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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Somebody was going to suffer for all the unplanned extra work I had to do today. I decided that the person who had to suffer should be Tim, since he routinely makes my life more difficult. He doesn't do it on purpose, but it wouldn't take much of an effort on his part to make things go more smoothly at my end of the operation.

Besides, some of the extra work was his fault, although he'll never know about that. It's just that he keeps making the lives of his crew members so miserable that they quit. Now, I don't care about them all that much. I don't even know them, except as names on my payroll register for a few weeks. Tim has three or four guys working for him at a time, and yet I end up at the end of the year doing W-2s for twenty people.

Today it was certified payroll reports. I try to get out of doing those unless it's absolutely necessary. First thing this morning I got a fax from one of the contractors who owes us big money. Last week, they told the Boss that they'd be writing us a check this week. Suddenly today they can't mail the check because I haven't sent them the certified payrolls that they never asked for.

So I had to stop writing this week's paychecks (which I would have done yesterday if Tim had got me the time cards on time) and work on payroll reports from December and January. It was no trouble finding the records, but it would have been so much simpler if there hadn't been so many different people working on that job site. Same old story: two or three at a time, six or seven total.

It's tedious work because they ask for payroll information in a different format than the way we have to do it for the government and for workers comp. I have to back some numbers out of one column and add them in someplace else. All the forms for all these entities are rigidly designed, so there's no room for flexibility. I have to bend and bow and nod and smile and crawl through the brambles without complaining.

Without complaining to them, anyway. They don't care, because they get to keep our money until I do it their way. So I complain to you, for all the good that does. And I took it out on Tim by not finishing the paychecks today. They'll get mailed out tomorrow instead, and the guys will whine to Tim when they don't get paid on Friday, and Tim will whine to me, so what have I really gained? Not much.

18 February 2004

Sunlit clouds.

I was in a surly mood this morning even before any of this happened. As usual on the nights I go to class, I was up extra late, even for me. I had my day planned, and then I had to swerve, veer and revise. I hate changing course like that, especially when I'm tired.

It's not that I can't do this stuff, or even that I don't want to. It's that I want to work up to it, not have it dumped on me with less than a day to get it done. And I did have to get it done today, so that they can mail us the check. Now I have to hope they keep their promise, and figure out how to pay bills until they do.

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The payroll reports are "certified" because I have to promise that we haven't paid our people at the prevailing wage rate and then forced them to give us back the extra money. Such a thing wouldn't even occur to me if I didn't have to sign an affidavit swearing that I didn't do it.

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I dreamed a dream that made me sad
Concerning myself and the first few friends I had.