Personal Life Stuff

Sunday Discussion: Worrying Times On Geek Alabama


Geek Alabama Discussion

Allright folks, this is one of those posts I wish I would never have to write.  But the time has come to write this post.  As some of you know by now, I started the Geek Alabama blog in August 2011 after I was fired from my 13th job at FedEx.  Since that time, I have taken thousands of photos, written over 1800 posts, made over 160 videos, and have gained many new friends and followers from all across the world!  By the way, thanks for following me!  But while I have searched for my 14th job in over seven years, I have tried to grow the Geek Alabama blog since many people like it.  I have some amazing future things I want to do with Geek Alabama, the only thing stopping me is money.  Yes, some of my relatives wants me to start charging everyone who I cover a large fee, just like the movie Jerry Maguire, “Show Me The Money!”

My belief is I should not charge people a large fee to take photos, videos, and do an article about them.  You never see the newspapers, radio, or TV stations doing that.  Over the last two years, I have covered hundreds of events all across Alabama and Georgia.  Often, I do these events while going hungry and being thirsty.  Trying covering an event in the Summer heat.  I do this because I am trying to conserve every cent I can.  I would rather help out other people and do it with no food and water because that’s what I like to do.  If I can’t get the help I need in my life, I would rather make sure that other people have a success!  If you have not seen my Draw My Life video, take the 20 minutes and watch the video please!

I have had many people contact me wanting me to keep Geek Alabama going.  I also have a list of people who have contacted me wanting to cover their events, business, products, or anything else!  Thank you to all of you who takes the time to contact me!  But I have to be honest, how can I continue to cover events, businesses, products, or anything else without having money?  Yes, if I had money, I would go out of my way to continue helping other people.  I would not mind paying for my own gas, car maintenance, and meals to cover things.  And you know what, this is what I would like to continue doing!

So here is a big announcement.  Until further notice, I will no longer cover any events for Geek Alabama.  I hope this is something I can lift within a few weeks, that is if someone would help me!  I have gone through several major routes to find the capital (money) I need to move the blog forward by moving to WordPress.org, purchasing a new computer, and camera equipment.  But every time I try something, it’s like I have fallen on deaf ears.  It’s almost like I am floating in outer space while the theme song to The Twilight Zone is playing in the background.  Who’s going to listen to me?

I can not continue to cover things for free.  Who can do that?  I put out some amazing posts here on Geek Alabama which makes many people happy.  And that’s what I like to do!  I have offers from advertisers and other sources, but I can’t do anything on WordPress.com since they ban outside advertisers and paid or sponsored posts.  I have tried numerous avenues to growing this blog including going through the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce and trying a Indiegogo campaign.  That campaign ended at zero.

indie

Simply, I can not continue to volunteer my time to do things.  Have you seen my overdue bills?  Yep, I am beginning to get nervous.

phone billcable bill

My bank account is also super low.  Yes, there is only $2.40 left, and the bank is about to charge another $16 in another monthly fee.  Oh joy!

bank

And now I have got another worry.  My relatives are getting tired of paying for my rent for the last year.  And one of my relatives is wanting to buy a house, but they can’t do that because of my situation.  Along with writing this blog, I have been on a job hunt searching for my 14th job in over seven years.  I have applied for over 400 jobs and been to 14 job fairs so far across all of Alabama.  Even my relatives have tagged along and helped me fill out job applications but nothing has happened.  Believe me, sitting here at my apartment bored to death is not fun.  It’s almost like the classic game show Press Your Luck where you keep on hitting the whammy.

From Press Your Luck.

From Press Your Luck.

I have also had many followers contact me through e-mail or through social media showing me some ways online to find a job.  Thank you to the people who contact me, but so far, nothing has sadly worked.  And now I am starting to worry about my future living arrangements.  I am nervous that I will become homeless once again in August.  If this happens, I will be spending my 27th birthday living under a bridge or in an abandoned building on August 15th.  This would be the worst birthday present ever.

underbridge

Many of you have talked to me either in person, e-mail, or through social media saying that God has a plan for you or God will bless you.  And you know, I have a tough time believing that right now.  Yes, I do believe in God and Jesus Christ, but I also believe that no one should be suffering as well.  I am sitting here at the apartment with no toilet paper, washing detergent, and a food stamps card where I can only eat one meal a day.  My stomach is growling while I write this post.  If people truly believed in God and Jesus Christ, they would give different people like the ones with disabilities a chance in life.  And people would not suffer because they are being taken advantage of.  That’s my opinion.

