ever felt that way? I’m an adult, I’m college-educated, I can explain postmodernism in lay terms (though please don’t ask me to, it takes lots of words), all kinds of stuff. But when I met the phone today at the office, I felt like a baby. A little, highly-incompetent baby. It was frustrating and humbling. It was also exciting, vaguely, because I felt the thrill of learning throughout the day.
The hardest part wasn’t learning how to work the buttons on the phone. It was, instead, being collected. I hope that’s a good thing. It means this isn’t too technologically advanced for me. Instead, my difficulty is in doing all the right interaction steps. My boss was very kind in helping me go through them. So, for example, I have to remember to ask who’s calling. Then when I transfer the call, I have to talk to her first and tell her who it is so that I know whether to put it through to her phone or her voicemail. And not to get flustered when a client confuses me. And to trust the hold button. I definitely lose for letting the telemarketer get through.
On the more positive side, besides making baby steps forward on the phone business, I got pretty good at making coded sheets to accompany invoices. A lot of it is looking at our records and seeing which accounts things were charged to last time. Eventually I will learn, but this was my first day of doing it. I also made some very satisfactory calls to Verizon for a couple reasons and was able to use my brand-new company cell/walkie talkie to fetch building engineers whenever the Verizon guy needed them. Gained confidence on that phone, at least. And these are people I’m getting know and interacting with in person. Much less scary than tenants or vendors or random callers.
The most bittersweet part of my day was the newsletter. It was engrossing. I took something prepared by my predecessor and started by proofreading it. Then I found places where I thought things should be changed. Then I started messing with fonts and formats and phrasing. This was my element, I’m an English major. But there was something wrong overall with the piece, it was too brightly-colored and confusing. I worked on it until 5 sharp, straightening things out. That I enjoyed. But then I e-mailed it to myself and to Mr. Micah so that he could offer suggestions. I don’t intend to bring work home, but he’s good with design.
What worries me is how my sweet Mr. Micah is very wrapped up in this. I’m afraid that he’ll be frustrated. I’m worried that Bobbie will tell me to use the crazy, colorful one. And then he’ll be sad. Hopefully he can enjoy the challenge and have fun. I’m also concerned because he would be working on an article right now if it weren’t for this.
After dinner, tonight, we went on a walk to the bus stop (ok, it was really close, so then we went around the block). This bus does indeed stop at our metro station. I asked Mr. M if I should start taking it so he wouldn’t have to drive me (the metro’s quite close, so financially I don’t know how much difference it makes between $1.25 bus fare and a short trip over) so early. But he said it was a good reason for him to get up early and get ready with me. Then he would get more reading/writing done and take a nap if he was tired. So we agreed—I’ll leave each morning at 8am. If he’s too tired, sick, crabby, etc, then I’ll take the bus. If not, then he’ll drive me.
I like being driven, it’s a way to connect in the morning. It’s like the 50’s housewife who’d get up with her husband and wave at him through the lace curtains. It’s also a regular act of kindness. I hope that I don’t forget that.
Short list of things that make me happy:
- Working on an quilt that I’d left alone for a few months.
- Writing down my thoughts.
- Reading fun books on the metro.
- Taking stretching breaks every time I use the bathroom.
- Learning to do new things.
- Becoming good at new things (not there yet, but I will be!).
- Reading blogs.
- Having a closeness I can’t describe with my husband.