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Thursday, January 10, 2002

Work as an excuse to slack off: that's what I discovered while doing the W-2s today. I do one big typing job a year, and this is it. All the employees get wage and tax statements, and we go through a lot of employees here at the Company. Tim had the crew that works for him whittled down to three people at the end of the year, but during the twelve months before that fifteen others had come and gone. Some quit and some got fired, but for such a small working crew, it's amazing to me that fifteen people left our payroll during 2001.

Tim doesn't care, but he doesn't have to sit and type W-2s for guys who worked a few days in January, or a couple of weeks in July, and then decided it wasn't worth the low pay to have to put up with his bullying. With so many forms to type, I knew ahead of time that I couldn't do them all at once. I think I found a rhythm, though, and it involved planned slacker breaks. Type a couple of pages, then sit and read for a few minutes, because if I have to sit and let my back heal, it's not going to be at a computer. It's going to be in a lounge chair.

Somewhere along the way I fell asleep at least once. When I went back to the Selectric after that nap, I got through just one page before making my first error of the day. I hadn't expected to get that far. As I was typing the forms, the mistakes I made last year kept flashing back to me. I remembered whose social security number I'd transposed, or which amounts I'd typed in the wrong box. The more I thought about it, the closer it came to coming true. Finally, I made a careless typo on the company's address. That's when I quit, before the errors started multiplying and I ended up typing my own name wrong (which I've done in past years).

It's not a bad way to work, in fits and starts like that. I get away with it better when the work load isn't so overwhelming, but I could do it without guilt today, because recovery is part of the process. Since I don't type often, I haven't spent much time and energy on making the typing position a natural or comfortable one. I would like to thank whoever it was that recommended taking a chair up to the loft, which I didn't think of doing last year.

A few more days like this and I'll have this miserable job done, and it'll be on to some other miserable job. That's how it works.

looking for spring

Looking through the birch tree in my yard out at the oak in the far field.

To celebrate getting halfway through the W-2s and making a good start on the 1099s, and because I sank three hours of my evening into the Survivor finale, and because that's pretty much all I did today, and because I have no profound thoughts to offer on any subject whatsoever (with the possible exception of 'N Sync's appearance in Attack of the Clones), I'll spare you any further details of my day spent typing government forms and watching reality TV. As thrilling as all that is.

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