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Clerks (administration workers) and documents

Last post 06-08-2012 9:35 PM by swiers. 197 replies.
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  • 05-31-2012 3:56 AM

    Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    I'm having a conversation with a lawyer, probably, and he sent me a .doc with a contract for me to sign, and once again, as always in these cases, it comes to my mind how those people can say they're qualified for that work. I've never seen a text document in my life made by administration worker, that wouldn't be completely fucked up. These people have no idea of basic formatting (text align, automatic page numbering, header and footer, how to properly do whitespace between paragraph) and they do everything manually (spaces, enters, etc...), so when i try to e.g. convert the document to pdf, it gets completely fucked up. These people basically didn't ever get beyond the concept of typewriter. I've even seen several documents where right alignment of text was done by SPACING OUT the line so the text was on the right border of the page.

    I mean... i know, they've got many other things they have to know and take care about, but so do I, and if i had their attitude, i'd be like "yeah, i know all these languages and technologies, but i've never used any IDE beyond notepad in my life and i don't care, it's enough for me", and i'd NEVER EVER get any job. And for these people, Word is one of a few of their BASIC tools, they spend anywhere between 20 and 60% of their time in it, yet they don't have an idea of how to use the most basic functions, AND YET, they can get away with saying they're qualified for their job. I mean, what the hell? How come nobody who hires those people cares? How come nobody ever even thinks about it? How is it even possible that these people never stop and think "jeez, this thing has so many buttons and menu items, i wonder whether they're there to make formatting text easier, more elegant and elaborate? It's a computer, it can do lots of smart things, i wonder whether they've come up with a better method to right-align text since the typewriter age 25 years ago?"
    This is not the signature you are looking for
  • 05-31-2012 4:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    I've even seen several documents where right alignment of text was done by SPACING OUT the line so the text was on the right border of the page.

    I've seen web sites where a similar method was used to right-"align" images.

    But basically, your complaint boils down to, "Computers should not have replaced secretaries."

  • 05-31-2012 6:10 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    Gurth:
    But basically, your complaint boils down to, "Computers should not have replaced secretaries."
    no, my complaint boils down to "people should know how to use at least basic functionality of their main working tools if they are paid for just that"
    This is not the signature you are looking for
  • 05-31-2012 6:38 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

     I almost got fired a few years back because I had this argument with two managers and an administrative employee about "helping" her with some Excel formulas. At the time I was working as a sysadmin providing technical support and even thought I consider my self a power user of spreadsheet software, I totally refused doing it because it was such a simple task for a person who works with this tool 90% of her time. At the end I convienced the two managers that there was something wrong (HR, management) when people who should have this kind of knowledge was getting hired and they didn't even know how to "merge cells".

  • 05-31-2012 6:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    Rest assured that this issue is not limited to governments. I have seen equally bad documents when I was in school. And I am still seeing them.
  • 05-31-2012 6:48 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

     You are right, i have worked with a number of lawyers and they are the few people/organisations i have met that actually use all of word features correctly.  They need to produce a good manageable document in legal format as part of a basic work-flow.

     


  • 05-31-2012 6:50 AM In reply to

    • TheRider
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-01-2005
    • Zurich, Switzerland
    • Posts 351

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    I remember a former neighbor of mine who bought a computer "to manage his letters", as he said. When, one day, he showed me his computer to fix some unrelated problem, I noticed what his letter management consisted of: He wrote his letters by hand on letterhead paper, then used a scanner to digitize them (into .jpgs, of course), and them sorted his letter-scans into folders on the desktop. When I asked him about the usefulness of his proceedings, he said, this way he still had an archive of his letters in case they burnt down in a fire.

    Then I proceeded to suggest he could also use the computer to *type* the letters, instead of *scan* the hand-written letters. I was met with a blank stare.

    CodeNinja

    I'm starting to think our management is really a bunch of cats and someone standing nearby has a freaking laser pointer.
  • 05-31-2012 7:05 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    And for these people, Word is one of a few of their BASIC tools, they spend anywhere between 20 and 60% of their time in it, yet they don't have an idea of how to use the most basic functions, AND YET, they can get away with saying they're qualified for their job.
    Well, you could have your legal documents drafted by a secretary instead of a lawyer, but I'd advise against it.

    It's the same reason why they don't (or shouldn't) let developers talk to customers.

