bunt sign

Friday, April 6, 2001

The post-dated check would have made my life so much easier if I'd been able to deposit it last week when I got it. It was dated today, so I was getting it ready for the bank when the Boss called this morning and told me he was trying to get the okay to deposit it.

"Is there a problem?" I asked through clenched teeth.

"No, I don't think there will be. I'll call you back in fifteen minutes."

An hour later, wanting to know what was going on, I called and asked him what was going on. He told me that I should expect a call at any minute, giving me the go-ahead to make the deposit.

The folks we did this project for sent a letter with the check, informing me that they would stop payment if we didn't deliver on time. That's fine, because as far as I know our crew is on the job, doing what we contracted to do. Why we need permission to get paid I'm not sure.

This afternoon, just before the bank closed, I finally heard from the owner. "I was supposed to call you earlier," she said. It won't be credited until Monday, but you can trust that I raced to the bank to get that check out of my hands before she could change her mind.

Dealing with a private owner is different from dealing with the government. When the state hires us to do a job, we know we'll have to wait, but we'll get paid eventually.

This current job is for a homeowners' association. I've never dealt with one that wasn't flaky, in one way or another. Too many cooks, I guess, and nobody's quite sure who's the head chef, so a lot of stuff boils over. We've had a check held up because the executive director and the general manager disagreed over which one should sign it.

On the up side, we can usually write the contract so that we get a big deposit before the job even starts. This makes paying our crew and suppliers much easier. Contrast that with the state job we can't deliver because of snow. It's basically done, but they won't even consider paying us, even in the form of joint checks made out to our creditors.

No wonder we're always working on borrowed money. If this house of cards ever meets a stiff breeze, I could end up living in a refrigerator box under the Third Street overpass. That's the construction business, at least the way the Boss does it.

Since I'm having company Sunday, I started cleaning last night. I bought a dust-cloth-on-a-stick at the store and was disappointed to realize that the stick wasn't long enough to reach the ceiling. Thus I live in the house of permanent cobwebs.

I did use the d-c-on-a-s to clean the top of the one and only beam I could reach from the loft balcony, dropping clumps of gray dust onto the white carpet below. I can see the tops of the other beams from the loft, but I can't get to them.

So I got down to more conventional dusting, a job I hate. But let's face it, I hate all cleaning jobs. I hate vacuuming. I'm lazy at wiping countertops. My entire bathroom is pathetically (and possibly pathologically) neglected. And every flat surface in every room is covered with... something. Or other.

When do you think was the last time I washed my car? I'll give you a hint: it was in a different millennium.

But don't worry. I'll be ready by Sunday. It's my family, anyway, and they're pretty forgiving (at least to my face).

the newest residents of Suzanne's garden

I was tired and grouchy all day, but by tonight I was tired and punchy. That's a lot more fun, and it made the Dodgers' pummeling of the Giants a little more palatable. It was still gruesome, but I'd lightened up enough not to take it too seriously.

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