Boogie Shoes

August 14, 1998
  The tapping sound that was emanating from my office earlier this week was me in tap shoes, dancing as fast as I could. I was dancing so hard that I barely had time to log on to read anyone else's journal, let alone update my own.

I got the hoofer call 8:00 Monday morning. My new boss was on the horn, completely swamped with work, wanting me to help by taking a project off her hands. Sure, I sez, what? She's totally snowed under teaching a scanner class and writing the Intro to Outlook class, would I mind writing the lesson for Advanced Outlook? Gulp.

I've never used Outlook. Ever. I was hired to teach it, sure, but I was going to have time to play with it on my own and get comfortable with it before teaching, and the lesson was going to be written for me anyway. So now she, who already knows Outlook, was going to write the Intro class, and I, who barely knew how to start it, was being asked to write the Advanced class? New job, new boss, first "help me" request -- what else could I do? I said, "Sure. When do you need it by?" Wednesday, and you'll teach the class Thursday. Gulp.

I hung up the phone and sprang out of bed, then jumped back in bed again. Why get up so early? Bookstar doesn't open 'til 10. Two hours later I sprang out of bed again and hied myself down to the bookstore, where I picked up "Outlook 97 For Dummies" (because that's what I was for agreeing to this) and "Outlook 97 Step-By-Step." I got back home, skimmed through 'em and started experimenting -- and writing. When the dust settled three days later my back was killing me, my eyes burned, my lungs hurt, and Phillip Morris Inc. had voted me "Most Valuable Consumer." I'd also written, IMO, a hell of a class.

Teaching the class Thursday was a blur. I got up there and lectured and pontificated and demonstrated and generally danced my ass off some more, and they all seemed to buy it. No, I don't think I dazzled them with brilliance; it was more the opposite. And what's incredible to me is that after all that time I put into learning the program so I could write and teach the class...I still don't really know how to use it. I knew it well enough on Thursday, but now that the pressure's off I've got close to zero retention.

Now they want me to do Powerpoint. Gulp.

Copyright © 1998
Chuck Atkins