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Monday, March 14, 2005

Every time I thought we were through, the Boss came up with one more question, or one more little nip or tuck. By the end of this process (which mercifully did come today at last), it got so that I could change whatever he wanted changed in the Big Project without so much as making a conscious effort to be mindful of what I was doing. Not exactly in my sleep, but the same as.

This is a far cry from the start of the process, shortly after the first of the year, when I had to remind myself of the way all the spreadsheets were put together internally, and how they interconnected with each other. You’d think something that takes up more than two months of my life, year after year, would get a little more familiar each time. And it does. A little.

More than once this morning he said to me, “I think we’re done.” And then he would have another thought, or look at it one more time and notice something that could be different (not wrong, necessarily, just different). He had it in the envelope to send to the accountant (he told me this), but he would keep taking it out and looking at it.

You know what I told him, right? “Seal that envelope!”

He was wearing me out, and I think he was wearing himself out pacing around his office, trying to make a decidedly imperfect process turn out a perfect product. Whenever possible, I try not to do the impossible. Some people who think they are perfectionists are really impossiblists. Usually someone else has to draw the line for them, so I did.

15 March 2005

Overgrown paving stones.

And yet, when he gave me the option, I chose to make the correction and reprint all the worksheets, rather than letting it go to the accountant with an error that I could identify (but that the accountant could not). Nothing we did today affected the bottom line in any significant way, but it did rearrange all those supplementary intermediate lines in between. We care about the big picture, but we also care about every little pixel.

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I signed another online petition today. This one is a letter to Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, asking him to lay off the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. The Republicans want to spoil the wilderness by drilling for oil. A six-month supply of oil. That won’t be realized for ten years. A little short-sighted, isn’t it? So I joined Senator Boxer’s campaign (how I admire that woman!) and sent Frist an email and a letter by regular mail. Of course I think it’ll make a difference!

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One year ago: Day In
"I'd like to hear 'good job,' but the more likely response will be, 'Can you clear something up for me?'"

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