They say a code monkey is made, not born, and I’m here to agree.
What I am about to tell you is a tale of contemporary living.
It’s the story of how coding is the new cotton-picking, and single moms truly cannot go it alone — they need questionable labor practices to make their lives work while they work for a living.
Here’s what happened:
A week or so ago, I was so loaded down with work I got an eensy weensy bit frustrated.
Amid the dirty house and the deadlines, I wanted a YouTube presence.
Those in the know know that video is where it’s at; YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and reading is going the way of telling time and tying shoelaces.
If I didn’t want to be obsolete before I became famous, I’d better get going on YouTube.
I figured I would generate a YouTube playlist with URLs and calls to action leading back to my other blog, CRAZYBEAUTIFUL. I publish a YouTube video themed weekly with each CRAZYBEAUTIFUL post, and I thought this would be a good way to kill two birds with one stone, as it were (though anyone named “Colibri” should probably think twice about bird-killing. Anyhoo.).
At the time, there were about 69 YouTube videos embedded in my posts. The YouTube playlist uploader wouldn’t accept “embed” links. I needed the “share” link. Are you following me?
The project involved the following:
- Going to each blog post
- Copying the embed code into a new tab
- Clicking through to YouTube
- Copying the “share” link
- Opening my YouTube channel
- Clicking “add video”
- Pasting the link and
- Saving (let’s not forget that step, shall we?)
Alright, I may be skipping a step or two.
As you can see, these things take time. And know-how. Or money.
Even if each video took a minute, that’s an hour of time I don’t have.
Let’s not kid ourselves: Nothing dealing with technology ever takes a mere minute. Nope. You have to, for example, find a new video when the one you used was taken offline. Or you don’t realize YouTube doesn’t autosave, and — guess what — you lose 10 videos.
Speaking of kids, let’s get back to the point here.
It occurred to me that I could hire my 9-year-old, Jonjo, to create the playlist for me.
It was an exceptional weekend in which we weren’t loaded down with play dates and baseball games.
I know, children used to mow lawns for a living. But times have changed, and so must we.
He was game for it. I told him there were 20 bucks in it for him if he could get ALL of the videos loaded.
This is a kid who is so underprivileged (cough, cough) that he doesn’t even get an allowance. He jumped at it.
His brother, newly a teenager, huddled in his bedroom, complaining that, “No one gets paid to do things like make YouTube playlists.”
You and I both know that most people will not create YouTube playlists for you as an act of charity. Cutting and pasting is definitely paid labor. But it does show the connection between picking cotton and coding.
Those of you who have worked in the “real world” know what I mean. There is a lot of cutting and pasting involved. But very little sunshine and fresh air.
Cynicism about the working world and concerns about how healthy I think it is for 9-year-olds to cut and paste instead of mow lawns (I don’t have a lawn, BTW) aside, I was elated!
As you might expect, the project took longer, and there were more setbacks than if I had done it myself. But would it have been as much fun? No!
Jonjo has been given the title “Online Marketing Coordinator,” and a jump start for his résumé.
Mommy has a baby code monkey who, when he’s not out playing baseball, can provide a little professional companionship and save his mom a bundle of time (and money) while earning extra cash, new style.
This is how we single moms make it work.
One baby code monkey at a time.
Any thoughts on baby code monkeys, child labor, lawnmowers, or single moms (they better get their acts together!)? Please share in the comments.
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