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Monday, August 7, 2000

It was going to be a Monday anyway, so being pleasantly sleepy all day had the beneficial effect of taking the edge off and slowing the pace. I'm ordinarily a bit compulsive about getting a task done before I take a break. This attitude is often compromised when two or three critical projects loom out of nowhere and suddenly inject their venom into my daily routine. This often happens on a Monday.

Today, for example, I was paying bills when Tim called. Tim is our project manager who also happens to be the Boss's son. A rock had cracked the windshield of his truck. Questions of insurance, deductibles, estimates and the like had to be addressed.

To me this is make-work, the kind of thing that I shouldn't have to deal with because it shouldn't happen. I know that it's part of my job to deal with sudden crises as they come up, but I think I gave Tim a hard enough time about it that he might call the insurance company himself next time. After all, the number's on a card in his glove box (unless he's lost it).

The Boss waited until I had a chance to regain momentum on the bill paying before faxing me a letter he needed to have typed. I lost count of the number of revisions this document went through, but each one seemed to come at the least opportune time, and the last one wasn't finished until after seven o'clock tonight. In other words, after the ballgame had started.

In the midst of the general confusion, Tim called again with another favor, something he could have handled with a phone call instead of calling me to call someone else (someone he knows and I don't), and then calling him back with the other person's response.

There's a neat kind of symmetry there, but it lacks something in efficiency. It also is what usually makes me want to put a fist through something.

So to cope with this kind of commotion, you need to be awake, alert and focused, right? Maybe. I wouldn't know, since I never seem to bring those qualities to the Monday party. Still glowing from my day in the sun and wind yesterday, I was a little less of all of them today.

Somehow it helped to have to filter the frenzy through a film of fatigue. With my reaction time slowed and my senses even duller than normal, I was forced to cope with situations at a sensible pace. Instead of revving my engine and ramming my problems head-on, I puttered and spluttered and plowed on through until things were resolved.

If I could marshal this lack of energy into a permanently altered state of tranquility, I'd be less of a candidate for an ulcer. Chronic insomnia has already brought me to the brink of the desired semi-permanent near-coma. If all I need is a little less sleep, that's definitely doable.

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