Bob McPhail 4:30 p.m., Aug. 29
- Community Blog
- Live and Let Live
Umemployed series part seven
Admittedly, I‘d spent considerable time out of the work force. Shit happens...
So I entered the the ol' office my first day of work, utterly clueless to how things have changed.
My perfectly normal brain, (yeah right?) had suddenly become afflicted with "addled brain syndrome," So much technology, too much! What the f___? When did this all happen? I inwardly lamented. Sudden pangs of regret hit me hard. I’d been purposely ignoring technology for years.. Yet I was determined to belie my diminishing confidence. I gave myself a spontaneous peptalk: Put your “zenlike” face. act calm, put your “focus hat” on, and just do your best...that's all that matters. . .You can do this, girl, we'll get through this. . .I swear on my mother's grave it will be okay. . ."
Damn! My thinking before I went in there was “I’m gonna kill it!” Wow and Whaaah!.
It’s not that I hate technology; I just don't interact with it well. I’m a total clod on the computer, really spastic and uncertain, endlessly cliquing or typing in the wrong thing. I also have an abjectly slow learning curve when it comes to learning new computer programs. It’s so embarrassing. I’m constantly creeping up on co-workers, obsequiously asking : “Could you just show me that one more time? Just one more time? Please?” Some are incredulous I didn’t get it by the sixth time, but oh well.
Not long after, I observed staff working at a hyperbolic speed, efficient machines making zero mistakes while demonstrating extreme productivity. All done with effortless aplomb.
My burgeoning panic was forcing stress hormones to wildly surge through veins of fury. My heart sunk into my stomach. How am I gonna compete with that? The last time I moved that fast was running from the cops in Mexico.
‘Sides, I'm old school. Sales back in the day relied heavily on schmoozing; we left all the paperwork and computer stuff to the administrators. I've always been mystified and slightly envious of administrative staff: their prodigious organizational skills and attention to detail were awesome qualities I wasn't born with, and trying to gain them through mindfulness and practice had only produced infinitesimal improvements.
My first assignment was to learn their dazzling selection of computer programs. Huh? When I was doing sales, back in the day, (didn’t I already say that? Oh well, early dementia is not fun), I recall there being, always, only one program--never more than one --program required to learn. Moreover, it was entirely acceptable to be computer-deficient if your numbers were up. You could act proudly defiant in your lack of desire to learn the computer. . .tell personnel you’ll “get ’em on the upswing, but for now, I got more important things to do like selling a car.”
I suddenly felt pangs of sentimentality for some of my old jobs--many of them had been sinecure positions, which in French means: “cushy job that pays well and does not entail much work."
After hours of just trying to get the computer to do something, anything, I fell into a state of temporary psychosis. I found myself arbitrarily. clomping on keys for no apparent reason. Suddenly I’d been reincarnated into my Shitzu dog, Shorty. Shorty often sits on my lap while I'm on the computer at home. When bored or needing attention, he likes walk all over my keyboard, randomly hitting keys, sometimes, really messing up my work, if he hits the delete key. But, he has no idea what he's doing, and at that moment, neither did I!