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Friday, August 8, 2003

Never, ever make plans. Especially don't make plans to do things on your own terms, in your own time. Something will always come up. Someone will throw a monkey wrench in the punch bowl, and you'll end up paddling madly home without an oar.

This is a lesson I should have learned by now. Tammy and David, who are three decades younger than I am and planning a wedding, already know it. They know about contingencies, and how to leave room for last-minute adjustments, and building in enough flexibility to keep the momentum moving forward. David is the kind of carpenter you want building your house, because he knows when to question the integrity of the blueprints. He won't build a wall that he knows will fall down.

As for me, I'm all talk one day, about how I'm going to get my job done the easy way, by managing my time and sticking to the agenda. Comes the dawn and I find myself buried under all the new work spewing out of the fax machine. That wasn't in the plan, was it? Because it never, ever happens that the Boss suddenly decides he has a new project that has to be done right this minute, before all his imaginary enemies can get the jump on him.

So I spent the day typing. And retyping and trying to decipher what he's written in the margin of the last draft so I can type up a new one. And I'm just as far behind tonight as I was when I woke up this morning. More, in fact, because at 5:00 pm the Boss phoned and asked for yet another, entirely different spreadsheet. Out of the blue, clear sky — zapped again. If only he would use his powers for good.

"Can this wait until Monday?" I asked him.

"Well, I suppose so, but I don't want it to wait any longer than that. I've already let two weeks go by."

Do you see what's going on here? He let two weeks go by, so I'm supposed to give up my weekend. I'm already booked for Sunday, so that means working all day Saturday. But it's for a good cause. It might get us new work, and that leads to job security, and blah blah blah. Whatever.

Of course I'm going to do it. Did you for a minute think I wouldn't?

5 August 2003

My newly-mowed yard and the cloudy sky to the east.

Every time the phone rang late this afternoon I gave a little shudder. Three calls in a row were from the Boss, and they all started with the words, "This is the last one today, I promise." I told him I'd believe it when I didn't hear it. I don't think the phone stopped ringing until after I left the house. (If a phone rings in an empty house, it doesn't make a sound.)

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Tonight was the final performance of Summer Repertory Theatre's production of "The Solid Gold Cadillac," so it does nobody any good if I recommend it. That's too bad, because it would have been worth seeing. It's a perfect showcase for broad comedy acting, and the company's actors seem to be well suited for this kind of show. And it's a timely tale of corporate greed, taken down by na´ve honesty. It's a really funny show. Too bad you missed it.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Smooth
"'Really?' he said, as if he knew all the implications of running a business on a machine that many generations out of date."

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