Since the new roll out of the online automated work system at the school board I am working for, Mr. Meow and I had been scratching our heads to figure out how to get work without sitting in front of the computer (like I am now) like someone who doesn't have a life and watch the website populate itself with work for me to choose.
It was nice back then when I just had to make a phone call to the division substitute's office to check for work. A quick 3 minute call and talking with the nice lady on the other end would determine whether I work that day or not. Now, I have a huge 24 hour window of opportunity to determine whether I work and on which day. I can't say I don't care about my income because I do, and I care about the amount of work I get because I still have to apply for a permanent certificate, so I need the hours. So, if you were in my shoes, you'd check the board like an obsessive baker watching the macarons grow its feet. But, teachers have a life too (surprise, kids!) I don't want to be chained to the computer.
In comes this nice little software. It checks the site automatically for you and when there is something, it can send me an email or an IM. So, I have this running on my computer at home all day since my computer is on 24/7 anyways, and have it work in conjunction with my iPhone. Believe me, the iPhone has just upped its worth in my books.
Once we've got the software figured out as it wasn't too user friendly, I'm seeing every single job that comes up, so of course I can get my cherry picking.
Other subs see me with my iPhone and immediately wonder if I get notification when jobs come up. I had to tell them half the truth - that it can't, but I can check the site on the go; though I don't tell them I do get notifications but it is in conjunction with a software on the home computer. I feel guilty about it sometimes, but I tell myself: if they are absolutely serious about making the money, then they would spend more time researching on getting something to help them; and the fact that this indeed is a competitive career - the more I get out there, the more likely I would get requests and call backs which eventually would diminish my need to check the site and pick up random jobs.
The only downside is that it seems some school principals and even teachers are opposed to us checking the computer for work during teaching hours. I understand we should focus on the kids, but if jobs are gone in under 5 minutes and teachers are posting during school hours, how are we to compete with the subs who are home that day? Hell, teachers go on the computer during class too, but they will claim that they're still focused on the students. Substitute teachers should be and are expected to be just as professional as contract teachers and therefore should also be trusted to use the computer during work for work reasons when it is appropriate. This is not a personal computer use moment people!
With that said, the software is working to my advantage and I will be working nearly everyday this month. Which means less time for baking. Boo.