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Wednesday, May 14, 2003

I took advantage of a chance to be a hero today. It wore me out, but now that it's done I don't regret it. I took a mountain of tedious drudgery off the Boss's hands and worked all afternoon and on into the evening to make sure it was done fairly well and reasonably on time.

It's a matter of some consequence to him whenever he can be taken out of the loop on the busywork. He hates the same kinds of things I hate, filling out forms and reading specifications, so I do them. It's not what I was hired to do, but that was nearly seventeen years ago. Since then my job description has evolved to embrace almost every boring thing the Boss doesn't like doing.

The exception, of course, is making phone calls. He doesn't like making them, but he'll do it if it's necessary because he knows I'll spend more energy trying to get out of it than it would take him to go ahead and do it on his own. He knows an Escher staircase when he sees one, because I've left him halfway to nowhere a few times.

Today's task was one I've written about before, the attempt to fulfill affirmative action requirements so we can bid on a state project. I can no longer say that nothing ever comes of these blind searches, because we now have a relationship with a disabled welder that comes in handy when we need to fill a quota. Too bad we still have to go through the motions of contacting state agencies, locating vendors, requesting quotes and sifting through responses.

It would take him half an hour to do all this by phone, but I volunteered to do it. By fax and Internet. I told the Boss I'd spend six hours doing it the hard way, to save him thirty minutes of phone calls. Well, no, I didn't tell him that exactly. I just told him not to worry about it, because I'd take care of it. Me, hero.

There was an ulterior motive in my decision to work so late on it today, and it had nothing to do with making the Boss happy. I knew if I kept going at it and got it done tonight, I'd be able to get away for lunch tomorrow. Suzanne and I have a tentative luncheon engagement, and it looks now (for the first time since Monday morning) as if I might just make it.

13 May 03

One white rose, about to bloom.

This is just one small construction job, and yet it's going to take me most of Friday and part of the weekend to do my small part. The other big project that's hanging over our heads is the Big Development, and we talked about that today, too. I didn't volunteer to do anything, but he asked me to look over the proposal request, a few pages at a time, and make some notes. I think I can handle that much of the burden.

He knows he has to do the heavy lifting on this one, because I can't put together the technical specs and I definitely can't go to meetings where people ask questions and expect someone to know answers. If there are forms to fill out, I'll slink off into the corner and do those. Otherwise, include me out.

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After a rough day, I settled in tonight to watch Bed and Board, Truffaut's busy, crowded 1970 comedy. There's never just one thing happening at a time in this movie, which has so many quirky minor characters that the bittersweet romance at its heart becomes more sweet and less bitter. Even though it's part of Truffaut's Doinel cycle, a sequel to The 400 Blows and Stolen Kisses, it stands well on its own.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Partial Credit
"He gave me ten minutes to cool off before calling me back to make sure I hadn't somehow harmed myself."

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