  • 05-31-2012 7:13 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    Severity One:
    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    And for these people, Word is one of a few of their BASIC tools, they spend anywhere between 20 and 60% of their time in it, yet they don't have an idea of how to use the most basic functions, AND YET, they can get away with saying they're qualified for their job.

    Well, you could have your legal documents drafted by a secretary instead of a lawyer, but I'd advise against it.

    It's the same reason why they don't (or shouldn't) let developers talk to customers.

    Your thought process seems backwards. Obviously, the lawyer's job is to create the content of the document, but shouldn't you use a lower cost source of labor (e.g., a secretary) to handle the formatting and junk?
    I denounce myself for this post
  • 05-31-2012 7:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    I taught an admin worker how to cut and paste. I had found her reading data from one spreadsheet and typing it into another. This was in the public sector so we're talking taxpayers' money here. What really makes me shudder is the thought that she might have sat through my showing her, thought "hmm, looks kinda high-falutin'" and gone back to her original method.
    All this time I thought they were cheering for me, but they were actually cheering at me.
  • 05-31-2012 7:52 AM In reply to

    • TheRider
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-01-2005
    • Zurich, Switzerland
    • Posts 351

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    boomzilla:
    Severity One:
    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    And for these people, Word is one of a few of their BASIC tools, they spend anywhere between 20 and 60% of their time in it, yet they don't have an idea of how to use the most basic functions, AND YET, they can get away with saying they're qualified for their job.

    Well, you could have your legal documents drafted by a secretary instead of a lawyer, but I'd advise against it.

    It's the same reason why they don't (or shouldn't) let developers talk to customers.

    Your thought process seems backwards. Obviously, the lawyer's job is to create the content of the document, but shouldn't you use a lower cost source of labor (e.g., a secretary) to handle the formatting and junk?
    You mean, someone like a lowly IT specialist, such as the OP?
    CodeNinja

    I'm starting to think our management is really a bunch of cats and someone standing nearby has a freaking laser pointer.
  • 05-31-2012 7:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    token_woman:
    I taught an admin worker how to cut and paste. I had found her reading data from one spreadsheet and typing it into another. This was in the public sector so we're talking taxpayers' money here. What really makes me shudder is the thought that she might have sat through my showing her, thought "hmm, looks kinda high-falutin'" and gone back to her original method.
    Yeah, most computing technology just goes right over the heads of chicks.
    I denounce myself for this post
  • 05-31-2012 8:00 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    boomzilla:
    Severity One:
    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    And for these people, Word is one of a few of their BASIC tools, they spend anywhere between 20 and 60% of their time in it, yet they don't have an idea of how to use the most basic functions, AND YET, they can get away with saying they're qualified for their job.

    Well, you could have your legal documents drafted by a secretary instead of a lawyer, but I'd advise against it.

    It's the same reason why they don't (or shouldn't) let developers talk to customers.

    Your thought process seems backwards. Obviously, the lawyer's job is to create the content of the document, but shouldn't you use a lower cost source of labor (e.g., a secretary) to do the junk formatting?
    FTFY
    This is not the signature you are looking for
  • 05-31-2012 8:12 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    boomzilla:
     

    maybe.


    In complex analysis, a meromorphic function on an open subset D of the complex plane is a function that is holomorphic on all D except a set of isolated points

  • 05-31-2012 8:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    but i've never used any IDE beyond notepad in my life and i don't care, it's enough for me", and i'd NEVER EVER get any job.

    I don't see what's wrong with that. I've been using vim for the last ten years or so and never had trouble getting good jobs.
  • 05-31-2012 8:29 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:

    And for these people, Word is one of a few of their BASIC tools, they spend anywhere between 20 and 60% of their time in it, yet they don't have an idea of how to use the most basic functions, AND YET, they can get away with saying they're qualified for their job.

    The same goes for a lot of IT people I've met. And I'm also talking about developers, coders, programmers or whatever you are calling it.

    Hands up if you work most of your day at a keyboard but never bothered to learn touch typing.

     

  • 05-31-2012 8:31 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    All this time I thought they were cheering for me, but they were actually cheering at me.
  • 05-31-2012 8:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    token_woman:
    I taught an admin worker how to cut and paste. I had found her reading data from one spreadsheet and typing it into another. This was in the public sector so we're talking taxpayers' money here. What really makes me shudder is the thought that she might have sat through my showing her, thought "hmm, looks kinda high-falutin'" and gone back to her original method.
     

