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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

It's bad enough that I didn't get the time cards until this morning. That's an old complaint. I've asked many times to have them by noon Tuesday, at the latest. That's the only way I can guarantee to have the payroll checks ready to mail out by midday Wednesday. I've even been promised a few times that an effort would be made to get me the time cards early in the week. Hmmph. Some effort.

That's not what I'm complaining about this time, although it's a legitimate complaint. My simple request gives Tim all weekend, plus Monday and half of Tuesday, to gather the information for the time cards for all five employees. That's all he has to deal with, five guys!

Of course, it's never the same five guys for very long. He hires eighteen-year-old boy, pays them barely above minimum wage, and then expects them to work like thirty-year-old men with families to support. That's not what a kid of eighteen is thinking about when he gets his paycheck in his hand on Friday night.

They're not even old enough to figure out they have to work for a living in the first place, year after year for another fifty or sixty of them. And thank goodness they don't realize that, or it's hard to tell what they'd do. I'm thinking showing up for work on time would be even lower on their priority list, with that grim scenario stretching out in front of them.

So this morning Tim finally faxed me the time cards, and then he phoned to tell me that one of his boys had borrowed some money and then done something to make him mad. I don't know how much he borrowed, and I don't know what offense he committed, but suddenly Tim wanted to know what the kid's net earnings would be out of this paycheck.

"I don't want to leave him with more than a hundred dollars," he groused at me, as if I cared. All I wanted to do was get the payroll done and move on to the rest of my to-do list, before it turns into next week and I'm totally out of time. My suggestion is always for me to write the paycheck, mail it to Tim, and have Tim collect his debt when he hands over the kid's check. Sweet and simple, with no extra paperwork for me.

My suggestion is always shot down. My job is to make life easier for everybody else, not myself.

That's how I spent my morning, doing the payroll I could have done yesterday afternoon if anyone had any consideration for how difficult My Life is. But no, nobody cares. I get all this dumped on me with no time to do it.

Some of the hours are at the prevailing rate, three times higher than the regular rate, and that takes extra time. Tim has loaned money to two other workers, and that also takes extra time, plus an extra check to pay Tim back. One fellow's house burned down, and I have to mail his check, in a separate envelope, to one of his co-workers' houses. More extra work for me! Is there no end to it? (Hopefully not, actually.)

So you see, I'm not really groaning about getting the time cards late, not this time. I'm complaining about all the extra work I have to do when I get the time cards late. That's very different, isn't it? Right.

14 October 2003

Leaves of early fall.

I think some of my irritation at being thrust into the middle of all the drama between Tim and his boys might even have come through the phone. This contradicts what I said yesterday about maintaining a calm demeanor when dealing with my bosses, but I have less self-control first thing in the morning, especially when I haven't slept well the night before. As you know (heh), this is most of the time. What's unusual about today is that I took three naps to make up for it.

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I think Netflix pulled a fast one on me. Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy is being re-released on video this week, so I moved it to the top of my rental queue. When the first film in the trilogy, Pather Panchali, arrived in the mail, I was excited to see what extra features were on the disc, and hopeful that the movie had been remastered. But I'm pretty sure I got one of the older versions, because not only was the picture quality no better than on my old VHS copy, but there were no features at all. It's still a great movie, and worth watching again, but I was hoping for more.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Informed
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