SmartSource was an exception to my being unable to do other jobs while at FedEx, because for the projects in question, the work took place early on Monday mornings. FedEx is Tuesday through Saturday mornings, even earlier than SmartSource was. Funny thing was, when SmartSource first approached me, I thought the work was pure contract, 1099, and I retained that belief until after the first day I did work for them. I had not received all the paperwork. Had they been contract, this would have been part of the freelance work I grouped under Welcome to Help, shades of contracting via OnForce.

This was a set of two projects at restaurant chains owned by the same company. In 2011 it was sandwich restaurants. In 2012 it was pizza restaurants. In both cases, the work involved upgrading POS software on 4-6 terminals in each location, using downloaded instructions and flash drives for each terminal, previously shipped to each site. There was a secondary element of cleaning vents and keeping an eye out for and reporting hardware problems, most notably overheating from one or both cooling fans having failed. Overheating could slow the installation. I discovered that canned air could be used to keep a system cool enough to get through a sluggish update more quickly.

This also involved working with helpdesk and management at the restaurant company, making sure additional remote updates and tweaks were done, the system was sufficiently available by the time the stores opened, and everything tested out OK. The experience was a nice change from FedEx, and I appreciated having regional managers wishing I could do all of their stores.

I would take other work from SmartSource, if it fit my schedule, but it generally overlaps. I can’t replace FedEx with something that transient.

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