    But you can't trust these computer things to not make mistakes. They're not perfect, or we wouldn't need people like you to fix them all the time. If you don't do a job yourself, it isn't done right. I mean, next you'll try to tell me the computer should be allowed to add these numbers up itself right?

    (Though, I do suppose I can see how anyone whose tried to copy/paste Date data in Excel might be forever put off of that feature...)

     


    HardwareGeek:

    <blink> and you're dead!



    "Where is grumpy cat?"
    - Mozilla's MOST ADVANCED USER!
  • 05-31-2012 8:45 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    Gurth:
    I've seen web sites where a similar method was used to right-"align" images.
     

    I'm still seeing this type of "spacing" in my company's code:

    Indented for your sanity:


    <p>
       <br />
       &nbsp;&nbsp;
       <font class="BoldGreen18">I'm padded text</font>
       &nbsp;&nbsp;
       <br/>
    </p>

    So they did manage to use SOME css in the form of "BoldGreen18". Guess how that font tag (yes, FONT tag) renders. Here's a hint, it isn't font-weight:bold, color:Green or font-size:18px.


    HardwareGeek:

    <blink> and you're dead!



    "Where is grumpy cat?"
    - Mozilla's MOST ADVANCED USER!
  • 05-31-2012 8:54 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    Years ago (at a time when companies still had secretaries, and they actually typed up documents for you - which is a WTF in itself. Send in hand written notes, get back typed text, proof read, rinse, repeat multiple times) the company I was working at had a couple of pool cars that you reserved by filling out an entry in a physical diary that was kept at the receptionists desk. There was a minor change in the booking policy and in order to advertise the changes one of the secretaries photocopied the memo 50 or so times (one for each employee) and manually inserted it into their personal, internal mail slots.

    This took a significant amount of manual labor to do, and was also a waste of time as no more than a handful of employees actually needed to use the pool cars. I pointed out to the secretary that all she needed to have done was to attach a single copy of the memo to the front of the booking diary (which was also a WTF that the diary didn't get a copy of the memo in the first place). After that little discussion it took about 6 or 8 months before I started getting company wide memos in my mail slot again. Apparently the secretary didn't like the simple solution pointed out to her and took her revenge on me in the only way she could.

    This showed me that there are severe limits to how much effort people will put into thinking about how they do their job. They'd rather take the manually intensive long way than exploring the more intelligent simple way. I'm not sure why this is, but it is possible that it is due to a lack of curiosity - or curiosity focussed in a narrow viewpoint. Thus lawyers (who are pretty intelligent in their own field) don't have the curiosity to understand to follow up on how MS Word can help them, but computer professionals (again intelligent in their own field) may not be doing tasks from other fields optimally because learning about that other field isn't interesting to them (although I'd say that to be successful in computers you need to have an over abundance of curiosity in all things).
  • 05-31-2012 8:57 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    ochrist:
    Hands up if you work most of your day at a keyboard but never bothered to learn touch typing.
    my hands are up. i never bothered to learn touch typing, because:
    a) i learned very quickly to type with my "custom" method at the same speed (and even with my eyes closed) that e.g. even my sister who was learning the "correct" touch typing for about 2 years is a few WPM slower than me
    b) i hate using english keyboard layout and all the "weird characters" that only us, "weird IT people" use are on very user-unfriendly places on our national keyboard, you have to completely change position at least of one of your hands each time you use <> or [ or {}, so touch typing might even slow me down (didn't test it though)
    c) the special characters tend to change places from keyboard to keyboard, so fuck the prescribed "correct" method, i'll let my brain work it out for itself, so far, it has managed to adjust my custom method pretty quickly each time i changed notebook/keyboard
    d) i rarely work in a position that most people would consider normal, and the required position of hands for touch typing would hurt my wrists
    e) i generally don't like/see the point in adhering to arbitrary rules that try to globally establish something i see as a matter of personal choice while having no benefits over my method of choice.
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  • 05-31-2012 9:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    OzPeter:
    This showed me that there are severe limits to how much effort people will put into thinking about how they do their job. They'd rather take the manually intensive long way than exploring the more intelligent simple way. I'm not sure why this is, but it is possible that it is due to a lack of curiosity - or curiosity focussed in a narrow viewpoint.
    i always had a theory that the thing which distinguishes programmers from non-programmers is their level of curiosity, and their distribution of effort - programmers prefer investing effort into thinking how to make the process/work itself as effortless as possible, while "other people" prefer not thinking when they don't have to, so they tend to invest the effort into the inneffective method. the amout of effort required might actually be the same (or larger for programmers, even) when it's a one-time process, but in the long run, with enough repetitions, we win.
    This is not the signature you are looking for
  • 05-31-2012 9:27 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

