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Feeling Less Stupid Today

October 14, 2021

I started a new job a couple months ago. It’s in my field. I’m good at my job. Well, I’m good at my field. But, the job was new.

And it’s a hard job. Not hard as in physically challenging. Most jobs in the IT field are embarrassing light. It’s comforting to say we get paid for our brains, but I don’t think that’s true. I once volunteered for a day on a Habitat For Humanity house. We were putting siding on a house in Orem. Four of us were volunteers under the direction of the one guy who knew what he was doing.

We were putting siding on a large dormer. It had sloping angles and it had a window in the middle. We had to install the siding around the window and the weird angles. The guy in charge was amazing. The four of us volunteers were up on the roof and he was doing the cutting.

Measure that section right there. Yeah, from the corner to the window. Now how far from the top of the bottom piece of siding to the window bottom edge?

We would measure and shout the measurements down to him. He would pause, do some quick calculations in his head and then make several cuts to a siding piece. He’d toss it up on the roof for us to install.

And every one fit perfectly. The man was very good at what he did. Add on top of that he had to train volunteers daily. He also managed the schedule. Arranged for inspections. He was doing a lot of jobs and doing them all really well.

I’ve spent the last few weeks learning my new job. I’m learning our software product so that I can be the project manager on an upgrade. I’m a smart guy. Or, at least I’m not a dumb guy. But, at times I’ve felt positively stupid.

One day I was more stupid than usual. I got a flu vaccine shot. And for whatever reason it made me stupid. I went to work the next day and couldn’t remember a single thing I’d learned about our product. Unfortunately, my boss wanted to review what I had learned.

He seemed worried that perhaps he’d made a mistake in hiring me. Fortunately it was a passing stupidity. And I started to make some headway. And then, suddenly I topped out on the learning curve and it was difficult to remember being stupid. Of course, I know how to provision a new user. How could I ever have been confused about how to set up Domain Codes?

We were going over some configurations topics today. He was recapping.

They have logins in each of these environments.


What’s that?

Well, we’re creating accounts in domains.

Oh, yeah. Right. In the domains.

It wasn’t a big point. And he obviously knew. . .knows the system much better than me. But, it was clear that I was finally past the stupid part.

At least until I have to learn the next part of our program.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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