Monday, January 10, 2011

Starting the Blog Year Off Right

"Right" of course being a relative term. Or sarcastic. Take it however you want.


So last Friday there was a short bit of training for the benchmark testing that we're doing tomorrow. It was a little confusing because I'd never done the testing before, but nothing too hard. For me, anyway.

Apparently this is the first year that this testing has been done on the computer - a little surprising, I would have expected things to have been changed over ages ago, but whatever. Again, no big deal. There was a training video that couldn't have been more than three minutes long that explained everything in the absolute lowest terms possible. Totally self-explanatory. A toddler could understand these instructions.

Great. Merciful. Crap.

I about died listening to the questions everyone else was asking. I mean, really, "how do you scroll?"?!?!?!?!?! Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!

Okay, disclaimer: although it may seem otherwise, I do not go around looking for things to be critical of in other people. Is it my fault that some things are so obvious?

Also, I realize I have a bit of a skewed perspective here. My family has had a computer at home since I was a toddler, which was not the norm for even my generation. My whole family (and I'm including extended family) is ridiculously technologically savvy. So I probably hold people to a higher standard than is average. Actually, scratch that. I know I do. We all do. We expect people to be reasonably informed and moderately capable with the technology they are expected to use on a daily basis. But really, is that so much to ask - it's not like I expect everyone to know how to write their own website . . . just how to open a browser and navigate a website! Particularly when you're being told exactly what to click on every step of the way.

Also (again) - I am by far the youngest aide, probably by seven years or more. So . . . yeah. Skewed standard.

Whatever. As I was attempting to recover from my shock at the aforementioned scrolling question the aside was made to me by the only person in that room who will ever read this blog (but who shall remain otherwise unnamed) that at the "real" training at the beginning of the year - this was a refresher course for everyone but me - that one would think these ladies were being asked to perform open heart surgery judging by the horror and drama learning to push a button entailed.

I'm both quite upset and ridiculously glad I missed that training meeting.

So here is my point/rant: Old (relative term!) people are supposed to have a hard time "getting" technology. It's "supposed" to go over their head, or something. Well, guess what? Three of my grandparents are ON FREAKING FACEBOOK! The one who isn't - has a BLOG! Clearly, you can teach an old dog new tricks, assuming the old dog is willing to learn. It's not like they need to be online . . . for, you know, their job or something. So what is up with the people who refuse to learn out of - I can only believe - sheer stubbornness and resistance to change? (side note - I am, of course, making exception for people who don't have the mental capability to learn new technology . . . hopefully that went without saying . . . ) Do some people just want to look helpless/incompetent/unintelligent?

I get the whole not liking change thing . . . to say I'm not a fan of it myself is to GREATLY understate the case. But when you're told that things are changing and there's nothing you can do about it - what's the point in resisting? In throwing a fit about it? If the realities of your job means you have to learn how to use new technology and you have that much of a problem with it, well, you know, there's always Walmart greeting - the quintessentially stereotypical "old person" job. My great-grandma did an awesome job at it (even if she didn't recognize me that one time, lol). And I imagine any technophobe would, since it involves actual human interaction in that elusive mythical state of existence known around the interwebs as RL. (But I bet Grandma Anna would totally be on facebook if she were still here!)

Anyway . . . yeah. I don't get it. But my rage/confusions - ragfusion? - has cooled significantly since last week. This probably would have been a much more interesting blog had I been able to write it a couple of days ago as I'd planned, but a series of obnoxious events prevented it. (Among them Luke being sick - not strep OR mono, and we're MAJORLY glad for that . . . and that he's finally better today, yay, and practicing for a musical number for church next week . . . to which I hope no one wants an invitation because I'd kind of rather pretend it isn't happening. Anyway . . . ) So, ummmm, anyway -

Old people: Not as incompetent as they'd like you to think they are.

(Okay, one parting question I have to ask - how can one brag about regularly skyping with one's grandson who lives cross-country if one does not know what a scroll button is? Perhaps Skype doesn't have scroll buttons . . . I wouldn't know, I've never used it. But still . . . how do I scroll? I may never get over that one.)

P. ost S. cript
I will never look at Darth Vader the same way again. It's a good thing George Lucas got this right!


  1. Is this the Star Test? If so, I believe there is no scrolling necessary...

  2. I've sprained an eyeball many a time listening to her. I've actually taken to putting my headphones in any time I'm at my desk trying to work so she won't keep talking to me (I don't always turn on music or anything....I just have them in so if I don't respond to her, she thinks it's because I didn't hear her and not because if I have to respond to her drama one more time I might hide under my desk and weep.)

  3. They do realize that pencils, at one time, were the latest technology available- right?

  4. Right?! I can't help but wonder what it must have been like when things were switched from chalk boards to white boards . . . maybe even from slates to notebooks . . . :-)

  5. The switch from the Abacus to the Slide Rule must also have taken a lot of getting used to.

  6. Bwahahaha!!! Am dying laughing right now... Just read this to my husband and we both have our guesses as to the anti-scroller! Love it!!!!

    Also- the repentance story? Starts with an S, ends with an "I am adorable and know it, so I will monopolize every second of your time with my silly/weird/random comments if you'll let me".... Yep, exactly who you're thinking....