I Lost My Job & I'm Taking A Break From Blogging

I didn’t want to tell anyone about this, but I lost my job on Monday. They told me the reason they’re letting me go is because I was asking the same questions over and over again and not following directions when they were sent to me via IM.

One such example that was brought up by my supervisor was when I was helping a customer with dial-up. She was getting the error “network cable unplugged.” Although that error was referring to her Ethernet connection (since she’s on dial-up, the error is irrelevant), I had her unplug the phone cable from both ends and plug them back in. My supervisor told me to do something different, but I had already told her to do this before he said that. After she plugged back in, she was able to view webpages again. Although I didn’t do what my supervisor had asked me to do, what I did got her connected again so I thought it was no big deal.

Apparently, it was a big deal since they released me because of it. They thought I wasn’t following directions either because I didn’t understand them or I was ignoring them. They thought that I wasn’t fit for the position and didn’t want to wait through the whole three month evaluation period to let me go. Super-duper.

I’ve only been working there for about a month and a half. Although I was still learning the ropes of my job, I believe that I was getting the hang of it. It’s bullshit that they threw me to the curb like this, not even waiting another month and a half to release me.

I stuck with this job so that I could save up enough money to move out with Eriopolis in July-August, but now I’m high and dry again. I only have about $800 saved up in the bank (I was aiming for $1,500 by July) and unless I get a job soon, that’s gonna be eaten up.

Designer of Webpages

Shortly after I was released, I began to think about not only getting another job but starting a small business. I want to be a website designer. I began to study the rates that other website designers were offering. At first, I thought it was insane how high the rates were (starting at $3,000 for just a bare-bones website). After reading why the rates were so high, I began to understand a little bit more. Also, reading Living Paycheck To Paycheck by Steve Pavlina convinced me to adjust my rates accordingly (read: give myself permission to earn more). Although my rates aren’t nearly as high as my competitors, I’m concerned that they might scare off the average customer, especially in these financially-tight times.

Here are my tentative rates:

Basic package: I set up a WordPress blog with a stock design and minimal customization (and add up to 10 user accounts), buy their domain and hosting for a year or longer if they want (for longer hosting lengths, I add the cost of the hosting + 10% of the hosting cost to the end cost), and set up their email via Google Labs (up to 10 accounts). That costs $1,500.

Basic Plus package: The same as the Basic package, but I add plugins like Google Analytics and such (up to 20 plugins), a modified design and moderate customization with Thesis (and add up to 20 user and email accounts), set up an AdWords account for them and give them $50 for an Adwords campaign, which I’ll set up for them. That costs $3,000.

Advanced package: The same as the Basic Plus package, but I add a modified design and advanced customization with Thesis (and add up to 40 user and email accounts as well as up to 40 plugins), set up an AdWords and AdSense account for them and give them $100 for an Adwords campaign that I’ll set up for them. That costs $5,000.

Basic Ecommerce package: The same as the regular Basic package, but I set up a PayPal account for them and add up to 50 items with individual pages. I’ll also set up an AdWords account for them and give them $50 for an Adwords campaign, which I’ll set up for them. That costs $3,000.

Basic Plus Ecommerce package: The same as the regular Basic package, but I set up a PayPal account for them and add up to 100 items with individual pages. I’ll also configure up to 20 plugins and 20 email & user accounts, set up an AdWords account for them, and give them $100 for an Adwords campaign, which I’ll set up for them. I’ll also give them a modified design via Thesis with moderate customization. That costs $5,000.

Advanced Ecommerce package: The same as the Basic Plus Ecommerce package, but I give them a modified design via Thesis with advanced customization, up to 200 items with individual pages, $200 for an AdWords campaign set up by myself, and up to 40 plugins, 40 email accounts, and 40 user accounts. That costs $7,000.

As far as adding extra stuff like setting up extra accounts and pages beyond the ones in the packages goes, I’ll play it by ear. I’m thinking like $20 per extra thing outside of the packages and $10 per 50 or more extra things.

