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Saturday, January 24, 2004

I exposed myself today. As a big fraud.

As good as I think I am at what I do, I don't think I'd hire myself to do it. Knowing what I know about myself, I'd be concerned about all the mistakes. I'd keep a really close eye on myself and be ready to boot myself out the door.

It isn't even the tendency to transpose numbers, although that's not a desirable quality in a bookkeeper. I can say "24" and write "42," but most of the time I catch myself right away. Checks almost never go out of here with the wrong amount written on them. I think even a really good accounts payable clerk makes mistakes like that once in a while. I'm well below the firing threshold on that facet of the job.

Besides, the one big mistake I made on a check was in our favor. All I had to do was write another check to make up the difference. The supplier was very understanding. He was much more understanding than I would have been, in fact. With someone else, anyway.

But I spent almost all of this Saturday working on the payroll taxes for the last quarter of 2003. I wasted way too much time correcting errors I made clear back in October. It wasn't because I transposed figures or slipped a digit while typing too fast. Well, it was that in part. I did some of that, but those mistakes were easy to find.

Somehow I missed entire paychecks as I was entering them into the payroll tax accounting records. Just simply left them out. And that means I didn't pay taxes on them at the time they were due. Now that I've spent all afternoon finding those errors and figuring out how much I underpaid the government, I have to take the time to correct them. Plus interest. Plus penalties. The government doesn't suffer sloppy bookkeepers gladly. (They're glad to take my money, though.)

So I'm feeling a little down tonight, about the whole "future" thing. With luck, I won't be out on the streets looking for a job for a long, long time. And maybe if that does happen I can fool somebody into hiring me. After all, I have a good track record. I've been fooling the Boss since 1986.

24 January 2004

Forces of nature.

While I was at it (and I worked through breakfast and lunch and it probably didn't help that the first thing I ate all day was a banana at 4:30 pm), I set up a balancing program in my payroll spreadsheet. Now if I make a mistake, I'll have to make the same mistake twice. Otherwise it'll bash me upside the head, and I'll have a chance to take care of it before it comes down to spending a whole Saturday fixing it three months later.

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One year ago: Turn Out the Lights
"People who are on the road at 5:00 on Friday afternoon are generally idiots. I know, because today I was one of them."

Two years ago: Dramatized
"You start out with the good stuff, and after a few of those the generic doesn't taste so bad."

Three years ago: Waters, Babble On
"It's a little like those low-flush toilets that end up not saving any water because it takes two or three flushes to do what one used to do. Back in the good old days."

Four years ago: Campaign Trail
"John McCain had me on the character issue until he became an apologist for the Confederate flag wavers. At least he took a side on the issue, even if it's the wrong one. Bush's position is that he'd rather not have one."

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The waiters ran for cover
The maitre d' began to lisp
The drunkard in the corner
Said his lettuce was not crisp