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Tuesday, June 6, 2000

No misadventures today. No whining, no soul-searching introspection, no lame philosophizing.

Wait a minute, what else is there?

I guess I could contemplate the prospect of hiring my mother to work for me.

This was the Boss's idea, sort of. He got to thinking, after I complained to him yesterday about the debilitating work load, and how I was trying to get ready for vacation with too much going on this week. He mentioned to me a few months back that he thought I needed some help running the office. I told him I'd think about it. My conclusion, which I didn't share with him, was that it was a bad idea. I do things my way, and it works out just fine. Someone else might want to do it a different way. What if that worked out even better?

What I'm really afraid of is that if anyone learns what I really do I'll be exposed for the fraud I know I am.

I've been a boss before, and I wasn't very good at it. I managed the shoe store long enough to know that my particular weakness was dealing with employees. I could never get a grasp of the interview process, so I asked a few lame questions and said, "You're hired." Then I was stuck with someone who was rude to customers, showed up when she wanted to, and used her employee discount to fill her friends' closets.

No, I'm not talking about anyone in particular here. Really, I'm just saying.

Here at the Company, I haven't worked closely with anyone since we closed the Napa office and I started working full time at home. In Napa, we had a business manager, who deflected most of the Boss's abuse onto himself. They had been childhood friends, and the Boss brought Elvin in to be his second in command, someone he could delegate the awesome responsibility of bullying our friends and cheating our enemies.

Elvin's contempt for the Boss and his tactics grew daily, and I'm surprised he lasted five years.

Now it's been a few years since I've shared my office. Since my office and my home are the same, my instinct says that the awkwardness of having someone around, even part time, would outweigh the benefit of dividing up the workload.

Today the Boss asked me if one of Mom's friends might want to work a few afternoons a week. I didn't think so, but when I put it to Mom, she said almost immediately, "Could I do it?" I had to think about that one, because I've been operating under the assumption that no one could do it, that what I do is so unique that only I can do it.

Then I thought about the phone, and how much it disrupts the flow of my day. Mom is great on the phone, as she reminded me. So I'm thinking seriously about how this might work out. There are some filing tasks that I never seem to get around to, and just keeping the office supplies straight would be a tremendous boon. Nothing is likely to happen right away, but I'm starting to like the idea of having someone I can trust here with me, to give me some relief from the stress that's been killing me this week.

Is there a possible downside? Of course. She's my mother, after all. We have a history, and she can't help giving me unsolicited advice. (Sorry, Mom, but you know you do. And I'm not necessarily asking you to stop. Not that it would do any good.)

She's a symbol to me of my own tattered history. I lean on her whenever I'm stumped about what direction my life should be going in, and that's often. It would do me no good to pretend to be a tower of strength and confidence, because she knows better. She can read my moods and tell when I'm off my game, either physically or mentally.

It's not always a good idea to have someone around all the time who knows you better than you know yourself. It keeps me from deluding myself that the rock I portray to the rest of the world is the real me.

What did I say about soul-searching introspection? Apparently my inner therapist needs some time off, too.

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I'm basic and I'm jaded and my excuses are so lame.