Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So Much For That Idea

I don't have to worry about understanding physics. The gig is off. I won't be working for Beacon. It turns out their VPN (Virtual Private Network) software won't work with wireless internet connections -- only cable or DSL. They've tried it before and it didn't work and it still doesn't work. So I'll pack up all their equipment and send it back.

We're just a little too far from town (the telephone central office) to get DSL. Qwest has been promising for years that they'll install DSL (and the equipment necessary to get it) in this area "in the next few months" but it hasn't happened yet. There are plenty of homes in the area and plenty of people who really really want DSL. So what does Qwest do? They put DSL in tiny towns like Angel Fire and Penasco. It doesn't make sense.

Do I sound bitter? I am. I'm angry and frustrated.

So is Ron. He decided that next week he's going to file a complaint with the Public Regulatory Commission about Qwest's refusal to provide DSL service and how that's causing us loss of income. Of course he's filing the complaint as a Qwest customer, not a Qwest employee. Maybe if the PRC gets enough complaints, they can force Qwest do do something.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Someday I'll Start

I haven't started training with Beacon yet, but I've gotten to know two of the Tech Support guys, one by phone and one by email.

The first computer they sent me didn't have ports for the keyboard and mouse. After much emailing back and forth, the main Tech Support guy, Jarrod, apologized and said he should have sent me a USB keyboard and mouse instead of the OS2 ones he did send. So he sent me the USB keyboard and mouse via FedEx overnight. When they arrived, I plugged them in and started up the computer, but got an error message that Windows did not start successfully. It went downhill from there. I couldn't connect with the company's network. Jarrod called me on the phone and we tried various things. Finally he decided that the computer was beyond help and they would have to send me another one. Of course this was on Friday (November 9) afternoon, so they couldn't send it until Monday morning. He also told me that he would be gone the following week and Bill would help me. (This was an already-scheduled, already-planned vacation; no, I didn't drive him away.)

I got the new computer Tuesday afternoon and at least it started up successfully, but I still couldn't connect with the network. So much of Wednesday and Thursday was spent emailing back and forth with Bill trying different things, but I'm still not connected.

So I'll start again Monday morning with Jarrod.

Everyone has been very apologetic -- the recruiter, the HR person, and my boss, who assured me that, "It seems like getting connected is the hardest part, but once we get that ironed out, there are very few tech problems for remotes. Promise!"

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Another New Gig

I got another copy editing gig! This one is different. I won't be an independent contractor; I'll be a full-fledged (but part-time) employee. With benefits! Paid time off! Paid training (the first 6 weeks)! They'll even reimburse me for my Internet Service Provider charges. Not only that, they sent me a computer (just for use on their stuff, of course). They asked me to commit to at least 20 hours per week, but it could be more than that.

So who are these people, you're asking. BeaconPMG. According to the website, it's "a publishing services company that provides project management, editorial, composition, new media and related services to book and journal publishers."

I will be editing a physics journal. Yikes! The woman I've been talking to said it's one of their most prestigious journals. Double yikes! Between this physics journal and the algebra I've been editing, I'm learning a lot.

I officially start my training on Thursday. I'll post more then.