Fahim and I went and met with Nimmi, a woman he used to work with at YA-TV. Nimmi started a magazine about six months ago called "Adoh!".
Another woman met us at the door, nicknamed Minnow (yes, of course I’m butchering it. Whaddyaexpect?), who is, I presume, Nimmi’s business partner. Nimmi wasn’t there yet, so Fahim and I talked with Minnow first, then with Nimmi when she arrived.
Here’s the basic gist. They are both the creative types – although Nimmi admits she’s not a writer – and they’re both busy with things like getting advertisers, layout, ideas, things like that. They need someone to run the office and organize things.
I tell them that, in my former life, I used to be an accountant. The eyes light up. Okay, so not that I’ll be doing any accounting for them – I won’t – but I have business background. I know how to work in an office, I’m obviously anal retentive and organized. It all goes together.
But they also have a couple of side projects. Two other magazines that they’ll be doing quarterly that they need someone to oversee. That is, proofread/edit/everything else/possibly write articles for. Uh, are you kidding me?
Of course I’m interested!
But back to the office manager bit. They want someone four days a week. I want to work two, perhaps two and a half days a week – no more. I want to write my novels. I don’t want to have a job that keeps me so busy that I don’t have time to write my novels. That would defeat my purposes.
On the other hand – being responsible for a couple of magazines? Oh my goodness! that would be so cool. And a whole heck of a lot of fun.
Nimmi seems agreeable to two days a week, but she thinks that, what with me doing the two magazines, I’ll need to be there more than two days a week.
Anyway, I also mention that I’d love to write articles. This doesn’t seem to be a problem. She said the magazine is for Sri Lankans, not just in the country, but also to expats in Canada, the US, England, and anywhere else in the world they find themselves. So the articles are about Sri Lanka, Sri Lankans, matters that matter to Sri Lankans, but not necessarily written by natives.
She also mentioned that last month, they had difficulty getting enough content. Okay. That means that there is definitely the possibility of room for me & my articles..
Fahim and I – but mostly I – told them briefly about how we met – Fahim and I, that is. You know, the whole "we met on the internet June 13th, yes of this year, and we got married on August 15th, just 8 hours after I landed" spiel.
They commented that our little story could even be a good story for their magazine. Yeah, it could be. It could be a good way to start a series of articles.
Fahim later mentioned that he still thinks that I could rewrite some blog stuff into rehashed and appropriate for magazine into articles – you know, a foreigner’s perspective on Sri Lanka. He’s mentioned this before. He also said that I notice some things that Sri Lankans would never think about, and some things that North Americans would never think about. I’m not sure specifically what he’s referring to in that last bit – I’ll have to get clarification from him later.
But any way I look at this, I like the idea.
Imagine me, in a query letter to possible agents, saying that I am the whatever for two magazines. Immediately ups my credibility factor. Plus the experience. The fun.
These two women – Nimmi and Minnow – seem like a lot of fun.
The other thing is that I’d be paid a specific amount for the office manager bit, another amount for the two projects – the magazines – and separetely still for the articles I write.
The bad part is that the salary they’re offering for the office manager bit is low – really low. Financially it doesn’t make a lot of sense. The other projects – well, they don’t know yet how much they would pay for that. They’ll have to figure it out for me and let me know. But I also mentioned to them about the cost of trishaw rides to their office vs. the salary they’re offering, and the fact that the salary doesn’t cover much more than my cost to getting there.
They said they’ll think about it and see what they can do.
The good news is that my hours would be flexible, so I could work on days I have Sinhalese lessons – the church is literally around the corner from their office. Literally. Like a one or two minute walk. If that long. They don’t care if I step out for an hour or hour and a half for Sinhalese lessons. They agree with me that it’s a good idea to work there on the same day as my Sinhalese lessons.
Another plus – their office is, at the moment, in Nimmi’s mother’s house. They’re looking at expanding – renting office space somewhere – they only have a very limited amount of space. Very limited. They desperately need more room.
The office is, at present, in one room, and there’s barely enough room for one person in there, and they cram in two desks. They have the two of them, Pam who does collections, and a guy who does their accounting. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Pam, the accounting guy, and me will never be scheduled to work on the same day.
There wouldn’t be anywhere to put us all.
One of the benefits of the job is that Nimmi’s mom makes everyone lunch. Nimmi asks me "So do you eat rice and curry? Cuz that’s what mom makes mostly." Yeah, I eat rice and curry. No problem. The business pays the mom – it becomes a business expense. Why not?
I talked to Fahim about it later, and he says that on those days, he’ll eat at the canteen at work – meals there cost 40 or 50 Rupees – he doesn’t mind. Then I’ll just cook a smaller meal when I get home from work.
The good news is that this makes Sinhalese lessons more cost effective. Oddly enough, I prayed for a way to make the Sinhalese lessons cost effective. Oh how our prayers are answered. Fahim and I had talked about that previously, and there was concern that it would end up adding up to too much. Well, it would appear that problem is potentially solved.
But we’ll find out.
I told them I wouldn’t give them a definite answer today. They’re going to call me on Monday. I still need to know how much they’ll be paying for the other two magazines, and I also need to find out if there’s anything we can do about either transportation charges/salary for office manager thingy.
Having said that, as far as Fahim’s concerned, he’s all for it.
Originally, we both agreed that I didn’t want a job. I didn’t want full time employment. Period. If any employment, if would be part time at best, and it would have to be something I really really wanted to do. I would not get a job for the sake of having a job. Fahim makes enough money – it’s not that the extra income is necessary by any stretch.
We also discussed how he wants a wife who’s home when he gets home, who’s here to eat lunch with him, that sort of thing. He didn’t want to marry a career woman.
Well, it all coincides with what I want, anyway, so no conflict. But now, this means I’d be gone two days of the week, and that may change into more as time goes on – we’ll see about that. But Fahim also recognizes that this is something that sounds positively interesting to me. It’s something that I would probably love doing. It would stretch me – provide me with new challenges – in ways that I want to be challenged.
Like I said, he’s all for it.
Ironically, Fahim’s been offered that infoshare job, which, if he got, would be a huge raise. Well, that job is also in downtown Colombo, and we’d probably end up moving closer to Colombo for that. Which means we’d be closer to this office and the church, as well. Funny how it all works out, eh? It’s making me wish and hope even more that this infoshare job works out well.