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Monday, June 3, 2002

It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop, these days when I know the Boss is getting ready to go on the road. At some point there will be a flurry of activity, then days of silence, and after that the real hurricane hits. It takes three days to make up for each day he's away, like the way it takes two hours to clear traffic that's been backed up for twenty minutes.

Maybe he told me when he'd be leaving. If so, I don't remember. I sort of thought he was getting away over the weekend, and when his phone line was busy this morning I didn't know what to think. I still don't know, because I didn't bother to ask. He has a rollover line, and he uses a third line for outgoing calls, so I almost never get a busy signal when I call him.

He surfaced a few hours later, still at his desk. That's when I knew today was the calm before the storm. We can't ever do things the easy way. Planning ahead has never been the Boss's strong suit. Generating a panic situation when a preventable crisis rises out of the dust of his neglect, now that's where he shines.

We lost an employee once who got tired of spending his days reacting to critical situations that could have been avoided. He was sort of a troubleshooter when he was hired, and he was good at it. But it wears you down if all you do is pick up the mess made by someone else's carelessness. He had to deal with unpaid subcontractors, unsatisfied owners, disgruntled architects and dubious engineers. A cycle of the exceedingly vicious variety.

So I don't know what the Boss is doing to get ready for his time away from his office, but I probably should be more directly involved. That way when the calls start coming in and I can't reach him, I'll at least have a slice of a clue about what to tell people. I'm pretty good at dancing around direct answers and not letting on how little I know, but the total news blackout is just the tiniest bit annoying.

No, really, it is. I know I hide it well.


Red sky at night . . .

The Leelee Sobieski film festival continued today with Joy Ride, a movie I think I rented just because she was in it. I don't know which of the five alternate endings I hated most, but I didn't much like the one they kept in the movie either. I do know that I wasted too much time watching them all. Still, it's tempting to keep the DVD and watch it again with the commentary tracks, but I think I'd rather return it to Netflix and get something else. I have Pollyanna at the top of my queue now, which should take away any bitter aftertaste.

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One year ago: Walk in the Clouds
"All I could do was yell at them and curse the futility of it all."

Two years ago: Upswing
"And all it took was feeling as if someone were standing behind me plunging a red hot poker into my back every half hour or so."

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It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day.