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09/27/2002 Archived Entry: "Microsoft Office Work"

Another day, another... um .... envelope of some sort. I dunno. I'm not yet an expert at this whole office thing just yet.

Today someone called in sick so they needed me to answer phones and stuff. They also needed me to do a few projects using such complicated programs as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. This was extremely easy yet it amazed my co-workers that I could get it done so quickly. It amazes me that there are people who can't use Microsoft Office. To me that's a skill along the lines of being able to identify shapes or spell the word "baseball".

I can't help but think that there could be a better way to do things. A large portion of my day was spent taking handwritten things that people had scribbled and typing them up in Word (or Excel). Then I would bring it to them printed up. They would then mark up the printout and give it back to me to edit and print out for them yet again. Then after all of this it gets brought to someone else's office to be read and, presumably, tossed away. Now don't get me wrong, I am very appreciative to have the work--and more importantly to get the money--but this doesn't seem to me to be the best way to do this. This seems to just completely disregard what word processors were invented for in the first place. If everyone's got computers on their desks and they're all networked, then why are so many things being printed out?

I've never worked in an office before so I have no idea if this is just common practice. Seems pretty wasteful to me. I'm not like a tree hugger or anything but I do enjoy recycling paper. I just feel enormous amounts of waste when paper is just being thrown out by the ream.

Answering phones isn't that bad but this is the second job I've had where I've been put on the phones within the first week. It's really uncomfortable being asked questions ALL DAY that I just can't answer. Every call is like: "Hello. Uh... maybe? Lemme see if I can find out." Then I have to attempt to track down someone, whose name I don't yet know, and see if I can get an answer to the question.

I still had a lot of free time today so I spent a great deal of it reading a beginners guide to Windows 95. It was amazing. I read the entire book. Their assessment of what Windows 95 should be used for is pretty accurate when the first "lesson" is an explanation of how to get to and play Solitaire.

Some things never change.

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