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Thursday, July 31, 2003

I take back every whiny complaint I made about how much work I had to do over the last week or so. I didn't know how good I had it.

Compared with the full-on adrenaline rush of deadline work, this business of getting mountains of records ready for the auditor is like sinking in slow-acting quicksand. I tend to overstate (or overestimate) how tedious my job is, until I have a day like this, when all I'm doing is printing out spreadsheets that I worked on last year. Page after page slowly oozes out of the printer, and I can do nothing but wait for it and move on to the next one.

If it were something that required my full attention, it probably wouldn't seem to take so much time. If I had enough time to walk away from it and do something else while it prints, it wouldn't be so bad. But I feel as if I've been in a dentist's chair all day (and not in a good way). Every minute that goes by, the pain gets a little duller but I don't appear to be getting any closer to the end.

This is not a deliberate attempt to share the tedium. It just seems to be working out that way.

I did get out for coffee with a friend this morning, so the day wasn't a total loss. The Boss doesn't specifically know that I do this occasionally, but he once told me that I should sit and have coffee sometimes when I'm out on my morning errands. I think he was worried that I was working too hard. He has no idea.

My philosophy is that the benefit he gets from my working at home is at least as great as the good I get out of it. I'm on call almost all day almost every day, at his pleasure. I never duck his phone calls or refuse anything he asks me to do. It's not exactly that I think I'm "entitled" to slack off whenever the mood strikes. In fact, whenever I take a little extra time for myself, I try to compensate by having long, productive days.

Not today, though. Today I worked until I just couldn't stand it. That was about the time my work day is supposed to end (about two hours earlier than it normally does end). I gave up on getting any more done today. I'll get back to it tomorrow. I'll probably work on it all weekend. I'm tired of thinking about it right now.

28 July 2003

Birds in the dead birch tree.

The good thing about doing the boring part of my job is that I can see the stacks of paper getting higher. If all I'm trying to do is produce more paperwork, I'm in a gloriously successful stage of my career. That auditor isn't going to know what hit her. That's how I deal with them; I give them so much information that they forget why they came.

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Did the Giants pay too much for Sidney Ponson? They gave up a guy who can't throw strikes consistently, another who won't pitch this season at all, and an unproven minor leaguer. In return they got one of the top pitchers in the American League, on a day when their opening day starter couldn't take his turn because of a recurring injury. It sounds like a good deal to me. Maybe a World Series-winning deal.

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