Some parts of my job are so simple Iím almost embarrassed to take money to do them. I think I overcompensate a little by sometimes not doing them at all. Iíve even on occasion deliberately neglected some small request of the Boss, just to see how long it would take him to ask for it again. Itís a one-sided game, because he doesnít know weíre playing it.
Lately a new pile of papers has evolved on one corner of my desk. Itís a stack of things that I could dispose of in less than five minutes each. These are simple tasks, the equivalent of true/false quiz questions. Some are so ridiculously easy that any idiot could do them. The Boss could do some of them himself, if he chose to.
For example, he wants me to add a blank line to the corporate minutes so that he can sign his approval. According to the bylaws, only the secretary has to sign. Thatís me, and it always takes me some effort to do the minutes in the first place, because theyíre a record of meetings that are not actually held, in the physical sense. This small task of adding an extra (and extraneous) signature line has been on my desk for more than a week now, and I havenít even been tempted to take the five minutes to do it.
Late this afternoon while I was relaxing and watching the race, I heard something come over the fax. It was a three-paragraph letter regarding a new job weíre starting, and the Boss apparently wanted it typed. I hesitated, because I hadnít done any other work today and I wanted to maintain that record. This is supposed to be the first day of a three-day weekend, and if I canít do something thatís a week old and would take five minutes, why should I dive into a new task?
But I did it. And maybe Iíll get to some of the other items in that pile tomorrow. Or maybe Iíll think of tomorrow as an extra Saturday this week, and push everything off one more day to Monday, which is supposed to be a holiday. Thatís the trouble with having extra time on my hands. I tend to let it slip through my fingers.