If it should happen that you get invited to hang out in a room with really good acoustics while 170 people sing Brahms, you should go for it. It sounded really good last night. Intoxicating, even, in the lovely parts.
The Brahms requiem has some not-so-lovely parts. The bit where the tod ist vershlungen and all the death where is thy sting and the sixths? Not lovely. But the dramatic vershlinging parts are important to the story, and then come the sweet and beautiful sections in which we tell God He has a nice apartment.
It’s German. Probably sounds better if you speak German, or at least understand it. If I had to hold a conversation in German, I could admire an apartment, discuss pain and kissing, and ask for costly fruit. Oh, and I could also chat about death. Where, for example, is its sting?
So I did get to the gym yesterday. I didn’t get to the accounting. It got to be 4:00 and I still had too much work to do. I kept adding assignments. This is nice, though there were a couple of slight complications. My Northerner is adding me to jobs simply by copying me on emails. Thus I found myself in a conference call yesterday in which I had never seen the website and had no idea what the job was. My fellow callers, when I mentioned that I hadn’t heard of this job before and asked if they could bring me up to speed on it, said it was an ERP, as though that clinched the matter. And I guess that, for them, it does. For me, headings like “Touch Plan” and “SCI Other Educators Report” don’t actually suggest content.
“Some parts,” I said, “are more self-evident than others.”
The developers were silent. I asked what the company did, but they didn’t know and didn’t seem to see why it mattered. “You’re doing the verbiage,” one said helpfully.
I tried not to sound stupid.
The Computer Guy is so overbooked that he’s not taking on any new projects, he informed me. I had just lightly assured someone that I could arrange a website for her. So when Arkenboy emailed me later saying he was short on work, I seized on his email with joy, even though he’s a hardware guy, because who knows? maybe he’s also a designer. Nope. Either I have to learn to build websites, or I have to quit assuring people I’ll fix them up with a website. Or find a designer who isn’t busy. The one I found last week charges 30% more per hour than The Computer Guy and I, and charges $70 for a task he routinely does for free, and is just generally too expensive for my clientele. This may be why she isn’t as busy, but then it may also mean that she doesn’t have to work as many hours. I was disappointed. She seems nice.
However, as I think about tracking down a designer, it also strikes me that I could spend a lot of hours finding designers for people, with no benefit to me or to my business. They don’t work for me, after all. The Computer Guy and I swap work — when he needs a writer, I’m the writer. For me to spend hours qualifying someone to whom I will give jobs for which they’ll make ten times what I will, with no advantage beyond having saved the client a bit of trouble — this may not be a sensible business move.
I cleaned up some websites and ran some reports and stuff, and the WSJ lady emailed me some more questions. Her article this morning is about something quite different — interviewing badly. I may just be too cheerful a topic.
Today I’ve agreed to write an article for a guy who hasn’t paid me for two months. He says it’s his new payment system. This may be the modern version of “The check is in the mail.” I’m doing this one more article for him, though. This week I have sixteen blog posts for an oDesk client (for which read: guaranteed payment), so I can be magnanimous. But this is it for this guy. I also have to help #1 son do his taxes, and we all have to do our state taxes, because we forgot. In previous years, our state taxes haven’t been due till May. Plus we’ve had our taxes done by someone else. Next year, I will definitely have all the taxes done by someone else.
In there somewhere, I will be going to the gym or for a walk, one or the other. I had an email this morning reminding me to do it. Now if I put my accounting time into Outlook, and it comes up when I’m not busy trying to finish up somebody’s meta tags…
Yes, it appears that I do what my computer tells me to do. There’s something wrong with that, isn’t there?