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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spinning my wheels, figuratively

Certainly not literally, since my @#$%ing car is in the shop. And racking up major $$$ in servicing as we speak.

I knew there was something wrong; whenever I would brake, the steering wheel vibrated like a Hitachi wand on High in my hands. Turns out the right front brake rotor is damaged. So both front rotors have to be replaced (you can't just replace one), and since you can't put new rotors on old pads, the pads have to be replaced too.

But wait, there's more! I need new tires. And to top it all off, the rubber thingamajig that holds the axle in place (it's called a boot, but I like my terminology better) is leaking. Mechanic says everything is normal wear and tear. I know I have a bad habit of misjudging distance (I have terrible depth perception) and crashing the right front of the car into curbs, so that certainly explains the rotor. Whatever. All I know is it's going to cost a lot of money, which I'm not making.

Today, I was going to post another installment of "Uncommon Sense," but I'm too scattered to give it proper justice. My next subject will be the ever-popular bratting/teasing/pranks, and how far is too far, etc. Does anyone have a topic you'd like me to cover? Anything that has to do with scene etiquettes and behaviors, and what one would assume would be common sense (but often isn't). Y'all seemed to like the first installment last week, so I'd like to continue.

So, in a frenzy fueled with panic over money, I spent yesterday afternoon job searching. Through one of my freelance sites, I found a company I hadn't seen before; one that hires proofreaders, editors and transcribers worldwide. There was a recruitment site where one could apply, so I went there, thinking it would be the usual "post your resume and references" bit, where one does so and then ends up in a great big cyberpile with all the other desperate applicants. However, this one took me directly to a test. Rather, the first part of a multi-part test. I had to pass this before I could progress any further.

Talk about intimidating! They state up front that these tests are challenging, and only 2-5% of applicants pass. That is not a typo; there are no zeroes missing. Two to five percent?? Ugh! As I plowed into Part 1, I could see why. It was freaking HARD, and demanded a lot more than simple proofreading. The first portion was a bit simpler, with multiple choice. But then they had 25 long and complex sentences. I had to indicate whether or not they were correct, and if they were incorrect (most of them were), I had to state why and then rewrite them properly.

A friend asked me yesterday what the difference is between proofreading and copy-editing. The simple answer is that the latter is more extensive than the former. A proofreader fixes typos, incorrect spelling and grammar, the obvious stuff. However, some writing can be grammatically correct and spelled properly -- but still be lousy writing. Too many words when a few will suffice, words that are just a bit off, redundant, overwrought. A copy-editor has to know how to fix that and more.

For a tiny example, in one of the test sentences was the phrase "logical coherency." The more obvious error is that the word is coherence, not coherency. But in addition, one of the definitions of coherence is "logical interconnection." Therefore, "logical coherence" is redundant.

I worked long and hard on that test portion, second-guessing my answers and worrying that I'd missed some obvious gaffes. Finally, I said screw it and submitted it.

I passed!! :-)  So now they sent me a link for Part 2. I know this is nuts, but I've been putting off going there; I'm wondering just how difficult Part 2 is going to be, since Part 1 was such a bitch. And get this: even if I pass Part 2, they still put me through a bunch more assessment tests to determine my skill level before they offer me a contract. They have four skill levels and pay accordingly with each. I've never seen such thorough testing in all my career.

No excuses. I can't go anywhere, I've blogged, I've done all the odds and ends of chores, I've answered email. I'm going to go check out Part 2 of that freaking test now. Wish me luck.


  1. Erica, good luck on part two of your test for proof-reading, copy editing. I am sure if you had to take a 'six of the best' test. You would find it breezy easy, or the bee's knees, so to speak.

  2. Hi Erica -- I am VERY proud of you for passing the first test :-) WAY TO GO GIRL :-)Good luck on your second test, So sorry about your car UGH everything cost so much money :-( I Love you,big hug's from your naughty girl Jade xoxo

  3. i have all of 2 secs here but so glad i stopped for gas and saw this!! i'm glad i could comment -after being off the radar so long- so i just wanted to say, YOU CAN DO IT! i have faith that you'll ace everything they throw at you, and you're gonna be on payscale #4!

    ok.. gotta go.. gassed up and i hate typing on the iphone..but had to try a post here!


