I took advantage of a chance to be a hero today. It wore me out, but now that it's done I don't regret it. I took a mountain of tedious drudgery off the Boss's hands and worked all afternoon and on into the evening to make sure it was done fairly well and reasonably on time.
It's a matter of some consequence to him whenever he can be taken out of the loop on the busywork. He hates the same kinds of things I hate, filling out forms and reading specifications, so I do them. It's not what I was hired to do, but that was nearly seventeen years ago. Since then my job description has evolved to embrace almost every boring thing the Boss doesn't like doing.
The exception, of course, is making phone calls. He doesn't like making them, but he'll do it if it's necessary because he knows I'll spend more energy trying to get out of it than it would take him to go ahead and do it on his own. He knows an Escher staircase when he sees one, because I've left him halfway to nowhere a few times.
Today's task was one I've written about before, the attempt to fulfill affirmative action requirements so we can bid on a state project. I can no longer say that nothing ever comes of these blind searches, because we now have a relationship with a disabled welder that comes in handy when we need to fill a quota. Too bad we still have to go through the motions of contacting state agencies, locating vendors, requesting quotes and sifting through responses.
It would take him half an hour to do all this by phone, but I volunteered to do it. By fax and Internet. I told the Boss I'd spend six hours doing it the hard way, to save him thirty minutes of phone calls. Well, no, I didn't tell him that exactly. I just told him not to worry about it, because I'd take care of it. Me, hero.
There was an ulterior motive in my decision to work so late on it today, and it had nothing to do with making the Boss happy. I knew if I kept going at it and got it done tonight, I'd be able to get away for lunch tomorrow. Suzanne and I have a tentative luncheon engagement, and it looks now (for the first time since Monday morning) as if I might just make it.