Working -- 11/09/09
I was very busy working today... I mean very busy.
I frequently start work -- i.e., check e-mail, check my schedule for the day, etc. -- somewhere between six and quarter past seven in the morning, but I am doing other things during that time (feeding Tiger, making a pot of coffee, fixing breakfast for Nancy, packing Nancy's lunch, opening the garage door, bringing in the newspaper) so it's not as if I begin full time working before the sun comes up.
This morning I had a scheduled phone call at 7:30 so I really did start working full time a few minutes before seven. A few minutes before 7:30 I got an instant message asking me if I minded waiting another ten minutes or so. Heck, he was the one who was in California (three hours earlier there!) so it wasn't a problem for me. Once our call began, I had the phone set to speaker and was working from two computers at once. This intensity was interrupted when I had to give Jill a ride to campus around nine. As soon as I was back (the area where she was going was only about three miles away) we were back on the phone for another hour. Then I had more work to do... and finally, a bit past eleven, I took a break to have a bowl of cereal. Then back to work until a 1:30 telephone conference call. Then work. Then run up to take a quick shower before dashing off to pick Jill up a ten minutes to three... ah, but Nancy got home just as I was getting ready to leave, so she went off to pick up Jill and I could get back to work without worrying about being late for my three o'clock telephone conference call. By the time that was over I'd passed eight hours for the day, so at four I dashed into town to run an errand at the bank, then came back to work until just before six. Probably a nine and a half hour day, not terribly unusual...
And I got to thinking about all the stuff I like to do (or would like to be able to find time to do) and all the various non-work tasks there are... and the thought struck me: you know, when I'm retired, I might actually have time for all of the non-work activities that interest me.
Hence the title of this entry -- "Working" -- it reminded me of the play Working (based on the Studs Terkel's book, a collection of interviews with dozens upon dozens of people about their jobs) -- but only after I'd typed it at the top of this page.
And then WebSphere Homepage Builder said to me something like " Oh dear, I feel dizzy and I think I am about to faint. I sure hope you saved everything because the only option I am going to present you with is the ability to acknowledge that I am going to go away without saving your stuff. Ah well." Or something to that effect.
And then it went away and I opened Windows Explorer and saw that there was an 110909.html file, but it only had a header and footer and an empty white rectangle on a black background. At which point I decided to leave the computer and go read a book.
So when I started the program tonight and thought that at least I could start with that leftover file... but when I opened it the program told me that it had a more recent autosaved copy and wondered it I would rather open that. Uh, yeah, of course... and so it opened this file with the five paragraphs I had typed last night before the program had crashed. Duh.
Aren't computers fun?
Anyway, the point I had been heading towards last night before the program decided to crash, was that I have always said that one of the key reasons I always said that I would retire from my full-time job when I reached 70 was for tax reasons (since when you reach seventy years and six months of age, you must start taking money from your previously tax-sheltered retirement funds... and to add that on top of a full-time salary would mean that close to half of those retirement funds would get sucked into taxes). However, I always would say that when I do "retire" I would probably do consulting or teach a few college courses as adjunct faculty.
And now I am thinking that maybe I don't want to do that at all. Maybe when I retire I will just retire. Or, well, maybe find something part-time to do just to earn enough money to pay for a cruise or some other nice vacation without having to spend retirement money on it. Oh, wait a minute, there I go again, planning on working past 70! By the time I reach that age, I will have put in fifty years of work. That is, subtracting out times when I was not working (times such as my freshman year of college, etc.) by the time I hit seventy, I will have had at least fifty years of working. I guess I'm used to working. It's habit-forming.
Ah well, I've got three and a half years to go, plenty of time to think about it.