The weather is no more schizophrenic than the Boss, and it doesn't interfere with my getting things done nearly as much as he does. He asks me questions in a kind of shorthand that makes me wonder if he thinks I can read his mind. "Did Hans ever pay us for that forklift?" This comes totally out of the blue, as soon as I answer the phone.
Well, first of all, who the hell is Hans? And what's he doing with our forklift that took five years to pay off?
It turns out that "Hans" is shorthand for one of our clients, and we had to rent a forklift to do some extra work for him. He was supposed to reimburse us, and no, he hasn't yet. Glad I could clear that up.
"Remember the letter we wrote to that lawyer?" Which one? When? "It was a month ago, about the interest we're trying to collect on the late payment for the job we did in Marysville." That was a lawyer we wrote that letter to? "I want to write the same letter to another lawyer, to see if we can get some action."
Wait just a minute. Have we heard from the first lawyer yet? "Have you heard from him?" No. "Maybe I ought to call him." Good idea.
It turns out that the first lawyer has been working on our case, and is ready to file papers, and was just about to send us an agreement to sign (and a bill to pay). If I hadn't spoken up, the Boss would have hired another lawyer to pursue the same couple of thousand dollars. Oh, wouldn't that have been fun! They could band together and sue both us and our delinquent client.
The Boss's calls often seem to be in a version of English that Professor Irwin Corey learned from Norm Crosby. (And if you know those references, you're as old as I am. They're both still alive, by the way.) I have to translate his questions into standard English and then fill in the gaps and lacunae. I don't know which one of us is more amazed when I come up with an answer, but I always do.