Let me sum it up.  I can not continue to help other people with posts about events, crowdsouring projects, products, businesses, books, etc. without me getting some help.  Some of you know that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, or high functioning Autism.  Yes, I am different.  But that does not stop me from doing great things.  Since I can’t hold down a job without getting fired for breaking things and messing things up.  I decided to start the Geek Alabama blog.  Hey, so far, this blog is doing wonderful!  One of my relatives said I am making excuses about my life right now.  No, I don’t believe that, if I was making excuses, I would be lazy 24/7 and be in a major depressive state.  Here’s the truth, no one has given me the real chance to prove what I can do yet.  The only opportunities have been through volunteering without pay like at TV 24 here in East Alabama.  I do agree that I need to get paid, but will it happen in East Alabama?

I have talked about how bad the East Alabama region is doing.  Gadsden is the 5th poorest city in America, Anniston is ranked 364 out of 380 metro areas for growth, and Alexander City has gone so far down hill that a reality show on History Channel called Bamazon happened.  It’s about to get to the point where I am going to have to make a tough decision about my future in East Alabama.  The entire East Alabama region is slowly dying off, many people are suffering in East Alabama.  I don’t want to disappoint the people who follow me here in East Alabama.  But if nothing happens soon, I will be forced to move to other well-off regions like Birmingham, Huntsville, or even Atlanta.  Sorry relatives, unless you never want me to work ever again, this might be the only option available.  Sometimes in life, you have to pack up, move on, and leave.  This might me something I am going to have to do.

4 replies »

  1. I am so sorry this is happening to you! I know what it’s like to have to jump from job to job because a small mistake caused a big issue or (with my own anxiety disorder) even outright quit because your brain convinces you that your bosses are going to fire you for whatever reason(even if they complement your performance with flying colors). I went through several jobs for these reasons the last time I worked before I developed physical disabilities due to suspected MS. While I still do my best to create costumes and crafty things to sell here and there, it makes it difficult for a new couple to get on their own with just a part time job supporting them. That’s a big reason I’ve been fighting with the disability courts for 4 years now.

    However, don’t lose faith. I’m someone who doesn’t really believe God has a plan for each of us, however I’m someone who believes that God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle and the tough parts are His way to make us stronger. I also feel that all things happen for a reason and God DOES look out for us. I wouldn’t be able to handle half the hard things I go through every day if I didn’t feel this way. Even in the hard times, God drops little hints and reassurances to put us on the right path. We only have ask and open our eyes and ears to find them.

    For what it’s worth, your pictures and video of my wedding not only made me and Josh SO happy(they are definitely going into our wedding album!), but made our family and friends thrilled to have a chance to see the pictures and ceremony and feel like they were there when they couldn’t come(our family is widespread across the country). We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

    It is sad that the world is in such a state lately. And that many of us have to put our passions to the side in attempt to survive. So many people are stuck in jobs they dislike because it’s so difficult to get a job doing what they LOVE to do.
    I completely understand where you are coming from with not having the funds to travel to the events that would help with exposure to your craft. I have the same problems with my costuming and such and have had to skip cons that would help Sidekick Creations get it’s name out there because it has just not been financially stable to travel.

    As a question, however, have you ever considered building a portfolio of your images and videos and thought about doing things like weddings? Your photography is top notch…and that is saying something considering I’m a photographer myself, as is my father, my best friend, and quite a few of my other friends…I am surrounded by photographers! It is a possible road you can take that can easily make a career(and a decent amount of money).
    And if you DO start something like that, I will definitely do my best to help you with some publicity for your photography AND GeekAlabama through all my outlets. It’s the least I can do for you in thanks for capturing so many wonderful moments on my wedding day.

    Sending you much love, prayers, and good vibes! Stay strong, my friend!

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  2. Glad to talk to you. I am glad you enjoyed by photos and video of your wedding! Some people have said I should go the photographer route which I think is a great idea since I have taken some great pictures since I started Geek Alabama. I would need some money to upgrade the camera I got so I can take even better photos. I believe something is going to happen, and I have a massive following of people who likes what I do. I think something will happen, and I hope it happens soon! Thanks for the kind words!

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  3. Hi Nathan
    sorry to hear that things are so tough, I think a move to wordpress.org is a necessity so that you can finally monetise your efforts.
    I’d also seriously consider taking up the offer of a volunteer post at TV24, it’s a sign of the times that young people need to work for free in order to stand a chance of paid employment.
    Why not take up their offer? It could be a great networking opportunity, and at the very least, you’ll have a current reference to add to your resume.
    Good luck

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  4. Thanks for commenting. Here’s the thing, I have helped out at TV 24 for the last three years during their Pigskin Roundup program without pay. At the same time, they have brought in young people who have gotten paid. Many people have told me to not help them out anymore unless I get paid. I will see what happens next.

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