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Wednesday, July 23, 2003

One good way to keep things under control is to postpone all the deadlines. I don't know how long I can keep it going this way, but so far, so good. It's a little like Lucy at the candy factory, though. Eventually my dress is going to be so stuffed with chocolates that I can't— oh wait, maybe it's not quite like that after all.

The project that I left town a week ago thinking about and came home Sunday thinking about was a bid for new work. I had every reason to believe that it would dominate yesterday and today, to the extent that nothing else would get done. At the last minute, though, the bid date was changed. It was delayed two weeks, which means I don't have to think about it for, uh, two weeks.

That doesn't mean that I got to extend my vacation two days, though. As soon as one star flickers on, another one burns out (or something like that). Work not only expands to fill the time available, but it also seems to ooze into any free corners that I might have overlooked. I had payroll and supplier bills to pay, and as soon as the Boss found out the bid was delayed, he found two or three other projects to occupy his time (and mine, of course).

I bought some more time today with a simple phone call. The insurance auditor phoned twice while I was gone. Hers were the only messages on my machine when I got back from vacation. She called at 4:30 the day I left, and again at 6:30 Saturday morning. 6:30 Saturday morning! I had to replay the message, just to convince myself that an auditor from the insurance company had dialed my number at 6:30 on Saturday morning. I'm still not sure I believe it (but machines don't lie, of course).

Since nobody was supposed to know I would be back before today, I waited until this morning to phone her back. I left a message on her voice mail, pleading for more time. Usually I like to cooperate with auditors, especially the ones who have the brazen effrontery to make a phone call at— what time again? Right. But I had all kinds of built-in excuses, not the least of which is that I just got back from vacation.

Apparently she bought it, because she called back late this afternoon and confirmed that she'd happily reschedule the appointment for the following week. Well, no. She didn't say anything about being happy, and she didn't play along with my jolly banter. I don't think you have to be humorless to be an auditor, but maybe it helps.

So I bought more time, but I'm sure something will come along to fill it up to overflowing. I don't mind being audited, because I have nothing to hide. I just hate to have to get all my records up to date and print out the payroll reports and cash receipts schedules that I usually just keep in the computer.

And I do sort of resent the insurance company itself, for sending us an auditor to try to bleed more money out of us after soaking us for the overpriced premium. We pay our bills on time and never have a claim. You'd think they'd be happy with that and leave us alone, if they were capable of being happy.

Shasta Lake 2003

Trees on the bank in our cove.

My regular letter carrier must be on vacation. I waited and waited for her to bring my vacation mail to the door this afternoon. When she didn't, I assumed I'd have to make more phone calls to track it down. But I walked out to the mailbox, and there it was. The substitute had stuffed it all into the box, jammed it so tight that I had to use two hands to pry it out. I think that crisis is over now, though.

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