The hawk that patrols my yard and the surrounding countryside from the top of the eucalyptus tree has the most piercing cry of any bird around here. It always sounds angry, as if it were scolding the air itself for slowing down its flight. Iíve been hearing it more and more lately, the shrill voice of this bird, but always when it senses my presence, the hawk flies off. Not today, though. I was going in my back door after collecting the mail, and it was yelling at me from the walnut tree just a few feet away, not moving. Maybe it sensed a kindred spirit, because I wasnít in the best of moods myself.
If I had an extra chip on my shoulder today, it was because of the phone call I got this afternoon. I didnít answer it, of course, because I didnít recognize the name on my Caller ID, but when the woman identified herself as a person who had sent me a letter last week requesting a workersí comp audit, I picked up, so that I could tell her I was just audited in December, and that I hadnít received any such letter.
She explained carefully that she works for the state agency that regulates workersí comp carriers, and she has the right to audit my books. Thatís what she said: ďWe have the right to do an audit.Ē Ugh. My stomach and my throat tightened up simultaneously, and my next thought was that I would have to dust and vacuum.
Then she told me that she wasnít going to be auditing my company, exactly. ďWe audit the auditors,Ē she said. She asked if she could come by Friday morning to do the audit, and I couldnít think of any sellable reason to put it off, since I still had all the information in the binder from the last audit.
But I was ticked. Itís still an intrusion, and they can still charge me an extra premium and a fine and a penalty and whatnot, if she finds that the auditor made a mistake. She faxed me a copy of the letter, and I could see why I never received it. They had the wrong street number, and had spelled the street name wrong. I suppose I should have called her back and given her the right information, so that she doesnít get lost on her way here Friday. I didnít do that, though.