Bad on One Hand, Good on the Other

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.

Sigh. What next? Breakage, theft, loss. Just shell out the cash! Geez.

Flying By Night novelThe “bad” today was when I was dragging the watering hose to the far corner of the yard, the one little spot I hadn’t thought to ward, and…well…the plants were gone. Most were in pots—big, heavy pots full of dirt and flowers, each probably 30 to 40 pounds. There were gone, just gone. The work was fresh, too.

I really doubt it was neighborhood kids. There was too much taken to walk away with or ride out on a bike with. This was, I believe, a truck or car trunk kind of operation. No clues yet in the theft, but there’s a construction crew nearby and I’ve already had to fuss at them about not blocking my driveway or my mailbox. So far, it’s been yes-ma’am! to me and no guff, so maybe they at least saw something since this most likely happened while they were on duty. I’ll talk to them in the morning and probably scare the hell out of them whether I mean to or not.

I just had to sigh and shake my head at the theft, especially since I’m already dealing with an inoperable laptop and had to buy a new one last night and I’m still dealing with the “bad” from that.

The unexpected tidbit of “good” was my appraisal at the office today. Kinda snuck up on me. Didn’t even have time to suck up to the boss! But I got the same scores as I have since 1990—all top numbers. I also got a 2-day time-off award, which I’ll use for when I take my car to the shop or to taking The Evil Home Repair Company to court or something equally un-fun.

But the funny thing was the cash award I got today. It was much bigger than usual. Keep in mind that cash awards in a Department of Defense job are based on a portion of a pool of money, not on my salary or the money I save in negotiating whatever technology I’m buying. So by private industry standards for a professional, it’s a piddly amount.

But…it was also $2.38 more than the new Sony Vaio laptop, plus a USB mouse thrown in, taxes included.

Okay, so I’ll smile just a little over that. Yesterday, I’d wondered where the money for the new laptop would come from. Today, I found out.