     Here's a few things I've seen recently, this from people who use computers constantly for work:

    •  Asked for a list of tweets to choose from for a company project, got said list inside a word document attached to my original email request. Not sure why they couldn't just be typed into the email (where the original example was) as the list only came from one person and wasn't a shared file or anything.
    • Images inside word documents attached to an email. This pretty much happens with about 50% of the requests for screenshots.
    • My sister, who uses Excel on a daily basis working in an accounts dept needed me to create a small invite for her wedding. She found someone on a Google image search that was close to what she wanted. Now how would you go about showing me that image? She ended up pasting the thumbnail from the results page into an Excel document and attaching that to an email. When I asked her about it, she told me it's because she knew how to use Excel.
  • 05-31-2012 9:48 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    I'm having a conversation with a lawyer...

    ...AND YET, they can get away with saying they're qualified for their job.

    Presumably because their job is being a lawyer, and not being a secretary.

    TRWTF is them not having a skilled secretary to proof-read and format the document content, but presuming they can do it themselves more cheaply and without any proper training. Obv not.

    Severity One:
    It's the same reason why they don't (or shouldn't) let developers talk to customers.

    Not sure if serious....

    ochrist:
    Hands up if you work most of your day at a keyboard but never bothered to learn touch typing.

    Aye, although coming from a *nix background I can tryp a lot of stuff without rerrors. Someone argued that it is touch-typing, but it's not up to the speed of secretaries turning keyboards into woodpeckers. 

     

  • 05-31-2012 9:56 AM In reply to

    • PJH
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-14-2007
    • Newcastle, UK
    • Posts 3,906

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    you have to completely change position at least of one of your hands each time you use <> or [] or {},
    Have you tried using a QWERTY or Programmers-Dvorak keyboard instead?
    "Because you watched 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar,' we recommend 'The Human Centipede.'"
    --
    UED - Countryside: To kill Piers Morgan
  • Parp!
  • 05-31-2012 9:59 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    Cassidy:

    Severity One:
    It's the same reason why they don't (or shouldn't) let developers talk to customers.

    Not sure if serious....

     

    Fuck clients.

     


    In complex analysis, a meromorphic function on an open subset D of the complex plane is a function that is holomorphic on all D except a set of isolated points

  • 05-31-2012 10:01 AM In reply to

    • emurphy
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-14-2005
    • Granada Hills, CA
    • Posts 576

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    ASheridan:
    Images inside word documents attached to an email. This pretty much happens with about 50% of the requests for screenshots.

     

    I actually suggest this to anyone who has to ask how to send screenshots, on account of anticipating "I don't know how to open/paste/save in Paint, I only know how to open/paste/save in Word".  (Next up, Grover attempts to count apples and oranges...)

     


  • 05-31-2012 10:04 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    b) i hate using english keyboard layout and all the "weird characters" that only us, "weird IT people" use are on very user-unfriendly places on our national keyboard, you have to completely change position at least of one of your hands each time you use <> or [ or {}, so touch typing might even slow me down (didn't test it though)

    I use a national keyboard, and although it's slightly annoying, I don't really have to change the position of any of my hands when typing those characters (but it really depends on how often you use those characters).

    One further thing that surprises me is people that don't try to memorize at least a few keyboard shortcuts (like ctrl-c etc. but also keys like Home and End). Many people, when editing a document, remove their hands (or at least one of them) from the keyboard and uses the mouse to copy/paste or whatever, when most simple editing operations can be done by using navigation keys like Home or End or Ctrl + right arrow and then selecting using the shift key.

     

  • 05-31-2012 10:06 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    spamcourt:
    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    but i've never used any IDE beyond notepad in my life and i don't care, it's enough for me", and i'd NEVER EVER get any job.

