One of my biggest pet peeves: People who take jobs like “administrative assistant” or “teacher”, jobs which in the 21st century are incredibly computer-centric, and don’t know even basic PC functionality. Of course, they’ll have said during their interview that they’re experts, but when you sit them in the chair, they don’t know the difference between and URL and an e-mail address, or between Word and Excel.
So then what? Do you fire them for not being able to do the job they said they could do? Fuck no, it becomes my problem. I have to train them to do what they should have known to start with… and really, should be able to do for 99% of the jobs in this day and age.
One of my favorite problem children comes and asks me for help. Apparently, she has two spreadsheets full of customer information, both in different formats. She’s tasked with combining them into one, then sorting them six different ways based on the needs of who is asking for the report.
First I have to explain how to make new entries into the spreadsheet. Then I have to explain the difference between storing a date as text like “January 3” compared to actually having a date format like “1/3”. Then I have to explain how to use a Yes/No box. Then I have to describe for her the process of copying and pasting the two spreadsheets together.
As for sorting them? Well, I know you can sort a spreadsheet, but when you’re looking at doing it as many ways as she wanted, I felt compelled to tell her that a spreadsheet was far from ideal for the task. So, I had to work with her on converting the Excel data into an Access Database (it was a relatively small amount of Data, no need to reach for anything more sophisticated). All this over someone whose job requirement is to know MS Office in and out.
Finally, I get her to the point where the Database mirrors the Excel sheet in format, so all she has to do is enter in the new data she has behind the existing data. I show her how, now that she’s done this, she can sort any which way she wants all day long. She smiles and seems genuinely happy. Then she asks “So, now how do I get it back to the way it was?”
WTF?? YOU DON’T!!! WE JUST SPENT AN HOUR AND A HALF TEACHING YOU HOW TO ORGANIZE THIS SHIT! WHY THE FUCK DO YOU WANT TO REVERT IT BACK TO A SPREADSHEET FULL OF RANDOM DATA?