had decided to spend the two months between end of summer and
start of fall in the Charlottesville area for a couple of reasons.
First, it was near Shenandoah, which I fell in love with at first
sight and knew I wanted to explore better. Next, I figured it
was a big enough town to get temp legal assistant work to replenish
the diminishing gas fund.
I enjoyed having the virtual assistant work for two lawyers that
allowed me to make money from home, that alone wasn't enough to
fully support me. So I settled into Misty
Mountain RV Park near Charlottesville and used the same plan
of attack that worked so successfully in Savannah. I searched
the 'net and found several firms that looked like good prospects
and sent out dozens of emails with attached resume. I got a quick
response - not from anyone that needed legal assistance, but was
simply fascinated with my lifestyle and wanted to hear more. Even
with leads he provided, then taking to the streets to personally
hand out resumes, then following up with personal calls, the jobs
just weren't showing up after a couple of weeks. The only offer
I got was from a firm on the outskirts of Charlottesville which
would have meant a 45 minute commute every day for about half
the money I made at my last job in Savannah.
that wasn't the worst part. One of the questions the personnel
manager asked was, "How good are you at working with difficult
people?" My 'I-just-couldn't-help-it-off-the-cuff' response
was, "Just how much of a jerk is he?" She laughed and
told me he was a micro-manager and had annoying habits like standing
over your shoulder to tell you the specific commands he wanted
you to use to create and edit his documents. If you used the scroll
instead of the quicker key commands to get to the bottom of a
page, he got annoyed. Now, doesn't this just sound like the perfect
boss? Even on a temp basis, that would have driven me crazy.
I was still considering it on a desperation basis when I asked
one of my virtual assistant attorneys if he anticipated sending
more work my way. I figured if I could pick up just a few more
hours a day on a regular basis, I'd still make more than I could
driving to the other job. Besides, at times when I was working
the temp job in Savannah, I'd come home at night tired and still
had work to do for my virtual bosses. Thankfully, he said he had
some extra projects he wanted me to tackle anyway, so I very gratefully
declined the other offer. Turned out the second virtual lawyer
who hadn't been sending very much until then really stepped up
to the plate, too, and started using me a lot more. The icing
on the cake was when lawyer #1 referred me to another lawyer he
knew and now she is sending me lots of work, too! So, see - things
can all work out for the best no matter how bleak it can look
that's still not the best part - as I've gotten to know these
lawyers better, I realize how much I lucked out in the virtual
boss arena. The first guy I started work for, Rich
Bruder, is a Michigan attorney who started his own practice
and specializes in working with entrepreneurs and angel investors.
I've been impressed with his work ethic and production for the
past six months now and we have a productive but fun work relationship.
was my second virtual boss and he is quite impressive as well.
Not only is he a practicing Washington, D.C. attorney, he is fulfilling
his own entrepreneurial dreams, having developed a line of historical
action toys based on real-life African-American heroes to inspire
children to dream their own superhero adventures. Among other
things, I've been developing a newsletter for him and that's been
a lot of fun learning a new program and way of being creative.
Rich referred me to Patricia Dudek, and recently she's been flooding
me with emails with lots of work, including designing a website
for her, which is one of my favorite things to do. I've really
gotten a kick out of getting to know her as she has her own unique
style. When I asked her to give me an idea of the kind of site
she envisioned, she said, "Anything that doesn't look like
a typical legal site or blog." My kinda gal! I also admire
her for being an enthusiastic advocate for the elderly and disabled,
her areas of legal practice.
it's been a good couple of months with a nice balance between
work and being able to explore Charlottesville, Monticello and
and more good news - my article about Supernatural
Savannah was published in the current (October, 2007)
issue of MotorHome Magazine. I was pleased that they published
it pretty much unedited and used several of my pictures. It's
always fun to see my name in print (and my name on the check)
and I've gotten quite a few emails from people who have seen it
and written me nice compliments about it.