Square Peg in a Round Hole

I’m not a minute-detail-oriented person. I’d love to knit and have tried to do so many times, but that type of close work drives me insane. Following in my father’s footsteps and becoming an accountant? The stuff of nightmares. I’m not the type that is a secretary. I’m the type that needs a secretary.

As an example: I can’t type. Well, I can a little. I actually took a typing class in ninth grade, but moved to a school district offering fewer class periods per day so abandoned typing after learning only asdfghjkl;. My own weird hunt and peck method results in some occasionally hilarious and all-too-frequent typos, as my online friends can certainly attest.

Why, then, did I take a job that involved minute attention to detail, almost exclusively?

It was a great opportunity, working with a someone I really like and admire. Then there’s the money, which isn’t too bad. Also, I thought I’d pick it up fairly easily; after all, I’m a quick study. Then there’s the money.

It’s perfect! The only problem is I absolutely hate it.

I’m no good at it. I admit it.

I knew I’d need a working knowledge of Word, which I thought I had. And I do, as long as I don’t have to take into account that I must edit very complicated embedded tables set to other computers’ specifications, and try one of three thousand eight-hundred and sixty seven possible fixes, none of which work.

But even more telling, I must first see the error I’d never ever, ever EVER notice on my own. See, this line should span three spaces and not four, and that line should be underlined twice, not once. Or something equally trivial but of utmost importance to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This is important work. A mistake on my part could be big trouble for the client, and many mistakes put the account in jeopardy, as it should.

I don’t want that kind of pressure in a part-time gig. I don’t want to have to sit around, like I am today, waiting for others to look at a file and make sure they don’t want to make any changes. I don’t want the pressure that comes with filing deadlines and client peccadilloes.

I just don’t want it.

Why haven’t I quit?

Well, there are parts I’m good at. There was no learning curve for me with dealing with the clients and coordinating jobs with sub-contractors. I’m pretty darn good at it. Most of them have no idea how brand-spanking- new this is for me. I have a great ability to sound like I know exactly what I’m talking about when I do not, and I’m savvy enough to know exactly how far out on a limb I can safely go.

And yeah, I’m pretty smart. I learn quickly, but I wasn’t learning this quickly. So out of my frustration and pride grew an intense desire to tame the beast. To be good at it just because I wanted to be good at it. To conquer it.

Now, after two months of struggling and working around things and arranging to take a Word class (which won’t teach me these complicated fixes anyway) and trying to find a way to make it work I had the same epiphany I had after the last time I tried to learn knitting:

It’s okay not to be good at everything. There’s some things that while valuable, and easy for others, are just not worth the effort it would take me.

I’m wonderful with people, a superb marketer, a great project coordinator, a terrific delegator. I’m creative and innovative and dependable and trustworthy.

No matter how hard we try we just can’t make me fit into this work. I’m okay with that, and truth be told I think she’ll be a little bit relieved. She trusts me, and in this unique circumstance she has to have someone she trusts. But she also needs someone who can see all of the grooves in these very complex holes.

And that ain’t me. Thank you, G-d.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Square Peg in a Round Hole”

  1. Funny about Money Says:

    So, you decided not to fly the coop?

    Hmm. There’s a guy…or maybe a bunch of guys, not clear to me…who created a program that uses Word macros to do a wide variety of editing shortcuts for copyeditors. He appears to be a megaguru of Word. He does a newsletter called Editorium (editorium.com) that he sends out by e-mail. The latest one had this blurb in it:
    ************************
    HELP WANTED

    If you need help with Word, there are actually lots of places to go.
    Some of the best include:

    Allen Wyatt’s WordTips:
    http://WordTips.VitalNews.com

    The Word-PC List:
    http://listserv.liv.ac.uk/archives/word-pc.html

    The McEdit list:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/McEdit/

    Microsoft’s Word discussion groups:
    http://www.microsoft.com/office/community/en-us/FlyoutOverview.mspx#13
    (Look in the lower right of the page.)

    The Word MVP site:
    http://word.mvps.org/

    Woody’s Lounge:
    http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/postlist.pl?Cat=&Board=wrd

    But if you can’t find what you need in those places, send your question
    here:

    mailto:help@editorium.com

    I’ll put your question in the newsletter to see if some astute reader
    knows the answer.
    ***********************************
    This might be the guy to help show you how to do the nightmarish part of this job!

  2. Good Fountain Says:

    I don’t blame you for quitting. I wouldn’t last at a job like that either. Or any job I felt like wasn’t a good fit for me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: