What It Is (posts below left; rate sheet, client list, other stuff below right)

My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor and proofreader, and occasional indexer. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions: landondemand@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Winter in the South

Forecasts are calling for anywhere from 3 to 10 inches over the next few days. I think it'll be on the high end, with my vast meteorological experience, which basically comprises studying the radar and making sure I have enough materials on hand to enjoy it.

Where things get tricky in the South is the lack of preparation. I was in the middle of Snowjam '82 in Atlanta, which was an epic clusterfnck. Plenty of stories. I forget if it was during that or another weather event in Atlanta when I worked the solo 16-hour shift at Dittler Brothers, home of the late, lamented airline timetables; rigged scratch-off games; and one of my two great collections of fellow staffers. (Again, so many stories, especially from when Atlanta was still in its very early crazy-growth stage, on the cusp of the AIDS era, and I could and have and will go on.)

I loved the 16-hour shift, alone. The same South Atlanta crackers who ran the proof room said good-bye to me in daylight at 4pm, then returned at 8am the next day to find me still there. When they asked where everyone else was, I said, "Some couldn't make it. The others called in and asked me if they should come in, and I said, 'Don't bother. There's not much to do, and I'm here already. No reason to risk it.'"

8 hours @ $6.25/hr = $50
8 hours @ $9.375/ hr = $75
1 days' work (1982) = $125

And we were often told, at the last minute, "You're working 12-hour days for the rest of the week, then 12-hour days all weekend." At one point, we'd worked 42 consecutive days, often at 10 and 12 hours a day. We were the only hourly nonunion people in the printing plant. Only one person refused to work any additional hours, and that was the late Bill Leonard, whose passing was covered in this blog. He was a great proofreader and always gave off the air of, "What are you actually going to do about it?" Never received any blowback.

Monthly expenses at the time:

$150 rent
$90 "incidentals"
$60? utilities and insurance
gas and food

As I've said, I never had more money in my life than when I was making $6.25/hour: mostly because of forced perpetual overtime, no time to spend the earnings, and nothing particularly I needed to spend it on.

Oh, and I forgot the entire purpose of the post: I suspect that today's Bristol Christmas Tour of Homes will be canceled due to snow. Around here that's known as the War on Christmas.

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