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Wednesday, February 12, 2003

This was one of those days when I just gave up. It has to be done once in awhile. I have to make a little surrender to keep from having to face the Big One. I give myself a time out, just so I can still feel like myself and not one of those arcade gophers that keeps popping up no matter how many times it feels the hammer slam down on its head. If you can't get away from it, you find yourself flinching even when there's no hammer.

I tried to shut things down early today, to keep from putting my fist through the wall. Or through the new printer, for that matter. I've been online with tech support off and on all day, and they don't seem to be able to solve my problem.

My problem is that the printer is working fine (big problem, eh?), but its display window is giving me an error message. It told me to change the cartridge, which I did, and now it's telling me to change the cartridge. Which I don't think I should have to do, not again, but that's one of the suggestions the tech folks made.

I guess I'll have to run out and buy another new ink cartridge, just to make sure that's not the problem. If the printer hadn't been working perfectly, I'd have done it this afternoon. But I was shut down for the day, and I'll do it tomorrow, or the next day or some day next week. I just wasn't in the mood to face it today.

The problem, as usual, is everything happening at once. If I got the kind of cooperation I keep getting promised, I could write payroll checks on Monday or Tuesday and mail them on Wednesday. Instead, since Tim didn't get me the time cards until today, I had to put everything aside and write the checks, then make a special extra trip to the post office to get them in the mail.

When I was complaining to Tim about the late-arriving time cards, I asked him if it would be a big problem if the checks didn't get mailed until Thursday. "No problem for me," he said, "but my crew won't like it. They're a bunch of young guys and they're out of money by the weekend. Waiting an extra day isn't going to go over well." I'm sure he wouldn't tell them it was his fault, so I promised him I'd make every effort to get it all done today. Somehow I came through.

It wasn't easy. The Boss is on a tear lately, trying to bid on every new job that comes along, whether it makes sense for us or not. He's got us on a list for a project in a state where we're not licensed, and he wants me to try to make that work out somehow. This is the kind of thing I've been having to deal with, while trying to do payroll at the same time. This is why I tried to shut down early today. Too much, all at the same time.

Yesterday I made the mistake of telling the Boss I was leaving a little early to go to a movie. It wasn't really early. It was 4:30 pm, later than the time I used to leave the office back when I was commuting to work. But just to be sure I didn't leave "early" again today, he faxed me a two-page letter to type at 4:15 pm. I don't think he's even conscious of doing it; it just comes to him naturally. He phoned five minutes later to impress on me how urgent this letter was.

It's like when he just happens to call at 8:00 am, to make sure I'm at my desk already, except that there's always some reason he has to call at that time and it has nothing to do with "checking up" on me. It's some kind of instinct with him, to squeeze the maximum juice out of me, until I'm wrung dry, the way I was this afternoon. That's why I needed a time out.

looking southwest

In the middle of the afternoon, the clouds seemed to be breaking up.
Later it rained again, though.

It's hard to relax when I know the phone could ring at any moment with another outlandish request. Even reasonable requests are outlandish when I'm in this mood. Working at home means never being completely off the clock, no matter what time it is. Maybe I should get out more, see more movies? Not tonight, though. I'm just tired.

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You know, it didn't help that it rained this morning, at precisely the time that I was out running my first set of errands. It didn't rain long, just when my new Saturn and I were out in it. The car is protected (and guaranteed). I'm not.

And then, of course, it started raining again just before I had to walk down the long muddy driveway to my mailbox this afternoon. I felt like Joe Btfsplk.

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So it's one more round for experience
And I'm on the road again.