Saturday, August 9, 2008

Are you near your computer?

This is a regular phone greeting I receive all, I mean ALL, the time. My middle sister calls no less than five times per day and at least one of those times I don't even get a "hello" I hear, "Are you near your computer?" or "Is your computer on?" Yes and yes, of course! Not only my sister but my mom, dad, grandma, other sister (when she actually calls me once in a blue moon), friends, even my brother-in-law and Mr. FixIt call me regularly when in need of a phone numbers, addresses, weather, "Does Lowe's carry _______?" or "What time does Kohl's open in Parkersburg?" My sister calls me with, "I'm in _______ (pick a city) and need a Starbucks-STAT!" :-D This spring she was in Arizona and wanted to try a hot air balloon ride- but she was in a hotel with no phone book and no computer. So she called me to look up possible sites and cost. (Which she ditched BTW because it's really expensive!) Of course I'm usually home, always online on one computer or another, and love to dig for information anyway so I get a kick out of finding their requests quickly. Honestly, finding phone numbers or getting Mapquest directions takes about 2 seconds, kind of a challenge. Serious info-junkie here. I love to look up all kinds of stuff. IMDB cures my movie trivia jones quite often!

Now imagine my interest when a fellow mom on the school yahoo group mentioned she does work for ChaCha, an information search company that people access from their mobile phones by either call or text. So I checked out the company's website and found that when people are out and about and they need information or have a question, they can call/text ChaCha their question from any mobile phone and a ChaCha search guide (real person) looks up what they need and texts that info right back. How freakin' cool!! I can do that! I basically have done this for years, but by voice instead of texting...since texting messages to my family would require they all learn how to use the text function on their phones--ha. So I dug deeper into this company information and found out that you do have to takes skills tests and a typing test to apply to train to be a guide. Then after training and you become a guide (the person who researches and sends answers) then you are paid by the number of answers/searches you complete. Whoa-hold up... this service I've been providing for years to my family is actually a job?? A job that I can work when/if/how much or how little a week I want?? Holy sheet batman!! Sign me UP! As I still await paychecks from work I completed MONTHS ago and transcription work opportunities continue to slither down the toilet with cheap (read- crappy, scary, can we say liability??) offshore companies, a work opportunity supporting my helpful info-junkie habit sounds great!! Yeeeehaaawww!!! I'll still be using my transcription and education skills, but in yet another light. That and I could use some gas money. Truth though- I did volunteer to cut back on work this summer because I was about to lose my mind and knew that schooling both kids soon with that former volume of work day in and day out, carrying over and piling up for weeks on end was just not going to cut it. Bring out the straight jackets and padded walls...that's where I was headed. But this service??? I think is doable because you can work when you want. If I only have an hour or two hours I can devote to work in a morning, that's what I'll do. If I can get back on and work another hour later, I will. The bonus is, when I need to attend to something else- kids, dinner, laundry, loose rabbits, dance class, 12 inches of snow that needs shoveled, etc, I can stop right there without the stress of killing myself to get back to that six-hour pile of work that SHOULD be done in the next two hours. Truth also- I really enjoy my MT work will continue one small, very low volume account that I do through a service. I mean small account of only one or two jobs a week, not a problem.

So guess what I'm going to do today?? As I sit here on the swing, in the sun, enjoying the weather, I'm going to go back to the ChaCha site, read over all the information again to double-check there aren't any hidden trap doors or red flags then I'll send my application and see what happens. Hopefully they'll email me back with an invitation to take their tests. Research skills and typing tests?? Yeah I think I should be able to handle those ~wink, wink~
Will keep you posted!


  1. Dang...sounds kinda cool.

    You'd be like a virtual tour guide.

    That is pretty darned cool!

    Good luck, Ang!

  2. Thanks, man!
    Good news--took their tests and passed! I'm a Guide in training! Ha!

    Studying company policies and procedures now so I can take the final training test and start working! :-D

  3. I still get my info requests for free, right?

  4. ROFL! No, yours will go towards my room and board tab when I need to come visit for a sunshine/heat fix during the second or third heavy snowstorm of winter! :-D haha!

    Seriously though, the ChaCha service is free to callers at present.


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