Plans, oh yes I had good ones: replace my dilapidated laptop, give financial support to my family, send my brother to college, pay off my credit card debt, maybe buy me a new phone, get my ass to my dream destinations, and of course save some for the rainy days. These were the goals that made the thought of having a sideline all the more compelling. Thus, I was inspired to get a second job that would be the source of my extra income. Good timing, a friend of mine, Alchris, just got himself a "sideline," I got inspired and asked him to recommend me; he did. So I passed my application, took two examinations online and after two weeks received a job offer to become a homebased editor. The setup is on a virtual environment, no need to go to an office, day off is every Saturday, and I could work on a flexi-time basis. This means I didn't have to give up my day job and I'd have extra earnings per month. I was naturally excited, I mean who wouldn't be? On the 1st of November 2011, I was on board.
In my first week I started getting five files per day, each one about two to three pages long. Every file has a deadline, earliest is 11:00 in the morning, the latest is 11:00 in the evening. There were CVs, recommendation letters, and personal essays. Clients are Asians, majority suffer from poor grasp of the English language. The challenge therefore didn't stop at correcting grammar or improving sentence construction; you also have to try your damnedest to comprehend what the heck the author was trying to express. To make it worse, majority of the documents are too technical, of terms and fields of studies I couldn't friggin' understand.
In the second week I started getting 6 files per day, by the third week I got 7. That's when things began to be extremely chaotic for me. Those fifteen days had been the longest in my life. Until now I'm not certain how I did it, let alone do it for fifteen days. First, I don't own a decent computer. Remember my story about my dilapidated laptop? Well I still have it and it's what I used the whole time. See that picture above? Well that's how the screen looks like, it's pink, it has those black circles that block that texts, and the monitor couldn't hold its own so I had to support its back with a pillow. Using it gave me long bouts of headaches, straining my eyes as well as my back. Add that to fact that I don't have my own internet connection so I had to spend tons of money for internet rental (Php 25 per hour).
For weeks this had been my setup; I download the files from the office and send them to my email (our computers in the office has no USB port), get off from work, go to an internet shop, extract the docs from my email, edit right then and there or take the work back home, sleep at around two or three in the morning, get up at seven, go to an internet shop, email the files to my account, the ones I'd finish the night before, email them to the senior editors, then get my ass to the office and go back to step one. Now imagine doing that for six straight days for three weeks.
You think I rest on my day off? No! On Saturdays I do the files meant for Sunday just so the load will be lighter 'cause hell we're talking about 7 files per day here. To say that I was tired would be an understatement. I was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. I was always staring at the clock, always worrying about the deadlines, and worrying about my day job. As exhaustion got the better of me, my job performance started to decline. I guess it's inevitable 'cause I was all tuckered out, the kind that goes beyond the physical. Even the thought of extra moolah lost its spark. I just couldn't do it anymore.
On the 16th of November, right after getting my hard-earned first salary, I passed my resignation. The resignation, well it didn't turn out the way I wanted. To put it simply, it offended and disappointed many people. I didn't give a three-day notice, my resignation takes effect the moment I submitted the letter. They deemed it harsh, rude, and unprofessional. In fact, Alchris relayed that bad things had been said about me. Not that I can blame them. For what it's worth I truly feel sorry that my leaving caused them trouble. I just didn't have the strength to continue doing it anymore.
The stint, albeit short, taught me the wisdom behind the saying, "No one can serve two masters." My mistake is that I took more than I could handle. I accepted a full-time position despite having a day work. I should have known it was never gonna work. Obviously I had to learn it the hard way.