I also want to use affiliate programs from websites like DreamHost and Thesis to get even more profit from designing websites. I was gonna put an AdSense ad up on their sites and link it to my code, but I don’t wanna piss Google off more than I already have. I’m still gonna email them again to see if I can get my AdSense account reactivated, although it’s doubtful.

Clearing My Head For A Bit

After reading the post The Big Benefit of a Blogging Break, I’ve decided that I’m gonna go on hiatus until I get my job situation straightened out. It’s just too difficult to try to sneak in posts while my stepdad’s away and I won’t be able to use Jon’s laptop for much longer (his trial’s on April Fool’s Day of all days).

He is gonna be psychiatrically evaluated either today or tomorrow and he’ll be allowed to stay in the house until he graduates in May-June, although he says that he’s moving out as soon as he’s released (we’ll see). Since he completed some kind of test to pass government (the only class that he needed) while in jail, he’s already going to graduate. Because of the whole situation of me calling the police on him and such, I won’t be attending his graduation party. Nothing against my family or anything, but I don’t wanna be around Jon for awhile.

Although I’m more than willing to talk to him provided that he doesn’t freak-out again, I believe he needs time to heal the wounds that he’s done to himself. I realize that our relationship may never be the same again and accept that he may never speak to me again.

Dear Jon

Jon, if you’re reading this, know that I do love you with all of my heart and that I will always love you. When I called the cops on you, I did it to protect the family, others, and you from yourself. You may not think that what you did was wrong, but in this post-Columbine and post-9/11 world, you can’t go around saying that everyone in your family is dead in your perfect world. Especially since I know that you’re more than capable of delivering on those threats.

What I did, I did out of love and not malice. The cops put you in jail for a reason, although I did say that I felt unsafe with you in the house. The reason was because you weren’t yourself that night. I accept that people change over time, but this wasn’t change. You were like a different person that night. You were nothing like Jon.

The Jon I know is a person full of love for others and himself. I realize that you had a tough time without me around when I went to UU and I should have paid more attention to you when I was home, but I was so consumed with my own problems that it was hard to think about anyone else and what they were going through. However, there’s nothing I can do to fix the mistakes of the past.

I’m not asking for forgiveness or anything like that. All I’m saying is that I’ll always love you and if you accept my love, great. If not, that’s okay too. Just know that no matter what, you’re always loved and that you’re never undeserving of love.

From Your Brother,

Andy.

P.S: Whew, I was fighting the tears back when I wrote this! To everyone else out there, I’m sorry if you didn’t like the sappiness of what I wrote near the end. I felt that there was some things that I needed to get off my chest, or out of my chest as it were, about Jon and I wrote them straight from the heart (anatomy pun completed). I don’t know when I’ll be back again, but I’m hoping sometime before the end of April if I either get a job or my website design business picks up. See ya then!

3 thoughts on “I Lost My Job & I'm Taking A Break From Blogging

  1. I’m so sorry to hear you lost your job. I would side with you. You got the customer back online and that should be the most important part. Not too many people can deviate away from reading the book, but it’s nice to know you have that knowledge to fix the problem.

    Yeah I would say, bump up your prices, you deserve more. Web designing is VERY time consuming. People don’t realize that.

    All the best to you.

    Natural´s most recent post..My Two Left Feet

    1. @ Natural – Thanks!

      I’m still looking around for a job and I’m hoping to properly get started with designing websites. To be honest, I’ve been kinda lazy these past couple weeks. Sure, I have turned in my resume to several places that are hiring, but for the most part, I’ve been lollygagging around on the Internets hehe.

      As far as prices go, I think it’s fair to keep them there until I build up a portfolio and then I can raise the prices. I’m also toying with the idea of charging by the hour. I’m thinking maybe for the initial package, you get X amount of hours and if it takes longer to build the website, then I start charging by the hour.

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