Wednesday, February 10, 2010

EFM: Employment For Moi

In case you didn't know, it is snowing more in D.C. I've been out of the office since 10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 5. But I'm sick of snow, so I'm moving it into Haiti status; i.e., I'm done writing about it unless something new happens. And I'll take this opportunity to point out that even Snowstorm 4.0 through 5.0 has relegated Haiti to third or fourth story status, what is going on there deserves more attention than what is going on here.

OK. New topic. And really, this is the big one I've been putting off until I had the energy necessary to address it, and the answers to provide.

When we first started telling people about Natalie's acceptance into the foreign service (good job, honey!), the first two questions were, "When and where are you going?" and, "Is David and Tiffy going with you?" Usually the third question was, "What is David going to do?"

I usually mumble something about look for some freelance work, and I'm not worried about it because I really don't like my job anyway, and there is no room for me to grow there so this was an opportunity to re-evaluate my career. And yes, I'm pretty sure that was a run-on sentence.

Some quick background, I suppose, is necessary. After graduating with my extremely valuable degree in journalism (Why did my parents let me go through with that?), I reported for a couple of newspapers in southeast Ohio while Natalie worked on the Hill. I needed to find a job in D.C. for when we got married, and I landed a job with a health care least, that is how they advertised it on

I learned during the interviewing process that it was actually a trade journal on eye care, but I needed a job, the pay was decent, and I needed a job.

About 4.5 years later, and after a lot of angst, alcohol and job searches, I told the publisher and editor about this recent development, and asked about freelancing for them. While I get no satisfaction from the work, I do get some satisfaction from the paycheck, and they pay their freelancers better than their staff writers.

Well, they kind of gave me the run-around leaving me the impression they are ready to part ways. But last week, lo and behold, I had a meeting with the publisher in which he said he would be happy to keep me on staff as a freelancer, and he thinks it would be a good idea for me to start transitioning to life as a freelancer sooner rather than later.

Music to my ears. I first brought this up with them in October hoping to start freelancing at the beginning of the new year. So now it looks like I will get to start freelancing starting in the beginning of March.

I still do not see this as the long-term answer for my life as an Employee Forcefully living in Mexico (EFM), but this gives me some more time to figure things out while getting to work some and contributing a little money.


  1. "Employee Forcefully living in Mexico"?! ROFL!

    Your creative work with those funky abbreviations cracks me up!

    Congrats on the transition into freelancing!

  2. Sounds like a good first step. I'm about to start A-100 and my fiance will be in the same situation as you. It's encouraging to hear you're beginning to make it work.

  3. Found your blog through Travel Orders, and I really enjoy it. I too am an EFM, we're going to Costa Rica in April. Good luck in Hermosillo (which was on our bid list, so thank you for taking it. ;)

  4. Maybe you could write a blog for some news organization. I have a neighbor who blogs about sports (golf and football, specifically) and that's his job. ?!