OK, so Random Acts of Geekery has been back from hiatus for 18 days as of today... and I've been working away as hard as I can to make sure that another hiatus doesn't happen for a long time (to give you an example of how far ahead I'm working, I'm taking a break from November posts to write this).
And I'm really, really beginning to wonder if I made a terrible mistake by A) taking a hiatus in the first place, and B) finally changing the URL for this blog, and doing so during said hiatus. See, since returning, I've been looking at my numbers, and since the return, I've only had about a third of the hits I'd been accustomed to getting before going on the hiatus... and I honestly don' t know what I can do to try to get the numbers back up again!
It's very strange, because I was nearing 800 hits a day on average (sometimes more), which isn't exactly huge numbers, but it was respectable... so something's up. Either the hiatus just broke some readers out of the habit of reading the Random Acts of Geekery, or the URL change screwed up bookmarks (even though the old URL has been saying to go here instead)... like I said, I'm not sure what's going on there, and I really don't want to change URLs again to see if it fixes things!
Of course, if those two items together are what messed up my numbers, it wouldn't be the first time that I've made a bad decision that seemed to be the right one at the time, would it?
Oh, you need some clarification on that point? Well, you long-time readers know that I used to be a graphic designer who worked for the local newspaper. A little over three years ago, I was laid off from that job, and knowing that there's like zero need for graphic designers around here, I figured I'd go back to school and get trained in something else -- especially since as a dislocated worker, the state of Washington would pay for it. And as you may also know, I chose to go for a two-year degree to get trained as a Medical Assistant (that's usually the person who takes you from the waiting room to the exam room, and takes your pulse, blood pressure, height and weight, and so forth. Sometimes a nurse does that job, it depends on the office). There's three reasons I chose Medical Assisting:
1) Watching shows like House and Royal Pains made me realize how interesting Medicine could be (I've been saying that if House had been on when I was a teenager, I would've probably become a doctor).
2) The Olympia area is home to two hospitals, plus a LOT of doctors offices, clinics, retirement homes, and so forth, so I figured I'd be able to find a job where I wouldn't have to travel very far to and from work.
3) The US Goverment Department of Labor said Medical Assisting was one of the fastest-growing jobs in the country.
OK, of those three reasons, the first one is still valid, but the other two apparently aren't. Since finishing school in September, I've been applying for every job out there that my training applies to, and I've had three interviews, and no callbacks. Most of the jobs being listed are requiring at least two years of experience, and most of them are asking for more.
And it's not just me finding this -- there were 18 students in my Medical Assisting group, and I think maybe a half-dozen are working in the medical field at all... and I think most of them kind of had those jobs lined up before they started school, and some others happened to get lucky with their externship site, and were hired by them.
So at the end of this month, it'll be eight months since I finished school, and three years since I last worked regularly. Obviously, I can't keep waiting and waiting for an MA job to come my way, because we can't live on my wife's income alone (and with my numbers here the way they are, it's going to be much longer between those small payments I get from AdSense!).
So we've been thinking about what else I could do that would get me working and bring in money... and quite independently, we both thought of truck driving. In theory, this is a really great idea, because trucking companies are always in need of drivers, and the training course is only four weeks long. On top of that, I started researching it, and the indications were that I could get pre-hired by a trucking company, who would pay for the school so long as I worked for them for a year or two. Sounds like a good plan, right? Oh, sure, I'd be away from home for five days or longer at a time, but at least I'd be bringing in some money.
So this morning, I met with the president of a truck driving school, talked about the school, and he gave me a copy of their brochure (which, honestly, mostly has the same information that the website has on it). Well, talking to this gentleman, I soon learned that the pre-hire thing? Doesn't happen, at least not with this school. And the cost of this four-week program altogether is around six thousand smackers... so at least that school is out of the question.
My next step is to start applying with the truck driving companies that have said that they provide training, and see what they have to say about things... so I'll keep you guys posted!
In the meantime... if anybody has any ideas how I can get the word out better about this blog returning, and get my visits back up, please, feel free to post it in the comments!