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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

As it turns out, I canít do things the way I did them when I was younger. This isnít much of a revelation, I know, especially when it comes to things like pedaling a bicycle uphill. Some of the things I canít do now I donít need to do any more, like climbing up and down the ladder in the back of the shoe store, stocking the shelves like a madman. But itís always surprising to realize that I can no longer sit at the computer for eight or ten hours at a time, the way I once did. This day would have gone by more quickly if I could still do that.

Here at The Company, you see, we do everything the hard way. Because the Boss doesnít think thereís a commercial accounting software that can create reports as good as the reports I create by hand (and Excel), I do most of my bookkeeping by hand (and Excel). That means that after the last payroll of 2008, which I completed yesterday, I have to enter (by hand, into Excel) the withholding information for 2009. In the case of the tax tables, that turns into an awful lot of typing for a pair of hands that are just over three months shy of being sixty years old.

So thatís how I spent the next-to-last day of the year, getting back to my roots. Data entry used to be a pleasure, because I was good at it. Back in the old days, Iíd take this kind of work home and stay up all night doing it. Now I start it as early as possible, because I know Iíll have to take frequent breaks to keep my aging body from breaking down. The Boss has no clue how much I put into doing things his way. In fact, heís in Texas all week, running someone elseís life.

29 December 2008

Walnut tree.

If the Boss were to call, I wouldnít tell him how hard Iíve been working or how much my back aches. Iíd simply give him his messages and ask him the questions he left hanging when he left California last week. He gave me a target number of dollars to leave in the company checking account at the end of the year. What he didnít tell me is how to get there — which bills to pay, for example. If I have to make that decision, he will have to live with the consequences as much as I will. But thereís still one more day, so maybe heíll call and get me off the hook.

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