Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Princesses Don't Really DO Spreadsheets

HYPOTHETICAL: You have an evil boss, let's say he's named Herr MWOTH. Last week he tells you to pull together a list of anyone you've ever contacted, ever, as a potential client, including their name, contact info, and what you said to them. Let's say you think thatisSOdumb and suchawasteoftimeIcan'tevenbelieveit but you smile because you're in a small power struggle with the dark underlord, and so you say, "Sure. No problem." So you spend all day Thursday compiling the Dumbest Spreadsheet Ever, instead of doing, I don't know, say, YOUR JOB.

Friday you have off from work for some medical appointments, but you log in to your desktop from home, anyway, a couple times over the weekend because you keep thinking of contacts to add. You think to yourself (smugly) "This is a kickass long list." This will exceed any stupid expectation Herr MWOTH has set. I will rub this spreadsheet in his face, and maybe do a happy dance on it, to boot.

You are *so* pleased with yourself.

You come in on Monday, and send an e-mail first thing saying, "When shall we meet? I fear you not." (Maybe you didn't *really* say, "I fear you not" but maybe you typed it and then deleted it before sending the e-mail) and Herr MWOTH replies, "Super busy. Let's meet this afternoon." And instead of freaking out, you shrug because you know your spreadsheet is so complete, so you goof off on e-mail, maybe you have a blog, maybe you write about your super laid-back weekend on your blog, and you feel very confident. As the afternoon rolls around, you scan lots of your old e-mails, add a few more contacts to the Dumbest Spreadsheet Ever, and decide to print it out, so that when Herr MWOTH says, "Let's meet now" there is no mad, last-minute scramble to the printer.

However, maybe Excel is annoying, and maybe it doesn't want to smoosh your lists all conveniently, so you need to mess with the margins so that you don't have 6 extra pages of "run over" words because the rows were just a little too long. So maybe you mess with said margins, and get annoyed that they aren't doing what you want. So you cancel the print job, and close the window that has changed your document to a "read-only" text, since the original spreadsheet that you CAN convert should be underneath.

Maybe it asks you, "save changes?" and you click on "hell-to-the-N-O" because now the margins look all funky and the text is really small and that's not what you wanted.

Maybe the computer says, "O.K., dumbass" and then the screen goes blank.

"Um." You might say. "Where did the original, non-read-only version go?"

"No big deal, I will re-open it."

Except maybe. Just maybe. THERE IS NOTHING TO REOPEN. Just an old version of a spreadsheet you had added a separate page to. But the separate page is BLANK-ity BLANK BLANK BLANK.

Maybe you feel your heart skip a beat. Maybe it skips another. "Maybe I am dead," you think. Maybe you stiffly stand up with very wide zombie eyes and shuffle (quickly) to the computer tech guy's cubicle.

"Peep?" you might say.

"Uh, English?" he might reply.

So then maybe you say, "Help," very softly, because suddenly you think you might cry. And then you attempt to explain what you did.

"When's the last time you saved it?" he asks.

You could have sworn it was just a little while ago. But now that you are thinking about it... really thinking about it... maybe... maybe.... you didn't save it. Ever. Not all day Thursday. Not once over the weekend. Not this morning....

"It's gone, dude," the tech guy tells you.

Maybe you supress the sob brewing in your throat.

"Meet now?" blinks your computer, with an e-mail from Herr MWOTH, as soon as you get back to your desk.

"Oh. Fuck. Me." you think.

So you explain, politely, that you may need just a couple more minutes.

And unexpectedly, weirdly, surprisingly, the evil dark underlord of all things surly and petty, Herr MWOTH, writes back, "Crap. I hate it when that happens. Same thing happened to me last week. No worries. Take a deep breath. Let's meet tomorrow."


"Who are you, and what did you do with the guy who would call me a liar?" you might think. But you'll take it, because your day is looking crap-tastic, enough.

So what, what my dear reader, would YOU do?

Hypothetically speaking.

If it were me... I would probably make a feeble attempt at starting to recreate the spreadsheet, and then head straight home to an extremely large glass of wine. Which I would probably refill several times. And wake up with a bitchin' hangover this morning.

Hi, Tuesday.
I like you even less than Monday, if that's possible.
Princess G.


Chico said...

Crappy. Always remember: save early, and save often.

katie-q said...

Oh that's awful! I always forget to save, you'd think I'd learn by now, but apparently I'm not that quick!

Wine seems to fix everything at the time, but in the morning, its always so much worse!