The Geek Influx continues...

Terry arrived at the airport last night. Pictures will be posted as soon as I can find a business that does one-hour APS film developing. I've got a couple of good pictures from the airport that deserve to see the light of day.

We've pretty much got this picking-up-friends-at-the-airport thing down pat. On Monday, when Kat arrived, we met her with a huge bundle of balloons (including a Powerpuff Girl balloon that was just exquisite in its appropriateness). For Terry, we showed up with four huge signs and a cheering crowd of six people.

We pick up Brad tomorrow. Since he's flying into Birmingham, it's really not feasible to send the whole crew down. As far as I know, it's just going to be Heather, Terry, and myself driving down there (about an hour and a half each way). I think we're going to show up with some "Canada Spice" signage; that should pretty much do it. Unless I can figure out how to put together a "redneck bouquet" of things like barbecue sauce and other equally silly things.

I keep going back and forth as to whether or not I can get everything done tonight that needs doing. I think I can manage it, really I do…I just wonder how tired I'm going to be once it's all done. :) As of now it stands like this:

  • Clean the kitchen.
  • Mop the kitchen.
  • Clear off the dining table. (Saturday it becomes the bar)
  • Sort clothes for laundry.
  • Do as much laundry as humanly possible.
  • Mop the guest bathroom.
  • Stock the guest bathroom with toweling and necessities.
  • Pick up in the living room, bedrooms, and computer room.
  • Change the sheets on the master bed.
  • Water the plants.
  • Add the new songs to our mp3 database so that they're available for Saturday's party.
  • Buy groceries for this weekend.
  • Make signage for Brad's arrival tomorrow.

Kat has offered to come over and help tonight. I'm thinking that I may hand over to her the scrubbing down of the kitchen counters. If she does that, then I can get laundry sorted and started, then move to cleaning the kitchen table and mopping. Then to picking up—Jeff agreed that if I got the rooms picked up that he would vacuum.

I keep telling myself that it can get done. It can. It will. It has to.

Guess it's a good thing that I slept well last night, hm?

As for today—it's been a much better day than yesterday. I was pretty evilly sleep-deprived after the concert, and then we got an absolutely crappy assignment. I know better than to go into deep details, but the gist of it is that our sales team caved in to some unrealistic demands made by a known problem customer, and April and Cathy and I got stuck holding the bag. I didn't even bother pretending that I had a good attitude about it—I was mad as hell and uncaring whether or not I hid it. I resented the fact that our sales team didn't stand up to the client and left us to do cleanup, and I resented that I had to send apologies and postponements to good clients because of this. So, this afternoon, I'll be cleaning up the detritus and hopefully soothing a few people whose feathers I had to ruffle this morning.

It never ceases to amaze me how people take our services for granted or try to devalue them. This morning April took a call from a customer who has web hosting services with my employer. (For those of you not in the know, that means they've purchased disk space for their web pages to reside on.) He wanted changes made on his company's website—and was outraged when he found out that we were going to charge his company money to make those changes.

See, I look at it this way. If you'd have to pay an employee to do it, you have to pay the company you outsource it to. Does this seem obvious to anyone else? You can either do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you, and web designers certainly aren't standing by to do this sort of thing for free. It's not as if we don't have anything else to do all day.

I've often wondered if this is just something about the web and dotcoms in general, or if this kind of you-should-give-me-this-for-free attitude is pervasive in all service industries. It never ceases to amaze me that people want web stuff done for free—because they don't want to take the time to learn how to do it. Gee, I took the time to learn the skill. Would you ask a plumber to fix your pipes for free? Ask a taxi driver to take you somewhere for free (after all, he already has the car!)?

…and just now, we just had another problem client show up. Twice he's been a no-show for the training he's requested—and then today, out of the blue, he shows up and wants his training. Uh, sorry, you can make an appointment just like anyone else.

Argh. No offense, you carbon-based life forms, but YOU SUCK. Okay, I admit it—I'm feeling the stress and strain of trying to get the house ready for this weekend while seeming happy and carefree when in fact … you see my to-do list. I'm trying to be accommodating to my clients here at work, as well as keeping my friends entertained, get my house clean, and act like a decent loving spouse.

I'm thinking something's going to snap, and it might just be me.

Editorial decision: Brad arrives at 5:20 tomorrow afternoon. Whatever isn't done by that time stays undone until everyone goes home. Period. I am going to enjoy this time with my friends as much as possible. Aurgh.

Meanwhile, I'm signing off and getting back to work. Soothing techno on the headphones.