Monday, May 02, 2005

Forward this link to your manager

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/04/22/text.iq/index.html

I seriously feel like a babbling fool by the end of the day when I feel bombarded by requests or questions. Though this job I'm working in now doesn't require me to answer as many dumb questions as the one I came from. I have to say I don't get half as many assinine questions for pie charts that explain where and when I've spent my time. I believe that the nature and quality of questions asked by management and employees say something about the quality and direction of the group you work in.

Yesterday I nearly lost it when this woman who took over my old job sent me an e-mail asking me if it was really worth her time to take an additional web design class to update the courses I had built. I felt like e-mailing her and saying, "How should I know? I don't know how web retarded you are." But then again, she asks me questions again and again about how to fix the MS Access form and she simply doesn't absorb the concept of a primary or unique key (value) or the difference between a one to many relationship and a many to many relationship (and how this impacts the data that can be retrieve from a relational database) despite the fact that I explained these things several times. She still asks questions like, "Well, I don't understand why you can't make it do something like this...?" Maybe she has a future in management.

Though I doubt it. She seems to be one of those people, one of those ladies who makes up for her work by doing more of it rather than working smart and automating things, she seems to be one of those people who feels more secure when the print out every single e-mail instead of filing them or making a value judgement and chucking them in the delete bucket when necessary. I've made it a policy now to answer questions only once as I'm only enabling her if I continue to do so.

My former supervisor treated us both out to lunch a few months ago. Originally, I suspected that the reason why she wanted to bring us together was so that Ms. Thing could 'pick my brain' or more or less leech on to my head and suck it out (not that it would make such a good meal to begin with). However, I realize now that she may have been stroking the woman's nervous nature and coaxing her to ask more questions because she was naturally intimidated by technical things. She had a sort of nervous twinge about her, there was a look in her eye that insinuated fear and subservience. If she were a smoker she would have been much thinner, but it was apparent that she self-medicated with fast food and beanie babies.

I'm no whiz at these technical things myself but part of me felt repulsed by her. Why do I feel so disgusted by this? Shouldn't I be more sympathetic? I hardly qualify as a gen y technorati. Lately, I've been feeling challenged myself because I've become so bogged down by the drudgery of my own job, the volume and the dry content of the subject matter I work with, that I haven't felt as great an urge to innovate, explore, and learn about new things. When I do, I feel guilty that I took the time to do research on things because I cannot calculate the "Return on Investment" for the time I spent on looking them up. Is this the hand of corporate guilt upon me? At the beginning of the year I was making an effort to do more research on Usability and designing learning systems with metadata systems that evolve in a more controlled or predicatable way, as I wanted to make an effort to share skills and knowledge with my group about how to design things for lower impact and better use. However, as I scrolled through course after course of documentation which is signature to our grouop and more it seemed to be out there just for documentation's sake, and I saw monthly status reports from my co-workers which constantly highlighted the 'number' of tools and interventions they delivered rather than the quality or output or outcome. I realized that my efforts and words might fall on partially deaf ears, and maybe it would be better to search for greener pastures. Crunch, crunch, crunch... the cows here feed primarily on numbers.



Questions about your PC? Networking? Primary Keys? Go here:
http://www.webopedia.com/
Honestly, this site isn't as good as it was two years ago. Too many ads now.

Better and illustrated explanation of relational databases:
http://www.creative-wisdom.com/computer/FMP/relational.shtml

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