A means to an end

The phone just didn't stop ringing this afternoon. I hardly got a moment's piece to get on with the work I have to do, what for people phoning me up and asking me how I'm getting on with the work I have to do! It all started just after lunch. I was working on an article all morning, then I nipped down to the Post Office to post a few letters. I got a newspaper and then went back to the house to have some lunch and a coffee. Then all hell broke loose. First I had to phone Portugal to ask someone to check on the office computer for some articles that I needed emailed to me. The person I spoke to couldn't find the articles, so he said he would go and speak to someone and get back to me. Okay, I thought. I put the phone down and it started ringing almost immediately. Another Portuguese person wanted to go over an article of his that I had proofed: he insisted that I was wrong in changing Great Britain to the United Kingdom (yeah! as if I don't know the name of my own country!). With that sorted out, I put the phone down again and got ready to work on the article on my laptop again. No sooner had I begun than the phone rang again. The first person I spoke to couldn't find anyone that could help him find the material on the computer, but while he was asking around, someone else asked him to ask me to phone someone else about something else completely. This I did. While I was speaking to this other person on my office phone, the home phone started ringing. My academic supervisor wanted to know if I had finished the two articles, that only two days earlier were not urgent, because now they were needed urgently. I told him I was speaking to someone else on my other line, and if he could call back in ten minutes. Just then the doorbell rang: Linda had forgotten her keys. Things calmed down for about 20 minutes, then my supervisor rang back. I told him I had lots of work on my hands just now, and that I had to prioritise. He had told me his work wasn't too urgent, so I was doing something else that was more urgent. He said that I needed to turn some work away, since I can't do everything. It is, of course, easy for him to say that with his tenured position and income from newspaper columns and radio broadcasts and his four houses in two countries! I simply can't afford to turn people away - because I know full well that if I do, they won't come back. I also know that the work comes in peaks and troughs. I can go weeks with very little, then, bang, all of a sudden I have seven or eight jobs at the same time. I suppose I can't really complain: the work is not particularly demanding, and it is very well paid. With all of this going on, I didn't get a chance to go for a walk until after 6pm, when Linda and I walked round to Pitempton and back. I also haven't had much of a chance to take any photographs, so I have to burden you with a desktop macro of what all the day's hassle has been about: dosh, dinheiro, massa, moolah, folding stuff... money.


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