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Monday, July 21, 2003

How in the world did the Boss know? When I got home yesterday afternoon, there was exactly one blank sheet of paper left in the fax machine. Somehow he'd used up the rest of the stack, sometimes sending me the same message twice - the second time with the actual message crossed out and the words "never mind" added.

I finally called him this afternoon at 4:30. I told him that I'd be working all day tomorrow, so that he wouldn't think I was working today. I was, but technically I'm still on vacation. We went over what the most important tasks would be. I asked, and then guided him toward the answer I wanted.

You have to know how to manage the manager. Part of my job is to think on a different level than he does. He sees the big picture, and I see the details, things like deadlines. I have a clear idea of the best way to spend my time, and I don't like anyone, even the Boss, telling me I'm wrong. Unless I am, in which case I'm willing to bend. But I'd better be wrong if he tells me I am.

We have a bid going in Wednesday, with a long and complicated bid form. I did what I could before I left, but it was too far ahead of the bid date for me to be very thorough. This would have been an easy bid form to fill out if I'd been here the whole time, but I wasn't and now we're up against it. It'll get done, but I'll do a lot of grumbling and maybe a little wall-pounding. So much for coming back from the lake stress-free.

There's no such thing as a stress-free day at work, so the best I can hope for is that a few days away every so often allows me to handle the stress better. A little perspective goes a long way toward making hard things seem easier. It's just too bad I can't take a few days off every week. Then all of my life would be a picnic, and I wouldn't even care about the ants.

21 July 2003

I almost didn't recognize my garden when I got home yesterday.

One way to get mentioned in my journal is to plant a few hardy perennials just outside my front door. Thanks to a friend who offered to water my roses while I was gone, I now have that spot of color out there, the one I've been promising myself. We'll see if "perennial" means something I can't kill. I have a black thumb, as it's known to those who travel in horticultural circles. (Actually, I don't know if that's what it's called. The circles I travel in are inside my mind, not horticultural at all.)

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