July 6, 2006

Tools of My Trade

I just finished up the prep work for tomorrow's job. This particular client is a waterfront restaurant and, of historical note, is the first job I landed when I started working for myself way back when. It is a testament to their likeability that I still work there. Outside of the people, what I really enjoy is that they run their business in a businesslike manner. I was truly shocked to discover such is not always a given, particularly in the restaurant business. Oh, what a naive little bookkeeper I was way back when.

Usually I'm at that job site the first or the second of the month, but the holiday delayed my visit. Do I always wait until the night before to do the work? Typically yes. I have procrastination issues. I'm working on that. (Yeah. Sure I am. As soon as I finish doing something else.)

The scope of work includes bank reconciliations. Reconciling accounts greatly appeals to my sense of order. I especially get a kick when everything comes out right on the first pass, although it can be fun to track down errors when something goes awry. Yes yes, I'm a simple woman.

But the best part is that I get to play with what I consider the tools of my trade: colored pencils, highlighters and spreadsheets. I prefer my pencils to be sharpened to a needle point. My keyboard number pad and I have a special relationship. A rather zen-like feeling wafts over me as my fingers click rapidly over the keys and figures fill columns. It's all very soothing.

How about you?
What do you consider the tools of your trade?



WenWhit said...

And you should see just how adorable she is when she's crunching numbers.

Middle Girl said...

Part of my responsibilities are to keep the books, along w/collections, payables & cust. svc. Bookkeeping provides the most challenge and the most satisfaction as it was not the original or a *natural* path for me-it's worked out, yea..Pencisl, spreads, calculator rolls & (sometimes) TUMS litter my space many a workday.

Gina said...

Erm...Frozen chicken dinosaurs and flushable wipes?

sporksforall said...

My tools are piles and piles of rules about what that state says, what the university says, and what my program says. Most of which I've committed to memory. The biggest tool I have is that I know them all and no one else does. Esoteric rocks. That and a quick wit, a thick outer layer, the phone, my patience for meetings, and my trusty Mac.

Number crunching is sexy in much the same way copy editing is. Getting the details right is cool.

KMae said...

ice cubes
and a bar cart.

SassyFemme said...

Right now its my work laptop, I'm writing application training manuals for the teachers. Once school starts it'll be a can of lysol for spraying down the mice and keyboards after the kids use them! Oh, and then there's always coffee, diet coke and chocolate. Those are must haves! :)

Gunfighter said...

The tools of my trade?

A SigSauer, .357 caliber semiautomatic pistol, a Remington 870 shotgun, an M-4 carbine (think smaller version of the M-16), the P-90 submachine gun (a really cool piece of Belgian work), a computer, a leatherman (gotta fix broken targets ya know), safety glasses, and ear protectors.

I teach federal officers and agents how to fight with guns.

maxine said...

Goddess Time

WenWhit said...

Max following Gunslinger = weird. ;p

weese said...

damn. i want some cooler tools.
(scanning desk....)
keyboard, bottled water, calculator... silly putty
select count(*) as Passed
td.run rn, td.test ts
rn.rn_user_02 like '4.30%'
rn.rn_run_id =
(select max(rn_run_id) from
td.run srn where srn.rn_test_id = ts.ts_test_id
group by srn.rn_test_id)

Gunfighter said...

Oddly enough, WenWhit... The tools that MAxine mentioned are quite useful to me as well... I try to teach combat firearms in a very Zen way.

It makes for better decision making. I think my way beats the traditional way of the knuckle dragger.

The Way of The Peaceful Warrior... thats my thing.

Teresa said...

I loved accounting class, especially reconciliations, and have often thought that copyediting is the perfect marriage of my love for writing and my lust for order. Mmmm.

Tools: red pens, highlighters, a copy stand, an ergonomic keyboard, two chairs—one that's comfortable for leaning back and perusing copy, and one that encourages better posture when sitting in front of the computer—focus, and coffee.

Pisces75 said...

The description you gave made me almost nauseous. All those things stress me out. I am so bad with bookeeping. I continue to try though.
Tools of my trade similar to weese.
Query Analyzer
Quite Boring.

nina michelle said...

Gina used my frozen chicken dinosaur answer! So then I thought I would list the copious amounts of household cleaning items in my life but that felt like a bold face lie in light of the fact that I have just recently came to grips with my huge short comings and hired a bi-monthly maid service which pairs nicely with the lawn mowing service which came a few weeks earlier. When I step back and look at my life it would appear that I am beginning to outsource myself.

interesting observation: I came out as a lesbian a full 3 weeks before I was brave enough to admit and embrace the fact that I am infact, a lousey housekeeper. Oh the guilt we carry.


Anonymous said...

Current tools:

big truck
water jug
sun glasses

right now i am hauling hay on the family farm for the summer

Taradharma said...

1. jawin' with the fellas (electricians, plumbers, carpenters, hvac dudes) and some pioneering women
2. big desk to lay out building drawings
3. giant white board to keep track of projects (and lots of fun colored dry erase pens)
4. computer, cell phone, excel spreadsheets
5. patience, patience, patience
6. zen-like attitude: you tear a building apart, shit happens, deal with it

tiff said...

My "used to be" answer is a lot more fun than my "now" answer, so I'll give both.

Used to be human blood, pipettors, 96-weel plates ,and gobs of radioactivity.

Now is a computer and crabby people.

Tell me again why I traded "up"?

tiff said...

96-well plates, that is.

elswhere said...

This is a great question!
Tools of my trade:

Several thousand kids' books
Laptop with wireless connection
Circulation and cataloging system
Printer and copier
Whiteboard easel and markers
A few stock phrases ("1,2,3, eyes on me!" et al)
A working voice
The Teacher Look
Buckets of enthusiasm
Knowledge-- about kids' books and about How to Find Things Out
And a trio of finger-puppet mice in a little red box (the book mice, can't run a story time without them).

In a pinch, I could jettison everything except a few picture books, the voice, the Look, the enthusiasm, and the mice, and still teach all my classes. Though eventually kids would get annoyed at not being able to check out books or do research.

cbar said...

Tools of my trade at this moment:

My laptop
teacn IN California website
AMC Theatres website
Cell phone
And a good sense of humor

Tools of my trade normally:
My bell
Lesson plans
Cell phone
Teachers guides
post it notes
smelly stickers
Good books
A smile
A good sense of humor
My parnter in crime grade partner