October 4th, 2009

krazy koati

Upon thy shores, O Lazyland

A sequel to Thursday's surprise change of plans: I've been building up my courage to talk with the company owner about going to a four-day workweek. I know office-working grownups work five days a week with only ordinary grumbling, but I'm not a real grownup. I'm a temporarily displaced academic. Anyway, way back in April, I was supposed to get a pay raise, which never went through, I assume because it's just a very disorganized company and things like that slip through by accident all the time. I figured to talk with the owner, point out the pay problem, and use that as grounds to ask for the chance to forego the pay raise in exchange for a better-for-me schedule. And if the owner happened to be in Friday, with my first project done, my current project becalmed, and my proving that I was ready and able to act on surprise things on no notice, I could put forth my case with a better chance at success and long weekends. The catch is the owner actually comes in only very rarely and from the parking situation Friday morning it didn't look like he was there.

That changed, after 10 am, when I thought I heard him walking upstairs and was fairly sure I heard his laughter in a distant office. Perhaps he'd be in, and I could catch him, in his usual short drop in to verify that I'm all right. Before lunch, as I go downstairs to put in my order (we order in reasonably often), I see him. He asks how things are going, I give a vague nod and all's well, and he nods and goes upstairs. I hope this doesn't satisfy his need to check on me for the week. He's prone to disappearing after lunch, particularly when he comes in on a Friday. To be fair, much of his work is out of the office, stopping in on clients and chatting them up. Going places and socializing for hours on end may not look like work, but I do understand it's essential and hard, and when I see him I do appreciate that he really is working much harder than nearly all his employees, at his task.

Yet after lunch he does stop in to suggest I e-mail the contacts we got the previous day --- I already had, and we haven't heard back yet, which is in line with that company's past performance with us --- and I showed off how I'd done everything that we could without the other company's software, which I figured was an important plot point to establish before talking about my desire to work even less. He thinks all is well, then, and turns and disappears out my office before I can mention I have more to talk about. I follow; he's already headed to the office manager's office, for the conversations that he gets into there.

On the one hand, he might be anything from minutes to hours there. On the other, if I set up by my office door, he can't leave without my seeing him, and I can get a chance to talk. Hopefully whatever goes on in there will leave him in a cheery mood. I wait by the door.

Trivia: The day Sputnik 1 launched, James Van Allen aboard the USS Glacier, several hundred miles north of the Galopagos Islands, had launched a balloon-lifted rocket to bring nine pounds of scientific instruments and a radio transmitter to a peak altitude of seventy miles. Source: A Dog, A Ball, And A Monkey: 1957 --- The Space Race Begins, Michael D'Antonio.

Currently Reading: More Stories From The Hugo Winners, Volume II, Editor Isaac Asimov. 1968, 1969, and 1970 award-winning stories, although I'm not sure how much editing Asimov actually literally speaking had to do for this given that he didn't even select the stories. On the other hand he writes such lovely little introductions. (``Many anthologies ... list authors alphabetically, which is exactly the way to do it, as we would all agree. By that system, I am very often in first place, where I belong. But whenever Poul [ Anderson ] is also present, it is he who takes pride of position because An comes ahead of As. Obviously Poul must be doing that on purpose and you will have to admit it's rather mean of him.'')