Sunday, December 04, 2005

Instructions for writing a Library computer manual in one week without knowing anything

1. Attend a day & a half of training seminars. Pay close attention. Ask questions. Do all exercises, as instructed. Evaluate the workshop and trainers as “excellent” in all categories.

2. Succumb to selective amnesia as you leave the room. Ponder the fascinating fact that your brain evaluates information on a “need to retain” basis – and rejects anything taught in unconnected segments as "do NOT need to retain."

3. Admit to yourself that you have three weeks in which to use the database, train eight other people to use it, and write a manual. Do your real job for the first week, instead, while you develop a terrific case of screaming paranoia that your career is finished.

4. Go to work on Sunday with coworker. Both grumpy.

5. Open the program. Stare at it, mystified. Stare at the computer company’s bloated, unusable stack of manuals with burning hatred. Refuse to open them.

6. Click an icon. Any icon. Scan a barcode. Any barcode. See what happens. Swear heartily.

7. Figure it out. Desperation is the mother of invention. Cheer yourself along with a new mantra:
“There is no way out of doing this and if I can’t they’ll fire me and I will have to live on the street in a big cardboard box.”

8. Try to work on the manual the rest of the week while six people per minute interrupt you and everyone around you is talking at once. Lose four hours filling in for a student assistant who blows a shift at the circulation desk without notice. Try not to think about buying a high-powered rifle.

9. Day five – Go to bed at 8:00 p.m. so that you can sleep off the stress. Wake at 11:45 to go to the bathroom. Don’t open your eyes because you don’t want to be that awake. Flush the toilet, return to bedroom with eyelids at half-mast. Walk into doorframe. Hard.

10. Continue trying to get back to bed while checking for loose teeth. Try to figure out why hand is wet.

11. Spit blood into sink for five minutes. Sit with ice cube on split lip for 20 minutes.

12. Day six – recover sense of humor at approximately noon. Admire reasonable facsimile of Hollywood-style collagen injected lips, while ignoring nasty bits.

13. Day seven – Time off! Run up and down three flights of stairs eighteen times, doing huge loads of laundry because you can’t (really, KD) turn your underwear inside out. More than once. Teach Nice Indian Lady in green sari how to share the building's laundry room by yanking out a load of clothes some idiot didn't retrieve from the dryer so that Nice Lady can use it. Pray for the idiot to come in and complain about her laundry being removed because you are really in the mood for apologies.

14. Day eight – Go to work Sunday with coworker. End day with both feeling mighty damn smug that you’ve pulled it off, somehow and will still be able to dish large sums of money out to your creditors.

15. Brag about it on blog.


Koru's Daughter said...

You can get four days out of a single pair of underwear. Forwards, backwards, insideout forwards, and insideout backwards.

I am so happy that you finished this shitful project. Thank you for the instructions. How far can we variate from these instructions and stil get it right? For example, can I fall down stairs instead of walking into the door frame and still get it right?

LJ said...

Yes, or kneel under a table and stand up suddenly.