May 13, 2008

Never Get Too Comfortable

I thought I had learned the lesson that, just as soon as you get comfortable in your job and think you know what you're doing you'll get a curve ball that sends you scrambling for the books feeling like the biggest novice ever.   I really thought I knew that - I was prepared for the little quirk that makes this case different from every other case you've handled, this person react dramatically different from all the others you supervise or today's schedule completely different than you thought it would be when you walked in this morning.  Stay flexible, think on your feet and avoid the routine that becomes a rut because it will mess. you. up.  Got it, lesson learned.

But, there was one area I hadn't counted in to that equation.  The one place I'd gotten a little too comfortable  - our technology.  I'm fairly computer literate and definitely comfortable getting around our programs, and I've always easily adjusted to changes and quickly figured out how to get what I needed.  So,  I wasn't worried when they came this morning to take my computer away and replace it with a brand spanking new one.  A laptop in a docking station?  Portability, for someone who works outside of the actual office a good half the time, if not more?  Cool!  The newest version of Windows Professional XP looks different than what we've had?  Eh, not a big deal.  Heck, I move between a PC and a Mac every time I go from work to home.  I'll be fine.

Famous last words.  I spent five minutes - literally five minutes - trying to figure out how to "save as" today.  Not to some strange document type - just saving it to a new location. Five minutes.  My legal assistant came in and looked over my shoulder trying to see what she should do.  (They haven't spirited away her computer yet.)  Finally, feeling like a dunce, I clicked on help and asked the computer how to save my document.  Turns out that to find most of the functions that used to be under 'file' I now have to click on a symbol that I took to just be a logo.  O-kay.  Not feeling so computer literate now.  And so it went all day.  Can't figure out where the find function is to look for that name in the Excel spreadsheet?  Help.  Need to strike through a name in that chart?  Help.  And I didn't even have to do anything that would have caused me to stop and think in the old version.

Half way through the morning I walked in to my colleague's office and told her not to let them touch her computer until we finish the Brief that's due next week.  We need at least one computer where we know how to set up the Table of Authorities, and the fact that I'm still figuring out how to save is not a good sign.

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