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Wednesday, November 27, 2002

He works hard so I don't have to. I appreciate that about Tim, the Boss's son. While I'm spending my days pounding out spreadsheets (while surfing the Web, watching my stories and eating bonbons), he's out pounding a hammer and building things. He tells me when he's finished, and I talk the people he's building things for into paying us.

It's a nice arrangement, because I like my lifestyle and I think he actually likes his. I couldn't do his job, and there's no way he could do mine. I say that not out of any sense of superiority, because I wish I could do what he does. I wish I could, but I really don't want to. And I like it a lot when he's out doing it, because then he doesn't have time to bug me.

But when he has time on his hands, he's a little like his father. He likes to think big, and recently he's been designing new promotional materials for the company on his computer. Since he knows little about either design or computers, I get a lot of phone calls on days like these. He's headed up to Oregon for the holiday, but he wasn't leaving until late this afternoon so my phone started ringing at eight in the morning.

My plan had been to sleep late today, even though it's technically not a holiday. In fact, it's not a holiday in any sense, except that for some reason school's out. It's just another work day, but since I'd worked until almost eleven last night doing this week's payroll, I thought I might get a pass on the tedious drudgery for one day. Five days, if you count the next four, but one if we're just talking about today.

It wasn't to be, though. I got directly out of bed and on the phone, without even getting a chance to make my usual detour through the bathroom first. That was a long 45 minutes before I could get Tim off the phone, I can tell you that. He kept asking questions that I could answer ("I saved that file, but where did it go?") until he came to one I couldn't.

It was the same where's-my-file question, but this time it was in an application I wasn't familiar with. He didn't know what folder his file was in, or what he'd named the file, or what the extension was. He'd just clicked "Save" and it had disappeared. I walked him through some search techniques, but we didn't get anywhere. Somewhere along the line there was a breakdown in communication and I really had pee.

So I told him a little white lie, just to get off the phone. I told him I had work I had to get done. That isn't really a lie, but it was kind of misleading to let him think I had to hang up so I could do the work. I had no intention of doing anything, at least until I was through in the bathroom, showered and dressed and ready to move forward.

It's funny, but I kind of enjoy these conversations. He's not as electronically clueless as the Boss, so at least I can talk to him about computers. And let's face it, half the time I don't know what I'm talking about anyway, so my ego gets a little needed juice whenever I can justify being the person someone turns to for help. By giving it. That's how I justify it.

Most of the day I was ready to go back to bed, but the jangling phone kept me awake. One trouble with working at home is that I can't leave early on the day before a holiday, even if everyone else is headed to grandmother's house. If I'd had somewhere to go I could have arranged it in advance, but all I wanted was a little peace and quiet and some time to think. Never happened, but the phone will be staying off all morning tomorrow. I don't have to be anywhere until mid afternoon.


Puffs over the trees.

And grateful I will be for sleeping late on a Thursday, free of guilt and obligation. Even more, I'll be grateful for time spent later in the day with the people I'm closest to in the whole world. Imagine. Six billion people, and the ones I most want to be with are the ones sitting across the table from me.

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