    I don't see what's wrong with that. I've been using vim for the last ten years or so and never had trouble getting good jobs.
    I'm 99.9% sure you're joking, but the sad part is that if this thread was on Slashdot, you'd get replies like that that were dead-serious.

    And hell, even Boomzilla here on this very forum has never bothered to try out Visual Studio, so don't get too pissy over the administrative assistants before you look in your own backyard. A lot of people, a scary-large amount of people, have absolutely zero intellectual curiosity, is what it boils down to.

    (And some people have way too much intellectual curiosity, that also seems to be a danger.)

      <-  I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.
  • 05-31-2012 10:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    blakeyrat:
    And hell, even Boomzilla here on this very forum has never bothered to try out Visual Studio, so don't get too pissy over the administrative assistants before you look in your own backyard. A lot of people, a scary-large amount of people, have absolutely zero intellectual curiosity, is what it boils down to.
    I'm pretty sure I never said that (not that I expect reality to intrude on your assertions). It's been a few years since I've had any reason to use it, but that was for C++, not .Net, which was what my earlier question was about (and also more about how people configure things than ins and outs of VS). Last time I had to do anything .Net related (probably about 7 or 8 years ago), I used SharpDevelop.
    I denounce myself for this post
  • 05-31-2012 10:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    Gurth:
    "Computers should not have replaced secretaries."
    Hear, hear! When a computer can pour me another scotch while giving me a handjo--and still manage to keep my wife from getting through to my extension--then we'll talk.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-31-2012 10:30 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    Cassidy:

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    I'm having a conversation with a lawyer...

    ...AND YET, they can get away with saying they're qualified for their job.

    Presumably because their job is being a lawyer, and not being a secretary.

    i should have probably stated, that:
    1. i'm not sure of which specific position the person works in, he may have a lawyer's education and title, but do more of an administrative work, writing contracts and passing them around and nothing more.he may even be an ordinary "secretary", or "PR person" 2. i'm not a native english speaker and my vocabulary in these specific areas is kind of lacking, i was unsure of which word to use so i used few of them (secretary, clerk, administration worker, lawyer) somewhat loosely and interchangeably.

    the one thing i AM sure about, though, is that job of this person largely consists of communicating in the form of documents as these (contracts, reports, official letters) with third party companies, individuals and various parts of government.

    even if i were completely wrong in this specific case, there are countless instances where this principle applies and my complaint is valid.
    This is not the signature you are looking for
  • 05-31-2012 10:35 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    spamcourt:
    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    but i've never used any IDE beyond notepad in my life and i don't care, it's enough for me", and i'd NEVER EVER get any job.

    I don't see what's wrong with that. I've been using vim for the last ten years or so and never had trouble getting good jobs.
    Agreed. I've had people trying to push Eclipse on me (they're actually trying at my current job) and I was just like "No." I will tear the building down brick-by-brick before I use Eclipse full-time. Or, better, I'll just find another job or complain to the C-levels who brought me in.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-31-2012 10:37 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    ochrist:
    The same goes for a lot of IT people I've met. And I'm also talking about developers, coders, programmers or whatever you are calling it.
    Hmm.. there should be a site where people can vent about real-life developers and IT people who don't know the first thing about their chosen profession.

    ochrist:
    Hands up if you work most of your day at a keyboard but never bothered to learn touch typing.
    Not only that, but I can type this with my hand still up! Yes, yes, I have a lot of experience touch-typing with one-handed.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-31-2012 10:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    OzPeter:
    Years ago (at a time when companies still had secretaries, and they actually typed up documents for you - which is a WTF in itself. Send in hand written notes, get back typed text, proof read, rinse, repeat multiple times) the company I was working at had a couple of pool cars that you reserved by filling out an entry in a physical diary that was kept at the receptionists desk. There was a minor change in the booking policy and in order to advertise the changes one of the secretaries photocopied the memo 50 or so times (one for each employee) and manually inserted it into their personal, internal mail slots.

    This took a significant amount of manual labor to do, and was also a waste of time as no more than a handful of employees actually needed to use the pool cars. I pointed out to the secretary that all she needed to have done was to attach a single copy of the memo to the front of the booking diary (which was also a WTF that the diary didn't get a copy of the memo in the first place). After that little discussion it took about 6 or 8 months before I started getting company wide memos in my mail slot again. Apparently the secretary didn't like the simple solution pointed out to her and took her revenge on me in the only way she could.

