Excel Excellency

My class started today!

Well…I guess I can hardly call it a class, really. There are lessons that you read through and take notes on. There are quizzes at the end of each lesson, that don’t count for anything. There are assignments, that you don’t turn in. All in all I’m sort of wondering what it is that I paid $70 for.

Granted, there is a final exam that you have to pass in order to get your letter of completion. And in order to pass the exam it is likely that you’d have to have a good understanding of the program and have completed the lessons. I just sort of wish that the quizzes and such were taken into account. It would make me feel like I’m not wasting my time and money on this…

There are other classes I want to take, though. And I think for those you actually have to turn things in and all that. I’ll see how this goes. I’ve never taken an online class before. It’s nice to be able to get up whenever and log in on the day that the lesson comes out and slowly peruse the notes. Rather than waking up 10 minutes before class when you live 20 minutes away and running half naked to your car so you can can get in a fight with someone about parking because there is simply never anywhere to park on college campuses…

There is even a discussion area, so that’s kind of cool. Although most of the people in the course seem like they were lucky to even turn the computer on, I’m sure they’re very nice.

The first lesson in computer courses always makes me laugh.

To open Microsoft Excel 2010 click on your start tab in the bottom right corner. Choose All Programs and go to the Office Suite. Choose Excel.

Once you open Excel you will need to maximize the worksheet window to fill the screen. Click the maximize button in the top right corner.

I mean come ooooon.

It’s better than the Intro to Computers class I took in college, though.

To turn on your computer push the start button. If nothing happens, make sure it is plugged in…

Really? I know that this definitely would have been useful to adults when I was a kid. Because when I was a kid MSDOS made it’s major debut. Of course the computer class would have been more like:

To start the program, insert the floppy disk into the giant-ass tower. Then enter a whole bunch of code to open it. Now you can play Oregon Trail.

But I feel like most adults, regardless of age, at least know what a keyboard is and how to use a mouse. They probably know how to minimize and maximize windows. My 89 year old grandfather is perfectly capable of emailing, Facebooking, and so on. Of course he sort of helped to invent the computer at IBM all those years ago when they were the size of a house and the idea that you could ever have a computer in your house was entirely ludicrous.

Still. If he can figure it out, anyone else younger than him should be able to get a handle on it pretty quickly.

This will certainly be an experience. And at the end of it all at least I will have an actual piece of paper telling employers that I know how to use Excel. It’s one thing to say it, but a nice shiny piece of paper makes all the difference in the world to people.

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iNsane iCare

So, when I start volunteering with the YWCA I will be working with their newly implemented database system, called iCare. Katherine, the program director, told me she wanted me to go through the tutorials offered by the company and learn a bit about the software.

And, frankly, I can’t decide whether the program is really complicated. Or if the Indian man explaining everything in the tutorials makes it seem complicated. I have the urge to write them an email outlining how they need to go about using these tutorial videos.

For instance:

  • One of the most important things a company looks for in an employee who interacts with the public is the ability to speak clearly. This man can barely pronounce the simplest of words and tends to run everything together.
  • His explanations are completely disjointed. Instead of starting at the beginning he jumps around the program, hardly ever explaining what it is that he is doing.
  • He moves way too quickly. He never spends more than a few seconds on a topic. And when he actually does show you what to do on the screen, he moves through it like crazy.
  • He stops in the middle of sentences frequently. And when he starts back up it tends to be in a different place all together.
  • I left each tutorial completely unsure of whether or not I actually knew what I had learned.

The program itself looks like a combination of Excel and the program I used to use at work called SMB Pro. So nothing too alien to me. I just really hope that it’s as user friendly as they claim that it is.

Judging by the videos and the man they chose to be their representative…I’m not overly positive of the outcome.

But! The key here is to stay confident and positive. I’m sure that I can learn everything pretty quickly.

This should be a good starter “job” for me. One of the main things that kept me at my previous job for so long, aside from the money, was the fact that I knew what I was doing. I was familiar with my surroundings, my employees, my expectations, my daily activities. I had the same schedule every week, for the most part. It got boring, yes. But there was a level of comfort that was nice to have.

Starting all over is a little scary. A little stressful. A little nerve-racking.

I’m hoping that starting off with something like a volunteer position will help me get used to the idea of having to learn new things and start at the bottom of the work food chain.

So, here’s to all that. And..,I might just write that email up now…iCare clearly needs someone to tell them they’re doing it wrong.