Wednesday, May 25, 2005

T-Minus 6 days

Every year I say this may be the last time I get through May with my sanity. And every year I plunge into the flood of work and paddle like crazy until May 31st. Thanks to certain statutory requirements, I end up doing as much work during the month of May as I do for any quarter of the rest of the year. I don't have a personal life during May, work many nights and weekends to keep up, and look like Phyllis Diller when it's all over. And this year is no different.

Yesterday was one of those days that make me want to pull every hair out of my head. I had a very difficult program to write and I had dedicated Tuesday to get it done. When I walked in the door, one of our biggest clients was on the phone with the bad news that quite a few accounts had been mishandled during their mailing. One of my team dropped by while the phone was still warm to let me know that two other clients were upset because of an entry mixup that had ended up with about 100 accounts for one client being entered into the data file of the other client. Another client discovered that some new taxes they had begun collecting had been left out of the letters that had already gone. And then the software developers for another large client wanted me to call and discuss in detail how I was processing their data. One of our attorneys then dropped by, wanting help in formatting a "genealogy" tree chart for a case he's working involving multiple heirs of a deceased property owner. I spent Tuesday writing several programs to fix all the problems and to isolate accounts that needed correction letters, and quickly entering the property heirs into my Family Treemaker program to generate a family tree to assist in tracking the inherited split of the property. When I left the office, I had not written one line in the program that I had designated for that day's project.

So I worked at home last night, spending 4 hours writing the neglected program, while Xana sat on the chair across from me issuing loud sighs on a regular basis to remind me that it was past her bedtime. There's no nagging like the nagging of a rat terrier who wants you to go to bed so she can.

I've still got three new programs to write for clients who have upgraded to new software, 4 files to finalize, and 3 more clients who have yet to get their data to me. It very much looks like I will be working right up to the bitter end on May 31st. Believe me, this month is tough on an old lady. The further we get into May, the grouchier I get and the more I look like I've been dragged to work behind a dump truck. The newer employees are skirting waaaay around me at this point. The older, wiser employees just wave from a distance and head the other direction when they see me coming.

Every May is difficult, but I think this year has been harder than usual since I still have a bruised heart from the loss of Bebop. I've begun looking around for rat terrier puppies and plan to get really serious about the hunt come June 1st. The house is just too quiet. We need some kids around to liven things up.

June 1st. Ah, bliss. Back to genealogy, dollhouses, puppy belly rubbing. So nice to have something to look forward to when you're stuck in a black hole of work.


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