  4. Good job , just remember , failing to , proof read , and pass, will cost you a , sond spanking when you , get home ! lolol

    evil aint i

  5. Good luck. And the steering wheel vibrating like a Hitachi on High is one of the best gifts I've had in a long time.

  6. Six -- yes, that kind of test I would pass. :-)

    Jade -- it sure does!

    Zelle -- sooooo good to see you! Turns out, it was a transcription test. I had to listen to an audio of people talking with very thick British accents, with music blaring in the background, and type what they said verbatim. We'll see how it goes; just submitted it!

    D -- I don't mind the spanking part; it's being broke that sucks.

    Emen -- hee hee, like that, huh?

  7. I'm glad you got the job lead. One you get through the prelim testing, I bet you'll do very well. I wish I could find similar work here.

  8. Erica, I think if anyone can pass these tests, you can. I've read your book, and it seemed grammar-perfect to me. :) Good luck and hope you get it!

  9. Kelly -- I hope so!

    Bonnie-jo -- I appreciate the vote of confidence! I admit to being a better proofreader than copy-editor, but we'll see.

  10. Erica,

    I'm sorry to hear about your car, but it sounds like it might have been the catalyst to bigger and better things! Good luck on part two, you 2-5 percenter!


    PS I don't have any suggestions, but I look forward to the next installment of "Uncommon Sense"!

  11. SC -- I sure hope I'm one of the 2-5 percent! Part 2 was definitely interesting; guess I have to wait and see.

  12. Blaring music transcription test, huh? (I just read the comments before i posted my own!) Well, I'd fail that, then. I'm hearing impaired.

    Anyway... I hereby wish you LUCK.

    Oh, and a possible topic: How to tell the difference between acceptable behaviour and abuse.... and yes, this should be common sense. But I read somewhere, (or maybe I made it up myself, who knows) that one's parents aer their first tops. If your parents don't know, or can't recognise, the difference, chances are you don't or can't either.

    1. Did I mention I'm vision imparied too? Sorry about the spelling error!

  13. Erica, that sounds like an awesome site. I love taking tests and exams for fun. (Yeah, I'm a masochist. What else is new?) It's great that you passed part one - I knew you would. Good luck on part 2. You just might land a lucrative contract when all is said, done and corrected.


  14. Terri -- that's a REALLY tough one, since one person's consensual, acceptable behavior is another one's abuse. People can get extremely up in arms about the "a" word, which is understandable.

    Hermione -- oh gawd, I sure hope so. Just parted with over $1500 for my car. (sob)

  15. The car news is not good; the possibilities the editing test could open up really is! Congratulations on passing Part 1; I'm eager to hear about the rest. You're the top 2% in my book, anyway.

    Broadcast Engineers used to tell me that the Second Class License test was actually harder than the First.

    Like the kids say, "You go, girl!!"

  16. "The possibilities... ARE" Wish I could say I did that on purpose to be funny... (sips coffee and wonders why Blogger Comments can't be edited without deletions.)

  17. Wolfie -- haven't heard back from them about Part 2. Impatient doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling at the moment!

  18. ERICAAAAAAAAAAA you didnt even proofread my statement ! Bolmao

    30 strokes with the strap you naughty girl you LOL

  19. Al -- thank you!

    D -- OK, I'll pass that on to ST.

  20. Good luck with the test! I'm sure you'll do just fine! And hey, I have terrible depth perception too. Wonder if that's linked to left handed people. Our list of similarities continues! ;-)

  21. Wow, good job on the test! Good luck on the next bit!

  22. Lea -- that's a good question; I have no idea. But I can never judge depth/distance. I'm godawful at parallel parking!

    Craig -- well, haven't heard back yet. (sigh) I hope that isn't a bad thing.

  23. Whoo Hoo! (Jumping up and down!) Congrats on being Chrossed and second on the list!!

  24. Bobbie Jo -- definitely a spirits lifter! :-)