Monday, March 24, 2008

Where the Hell's My Money

If time is money (and during work hours it undoubtedly is), then the money I lose to time spent looking for stuff is off the charts. Organization is one of the keys to running a successful business, but it's one of the things I've continually botched during ten years of freelancing. Unless it's in my computer, odds are I have no idea where it is.

An editor can throw a simple query at me, like: "Your text says this is two blocks east of the cultural center, but on the map it's only one block – which is correct?" and I'll spend half a fucking hour digging through boxes of maps and brochures, through spiral notebooks, through manila envelopes labeled (I thought) precisely to allow me to find what I was looking for when queries just like this arose. No such luck.

During tax time, all my receipts are exactly where I filed them, except for that goddamn $800 flight to Buenos Aires. I need a quote that I know I wrote down, and I'll spend ten minutes flipping through six spiral notebooks trying to find it, despite the fact that I've labeled the cover of ever notebook with the dates and towns covered within. My printer won't print – there goes twenty minutes just trying to locate the manual.

But I guess that's the price I pay for spending at least half of the last ten years on the road. Home, wherever it's been, has rarely amounted to more than a rented room and a storage space stacked with file boxes. Nothing was ever in the same place for long. Until now. Now I have a place to call home, and I can travel. How did it take so long? I'm setting my file cabinet right here and leaving it here. And one by one I'll go through the boxes. My profit margin is gonna skyrocket!


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