Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Last Update On Efforts?

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Total Black: $1,404.21
Total Red: $235,585.30

The monthly earnings report from Amazon.com arrived via email the other day.  I haven’t earned that much.  But it prompted me to think about all the various efforts to date in supplementing my income.  It may not be easy finding different gigs in my new location.

Amazon Associates

Amazon.com established an associate program whereby a percentage of Amazon’s profits is shared with the “associate” solely for advertising Amazon products and routing traffic, and of course business, to Amazon.com.  Associates don’t earn a profit until people make purchases via their tunnels to Amazon.com.  The percentage used to calculate your profit share depends on the traffic directed to Amazon.com.

To date, I’ve earned $6.37 from purchases readers made.  Here’s a breakdown of my profits to date.

Earnings Report Totals

August 9, 2009 to April 28, 2010

Items
Shipped
Revenue Advertising
Fees
Total Amazon.com Items Shipped 5 $68.24 $2.73
Total Third Party Items Shipped 3 $90.82 $3.64
Total Items Shipped 8 $159.06 $6.37
Total Items Returned 0 $0.00 $0.00
Total Refunds 0 $0.00 $0.00
TOTAL ADVERTISING FEES 8 $159.06 $6.37

I opted not to list the products people purchased out of privacy for my readers.  Aside: I find it a bit eyebrow-raising that I get to see what you purchase.  So maybe avoid ordering that sexy negligee through my link if you don’t want me to know.  Or don’t.  I don’t judge.  Of course, Amazon associates don’t actually see who ordered what—just the items.  It’s a necessity since a percentage of your profit is based on the cost of the items sold.

How can you help?  When you click on any of the hyperlinks to books or music I include in my posts, you increase the traffic I send Amazon and thereby up my percentage rate.  Same when you click on the black Amazon.com box on the right side of the screen.  You can help even more by doing your shopping through my blog.  To date I’ve had 508 clicks sent to Amazon.com.  That’s pretty abysmal given over 70,000 hits on this blog as of the date I’m writing this.  Come on, people.  You can do better!

Upromise

Upromise is a Massachusetts-based corporation that partners with businesses to provide discounts to various online shopping websites like 1-800 Flowers or Barnes & Noble.  You can find a complete list of participating stores here.  In return for the purchases, the business contribute a percentage back towards a college savings account held by Upromsie.  According to Wikipedia, Upromise has contributed over $450 million to participant accounts.

But I’m long out of college, right?  So why do I have an account?  Well, if you’re like me, and SallieMae owns your student loans, then you can use this feature to earn money that is paid directly to your student loans.  Hence the big blue U on the right side of the blog with the heading: Shop Till My Student Loans Drop.  Unfortunately, since setting it up with this blog, no one’s used it. What?  Y’all scared or something?  Click here to learn more.  I’ve earned nothing from this effort.  Granted, it’s effortless.  But still.  Over 70,000 hits and no one has used that link.  Craziness.  You’re gonna send mom flowers for the holidays.  You’ll buy a book or two on Barnes & Noble or Amazon.  So come to my blog and shop through my links.  Amazon.com won’t give discounts.  But the Upromise link is all about discounts and deals.  And—for those of you out there unwilling to trust me with your generosity—these funds don’t go through me.  It’s a direct transfer.  For example, back on June 17, 2009, a payment of $28.21 was sent to SallieMae by Upromise and distributed over my three student loans.  On March 18, 2008 another payment of $25.90.  Prior to that I didn’t have the account set up.

So get to shopping.  Help grow the economy.  And help me pay off my student loans along the way!  You’ll make one laid-off lawyer happier.

Medical Experiment

As mentioned back in No More Piggy, I spent roughly 136 days taking on a medial experiment.  I took an antidepressant along with an experimental supplemental drug.  My efforts earned me a financial benefit: approximately $450, as well as a psychological one: I think the pills actually helped get me out of the funk I had been in since being laid-off, and perhaps even for a bit before.  Despite the benefits, I don’t think I’ll be revisiting that effort any time soon.  It was time-consuming and I often had to leave work to participate in frequent doctor’s office visits, often lasting a few hours at a stretch.

Blog Donations

Pretty self-explanatory.  This certainly hasn’t been a lucrative source of income.  That said though, I did use the proceeds below to pay off a small balance on my Saks credit card, as mentioned back in Black and White and Red All Over.  But a wholehearted thank you to my two donors for their three donations.

