bunt sign

Wednesday, March 28, 2001

I had a lot of work today, as I do almost every day. But today I had to do it. It was payroll, and I don't want to have to deal with a bunch of construction workers who didn't get paid on time. So I couldn't watch the Braves-Astros exhibition game on satellite, and I couldn't get out in the warm spring sunshine.

It frustrates me no end that other people's time is considered more valuable than mine. No, I'm not referring to the fact that the crew gets prevailing wage rates on government jobs. I'm talking about the many requests I've made for them to get me their time cards on Monday, or Tuesday at the latest. They want their checks mailed Wednesday, and the time cards are always waiting on the fax machine when I get up Wednesday morning.

With that as a given, the ideal solution would be to finish the payroll in time for my morning errands, so I could just drop the checks off at the post office. Most of the time I can't get it finished that quickly, and I just put it out in the mailbox here at the house, for the carrier to pick up. The new mailman has been coming between two and four in the afternoon, which gives me plenty of time.

Not today, though. While working on the payroll, I was also trying to get the Boss everything he needed to go on the road for the next week. Naturally, the things he really wants get left to the last minute, and I was probably typing up a phone list for him when the mailman came and went. I walked out to the box a little before one, and it was too late.

So, to recap: Sunshine outside, baseball on TV, and I have to make a second trip to the post office because I don't get any cooperation or respect from people making twice what I make. And I couldn't get out for that second trip until the Boss got off the phone long enough for my fax to go through to him.

You'd think I'd just quit, wouldn't you? You might think I'd teach them a lesson by not rolling over every time they do this. By going out of my way to mail the paychecks on their schedule, even when they won't give me the time cards on mine, I'm an enabler. I'm sticking out my chin and saying, "Please hit me again."

I'm not going to quit, though. Knowing my job is as secure as long as the Company keeps going gives me some leverage. All I have to do is use it. Let them get their checks late once or twice. Let them whine; they're a hundred miles away, working in a dusty shop, and I get to work at home. Besides, if someone's gotta whine, does it always have to be me?

Sometimes I feel weak for letting these petty annoyances get to me, and sometimes I feel weak for not doing anything about them.

One of the reason I like working at home is that I can have the doors and windows open, and the TV on. Lately it's a much more congenial atmosphere for getting things done than I had on those gray, drizzly winter days that seemed to go on forever. So I can't watch the game or mingle with the birds. At least I can feel more a part of it all, now that spring is here.

new blue blossoms

This is how I want my days to go. I worked all day, and I'm satisfied with what I accomplished (despite my grumbling about this and that). I spent an hour or so in the yard, and it felt good to be doing something (even though I had no idea what I was doing). By then it was still light enough to read for awhile (I just wish I could finish the book I'm in the middle of so I can start another one). A couple of non-reruns on Wednesday night TV (too bad neither was The West Wing), and plenty of time in between to surf (stupid slow dial-up connection). Life is good (mostly).

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