    This showed me that there are severe limits to how much effort people will put into thinking about how they do their job. They'd rather take the manually intensive long way than exploring the more intelligent simple way. I'm not sure why this is, but it is possible that it is due to a lack of curiosity - or curiosity focussed in a narrow viewpoint. Thus lawyers (who are pretty intelligent in their own field) don't have the curiosity to understand to follow up on how MS Word can help them, but computer professionals (again intelligent in their own field) may not be doing tasks from other fields optimally because learning about that other field isn't interesting to them (although I'd say that to be successful in computers you need to have an over abundance of curiosity in all things).
    Yes, curse those lazy secretaries who don't have a healthy curiosity regarding the distribution of memos! How could they possibly find this work tedious and prefer to spend every waking moment daydreaming about strangling the obnoxious twerp who keeps offering condescending suggestions?

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-31-2012 10:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    jeez, this thing has so many buttons and menu items, i wonder whether they're there to make formatting text easier, more elegant and elaborate?
    When I was at college, I thought of that. On my course, we were forced to do a 2-hour-a-week session basically doing stuff on Word and Excel. One week, we were doing alignments, margins, you know.... standard "there's buttons for that in Word" kinda stuff. The worksheet that we had to follow (again, by force) actually told us to do left margins by pressing space at the start of each and every line, and pressing return at the end of each line.

    I took initiative, and used the actual features in Word to move the margins inwards. I was then told to do it again using the way we had been told - even though I pointed out that the worksheet was Doing It Wrong!!!

    In a similar vein, I've lost count the amount of CV's I've seen for people that claim to be able to use Word who can't even use tabs (let alone - $deity forbid - tables) to keep a couple of lines & columns straight, and use random amounts of spaces on each line (then wonder why it's all wiggly on someone else's machine)
    I'll get you next time Gadget... Next time!!!!
  • 05-31-2012 10:45 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    ASheridan:
    Asked for a list of tweets to choose from for a company project, got said list inside a word document attached to my original email request. Not sure why they couldn't just be typed into the email (where the original example was) as the list only came from one person and wasn't a shared file or anything.
    Somebody sent you a list in an attachment instead of inline? Who gives a fuck? I cannot believe you wasted the few minutes it took to hunt-and-peck this out. On the other hand, it did keep you away from doing any technological harm for a few minutes, so I guess that's a plus.

    ASheridan:
  • Images inside word documents attached to an email. This pretty much happens with about 50% of the requests for screenshots.
  • My sister, who uses Excel on a daily basis working in an accounts dept needed me to create a small invite for her wedding. She found someone on a Google image search that was close to what she wanted. Now how would you go about showing me that image? She ended up pasting the thumbnail from the results page into an Excel document and attaching that to an email. When I asked her about it, she told me it's because she knew how to use Excel
  • Hmm.. it's almost like the UIs for mail clients and image manipulation fucking suck, so people prefer to use a UI they are familiar with to work with images; namely Word or Excel.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-31-2012 10:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    OzPeter:
    This showed me that there are severe limits to how much effort people will put into thinking about how they do their job. They'd rather take the manually intensive long way than exploring the more intelligent simple way. I'm not sure why this is, but it is possible that it is due to a lack of curiosity - or curiosity focussed in a narrow viewpoint.
    i always had a theory that the thing which distinguishes programmers from non-programmers is their level of curiosity, and their distribution of effort - programmers prefer investing effort into thinking how to make the process/work itself as effortless as possible, while "other people" prefer not thinking when they don't have to, so they tend to invest the effort into the inneffective method. the amout of effort required might actually be the same (or larger for programmers, even) when it's a one-time process, but in the long run, with enough repetitions, we win.
    I have a theory that what separates programmers from non-programmers is a completely undeserved sense of intellectual superiority.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-31-2012 10:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    Cassidy:

    Severity One:
    It's the same reason why they don't (or shouldn't) let developers talk to customers.

    Not sure if serious....

    Probably serious. Many organizations keep developers from talking to customers because they think developers lack social skills, which is true in many cases. However, those organizations turn out crappy software and probably should just hire non-aspie developers in the first place. (Those same developers take a perverse sense of pride in their inability to relate to their users; after all, it's more important that they micro-optimize their code than putting any effort into making usable UIs. Those developers tend to be awful and I usually try to fire them when I take over a department.)

