bunt sign

Thursday, June 7, 2001

Having given over the first part of the week to preparing and delivering bid forms, I now find myself playing catch-up. The task scheduling that I live by is upside down. Workers comp reports and payroll taxes are coming due, and I'm so far behind that I have to go back to the first of May and grind out the source records I need. This is unheard of.

I might seem to run an unstructured office, but I wouldn't still be here if I didn't have ways of maximizing my own productivity. As long as I know what's due when, and what I have to do to be ready for it, I'm okay. As soon as any of this gets upended, chaos spreads over the land like crabgrass. And I'm sure you know how I feel about crabgrass. I like it even less than chaos (which, in some situations, has its rightful place).

Did all go smoothly today? Did I get a chance to plow through some backed-up work and find a little breathing space? Of course not. My whole morning was spent on the phone with various parties interested in the haphazard slapdash half-assed financial statement worksheets that we gave to the accountant a week ago.

Now wait a second here. My work was not half-assed. My work was impeccably turned out and easy to follow, as always. And then the Boss got hold of it and made some executive decisions. He'd give the accountant the bare minimum of information and force him to come back to us with questions. He'd also decide that what I called bananas (because that's what they were) he would re-label as watermelons and hope no one noticed.

Well, today our watermelons started coming back at us, as if we were in the first row at a Gallagher concert.

So I found the answers to all the questions and relayed them to the poor confused accountant. All the answers were right there in the spreadsheets that the Boss had decided the accountant didn't need. The Boss's position is that this is a good thing. I think he believes we can slip something by this way, and end up looking like Popeye, without having to eat our spinach.

At my end, what it mostly means is that I get to keep doing the same work over and over again. Or, to belabor the analogy, I'm on a force-fed all-spinach diet until further notice. And we're still going to look more like Olive Oyl.

looking west

When I got word today that we'll be awarded a contract for the job we bid on yesterday, you'd think there'd be jubilation across the land. Then the Boss looked at the bid results.

"I could have bid it another $15,000 higher," he moaned.

I pointed out to him, as I do Every Single Time we go through this, that second-guessing is an empty exercise. I asked him if he had enough profit and overhead in his estimate. Yes. I asked him if we could do the job for the price we bid, and make money. Yes.

"But we could have used that $15,000."

Then I told him, "You could have bid it $18,000 higher, and then we would have lost the job altogether."

Funny, he didn't have a comeback for that one.

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