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The power washer operations manual

August 5th, 2012 at 03:07 pm

I worked yesterday on my latest freelance project: an operations and procedures manual for a power washing company.

Well, they actually use a "low pressure, high temperature cleaning system" but it's basically the same time of operation.

He was so happy with my work that he now wants me to write the rest of the manual, which he originally was going to do himself becus it's more technical. I think I can handle it.

He really had no idea how to work with a writer, and in fact when he first advertised the job on Craig's List, he said he needed someone who typed fast. Upon interviewing him, I told him that what he really needed was a writer, and he agreed. Then by suggesting we just do this all over the phone rather than in person, I boosted what I would make on the job becus he wouldn't have to pay for my mileage or lunch in his kitchen with him and his wife, which, frankly, seemed a little wierd, but that's how he envisioned this thing working.

So I talked to him on the phone for several hours yesterday (his dime) where he basically did a "brain dump" of what should go in the manual, but he needed someone to organize the material and write it. So I learned there's quite a bit more to the power washing business than I realized.

I probably should have made more on it, but I originally responded to his ad where he named his price. But now that he wants me to do the rest of it as well, same length as the first section I did, I told him my charge would be the same, $200 ($400 when I'm done with both parts).

It was a little dicey at first because I don't know this guy from Adam and I wanted to make sure I didn't get burned, which has happened now twice before, so I suggested he pay me half upfront and half upon completion. Which he was fine with, but he was going to mail a check, which I wouldn't have time to receive, deposit and have clear at the bank before i turned my work in to him.

So i needed to get payment somehow without coming off sounding like i didn't trust him. I suggested Paypal, but he was new to it and didn't seem like he trusted it. We went back and forth some more on the issue of payment and i'm starting to wonder if this would all blow up in my face. Finally, he decided to open the paypal account and i got my $100, although after paypal took their cut, it was about $96.

When we finish up with the operations manual, I'm going to suggest I do a little vest pocket sales brochure for him as a leave-behind for customers, as well as a website.

He knows the business inside and out and from what I understand, he has a friend who wanted him to set up a business for him and is paying him $5k to do so. I'm not sure if he'll have any stake in the new business once he sets it up or not.

But anyway, he was very appreciative of my work, and I'm appreciative to have a new client!

Now I can honestly say I've done some technical writing. It's similar to an employee handbook for new employees except that it also contains detailed sections on how to power clean a roof, siding (different procedures for vinyl, wood and brick/stone) as well as patios and sidewalks.

In between talking to this guy for hours on the phone and writing the manual yesterday, i was also having to keep tabs on my mother, who had called me earlier that day saying she thought she might need me to take her to the hospital because of the pain.

She seems to do better during the day and evening, and is worst in the a.m. Luckily she didn't need to go and finally today took a Tylenol and said she is feeling much better. Yeah! She took a Tylenol! Wonders never cease. I will stop in to see her tomorrow after dropping J. off at work.

She'll be back at the doctor's tomorrow as I know her problem is not 'cured' or gone for good. It doesn't really seem like they know why this is happening to her.

It's incredibly hot here and has been so for a week now. I sit in my second floor, un-air conditioned office with humidity today at 92%. It's stifling.

So yes, today, August 5, my dear late grandmother's birthday, I finally did cave and drag down a small AC from the attic to put in the dining room window. I allowed myself to run it for an hour, after which the inside temperature dropped by 2 degrees, to a very steamy 79 degrees. But then I turned it off, cognizant of my next electric bill.

I see no end in sight to this heat, or the humidity. the cats are hot, I'm hot. I have been very unproductive, save for writing that manual that weekend. Poor Luther INSISTS on being whereever I am, even though it is 5 degrees cooler downstairs and even cooler, 70 degrees, in the basement.

He will stay with me no matter what, all day long, trailing me from room to room. He is a very loyal cat. You would think that the more I stayed home, the more used to having me here he'd get and he wouldn't see the need to follow after me, but it's not that way at all.

I am looking forward to a cold shower tonight and then tomorrow it's back to "work," driving J.

Always happy when i'm making money.

1 Responses to “The power washer operations manual”

  1. snafu Says:

    Would moving the computer set up to the basement be do-able to take advantage of cooler environment?
    There is an electronic system in place for bank-to-bank money transfers with sender bearing the cost. I can't fathom why the employee would suffer the expense.

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