?  And you know something else I was thinking about today…the people at this job aren’t the friendliest bunch. My last co-worker (the hick drone) was not entirely charming personality wise, but the few times I dropped by to say hi and see if she needed any help (I can do stuff between document uploads), she was very “meh” to me. I actually did help them out last week with a stack of member cancellations, because the computer was being terribly slow that day, and she didn’t even bother to say thanks. Then yesterday I smiled at one of the customer service girls who was milling around the cube next to mine, and she stared at me blankly. The receptionist (bleach blonde with an overdone tan and tiniest waist I’ve ever seen) doesn’t smile either, and I don’t think she’s ever even greeted me when I walk off the elevator. Aren’t receptionists supposed to be a LITTLE bit bubbly, at least?  Once I got to thinking about it, I realized that most everyone there is very closed off to newcomers. When I walk into the break room, or down the halls, I feel invisible.

Now, after years of doing temp work here and there in various fields, I know this is a common occurence and it’s happened many, many times to me over the years. Which is why I was so surprised when during a few of my last gigs, people were SO nice and welcoming to me.  I never thought I’d live to see the day when people actually treated a temp like a regular person. So suddenly being in a cold environment again is a bit uncomfortable.  The only upside is that I’m pretty much left to my own devices, and I’d rather have that than people constantly bugging the shit outta me.  I guess I should appreciate what I’ve got. It could be so much worse (I’ll have to discuss one of my worst jobs ever here soon. When I think back on that job — which lasted a very hellish 3 months last year — I remember thinking I would do ANYTHING else in the world rather than go back there again. So yes, this stint is an absolute dream in comparison).  *Thanking lucky stars*

(Shit!  I just typed a big ol’ paragraph and suddenly the page redirected to a router error page — GRRR!  I thought WordPress did more autosaves than this!)

Let me try to remember what I wrote…Ah yes, the other good thing that cropped up was that I got a slew of responses to the Craigslist ad I reposted yesterday. For some reason, all the queries were from men this round. One guy came by tonight and I practically begged him to buy something. No, actually I DID beg him (“please please please?”)  After some haggling over a never-used, limited edition brass Zippo lighter, I finally slashed the price to $12 (my first offer to him was $25). Yeah, I could’ve made more on it using eBay (maybe), but after eBay fees and Paypal fees and the free shipping I probably would’ve tossed in to sweeten the auction, it would’ve wound up about the same amount in the end. Besides, I’ve had that damn thing for sale for months, with very little interest from anyone. I got it for free several years ago from a very strange dude, so no skin off my back. And while I’m not quite ready to sell it yet (if ever), he showed interest in a large bookcase I have in the living room, so I said I’d keep him in mind if I decide to part with it. It’s one of the last bookcases I have left, and it matches a desk I have, so I’d rather keep it…but just in case, at least I’ve got someone interested. At any rate, I was determined not to have this guy leave my place without spending money so I was delighted squishing $12 into the little glass jar I use until I run to the bank.

Another dude is set to show up at 6 pm tomorrow…and yet another guy is supposed to give me a call back about arranging a time this week.

Other good things: I worked an extra 15 minutes both today and yesterday (by skipping one of my breaks both days), so that will help eek up my paycheck by a few more bucks on Tuesday.  Additionally, the check from the contract work I did at the non-profit arrived today, and as I thought, no taxes were taken out, so I wound up with $93 (yay!).  I sorted through some old cassettes last night to sell at Half Price Books, and toted those to the car this morning. Looks like I’ll save that trip for Monday night because I need to gather a lot more stuff to sell before I drive over there.  I resisted an urge to stop for dinner nibs last night at McD’s and ate 2 Banquet chicken pot pies that were in the freezer instead. Pretty damn good, I must say.

Right now, I’m down to 2 more pot pies, 2 pork egg rolls and a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese. I have a few odd cans of soup and veggies in the pantry, but most of them are getting a bit old and half should probably be tossed. I’ll have to buy something else to get me through, so tomorrow I’ll stop off for cheap hot dogs & buns (along with a few paper goods I’m running low on). Soon I’ll need another bag of dog food and a can of coffee. But hopefully that can wait till next week.

Tonight I put $5 of gas in the car and bought 2 packs of cigs…and I was so hungry around lunchtime, I finally caved at went to McD’s, for a total of $3.18. For lunch this week I’d been munching on a loaf of banana bread I’d gotten from mom for Christmas that I had thawed over the weekend. But the 2 last slices I brought in today just weren’t enough to keep my hunger at bay.  I’m thawing the other loaf of Pumpkin Spice bread she made for me…which I’ve never had before. But I’m sure it will be delicious and will help get me through next week.

I’ve had a terrible time finding enough decent Amazon Turk HITs to do in the last few days (haven’t seen my favorite morning ones at all), so right now, it doesn’t look like I’ll hit my goal of $10 by Friday. But, weekends are usually a bit better, so I’ve reset that goal for Monday. At the moment it looks like I’m on track to cover rent and electricity early next week. Still looking towards recycling and DVDs sales on Saturday, some other possible CL sales through the weekend, my cleaning advance on Friday, drafting an article for Associated Content, and the jaunt to Half Price on Monday. With any luck, I’ll have a bit left over to buy more gas and food.

