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Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Now that I'm driving again, I'm irritated at the way everybody else drives. One day without a car, and I'd forgotten all about that peculiar class of people who believe that driving five miles an hour below the speed limit is actually safer than going along with everybody else. And if five is better, why not ten? Especially when the road is down to a single lane because of construction in the passing lane.

When we got to the end of the construction zone, I carefully signaled before changing lanes to pass. As I was pulling alongside her, she decided to change lanes without a signal (and you know how I feel about that). I was going to let her off without calling her bad names, but when I had to swerve into oncoming traffic to keep her from hitting me, I had no choice but to bring out the heavy verbal artillery.

This kind of thing only happens when I'm taking a different route than usual. I was trying a new shortcut, but it was on a road I'm familiar with, so it's not as if there were special rules for driving there that I wasn't clued in on. Still, my first thought was that if I'd gone the long way as usual I wouldn't have almost been struck down in the prime of my youth. Or whatever.

It's been eleven days since I ordered the external Zip drive that should free me from having to run two computers side by side all day long. I almost fired off an email to the online store today, asking where my order was delivered to, because it never got to me. But their message said I should expect it in 4 to 12 days, and that gives them one more day to comply.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to work as much as possible on Fidelina (the new computer). If I can do something by transferring a simple file via diskette, I'm very happy. Unfortunately, more involved tasks like payroll and billing require several integrated spreadsheets, more than I can copy onto a single floppy disc. I really thought last week's payroll was going to be the last one I did on the old machine, but today was the day and I had no choice.

Just when I thought my work day was over, along came a fax from the Boss. He wanted to bill one of our new customers, so I was off to Sophie, or Bernice, or whatever I'm going to call the old computer. Martha maybe, or Abigail. I haven't decided. Edith, only pronounced the French way, "ay-DEET." (That can't be right. There are no accented syllables in French, or so the French would have us believe.)

At four this afternoon I'd gone outside to water. Technically I'm off the clock at that hour, although I consider myself on call until at least six. I'm actually on call 24/7, unless I turn the ringer on the phone to mute. When I came in from watering I was planning to take my book (The Glass Lake, by Maeve Binchy) and sit out on the porch. Then I saw what was in the fax tray. The Boss is on the road, staying with his daughter in Southern California, but he's managed to connect his fax, so there's no peace for me.

Instead of sitting on the porch reading, I spent the next hour working on files on Edith (ay-DEET, remember) and copying them to Fidelina so I could print them and fax them back for endless rounds of corrections and revisions. I might be the last office manager in the country who still depends on 3.5" diskettes to run a business. It seems appropriate, considering how slowly and methodically I have to do everything.

Having versions of the same file on two hard drives and a floppy disc seems like a surefire recipe for disaster. Or maybe not. It can't hurt to have three copies of a billing statement in various stages of completion. It's a kind of failsafe system that might be one of the few benefits of working this way.


There's a field of sunflowers across the road from my house.

I'd hoped to get away to the lake this upcoming holiday weekend, but it's not looking good. I have to be here in case my Zip drive comes, and I'm swamped with work that I get too tired to do after about seven or eight at night, and I'm bone tired more or less all the time. Sounds like I should stay home and get some work done and take naps every chance I get.

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One year ago: Recovering Workaholic
"But if I weren't tethered to the Boss 24/7 via fax, I might not need a nap."

Two years ago: Quiet Storm
"I feel compelled to push myself as hard as I can stand. Any time I'm not packing or transporting something is wasted."

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