The Small Joys of Working Online

It might be the hours I keep, but there are some things about this business that just strike me as funny at the most unusual times. I’m sure it’s not a condition isolated to this working-mom-freelance-writer-person, so let’s see how many of you have the same random bits of humor that I do:

I’m a Mystery to Advertisers Everywhere

I don’t know why, but it cracks me up when I realize that once again I’ve fooled Google. I use Gmail to consolidate some email accounts so that I can check everything no matter where I am or what computer I’m using. That means I’m getting writing emails, mom emails, teacher emails and extended family emails in the same place. Quite a hodgepodge, in fact.

The funny thing is that Google can’t figure out how to target me with the ads I’m not ever going to click on. In a given day I’ve been encouraged to lose weight, buy better lesson plans, vote for various presidential candidates, hire a new SEO write and purchase new faucets and toilets.

And that’s before I start opening specific client emails, which opens me up to any number of additional advertisements including pet shelters, games for children, baby items and plastic surgery. It’s a good thing I know myself well or I might be having an identity crisis (and a damaged ego – really? I need a boob job? You don’t even know me!)

I Can Write Nothing and Make It Sound Good

Have you ever been typing most intensely and then realized that you aren’t even thinking anymore? My fingers and brain are so well trained that I can type without looking at the screen, the keyboard or the computer in any way. I can type reasonably well with my eyes closed for long stretches, but that’s a party trick for another time.

This write-nothing-but-sound-great phenomenon is akin to reading a book quite diligently and having no idea what you just read a few pages later. I’ll be thinking about oil and gas production and writing all about fracking, for example, and then realize that I’ve written something that seems to make sense, and sounds really nice…but actually means nothing at all.

I tuned out what I was typing, but the pattern was there to just keep on typing important sounding words without my brain being engaged at all. Normally, when I catch something like that (in my defense it doesn’t happen very often) I just have to laugh. I sound like an pompous idiot usually, and fortunately I’m able to delete my important sounding gibberish, go to bed for the night and start again the next day with a clear mind.

A small confession: I do use my write-well-say-nothing-real skill in my other career. We have so many teacher forms that have to sound important and use the right words just so they can be filed away by administration. I’ll readily admit I’ve enjoyed my wordsmith skills there for pure amusement. In fact, I just remembered I have another form due tomorrow where I can use them again! What fun that will be!

What strikes you as amusing in this crazy career we all enjoy?

Profile image for Rebecca Garland
Rebecca is a full-time everything. She teaches English and reading to her much loved, if challenging, high school students during the day and is a freelance education writer in the evenings. With almost ten years in the classroom and advanced degrees in business and information science, Rebecca specializes in materials that inform, educate and entertain. Rebecca indulges herself by pretending to have spare time and writing about the ups and downs of being a freelancing mama whenever she gets a chance.

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1 thought on “The Small Joys of Working Online”

  1. How about when you finish writing something and it was completely unexpected from where you started out. As if you gained a new perspective just in the process of going through it, an experience in itself you could say, :).

    And have to agree with the writing without thinking, horrible habit when trying to write something meaningful but as you said, can be occasionally helpful, call it preventative damage control..


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