After the game ended (in a 6-6 tie, which isn't supposed to happen in baseball), I strapped myself to the computer and punched out the reports the Boss asked me for yesterday. It took the whole afternoon and on into the evening. It wasn't easy because I found some small errors that forced me to redo some large spreadsheets I thought I'd finished two weeks ago. But it kept me from thinking about anything else for a few hours.
As satisfying it was to finish these reports, I didn't like what they said about the state of the company. I know the Boss will want to tweak them, to put our situation in the best possible light before we show them to anyone else. There is some flexibility built into the spreadsheets, and I'm sure the next few days will be dense with revision after revision, until they look as optimistic as we can make them.
I hesitated before faxing the last version to the Boss. I know he's going to panic when he sees the bottom line, but he does that every year. It looks much worse than it is, because he doesn't see the whole picture. So before I faxed it off, I made some notes. I marked a few places where we can legitimately tweak the interpretation, without making any misrepresentations that would catch up with us later on.
At one point I even thought about doing the tweaking myself, and waiting a few days before showing him the reports. I trashed that idea when it dawned on me that he likes being the one to find ways to make us look better. Even if I give him something that shines like a diamond, he's going to want to do the polishing. So I'm going to let him.
Besides, I didn't work all afternoon on this to have it sit on my desk any longer.