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Friday, February 16, 2007

Sometimes I think Iím too incompetent to be trusted with the job I do. Right now Iím working on the Big Project, which in fact is creating a series of worksheets that will go to the accountant so that he can prepare our taxes and give us our annual financial statements. Itís an important job, because it has to be right, within the framework that Iíve been given. There are internal adjustments that mean nothing to the accountant but might mean something to the people who review our tax returns (you know who I mean) and the people who authorize bonds so that we can do more work and stay in business.

We want our taxes to be as low as possible, while our statements show that we are financially sound. Itís a tricky balance, and everyone I deal with knows I wonít fudge anything. But there are gray areas, where certain items can be looked at in different ways. Thatís where I have to be careful, and frankly, Iím not always that careful.

I make mistakes during the year that could easily fall through the cracks when I do the year-end worksheets, and nobody would know the difference. Some of these mistakes would benefit the company if they were ignored, and others would be detrimental. My natural lazy tendency is to ignore them, because nobody would ever know the difference. In fact, thatís what I decided to do with a couple of them as I worked through the cost reports this afternoon. Thatís such tedious work to begin with that correcting minor errors from a year ago seems like more of an added burden than I want to deal with.

But you know me. I had second thoughts, and I went back and made the correcting entries so that the work I end up giving the accountant will be as accurate as I can make it. I donít expect a medal or an award for this, because (a) itís my job, and (2) I shouldnít have made the mistakes in the first place. But I wouldnít mind a little credit for ending up with the best finished product I know how to produce.

30 January 2007


The problem is that the more time I take making sure everything I do is accurate, the later Iíll be turning in the Big Project. The Boss has already nudged me a few times this week, trying to get me to commit to a time when itíll be done. If I do that, though, there might be a greater chance that Iíll give him something with errors in it. Errors that could be corrected if I werenít being rushed. Itís a fine line, and Iím probably going to work through the three-day weekend, just so that I can live with what I end up turning in.

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