"You're not going to like this. You won't want to do it. Or maybe you won't care." My Monday started with that wishy-washy preamble, a request from Tim to do this week's payroll two days earlier than usual.
It's okay with me that he thinks it's an imposition on me when he asks for a change in routine. It's actually the tiniest of big deals, and inconvenient only in that he waited until this morning to ask. I could have been buried in an important project that I couldn't abandon at a moment's notice.
Since I wasn't in the middle of something else, I enjoyed saying "No problem I'll take care of it." I didn't even complain that this throws the semiweekly payroll tax deposit routine that I'm just getting used to completely off kilter (not to mention out of whack). And why am I suddenly so agreeable? Because now he owes me a favor, that's why. My generosity of spirit comes with a price.
I can hardly deny his request, since I've been after him to get me the time cards earlier in the week for as long as I've been doing payroll. In my mind, it works like this: I get the time cards Monday, write the checks Tuesday, and mail them Wednesday (which is the day Tim usually wants them mailed).
How it really works, week after week: He faxes me the time cards some time Wednesday morning and I have to drop everything and go through the whole process, sometimes making a special trip to the post office so the checks go out as requested. This ordinarily makes Wednesday a more stressful day than Monday for me.
Wednesday will be a free day this week, but I'll have to spend it catching up on the various tasks that haven't had as much of my attention as they should. Most of the dozens of government forms I have to complete before the January 31 deadline are still piled on the corner of my desk. It'll be a while before I panic about getting them done on time, but the sun is starting to set on that vast prairie of opportunity that I started the new year with.