    Cassidy:
    Aye, although coming from a *nix background I can tryp a lot of stuff without rerrors. Someone argued that it is touch-typing, but it's not up to the speed of secretaries turning keyboards into woodpeckers.
    Do your hands rest on home row? Do you type by moving your fingers to-and-from home row without looking at the keyboard? That's touch typing. It has nothing to do with how fast you type.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-31-2012 10:53 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    blakeyrat:
    spamcourt:
    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    but i've never used any IDE beyond notepad in my life and i don't care, it's enough for me", and i'd NEVER EVER get any job.

    I don't see what's wrong with that. I've been using vim for the last ten years or so and never had trouble getting good jobs.
    I'm 99.9% sure you're joking, but the sad part is that if this thread was on Slashdot, you'd get replies like that that were dead-serious.

    And hell, even Boomzilla here on this very forum has never bothered to try out Visual Studio, so don't get too pissy over the administrative assistants before you look in your own backyard. A lot of people, a scary-large amount of people, have absolutely zero intellectual curiosity, is what it boils down to.

    (And some people have way too much intellectual curiosity, that also seems to be a danger.)

    Eh, I have very little use for an IDE. Then again, remember that I work in the Unix ecosystem, where Eclipse is the IDE par excellence.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-31-2012 11:14 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    dhromed:
    Fuck clients.

    There's "romancing the customer" and there's going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the deal is closed.

    I can only bow to your passion and enthusiasm for keeping clients on-side, Sir.

  • 05-31-2012 11:30 AM In reply to

    • ekolis
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-09-2008
    • Cincinnati, OH, USA
    • Posts 600

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    OzPeter:
    Years ago (at a time when companies still had secretaries, and they actually typed up documents for you - which is a WTF in itself. Send in hand written notes, get back typed text, proof read, rinse, repeat multiple times) the company I was working at had a couple of pool cars that you reserved by filling out an entry in a physical diary that was kept at the receptionists desk. There was a minor change in the booking policy and in order to advertise the changes one of the secretaries photocopied the memo 50 or so times (one for each employee) and manually inserted it into their personal, internal mail slots.

    This took a significant amount of manual labor to do, and was also a waste of time as no more than a handful of employees actually needed to use the pool cars. I pointed out to the secretary that all she needed to have done was to attach a single copy of the memo to the front of the booking diary (which was also a WTF that the diary didn't get a copy of the memo in the first place). After that little discussion it took about 6 or 8 months before I started getting company wide memos in my mail slot again. Apparently the secretary didn't like the simple solution pointed out to her and took her revenge on me in the only way she could.
    Perhaps she was trying to justify her continued employment? :)
    I'm Spark Mandrill, and I'll... hey... can I... what, it BOUNCES?... 'kay, I'm splodin' now.
  • 05-31-2012 11:46 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    morbiuswilters:
    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    OzPeter:
    This showed me that there are severe limits to how much effort people will put into thinking about how they do their job. They'd rather take the manually intensive long way than exploring the more intelligent simple way. I'm not sure why this is, but it is possible that it is due to a lack of curiosity - or curiosity focussed in a narrow viewpoint.
    i always had a theory that the thing which distinguishes programmers from non-programmers is their level of curiosity, and their distribution of effort - programmers prefer investing effort into thinking how to make the process/work itself as effortless as possible, while "other people" prefer not thinking when they don't have to, so they tend to invest the effort into the inneffective method. the amout of effort required might actually be the same (or larger for programmers, even) when it's a one-time process, but in the long run, with enough repetitions, we win.
    I have a theory that what separates programmers from non-programmers is a completely undeserved sense of intellectual superiority.
    yeah, i forgot about that one, thanks
    This is not the signature you are looking for
  • 05-31-2012 11:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    ekolis:
    OzPeter:
    Years ago (at a time when companies still had secretaries, and they actually typed up documents for you - which is a WTF in itself. Send in hand written notes, get back typed text, proof read, rinse, repeat multiple times) the company I was working at had a couple of pool cars that you reserved by filling out an entry in a physical diary that was kept at the receptionists desk. There was a minor change in the booking policy and in order to advertise the changes one of the secretaries photocopied the memo 50 or so times (one for each employee) and manually inserted it into their personal, internal mail slots.

