Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tuesday Tuneage
Bachman-Turner Overdrive - “Takin’ Care of Business”
Look at me I’m self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day.
     - BTO

In the past twenty years or so: 1) I’ve complained about my long-ago time in Corporate America and, 2) gloated about working from home as my own boss. As my twentieth anniversary of being self-employed approaches, I decided to gather up my instinctive making-it-up-as-I-go moves as Real Knowledge, available only as a correspondence course. So here you go, excerpts from Accounting 666: How To Run Your Own Bookkeeping Business.


First off, recent study shows that if you’re over forty, you shouldn’t work five-day weeks. I read this in Martha Stewart Living magazine when looking for recipes for my mini crockpot. Actually an algorithm in my Pocket app sent it to me, but cooking dinner in your mini crockpot makes the end of your day rather easy — no dinner to prep as you did that in the morning —though you have to smell the deliciousness brewing in it as the afternoon goes on. Load up on almonds when the hunger pangs hit.

Do not set your alarm in the morning. Being woken up when you’re not ready to be awake causes crankiness. Scientists say that you should sleep until you wake on your own, this is best for your sleep habits. Lord, I love science. Then again, maybe I read this one in Martha Stewart Living as well.

And if you’re not knocking off by three p.m. (no matter how late you sleep), you’re doing it wrong. The elliptical machines at the gym will be widely available or you can take your (non- business related) reading material to the coffee shop or you can get a head start on happy hour.


“Get the money up front.” This one has stuck with me since I was a kid and had no idea what I was going to be when I grew up. Maybe I dreamt of being a scientist who would convince people not to use an alarm clock. The quote is from a commercial that constantly ran for a kids version of  The Joker’s Wild game show. It was some smartass kid who cracked the host up.

“TCB: Taking Care of Business.” Cosmo Kramer said this on Seinfeld when he inadvertently stumbled into a corporate office gig and Jerry asked him what he did. Say it with the utmost confidence.

“That’s a Quickbooks bug, given Intuit’s knack for making an upgrade a downgrade.” This is one of my own quotes. It’s true, and never hesitate to blame any sort of glitch in reports on Quickbooks. It’s reputation precedes it.

“100 dollars a day, plus expenses.” Said by Jim Rockford, who should be your patron saint. Sure, he got beat up every episode and never seemed to get paid, but he lived in a trailer by the Pacific Ocean*, had an answering machine (BIG in the mid-seventies, and the messages were always noteworthy), didn’t have to wear a tie, drove a cool car, and was always taking attractive women out for tacos.


I’ve extolled the virtues of being self-employed before: No dress code, no jerk boss, scheduling paying job around writing schedule, no nosy coworkers, charging bags of coffee beans to my business’s expenses, etc. But have I mentioned: I hardly have to sit in a meeting ever? I telecommute most days and do almost all my communication via email. The last meeting I was asked to be a part of I attended from home, it was a teleconference. The last in-person business meeting I was at? I couldn’t tell you for sure. Meetings are more often than not useless. They take you away from what you’re supposed to be doing — working — and usually exist to advance somebody else’s agenda, this agenda is usually advanced by somebody above you and involves giving you and others more work.

Hence, working at home with no boss: Just gimme a stack of papers (via email or cloud, please, don’t ask me to stop by your office for them) and I’ll get ‘em into the software and then head out to the coffee shop, blissfully blasting music on headphones and continuing to enjoy my meeting-free life. Lord, it’s awesome not being in an office that has meetings. Don’t have to sweat it out hoping that the coffee is good. Don’t have to sit around listening to other people talk. Don’t have to hear awkward attempts at humor.  Don’t have to kill time by hoping I have a pal across the conference table to play nickel hockey or paper triangle football with if the meeting starts late because some big shot is on a phone call. Don’t have to hear others use big words to show their insecurity over looking dumb. Don’t have to play mental run-out-the-clock, hoping I’m not called on … where I use small words and look smart.

The downside (I guess) to all this working at home/not leaving the apartment except to hit the coffee shop or get some exercise is that whatever limited social skills I had have diminished. Socializing is something I never learned to handle quite well and as I’ve gotten older I’ve shrugged and stopped worrying about whether I can carry on a conversation. I’ll save find the right word, dammit for writing. At least then I can edit away in glee. So now I pick and choose when I socialize. More often than not, I choose not to. Why leave this apartment when Narcos: Mexico is on Netflix, there’s books on my phone, and my turntable beckons?


If a client doesn’t pay up, threaten them with the ELCA (Enlightened Lutheran Collection Agency.)

Also, music will help you as you study the assignments in this class. My self-employed accountant acoustic blues album will be out soon on the Elektra label. First single will be "Your Love (Is Like A Bad Debt Expense)" b/w "I Got The Schedule C Blues Again". Ask for it at your favorite record store.

*Adjust for inflation.

**Better location and view than my likely retirement destination of a trailer in Richfield. This is my plan to retire in the south.