Life always gets "interesting" when the Boss gets back from a vacation. This time is even more "interesting" than usual, because he wasn't in touch the whole week he was gone. Most of the time when he goes away, I wouldn't even know it. He's such a presence in my office by phone and fax that it doesn't matter if he's five hundred miles away (as usual) or orbiting Neptune (as he was for the last week).
The fact that he returned on payroll day pretty much squeezed all the sweetness out of my Wednesday. All that was left was pulp and pits. Trying to do three things at once all morning left me dangling by the thread of my last raw nerve. The phone kept ringing and ringing, and I foolishly kept answering.
The woman from the credit card company, who called while I was in the shower, got the worst of it from me. I didn't feel bad, though, because instead of telling me what a rude jerk I was being, she politely asked if there might not be a better time for her to call. "Almost any time would be better," I told her. That'll show her who she's messin' with, eh?
The Boss unfortunately called for the first time after I'd been on the phone six times in a row with Tim about the same problem. He thinks I overpaid his crew last week, and he was agonizing over whether he should try to recover the extra three dollars an hour or just let it go. They get the three dollars when they work on a remote job site, and I guess the site where they worked last week wasn't remote enough.
So I made a bad judgment call, and it took him half the day to decide to let things stay the way they were and just tell his guys the truth. He gets something out of it this way, because now they owe him a favor (or so he's chosen to believe).
With all that sorted out, I was finally able to start writing payroll checks. It was touch and go for awhile, because I had to get them to the post office and get back in time for the ballgame (which started at noon). And that's when the Boss decided to call, and I made short work of him, too. I told him I'd take care of his problems when I had the payroll sorted out. He understood, or pretended to.
So I didn't get to see much of the game, although it was on ESPN all afternoon. I thought I'd given everybody all I had for the day when I heard the fax roar to life at 5:30. We weren't going to have a normal day on the first day back, were we? Here came the outline of a spreadsheet he'd scratched out on a napkin, with "please type" scribbled at the top. I was semi-livid. I've been yoked in for over nine hours already, and now here's another acre to plow through. Grrrr.
It should have taken a little edge off my anger when it only took me seven minutes to type the new worksheet. It's just that tension doesn't flow out as easily as it builds up. It's almost worse when I turn out to be so wrong. Then I have to turn the emotion backward on myself. If I have to be mad at somebody, it's better if it's somebody who's five hundred miles away.