Tuesday, August 23, 2005

July 15, 2004


Work stuff Well, MEB (Most Excellent Boss) had good news and bad news for me today. The good news is, we got the contract. The bad news is...its in Houston. He will have to go there to get it up and running. He is expecting to leave me here alone for a month. Oh, boy. For those who don't know, I work for a courier service. I'm basically office help, but I also dispatch the occasional driver to do the unexpected runs that our contracts demand. On slow days, we only have 3-6 of these "hotshots" so they are easy to manage - find one of our regular drivers closest to the place, or who isn't working their route until later, and send them out. However, on some days, such as Monday...I had a driver out sick who's usual run was taken over by my back up driver. That left me with the route drivers who weren't working until later, to do the hotshots. All was going well until one regular route driver called in with an emergency and I had to use another route driver to cover part of his route. Then we had to switch drivers later that afternoon, because another hotshot needed to be taken out of town...the backup driver still doing the route was familiar with the territory and no one else was. This resulted in a Keystone Kop type wrangling to get everyone in place and all hotshots dealt with, in addition to the route! It doesn't sound complicated, but you have to factor in time and gas for the drivers - when they have to go out of their way, they get fussy about gas and time as they're dipping into their profits. The profit margin can be pretty good, as long as nothing goes wrong. But when it does, we all lose. Sigh. Anyway, I'll be dealing with that sort of thing, although MEB will be a phone call away and can tell me what to do in a real emergency. He's also hiring more drivers to deal with our own local contracts so I'll have more to choose from, I hope. At home, the dogs are continuing with new antics, the latest being to take pinecones out of the fireplace basket and play chase until they settle down to shred it on the Oriental carpets. Sigh. I put the basket on the mantel, but it looks dorky. I suppose I need to get rid of the pine cones, they're just there for looks anyway. On the writing front, I sent in a manuscript that was requested by an editor. I also sold a short story to True Confessions. I'm currently working on my "brothers reunited" novel(s). I'm also moving forward with the family cookbook - filled with favorite family comfort foods - there'll be no calorie or carb counting in it! Things like Grandmother Nall's baked stuffing, Grandmother VanSickle's biscuits and chocolate sauce, and Mom's big dinner rolls (the ones where the whole family fights for the center rolls in the pan). And on the hurricane preparedness front - I think I'm stocked up on bottled water. I've been saving jugs, using the Brita and storing filtered water in the freezer plus buying cases when it goes on sale. I scored some 4 gallon buckets at the Shipley Donuts shop and will be buying gamma seal lids from online so I can clean and store foodstuffs in the buckets. I'll probably get Mylar bags to put the food in just to have a double seal. I went to deposit my paycheck today and got to park in my favorite place at the bank. I know this is probably silly, but this bank has two huge mesquite trees on their lawn. The trees have been trimmed well and they branch upward and outward, creating an umbrella effect over the parking lot. It was nice to sit there in the shade for a moment and feel sheltered by a tree. You can't sit long in your car in South Texas heat, but it is one of those tiny pleasures that I like to take advantage of!Anyway, I've procrastinated enough - time to go take a dip in the pool and then write!

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