February 29, 2000


This has been what I call a "Full-Frontal-Franz Day" ... meaning that my little boss was in the office, in a tizzy, and in my FACE for nine and a half unrelenting, excruciating hours.

St. John's Wort was created for days like today.

I'd managed to successfully keep him out of town  --  and out of cell phone range --  for most of last week. And then yesterday he attended an all-day workshop in downtown San Francisco, which kept him too busyActual Franz-notes to reach out and annoy someone.

But today he was back in the office with a vengeance ... and a To-Do List, mostly scribbled on the back of an Il Fornaio napkin.


I looked at the items on his "list" and my heart sank. I knew I would spend half my day on the phone, apologetically blowing people off ... and other half of my day setting up new meetings for him to blow off next week. That's the thing that kills me the most about this job: how much time I spend *fixing* things. Smoothing things over. Apologizing. Explaining. Rationalizing. Lying through my teeth, occasionally. ("He's been called out of town unexpectedly. Can we look at calendars again?")

Retype. Refax. Rework. Redux. Reschedule. Re-reschedule. Re-re-reschedule.


It wears me down after a while.

I'm not talking about the monotony of making the same phone calls/planning the same meetings/making the same excuses, over and over again. You pretty quickly learn to write everything in pencil, in this position. And it isn't the indignity of having to trot along behind this man day after day, cleaning up his messes. I was a mom  -- AND a daycare owner -- for a bunch of years.

If you've seen one poopy diaper, you've seen 'em all.

No. The thing that is seriously getting to me is dealing with the actual people behind the "rescheduled" conference calls and the "postponed" lunch meetings and the "cancelled" presentations. People who are legitimately pissed off or inconvenienced or confused or hurt or litiginous or homicidal or whatever by Franz and his freewheeling, "just because it's on the calendar doesn't mean I have to actually be there" approach to commitments. People who don't mind telling ME exactly what they think.

Usually in less than *friendly fashion.*

In other words: I'm tired of constantly getting caught in the shidt storm while Franz stands off to one side, holding the only Charmin umbrella.

That is what is getting to me.

And OK, yes ... I've obviously once again *postponed* making any hard and fast decisions about the job.

Don't yell at me.

I have three perfectly reasonable explanations for this latest bout of wishy-washy indecisiveness.

  • Perfectly Reasonable Explanation #1:

    The Human Resources Director Person has *reminded* me that I am overdue for my annual review.

    Actually -- technically -- I am overdue for my six-month review, which should have happened last August but never [surprise!] seemed to make it onto the calendar. Or if it did make it onto the calendar, it [surprise!] got blown off, over and over and over.

    But now that I've passed the one year mark -- especially now that I've been making noise about jumping ship, and they've all of a sudden realized how valuable and irreplaceable and fabulous I am (read this: they don't want to pay for the Help Wanted ad again), I'm suddenly being *reminded* about my annual review.


    I filled out my self-evaluation last week ("I am, without a doubt, the finest Executive Ass in the history of Executive Assitude"), and now all I have to do is put my own review onto the calendar ... make sure it doesn't get blown off, even if I have to call all of his other appointments that morning and tell them he has come down with sudden unfortunate temporary leprosy ... endure a ninety-minute lunch with Franz, wherein he will advise me, over a plate of cavatappi pasta, that I need to work on my "people skills" ... and then *poof* ... they'll give me more money.

    That's the plan, anyway.

  • Perfectly Reasonable Explanation #2:

    There has been some whispering around The Totem Pole Company, lately, about moving the corporate offices to another part of our magnificent skyscraper. I am curious to see if they attempt to placate me with the spacious penthouse window office of my dreams ... or whether they try to squish me into something even smaller than The Isolation Booth.

    (Either way, I want to be there when they move my filing cabinet: I think I dropped my address book behind it last spring.)

  • Perfectly Reasonable Explanation #3:

    There is a big bunch of Tot-related stuff coming up this spring, including two birthdays, a Rainbows *Worthy Advisor* installation and a high school graduation. Plus a trip to TicTac next month, and another one in June. Plus David's birthday in May. (Read this: the checks don't write themselves.)

So ... I am once again "hanging in." For a while.

Of course, even if they drop a big buttload of money on me, give me a spiffy new window office AND buy my daughter a car for her high school graduation in June  --  but things around the Totem Pole Company remain as fudked-up and nerve-wracking as they are right now  --  I can't imagine staying much longer than an extra month or two.

Or three.

Or eleven.


self-important blurb #1 will go HERE:
i had scheduled a much longer journal entry for this evening ... but i've decided to blow it off.

[so yell at my secraterri.]

self-important blurb #2 -- probably having something to do with the WEATHER:
rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain rain.
[and the occasional ant crawling up the side of the bookcase ... ]

a special totem pole *howdy* to:
my pal joanne ... who wisely left the office early today.

get well soon!

[i mean it. get well. don't leave me here ALONE.]

two yrs. ago

amazingly profound thought of the day:
Picture yourself near a stream.
Birds are softly chirping in the crisp cool mountain air.
Nothing can bother you here. No one knows this secret place.
You are in total seclusion from that place called "the world."
The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
The water is clear.
You can easily make out the face of the person whose head you're holding under the water.
Look, it's the person who caused you all this stress in the first place!
What a pleasant surprise.
You let them up... just for a quick breath... then ploop!...back under they go...
You allow yourself as many deep breaths as you want.

There now... feeling better?