    This took a significant amount of manual labor to do, and was also a waste of time as no more than a handful of employees actually needed to use the pool cars. I pointed out to the secretary that all she needed to have done was to attach a single copy of the memo to the front of the booking diary (which was also a WTF that the diary didn't get a copy of the memo in the first place). After that little discussion it took about 6 or 8 months before I started getting company wide memos in my mail slot again. Apparently the secretary didn't like the simple solution pointed out to her and took her revenge on me in the only way she could.
    Perhaps she was trying to justify her continued employment? :)
     

    Perhaps a high-ranking (then OzPeter) prima donna asked specifically to put her memos in each employee slot and did not care how cost effective it was/was not... particularly if she wears short skirts..

  • 05-31-2012 11:52 AM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    morbiuswilters:
    Agreed. I've had people trying to push Eclipse on me (they're actually trying at my current job) and I was just like "No." I will tear the building down brick-by-brick before I use Eclipse full-time. Or, better, I'll just find another job or complain to the C-levels who brought me in.
    agreed. NetBeans FTW. not ideal, but much better than eclipse.
    This is not the signature you are looking for
  • 05-31-2012 12:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    morbiuswilters:
    Agreed. I've had people trying to push Eclipse on me (they're actually trying at my current job) and I was just like "No." I will tear the building down brick-by-brick before I use Eclipse full-time. Or, better, I'll just find another job or complain to the C-levels who brought me in.
    agreed. NetBeans FTW. not ideal, but much better than eclipse.
    The last time I tried to use NetBeans it took over 10 seconds for most dialogs to open. Select a file to open? 10 seconds to load it into the editor. And forget about smooth scrolling; it was like trying to steer an 80s Buick while drunk.

    I thought it had to be something wrong with the machine I was on, but it happened on every single machine*. After searching around, I discovered that NB was just a pile of shit. Of course, this was 2002 or so, so it's probably somewhat better now.


    * This is when I realized Java was a mistake.

    Let the healing begin!

  • I may not agree with everything Morbs just said, but he expresses himself in a way that is dignified, respectful, polite and non-threatening!
  • 05-31-2012 12:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    morbiuswilters:
    I thought it had to be something wrong with the machine I was on, but it happened on every single machine*. After searching around, I discovered that NB was just a pile of shit. Of course, this was 2002 or so, so it's probably somewhat better now.
    Last time I tried to use Netbeans, it used the wrong user folder to store its temp files, and also it couldn't display 14-point font correctly.
      <-  I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.
  • 05-31-2012 1:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    morbiuswilters:
    The last time I tried to use NetBeans it took over 10 seconds for most dialogs to open. Select a file to open? 10 seconds to load it into the editor. And forget about smooth scrolling; it was like trying to steer an 80s Buick while drunk.

    I thought it had to be something wrong with the machine I was on, but it happened on every single machine*. After searching around, I discovered that NB was just a pile of shit. Of course, this was 2002 or so, so it's probably somewhat better now.
    i didn't use NB in 2002, but from what i see now, they must've done some heavy optimizations. app startup takes only about half a minute, so that's just java average, and loading a project takes about another half a minute, but most of the dialog windows open in about 5-6 seconds, so there's definitely a huge improvement... in today's computing power, at least.

    still better than eclipse, at least it has some relatively decent UI, not some custom* crap that looks and feels like a 6 year old's crayon drawing.



    *i mean more custom than standard non-custom java custom UI
    This is not the signature you are looking for
  • 05-31-2012 1:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    blakeyrat:
    and also it couldn't display 14-point font correctly.
    i'm pretty sure that's not NB (or even java)-specific issue, some font sizes just look strange on some LCD displays, something to do with DPI and stuff, i guess.
    This is not the signature you are looking for
  • 05-31-2012 1:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Clerks (administration workers) and documents

    SEMI-HYBRID code:
    blakeyrat:
    and also it couldn't display 14-point font correctly.
    i'm pretty sure that's not NB (or even java)-specific issue, some font sizes just look strange on some LCD displays, something to do with DPI and stuff, i guess.
    I'm pretty sure you're full of shit:

    You could just trust me on things like that, you know, instead of opening up yourself to being proven wrong in a graphical fashion. On the other hand, I agree that it's fucking unbelievable that they could somehow fuck up drawing a font, so I understand where you're coming from.

    Anyway, the long and short of it is, Netbeans is a piece of buggy shit.

      <-  I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.
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