On days when my job feels as if Iím just going through the motions, I know that (a) things are going pretty well, and (2) Iím doing something right. One thing that would make it better, though, is if the end of all this flurry of activity would dovetail with the end of the work day, or what I would like to be the end of the day.
The secret of my success is not devotion or dedication or discipline. I may have one or more of those traits (though not all three, certainly), but the key lies elsewhere. Whatís changed my life (and in only one month!) is Caller ID.
How did I ever get along without this phone feature that I originally despised the very idea of so deeply that I insisted on having my own identity blocked on other peopleís phones? (And what did I just say?) No longer do I have to interrupt my work day to try to explain to strangers that I canít repair their Icee machine or counsel them about their ADHD or expedite their insurance claim.
Itís not just the obvious wrong numbers that I donít answer. Any caller who gets IDíd as ďOut of AreaĒ or ďPrivate CallerĒ gets to hear my answering machine. Sometimes I donít even listen, because I just know that theyíre not going to leave a message. I get particular satisfaction from not answering calls from toll free 800 of 866 numbers, because I know those are from telemarketers. I donít have to work myself up to being rude (or even abrupt) if I donít have to talk to them at all.
Today would have been a disaster without my Caller ID. In the middle of the afternoon, when I was making good progress on reconciling the December bank statement, I could have been interrupted five times in one hour, if Iíd let myself be. I could have wasted three or four minutes per call talking to people who canít dial the phone correctly. And I might not have made the checking account balance on the third try, as I managed to do in my uninterrupted state.
Of course, a better bookkeeper would have done it on the first try, but that just proves my point. I need these long periods of solid work just to be half as good as I pretend to be for the benefit of the Boss. He doesnít know what a bargain he got when he started paying for my new phone features. (Although he did offer me a raise today, which I accepted).
Today was so smooth that I even managed to quit on time. This is in contrast to yesterday, when I worked straight through the presidentís speech. I had meant to watch it, but I lost track of the time. I managed to hear most of it, over and over again, all day long on the radio today, however. Not that that made me feel any better, but it was a little easier to take in small doses, so that I could laugh (and cry) appropriately.