August 11, 2003
Backburnered


It wasn't exactly The Project From Hell last week. Nothing could top The Project From Hell in terms of time, effort, frustration and paper cuttage.  But it came damn close.

"I don't know who Tessie Carlyle is," I said to JoAnne on Friday afternoon, "but she'd better hope I never run into her in a dark alley somewhere." 

("I think there are probably a lot of people in this office who feel the same way," JoAnne grimly replied.) 

For the past couple of months, the entire Dirt Company has lived and breathed the bazillion-dollar Tessie Carlyle School Project. Last week was the culmination of all of that sweat and effort, as the report was finalized, reproduced and sent off to the client. I spent the first half of the week standing in front of the copier, cranking out seventeen copies of the 43,897,621-page report and all of its accompanying documentation. I spent the second half of the week parked in front of a work table ... collating, proofreading, hole-punching, sorting, labelling and stuffing the whole mess into seventeen four-inch binders. I spent most of Friday afternoon packing it up for shipment. (Total weight of report when I was done: sixty pounds.)

I spent all weekend laying diagonally across the bed, in my Happy Pants, eating Pepperidge Farm straight out of the bag.

It's too soon to tell whether this week is going to be another Project From Hell Week. I hope that it isn't, because too many other things fall by the wayside when that happens: sleep, laundry, e-mail, exfoliation, grocery-shopping, second-rate summer replacement reality TV, David-and-Terri Time ... and, as you may or may not have noticed these past few days, writing *FootNotes.*  I don't mind throwing 100% of my time, energy and attention into my job occasionally: that's why they pay me the big bucks. It's why I signed on to the job in the first place. (And it makes me look like a regular M-Fudking-VP in front of Ted Dirby, which can't hurt next year when Job Performance Review time rolls around.) I just think it would be nice if all of this time and energy and attention were going towards something I actually give four-ninths of a crap about, once in a while.

And if everything else in my life didn't have to be backburnered in the meantime.



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of course, the only two people who noticed i was gone were
YOU and your GRANDMA.
[thanks.]