Payback day is the day I make up for things like leisurely trips to the toy store and long coffee breaks and afternoon naps. It's the day I break out of laziness mode and get some real work done. Not only do I skip my nap on payback day, but I'm likely to skip a meal or two as well.
It's not that anybody puts extra pressure on me. Nobody asked me for anything today, in fact. Maybe that's why I decided to put the pressure on myself and drive through to the end of the Big Project. By the time I got there, I could feel it in my back and neck. Even with the new glasses, my eyes were burning and my eyelids were sagging.
And to be perfectly candid about it, I didn't really finish the project, in the sense that you finish something and then you can move on. Oh, no. We're light years away from that happy planet, I'm afraid.
What I really did was get through the first draft of the final two spreadsheets that tie the whole thing together. I made sure that both of them balanced with the auxiliary spreadsheets, loaded with raw data, that I've been working on since January 1 — off and on. (Of course; otherwise they'd have been done about two months ago. Some of the slacking was even my fault, but I won't take credit for all of it.)
I once counted out 53 different spreadsheets that have to be tied together to make up the project before it goes to the accounting for his, uh, accounting. That's 53 spreadsheets for last year, 2003, most of which incorporate numbers from similar spreadsheets done in 2002.
Some can even be tracked back to 2000, if I want to be thorough about it. I'm not sure it's worth that much trouble, but we do have jobs that started in 2000 that weren't completed until last year. Nature of the business and all that rot. Unavoidable delays, legal actions, trying to pull an extra twenty bucks out of the owner, things like that.
This phase of this year's Project is now done. I'll see what the Boss says, and he'll have some changes he'll want to make in the way I've labeled some items, or in the projections for future income. Maybe he'll want to revise some of his own cost estimates to reflect the new reality he discovers in my work. So it's not done, and it won't be done until the accountant has his own turn. He likes to ask questions, but I'm prepared for that. I have answers — 53 spreadsheets worth of them.