Manuals & Other Ways to Impress at Work

Martin Leung Blindfolded at Video Games Live i...
This is how working with computers can make me feel... Image by Ian Muttoo via Flickr

I pounced on my favorite tech guy as soon as I finished an assignment. “Busy?” I asked, patiently sipping my soda. “Yeah, what’s up?” I launch into an explanation of what I need: efficiency.

Since he’s been gone, my new assignment has been progressing slowly, mostly because I had to use a machine that was a communal one to perform my tasks, as I didn’t know how to use my own machine to do it. This necessitated me scanning in three to five inch thick binders of documents one page at a time–the largest one nearly nine hundred pages. This was time consuming, especially since there were a LOT of binders, and other projects waiting for me to get to them.

“I don’t have time to do anything about it today. But I think I still have the manual; you can play around with it.”

The manual?! No, no, no. This is why we have a tech department, so I don’t break any machines or cause any computer problems. I can’t just read the manual and figure it out. I don’t even know what I’m looking for. I make a joke with the receptionist on my way downstairs about my inability to do anything remotely technical, then set about figuring out which model my machine is and what technical mumbo jumbo pertains to it. Within ten minutes, I have the program doing exactly what I want it to do.

It’s a shame that our review structure has changed and I no longer get to give my opinion of why I’m so AWESOME! (OK, so maybe that wasn’t the intent of allowing us to add in our thoughts, but it’s as good an opportunity as any to toot my own horn, right?). I was all ready with my answer: I am awesome because I’m always brainstorming ways to get out of working so hard do my job more efficiently. Whenever I see a way to reduce the number of steps in the process or complete the job faster without losing the quality and accuracy, I get with someone and bring it about. But today, it was all up to me. Not only was it all up to me, but it was in an area in which I am admittedly unlearned and unsavy. Or am I?

It’s time to stop feeding myself these negative, untrue ideas. I mean, I’ve fussed around on computers to figure out how to do what I needed/wanted to do for years now. I can do anything that simply requires me to read and follow directions. I majored in English; if they can communicate it to me in English, I can figure it out without assistance.

My new desk calendar is “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Today’s nugget of wisdom was something along the lines of examining the not only the world through our lense, but examining the lense through which we see the world. My lense has been clouded and colored with negative images of my own technical ineptitude, my inability to follow technical directions, my inability to do more than dream up the solution. I can figure out what I need to make things better, but I’m not the one that can enact the changes that need to take place. But none of that is true. I just don’t seek opportunities to be the change I want to see in my world. I can do it; I just have to attempt it.

I was proud of my accomplishment, even more proud to realize that just because I don’t know how to do something doesn’t mean I don’t have the skills to figure it out. Hopefully, I’ll remember this when I need to change a flat tire.

4 Comments

    • 2blu2btru

      Exactly! And we have to quit telling ourselves what we can’t do before we’ve even tried to do it! Focus–that’s a good word! I’ll have to do more of that. 😉 Thanks for stopping by and sharing some wisdom, sis!

    • 2blu2btru

      Thanks Janna! You’re absolutely right. I just have to keep reminding myself not to automatically dismiss everything I haven’t done as something I can’t do…easier said than done for sure. Happy belated new year!

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