Friday, June 30, 2006

Make Way for Ducats

I MIGHT JUST BE the nerdiest person you know. No, seriously, even if you can look around your dwelling from a Star Wars poster to a rack of action figures and then down to a stack of comic-book longboxes, I've got you beat:
  1. I asked of my parents, and received, Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac for my birthday;
  2. I spent this Friday night setting up a consolidated group of financial sheets, including a check register and my poker results, the latter I typed in from the incompatible-with-Excel Word table in which I had been listing my wins and losses.
The eventual plan is to include my retirement-fund totals and contributions, and sum everything up on a final worksheet. I know precisely three Excel formulae, but that should be all I need. I actually got a Barnes & Noble gift card from Jen and Steve, which I now believe might best be invested in an Excel how-to book.

To step back a bit, you may recall my Word classes back in December. I really would have preferred to take Excel or Photoshop, the former a tool used by all of the managers at my workplace, the latter a key tool of my profession but not a package I know well. I figured if I at least got Excel at home, I could become familiar with the basics. What helps is the ability to copy or emulate functional formulae from existing spreadsheets and apply them in a new document. This is how I taught myself the absolute basics of HTML. So if every week I'm in Excel tabulating the slow drip of my bank account to my landlord and creditors, or racking up the odd win on the poker sheet, I ought to get more comfortable with the program, and eventually slide it onto my resume. Hell, why not? Should I crank the job hunt up again, I doubt it's gonna be for the sorts of positions in which candidates are pitted against one another in a spreadsheet-creating duel to the death. I think I only win that sort of contest if I use a sledgehammer on the other applicants' CPUs or metacarpals.

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