Friday, Dec. 02, 2005
I Wanna Be A Vegetable
My kingdom for a nap!
Oh, all right. I don't have a kingdom. More like a postage-stamp sized burrow that barely houses me, my computer, and a few sticks of furniture. I don't own the place or the furniture, so I suppose that leaves my clothes and my computer, and I'm not giving up the 'puter, so I guess the deal's off.
My boss came barreling through today to tell me I'd made a huge mistake on the checkbook. Keep in mind that both my bookkeeper and I have gone over the figures and for the past two months they've matched the bank statements to the penny. Boss told me that while the error was in our favor, my numbers were off by $2400+.
I was virtually certain that wasn't the case, but I had missed entering one deposit (which was entered as soon as it was discovered.) I wasn't thrilled to hear about another mistake, even if it was to the good.
But to steal from Paul Harvey - time for "the rest of the story." My boss and his wife are terrific people as individuals. The man knows zilch about either running a business or balancing books. (That's part of why he hired me.) When I went back through to check, there was a single unpaid check still outstanding for $2400, plus several smaller checks still not cashed. Boss considered most of the smaller checks but missed the big one plus a small one for the phone bill.
I picked up account printouts from the bank and had things balanced to within five cents when I left for the day, working late to do so. For a five-penny error, I figure it'll wait until Monday or Tuesday. We won't be bankrupt over a nickel, but I knew if Boss thought we had that extra $2400 in the bank he'd bounce a check, sure as anything.
Fortunately he leaves the business checkbook with me 99.9 percent of the time, and I'm positively anal about keeping the books balanced. I've done bookkeeping before and all those columns had better add up or I'll stay at the ten-key until they do. I pay the studio bills the second I get them - though sadly, they go to the station owner's address and I don't always get them in a timely fashion. (Which is also something I'm changing bit by bit. And yes, I'm doing so with the boss's blessing.)
Our overall income is gradually inching upward. Considering what I got when I took over, we've come leaps and bounds. When I arrived we had almost no real accounting set up - we had a system that generated bills and a personal-style checkbook, and none of it was up to date. There was a phantom $950 error in the checkbook; after going back more than nine months without finding it, Bookkeeper and I finally just recalculated our balance according to what the bank showed. It was all that we could do.
Since I arrived in May, I worked with Bookkeeper to set up an actual accounting system. We delivered the first ever P/L statement to the partners today. I can tell you within about $100 what we are billing monthly, what our expenses are, and so on. I've also been working constantly on the format - just added a bunch of Christmas music today. Starting next week I'm going to set up a better and more consistent rotation for our public service announcements and add a new one-minute local feature that'll rotate throughout the day.
I've already convinced my boss to run local news again, something I'd been pushing since day one. You probably think it's because I used to be a news person, right? It's a little more basic than that. In a rural radio station, your local news is your life's blood. Without it you have zero credibility and significantly reduced advertising/underwriting dollars. I've seen a station go from below the radar to number one in the region based solely on the news.
Of course here I can't do news. As my boss puts it, I already wear eight hats at work. (Poolagirl would be proud.) Despite that, I keep acquiring new duties along the way, including the latest new project just dumped into my lap.
I'm willing to do all that I can. The income above a certain threshhold mean more money on my paycheck, for starters; but for me personally, it's also a matter of pride. I will work my ass off to make the place the best it can be, within reason. I'm doing okay for now, but we're going to hit a point where I'm going to say, "No more," and mean it. I won't put myself right back into the same situation I was in when working in Globe. I don't intend a return trip to the ER in a state of complete collapse.
Furthermore, the new boss and his silent partners have already told me they don't WANT me to get to that point. There have been several times that Boss and his silent partners have repeated to me that they don't under ANY circumstances want me to take on as much as I did at my old work - they told me flat-out that they don't want to lose me. And they make it a point to back that up with action, occasionally chasing me out of the studios and telling me to go home, lol.
TGIF... I have my work done for now and I'm beat and I plan tonight to curl up on the sofa, spend an hour or two on the phone with Mr. Complicated, watch a little TV and probably read a book. It's time to go vegetable for at least several hours!
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )