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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

I got maybe one extra hour of sleep last night. It doesn't sound like much, and it wasn't enough, but it helped. A lot. The stresses on my aching psyche were probably no less than usual today, but I stood up to them better than I have all week. Maybe last week, too, and the week before.

The benefits of that extra hour didn't last through the whole day. I could feel myself slamming into the wall in the middle of the afternoon, and around 4:00 pm I had to sit back in my chair with my eyes closed. The phone woke me up (of course). A weekday nap is rare enough; one without a work-related interruption is unheard of.

This call was from an employee whose paycheck had been lost in the mail. That's not a crisis for me (although it probably is for him). I just wrote him another check and stopped payment on the lost one. I didn't even mind, although I'd rather have been sleeping. They don't pay me to sleep. (And a good thing it is, too, because I'd go broke if they did.)

Most of my day, the working part, was related to the Boss's new project. He's trying to impress a banker with how profitable we are, so I had to gather up tax returns for the last three years to send to him. For some reason he also wanted a copy of the company's Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws.

That's not something I keep on top of my desk, or even in the filing cabinet. I knew these documents existed, but I couldn't remember when or where I saw them last. So I spent a lot of (potential sleeping) time looking for them. They turned up in an unlikely place, and the last place I looked (duh; why would I keep looking after I found them?).

Anyway, I packaged this stuff all up and got it ready to mail to the Boss. At his request I even faked the minutes of corporate meetings that never actually occurred. I can do that because I'm the capital-S Secretary. My signature goes on the minutes, so whatever I say happened is what happened. I'm also on the Board of Directors, for some reason (although I don't have a vote because the Boss is the sole shareholder).

That's still a lot of titles for someone with no power. And by the way, I was elected Secretary by a unanimous vote of the sole shareholder. (That's a lot better than George W. Bush did, at least in the popular vote. In fact, he didn't even do that well on the Supreme Court.)

Thanks to that extra hour of sleep, I didn't get annoyed when the phone rang. I even reached out and made a few phone calls of my own. When an illegible hand-written letter came over the fax for me to type, I just typed it. I also edited it for him so that it said what he wanted to say, instead of babbling incoherently. I think my version has a better chance of getting a favorable response from the bank than the Boss's, and I think the Boss thinks so, too.

8 March 2004

Spattered clouds.

The one potential crack in the ice came early this morning, when I got up and turned on the TV. All my satellite channels had disappeared and were replaced with a box that said, "Channel Not Available." I admit to succumbing to a mild panic at this point. Not on Survivor night, please! (Priorities, priorities.)

I went to the DirecTV web site, just to be sure their satellite hadn't been shot out of the sky. No, it hadn't. Apparently outer space is safer than earth these days. So I did what all second-rate computer geeks are trained to do. I restarted the system. "Powering up," said the satellite. "Almost there. Acquiring signal."

And ¡zas! It was all back. I hadn't lost any programming saved by TiVo, but I'd lost the channel guide and had to reset it manually. And as always, I had to reprogram my remote to do the 30-second commercial skip. But this ordeal was a chance for me to melt down, after the last three miserable days, and I didn't. Things are definitely looking up.

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The extra hour was on the night end of the night, which is really unusual for me. Most of the time, if I get any extra sleep at all, it's on the morning end of the night. That's why weekends mean so much to me. I've heard that night sleep is better than morning sleep, but I just take it whenever I can get it. Even if it's in the middle of the day, it's better than nothing.

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