Payments received – Aug 9, 2009 to Apr 29, 2010

Date Name/Email Gross Fee Net amount
Feb 8, 2010 [redacted] $4.00 -$0.42 $3.58 USD
Nov 4, 2009 [redacted] $50.00 -$1.75 $48.25 USD
Sep 8, 2009 [redacted] $50.00 -$1.75 $48.25 USD

Selling Property

Unfortunately, as mentioned back in Yet Another Update on Efforts I don’t really have anything left to sell—as far as electronics and other sell-able items goes.  Well, I may sell my Kindle DX actually.  But first I have to get a small crack in the frame repaired.  Thankfully, I bought an extended warranty for the device.  Otherwise, everything else is DVDs, CDs, and such.  Sure I can sell them, but then I’m just going to end up re-purchasing them later.  And I’m not in such dire straights that I need to purge my property.  I received a comment on Finances, Finances about selling my furniture.  As I explained there, I have given it thought, but it seems that it’s really a net loss at the end of the day.  I’d be selling $6,000 worth of furniture for about $1,000.

Part-time Jobs

Clearly my part-time job ushering at New World Stages has been worthwhile.  More than a few times the income I earned from that job helped close the gap for monthly debts.  And the supplemental work has helped boost my ego and bolster my pride.  It’s been a long while since I had a group of people with whom I could just let down my hair and be my big ol’ gay self.  Without all the pretense law firm life dictates.  I will miss it and my co-workers when I leave New York.  This is one effort I’m going to duplicate in my new location however I can.  I doubt it will be with a stage theatre but perhaps something equally social.

Odd Jobs & Other Gigs

I mentioned back in Working & Moving that I earned ninety dollars helping Stage Manager move.  That’s the last odd-job I had despite emails for a gig running a coat check at a warehouse party in Brooklyn or efforts to secure a position with CHEST—an effort that failed on the first try despite a pretty good interview and for which subsequent emails have been outright ignored by the person in chart even though another position opened.  (Very unprofessional frankly.)  Then there’s selling art with the Recession Art Sale back in September and October.  That netted me about $1,000 but unfortunately that was merely a drop in the bucket.  Good experience.  Interesting people, but not very lucrative.  Then there’s my nude modeling attempts.  Not sure I’d list those under Odd Jobs, but either way, nothing ever came of the efforts mentioned back in Change is Gonna Come.  And I can’t count the number of emails I sent out.

I did meet one guy Mr. G he called himself; the quintessential dirty old man except he wasn’t dirty, just overweight.  He brought me up to his office in a building near Herald Square in Midtown.  Mr. G had placed a Craigslist ad for a naked DJ position that I responded to.  How to describe his office?  It looked like one of those shops sketchy accountants set-up for a few months around tax time.  White walls.  Well, if you can call that white.  Papers everywhere.  A metal clothes rack stood off to in the corner.  Two laptops sat on some Salvation Army desk.  Papers were everywhere: on the floor, on the desk, on top of filing cabinets sitting in the middle of the room.  If I recall correctly, I think he had folding chairs for office chairs.  The cheap church hall type.   He explained that he was riding out some business partner’s lease until the landlord evicted the business from the space—hence the state of the office.  And it certainly looked like he was a hold-over tenant.  Maybe even a residential one as well.

Mr. G told me that he hosts sex parties and was looking for someone to DJ the events.  Fine.  I wouldn’t mind donning my birthday suit to earn a few extra bucks.  And the idea of a nude DJ in a club-like setting seemed pretty cool.  And hey—what stories I’d be able to tell, right?  We talked a bit further and Mr. G seemed like a nice-enough guy.  Funny.  Witty with a wedge of lemony sass.  But then Mr. G shared that occasionally he hosts parties right there in that office.  He’d put down a few sheets of plastic to cover the desks and have people hang their clothes on that rack near the door.  And that’s when I got a visual of very desperate and lonely men meeting in random offices to fuck on desks covered with plastic tarps . . . and then the panic started to rise.  And as he droned on about his ideas for the parties and the type of people he was looking for, and showed me his websites, and commented on how he masturbates multiple times a day . . . well, then this roly-poly jolly man became a real-life Ursula and soon his tentacles began to reach for me.  I suppose Ursula expected me to give an audition.  Other than a few tentacle texts attempting to pull me into his office parties, I never heard from him again.

___________________

Oy . . . New York, New York, New York—love it or leave it, eh?  I guess I’m doing both.  Certainly won’t find many opportunities like this in my new locale.  I’ll just have to find a way to adapt despite the set-back, in a manner of speaking, the clerkship may present in my efforts to get out of debt in a year.  Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

One Response

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  1. Take advantage of your writing skills. I have clients who do very well doing this part time. Of course, it’s not as much fun as naked DJing (if there is such a word).

    http://www.journalismjobs.com/Search_Jobs_all.cfm

    Donnelly

    April 30, 2010 at 17:52


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