bunt sign

Friday, August 24, 2001

I woke up with a chip on my shoulder this morning. The whole world was my adversary, and every little inconvenience had a hidden meaning all its own. Even the fog that draped the trees circling my yard had to be there simply to harass and depress me. I was determined to take offense wherever I possibly could.

Yes, it was audit day. And that's why a landscape contractor's truck was parked blocking the sidewalk so that I had to take the long way to the post office. That's why the car making the right turn into the parking lot didn't signal, causing me to walk out in front of it and nearly get run over.

It's also why those strange-looking people picked my driveway to run out of gas in, and then sat there waiting for their friends to bring them some, all the while eating corn nuts and tossing the wrappers casually on the ground so I'd have to pick them up later. Yep. Had to happen today.

Nothing is allowed to go right on audit day, at least until after the audit is over. This is the day I can't hold onto anything, so I'm forever bending down to pick up something I've dropped. It's the day I can't walk across the carpet without tripping over the speaker wire.

It's also the day that I think of two or three other things I should have done to get ready, just as the auditor calls and asks if it's okay for him to come early.

The audit itself was almost a pleasant experience, compared with the preparation and anticipation. In fact, the preparation did no good whatsoever, because the information the auditor had requested turned out not to be what he actually needed. So instead of looking through all the printed material I'd assembled neatly in a three-ring binder, he sent me scrambling through the files for an entirely different set of data.

It was somewhat to my advantage to have him backpedaling like that. He suddenly discovered that he needed some numbers I could give him only by going through my spreadsheets. So he settled for raw totals, and I didn't have to provide any details for him to analyze and criticize. This made things go quite a bit more smoothly than they might have. In fact, he was in and out of here in less than an hour.

webs in the mist

The spiders were busy overnight, weaving webs all through my dwarf pine.

The post-audit portion of the day was almost a mini-vacation. It was like being dropped onto a tropical beach. I felt the fog lift and the sun come blazing out. If I can remember this feeling, I won't obsess over the next simple audit that comes my way.

That won't happen, because I always think the next one is going to be the one that humiliates me by proving to the world how incompetent I really am. And it never happens that way! It's always the way it was today, quick and painless. But I won't let that stop me from worrying myself to distraction every time I get one of those letters.

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