Check out this small meeting room (one of a number of diverse, really cool nooks) at the Google offices in Zurich. Unseen in the first shot is the firefighter’s pole to slide down from the floor above! It sure beats the hell outta the industrial-grey cube-farm where I did tech writing. But what’s fabulous about these offices (and other Google buildings) is not just the physical environment, but also the social and business culture that values play and creativity, rather than viewing them as frivolous distractions from “real” work.

There is a world of creative people out there actually making living wages in different businesses, using their knowledge in imaginative, useful and positive ways, and I want in. I feel like a moth beating against the window pane … it’s enough to make one cry.

(But what kind of job does a worker bee with degrees in science, a teaching/special education background — but not a secondary-school teaching certification, and skills in art and communication do?)


  1. Barbara said,

    21 October 2008 at 1:15

    As much as I’d enjoy a book by you I like you too much to send you into that spin. Really, really hard work where the work has to come long in advance of the pay. Tough to get paid well, very competitive. If that appeals…..

    I was thinking private tuturoing. I do therapy in homes, and for one of my patients, his ‘math tutor’ came to the home, too. He was in regular ed, and she worked with him to keep him up and with good grades.

    Parents pay privately. You could likely come up with a competitive rate with little investigation; don’t know if marketing in your community would be difficult. The tutor I met had a sign on her car.

    It’s the kind of job with atypical hours. After school/evenings and Saturdays. Play during office hours. Just saying.

  2. Linda said,

    20 October 2008 at 20:05

    Andrea … do I detect a LOLSpeak accent?

    I stumbled across your blog in looking for APD info for my 7 – year old — the one I am also looking for autism, ADHD and other info on. That was a couple hours ago — and dang it — I AM AT WORK!

    Just wanted to say hi, and wow — I will read more later.

  3. Suzanne said,

    20 October 2008 at 0:59

    Second cup gone. Taken my meds, Reasonably awake.

    Things to do for a “Queen Bee” (not drone):

    Start a new hive. Map the neighbourhood for bugs, and play pied piper to the kids who will want to know what you are doing.

    Create an insect zoo and sell insects to the local kids.

    Create and sell ant farms etc.

    Breed insects for the local pet shop.

    Take insect tours to the local parks and gardens.

    Checkout the local toy shops for equipment that kids can use to investigate bugs … catching equipment, microscopes, holding/breeding containers. In partnership, do promotions for bugs/searches to go with the kits.

  4. Suzanne said,

    20 October 2008 at 0:02

    OK, one coffee gone.

    Write a “Quilting for dummies” style book.

    Write a “Supermom” style book.

    Write a “Superabled” book.

    Write a book on technical writing.

    Write a gardening book. You could focus on biodegradable gardening products and creating your own mulch etc.

    Develop a kid’s colouring book … you photograph and draw the insects, and the kids colour them in. Likewise develop a sticker book where the kids have to find where to put the stickers in the photos.

    Now for another coffee.

  5. Suzanne said,

    19 October 2008 at 23:38

    Hmmm … ideas from the top of my head:

    Prepare training materials and offer them for sale to schools and colleges?

    Write text books? Edit text books?

    Find a web developer would could help you to offer online classes in bugs? Kids would love it, and it would save parents a lot of grief in having to find yet more information on insects for project work and/or perseverations.

    Create insect photo books? Regional and/or seasonal bugs?

    Offer to draw or photograph bugs for nature posters for nature groups or local historical society. If you don’t own a tablet, you could scan the images.

    Give me my morning coffee and I will come up with some more ideas!

  6. Norah said,

    19 October 2008 at 13:35

    They don’t only need programmers or other digitally inclined people :). They often have people who actually draw the graphics, different from the people who try to digitallise that as best they can. Or so the incrowd says. Also they make use of storypeople who do no coding whatsoever. Not all have writers in their teams, though. A lot has to be made up and creatively created and such before it’s coded into a game.

  7. qw88nb88 said,

    18 October 2008 at 14:51

    Folks, those are cool ideas, but I’m not a Web site developer, programmer or other form of digital composer. My art background is of the ink and paper sort, and of the newspaper/magazine layout, proofreading, writing, editing of the pre-digital age. (Sure I could take two years of courses, but I don’t need another undergraduate degree.)


  8. Norah said,

    18 October 2008 at 10:37

    A job in the gaming industry!

  9. Do'C said,

    18 October 2008 at 3:16

    (But what kind of job does a worker bee with degrees in science, a teaching/special education background — but not a secondary-school teaching certification, and skills in art and communication do?)

    Technical training (from training program and media development to implementation)?

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