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It's hard to stay focused, with so much going on. I feel like a juggler, trying to keep all those balls in the air, flipping from hand to hand and overhead, all at once. Not too much of this, not too little of that.

Partly it's because this time of year is always busy at work. With California's budget troubles, however, it's worse than usual. Vendors cancel orders, then regroup and decide that some things just can't be cancelled. Employees decide to retire, then unretire when they realize they can't make ends meet.

Our company does its best to keep employees informed of the latest and worst, as well as the best, but when the variables aren't known, everything feels up for grabs.

This translates directly to my everyday job, since I have certain parameters within which I am required to do allocations of equipment and personnel--but if I don't know which rules are changing (because nobody does), I have to go by the extant rules--which may change at any time.

The key to survival is detailed, heavy-duty, tracking of data, people and equipment, amid the emotionality and uncertainty of the times. Personally, I welcome change, it's nearly always invigorating and interesting, but a great portion of my day is spent explaining to my employees where the variables may crumble or expand, and providing reassurance that the sky is not falling.

I hope.

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