Friday, January 15, 2010

Fridays aren't for working

I know that I am not going to get a lot of sympathy on this one, but:

This is the first Friday I've worked in several months. I mean, work at my job, not at home or at St. Michael's or as a volunteer at the school. In my office in the country. You know what this means. It means that it is TAX SEASON.

From January through April I work five and a half days a week. May through December, not so much. In fact, 30 hours a week is really only a theory. That's not great since I get paid by the hour, but it's hard to argue with flexibility.

It takes awhile to get back into TAX SEASON shape.

It means that I wear real clothes and shoes every day. And make-up. No more wearing my Snuggie all day. No more fuzzy socks from morning to night and beyond. I'm talking hard-soled shoes. A bra. Jewelry if I can find it.

It means that I work nine hours straight most days. No more naps on Friday afternoon. No more Friday night "happy hours" that run into Saturday. The happy hour is going to have to be closer to an hour (or three, but who's counting?)

It means that I have something to do at work pretty much all the time. And that much of the time I have three or four things to do. And I have to figure out what's important and how to do everything.

It means that I will see actual human beings every single day. Several times a day. And some of them will yell at me because they have to pay taxes even though they were unemployed most of the year. And some will cry on my shoulder because their stinking soon to be ex-husband/wife is doing terrible things to their credit rating and alienating their children. And some will try to kiss me when they get a big refund even when I tell them that was their money anyway and the government has been holding it interest free. When it's not tax season I can go three weeks without a visitor. And, as an accountant, I LIKE that.

This stuff takes getting used to. I try to take it slow, working until five a couple of days a week to build up to the six o'clock closing time next week. Walking around the yard when I start to feel really tired or overwhelmed. Telling accounting jokes with my co-workers (why did the accountant cross the road? Because that's what last year's accountant did.) Little things that keep me going.

So now, Fridays are for work, like normal people. And Saturday mornings are for work, like a lot of other people, too. And my sudden urge to crochet may be pushed aside by my increased desire to sleep as soon as I get home.

But at least I'll be making some money, and as an accountant, I LIKE that, too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Has broken

For Travel Tip Thursday, from Pseudonymous High School Teacher: let your donations do the traveling.

The airport at Port au Prince is open, and the donations are coming in. Haiti is a small poor country, probably less able to handle this disaster than any other country in the world. Let's help our neighbors.

American Red Cross

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I am doing what I can to make this tax season not suck. I am coming to terms with the fact that I have no control over most things. My goal is to do a good job and make a lot of money. I am planning for the future, but I'm not ready to talk about that a whole lot. But let me ask, who wouldn't want to have their taxes or small business bookkeeping done in a coffee/tea shop?

I have acted on my new serenity three times this week, catching myself before I got upset about things I'm not going to be able to fix. I had a NOTE on my desk Monday morning. NOTES are a trigger for me. My blood pressure rises, I think WTF now? I start planning my resignation letter. Sometimes actually reading the note makes it better, sometimes it makes it worse. Monday, it made it worse, listing three possible crises or screw-ups, but I calmed down and actually listened to the phone messages and realized there wasn't a problem. Yet.

I have learned I will have much less help than I thought, and I really wasn't planning on getting much help. I'm on my own (almost) with no authority and lots of responsibility. As usual. The difference is, I'm not going to fight it right now. Just think of the money.

I'm also signing up for at least one yoga class. That should help. I'm proud to say I have taken two steps: checking out classes, times and rates on the Internet & asking someone who knows about this stuff what she recommends. Today I'm going to see about finding a class and a partner or two.

Other than that, I'm still ahead on the payroll reports and W-2s, on task on the bookkeeping for tax returns, and behind on a mailing that should have gone out last week. Oh well. On we go.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Here we go again...

Tax season 2010. I'm feeling sort of weird --- excited, nervous, and panicky. Kind of like I felt when I felt the first labor pains with my second child. "Oh no, I changed my mind, I can't do this!"

Things feel fairly calm right now. We have good personnel, including a really good bookkeeper with a positive attitude who will take the burden of a lot of the monthly bookkeeping and payroll work. I've given up any notion of control, and that is good right now. I've never liked floating, going with the flow, but it's liberating. My new motto is "I'll burn that bridge when I come to it."

On the home front, Joseph is not in school this semester, which means he will have no health insurance. He may sign up for some sort of mini-semesters, but I don't know. I'd never push him to go to college if I weren't terrified of him being without health insurance. Although I always assumed my kids would go to college, I know from my experience that if you don't know what you want to do or you don't want to study, college is a black hole for cash and self-esteem. Get a job, then go to college when that's what you want to do and will be willing to work hard to do well.

Robert & Katy are still living with us. It's nice having Gabe & Brendon with us, but Mark is getting really tired of living in a crowded house. I have a couple of ideas, but I don't have the time to do something right now. Maybe tomorrow...

One of R & K's cats had kittens and the other is preggers. I can't tell you how much I want them to get the girls fixed. This time, for sure. Right? In the mean time, kittens, free to good homes. OK: kittens free to homes that won't feed them to dogs. I still have standards.

This is the last Friday that I don't officially work. Tomorrow is the last free Saturday. I'm helping the accountant at the church, then going to my office to get some stuff done. I'm tax season nesting. Ready to roll. Today is the last lunch with Bob. Maybe we can go to the Blue Marlin... very nice. We'll probably go to Monterrey's where I'll get the #10 & Bob will get the Speedy with rice.

I have been thinking about things I want to write, and now that I've gotten this exciting update out of the way, maybe I'll remember and write something interesting. Or not. Peace out!