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The Perils of Technology

May 2, 2008

Monkey see...

It is impossible to pinpoint the exact age when people start to become terrified of computers. I believe there is a digital divide when otherwise rational people, people who raise families, manage multi-million dollar hedge funds, change flat tires and somehow outsmarted the U.S. government and avoided the Vietnam War are paralyzed by fear and spreadsheets.

So it is a precarious position I find myself in to be burdened with the skills of an out and out Excel wizard. I can sort, I can import data, I can insert rows and columns, I can even make impossibly wide sheets of information print out on a single page.

But, as Spiderman might say, with great power comes great responsibility. Like being the resident texpert (or tech expert) who comes in to save the day when all is lost and that ever so tricky copy and paste skill has failed you once again.

While I do enjoy the shaman-like respect I am accorded as a result of my talents, heavy is the head that wears the crown of texpert. There are only so many mail merges one man can complete in a day. And what if the query wizard times out and I am not able to retrieve the oh so precious data I promised I could deliver? I dare say the curtain would be pulled back on this great and powerful Oz to reveal I am nothing more than a fraud.

Fortunately for me, I have mastered the lingo of computer-speak to cover for my failures. “Oh, the algorithm sort function of the database search must have timed out again. They must be uploading new reports from Access.” Whew… disaster averted!