Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ruminations on Writer's Block, Job Hunting Scams and More

For some reason, it's been like pulling teeth to get myself to sit down and write lately. I've managed to write a few scenes for the fantasy novel. I managed to write an outline for a new scifi novel I'm excited to start. But it's been two months now I've been trying to finish this first draft, and the lay off just seemed to tip the scales of motivation to the "none at all" status.

I finally decided to force myself to start typing in the scenes I'd hand written. One advantage of that is I end up with a second draft of those scenes in the manuscript, because I revise as I go. Doesn't mean I won't edit and revise them later, of course, but it does tend to make them stronger as a base. Another advantage in this case was getting a vision for the rest of the chapter which allowed me to write rough summaries of the scenes needed. This won't be the last chapter. I envision two or three more, but if I can get past this one it will definitely be a step in the right direction.

The normal way I get past writer's block is to keep multiple projects going at one time. If I get stuck on one, I switch to another. I also give myself permission to write crap every now and then. (It's not really avoidable so I might as well admit it.) This multiple project approach has really been great for me. I have yet to get stuck on two projects at the same time. I'm not stuck lately, I'm just unmotivated/uninspired. It's hard not to be in the present job market. Looking for a job is less fun than ever. The competition is fierce and companies have the upper hand.

There's also the lovely scams like the one where they recruit you to process client payments for a ridiculous amount of money, promising you earn this by only working 2-3 hours a day. They even go so far as to set up fake, fancy corporate websites with management profiles, etc. This a major scam though. It's called a "money mule fraud" and the email reads something like this:

My name is Russell Born and I represent NEBS Group Company.

This letter confirms that the resume that you submitted to CareerBuilder.com has been duly processed by our HR department, and your skills meet our basic requirements for the Payment Processing vacancy.

NEBS Group Inc. is a world-renowned company founded and based in the USA, which deals with IT services, matching the needs of the market with the best employees available worldwide.

Payment Processing Agent position is:
- Part-time (on average 2-3 hours a day (Monday through Friday).
- Work at home (all communication is online).

What do you need? Internet access and e-mail.

This position is offered on a probationary period basis for a period of one month. You will receive training and online support while working and being paid.

Salary for the training period is $2300/month. In addition you will be receiving 8% commission from every payment which you receive from a customer and successfully process. Total income, given the current volume of clients, will be up to $4,500 per month.

After the first 30 days the base salary will be increased up to $3,000 per month plus 8% commission, so there is significant earning potential if you are willing to work with diligence and efficiency.

You may ask for additional hours after your probationary period, when you have earned a full-time position.

If you are interested in our offer and would like to learn more about the Payment Processing Agent position, please, send the form below to hr.nebs.group.russell@gmail.com
NOTE: This is not a sales position.

Our representative will contact you within 24 hours.

++++++++FORM++++++++FORM+++++++++++
First name:_____________________
Last name:___________________________
Country of residence:__________________
Contact phone:______________________
Preferred call time:_______________________
++++++++FORM++++++++FORM+++++++++++

We have found your resume at www.careerbuilder.com. This letter confirms that your resume has been duly processed and your skills meet our basic requirements for the Payment Processing Agent vacancy.

Best regards,

Russell Born
NEBS Group Inc.


The company name, of course, changes monthly as does the website, but these guys actually expect you to use your own checking account to process customer checks, only they'll disappear after you pay for shipments, etc. and never pay you. Don't fall for this. Providing them with your info and bank accounts may just promote further fraud.

It's a scary world out there, no wonder I'm fighting depression with this job hunt. Who can you trust? Daily I get offers for free resume evaluations, and they always say that I have a weak resume and need their services. In fact, the resume I used an online specialty site template to help me design, doesn't meet their standards. They, of course, can fix it for the bargain price of several hundred dollars. Like someone selling a service is even objective, right?

Anyway, such are the joys of present life for me. For what it's worth...

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