I’m also planning on researching other avenues for part-time work. I’m considering applying to Panera Bread or another place close to home & where I’m working now. I also need to give my neighbor a call to see if she could use a few hours help cleaning and organizing. Additionally I need to step up my efforts to find a new full-time gig with better pay and start scouring Careerbuilder more often. It seems I’m so busy trying to scrape up bits of money here and there I overlook the obvious shit like FINDING A PERMANENT JOB AT MY SKILL LEVEL.  But…I’ve had zero luck with CB in the past. Seems I always land stuff through networking or some unadvertised deal via my agencies. Which reminds me, I need to sign up with that third agency soon. Although getting the time off work will be a problem…it’s close to home so maybe I can do an early morning interview or just use my lunch hour. Who knows if they’ll have better luck finding me anything, but it’s worth a shot.

My tummy’s growling a bit since I didn’t eat dinner, but I’m not in the mood to fix anything. Sipping on coffee at the moment. Oh, for the record, 3 month old corndogs from the freezer are disgusting. Don’t even think maybe they didn’t get freezer burn (especially if you didn’t bother to seal the box back up) or “hey, they won’t be so bad.” They will. Trust me. I wound up spitting out my first bite on the floor (super hot AND gross) and tossing the rest in the trash.Ah well, I tried.

Time to relax for a bit before bedtime. I wonder if the latest episode of Caprica is up on the SyFy site yet?

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Up early for a Sunday. I was able to snag some of my favorite Amazon Turk HITs (tasks) this morning. I completed 145 at 2 cents a pop, which will get me almost $3. Once I rack up another $7, I can deposit the money into my bank account.

I’ve got 2 folks lined up from Craigslist to stop by this afternoon, plus another gal after work tomorrow. I’m hoping they buy at least $20 worth of stuff. I realized I still have to come up with enough money (~$24) to mail my water bill in this week, so that’s another damn thing to worry about. Still have no idea how I’m going to scrape up the money to pay my $75 IRS installment for this month. I’ll just have to deal with that after I get rent and electricity paid off.  Which reminds me, I got my next electricity bill in the mail the other day (due around the 8th, which I’ll wind up paying late) and it’s almost $175!  Dammit!  I know it’s from running the heater, which I try to turn down while I’m at work during the day. Part of the problem is that the heater went out a few months ago and the apartment complex had issues fixing it (needed a new compressor or something). So they told me to switch over to the “emergency heat” setting, and they gave me a space heater to use as well. When I’ve tried to switch back to regular heat, it doesn’t seem to work well, so I’ve kept it switched onto emergency. Doesn’t seem to really kick in until I push it to 74 or so, which is several degrees higher than I normally run it during the winters. I need to call the office and find out what the deal with the heater is, because this shit is costing me a fortune.  I’ve considered asking them to pitch in for part of my electricity bill, but I doubt that will fly, since there’d be no way to prove how much extra this stuff is costing me. I wonder if they’d consider shaving a few bucks off my rent at least?  Might as well ask them…couldn’t hurt.

At least spring is around the corner, and I can go back to shutting off my heater and opening the windows whenever possible.

I’ve got all my housework still to do today, but first, I’m crawling back into bed for a few hours…

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I decided to skip the recycling center this morning, after discovering my Amazon Mechanical Turk payment of $10.60 landed in my account, bringing my balance to over $15. Yay! Plus, there was a light dusting of snow on the ground and I wasn’t in the mood to deal with possible slick back roads. I’ll go next weekend, hopefully when I have more fuel in my tank.

I’m having a cup of coffee at the moment, then I’ll hop in the shower and head out to work at the non-profit this afternoon. Earlier I emailed some interested Craigslist folks to see if anyone wanted to swing by to have a look tomorrow. One reply so far, so hopefully she’ll buy something to help get me through till Tuesday.

I checked my account on Associated Content (so far I’ve published 4 articles since September) and it seems I finally garnered another 1,000 page views to get a performance payment next month. It’ll only be around $1, but I’m still pleased. I’ve meant to write more articles, but it’s a bit of a time-consuming process with many factors to consider. For example, locating supporting articles, doing research (if needed), placing “hot” keywords to help boost search engine queries, coming up with good tags, creating a summary, finding a decent photo to accompany the article from free image sites, promoting the piece, etc. I know with more practice the process will go faster (some folks can bang out 10 articles in a day). It’s probably best for me to set a goal to produce one new article in the next few weeks, which could potentially earn me anywhere from $2-$4 for an upfront payment. I’m itching to write something new, now I just need to figure out what I want to write about. It will probably be personal finance related, considering my current state of mind. Perhaps something devoted to finding part-time work. We shall see.

I’m off to hit the work trenches. With any luck, I’ll hit that 4 hour goal!

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