Saturday, August 04, 2007

That walletboosters.com site had a couple of interesting opportunities that I decided to look into. One is transcribing. They email sound files to you, you transcribe it, you send it back, you get paid according to the number of words and the size of the file they sent. I type 85 words/minute, and having done transcribing as one of the modes of interpreting for deaf-blind delegates, I figured that I'm more than up to the challenge. If I can sit there and type on a PC keyboard that's attached to a large-screen TV as a monitor for low-vision deaf delegates (during the 2000 AADB convention), in real-time, I can listen to a recorded file at my own pace and type that in.

Of course, the 2000 AADB convention was a few years before the days when they had actual CART captioners doing the transcribing. Boy, is that ever easier than the setup we had... 3 or 4 of us (depending on the length of the event) would be clustered around one PC keyboard, switching every 15 minutes (which is the norm when interpreters are teamed up). That worked fine, at least early in the events. But in each case, the wear and tear really started to build up as the event continued. I had a watch with a timer that would repeat (i.e., it could be set to go off EVERY 15 minutes), so I was in charge of letting people know when to switch. As the events progressed, I ended up letting the rest of the team know that I was taking us down to ten minutes/shift, because I was noticing that the fatigue (and the mistakes) were starting to set in after about that long.

Anyway, I digress. None of these audio files are going to be two and three hours long, like the Opening Ceremonies and workshops at AADB can be. Even if they were, taking them at my own pace would be about a billion times easier than having to type in real-time. So I did the transcribing test and emailed that in yesterday. If this pans out, it could prove to be an interesting little side job.

Unfortunately, the other telecommuting opportunity I was interested in turned out to be a non-starter. There was one particular data entry job description that actually looked legit, as compared to the numerous BS ones that I know to ignore (where you pay a fee to join up... say what? Pay for a job? I don't think so). This one appeared to be an actual opportunity worth looking into, as it listed an hourly rate that wasn't all that far off from some temp jobs I've done. (It was slightly less, but since it didn't involve any commuting costs via SEPTA or car, I think it pretty much balanced out in the end.)

However, I changed my mind about it the moment I saw the online application form. They wanted my name: no problem. Address: sure. Birth date: fine.

Social Security Number... Wait a minute, stop the music. That's a combination of digits I'm not typing in online for just anybody, job application or not. I don't mind writing my SSN down when I'm physically in a company's office filling out an application, but just sending it out to some unknown party online? Does the word NO mean anything to you?

So I started looking for some way to call this company on the phone, and request a printed version of their form that I could mail or fax to them. Surprise, surprise... they don't have that information on their site. It's not on their application page, and it's not on their HOME page. Shoot, their home page only shows the products they sell, in great detail... you can click on the products, but there's no way to actually freaking ORDER any of them...! No phone number, no fax number, no physical address listed... and no freaking way I'm sending them my personal information. So much for that particular data entry position.

Bah, humbug.

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