I can make a computer bend to my will, I can make MS Excel obey my every command, I speak in several computer languages, BUT, my kingdom for a stapler that works every time! Staplers are my office nemesis, invented in 1866 by a man, for the sole purpose to taunt me. Interestingly enough the staple remover was not invented until 1930’s, patented by a man, but I’m sure a woman had something to do with it.
It’s now 2018 and staplers come in all sizes and shapes, but not much has changed. From the little pocket size staplers to industrial monsters, from looks that have not changed in 100 years to stiletto shaped staplers, still, they taunt me.
For a short time I thought I found the Holy Grail. A stapler I liked. It was one of those ones that stand on their nose, gray in color, nothing extra. It worked almost every time and we had a good relationship. But in the end, it to, taunted me.
One day it stopped working so I opened it to see that it only had a three or four staple stack left in it. When I went to dump them out and give it a refill the stack would not just fall out of the device, so I put my fingernail under it to loosen it up. As soon as I touched the stack it flipped on it’s side and dropped into the firing chamber.
Just like that! It became the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered stapler you ever set eyes on! The Stapler of Caerbannog. The little stack of staples jammed sideways in the firing chamber, I could not shake them loose, pry them loose, or curse them loose. I closed the stapler to try to push it a bit, hoping to even out how it was laying in the chamber. When I tried to open it, the beast was jammed shut. I hit it a few times on the desk then tried again. Still no luck. I gave it a strong pull, and in an instant, like a stubborn bag of potato chips, the stapler opened and all the innards flew out into the air! For one brief moment, I saw all the springs and fasteners silhouetted against the lights of the office window, and then they were gone. I swear I heard the stapler say “Your Mother was a Hamster, and your Father smelt of Elderberries! Now go away or I will taunt you a second time.”
I gathered all the pieces-parts from the desk, floor, and my lap and put it aside for the day.
Oh, oh I see. Running away, eh?! You yellow bastard! Come back here and take what’s coming to you! I’ll bite your legs off!!”
The next day I tried to put it back together but all the kings horses and all the kings men could not put that little sucker back together again, so I tossed it into the garbage. I heard a small voice come from the can “All right, we’ll call it a draw.”
I’m still searching for the perfect stapler. If you hear a woman’s voice at you local office supply shop asking “What is the airspeed velocity of an broken stapler?” That’s just me, on my Quest for the Holy Grail of Staplers.
A couple years ago I typed up some simple instructions for a family member on how to enter payroll taxes in the IRS EFTPS system. I remembered how intimidated it felt. the first time I used it.
- E – Electronic
- F – Federal
- T – Tax
- P – Payment
- S – System
A few weeks ago I needed my instructions for a trainee, and for the life of me I could not find them! Well, nobody’s perfect. After a little windows search I did find it.
Here it is, my file, in a place I can find it next time. And you can enjoy.
Note to Self: Write a blog about saving documents with appropriate names and in a sensible directory so I can find them years later. [Smacking self on forehead].
My first introduction to Microsoft Excel was in the early 90’s. I remember when I first opened it and looked at those little boxes I thought to myself “What the heck do I do with this?”. I looked around the menu items and closed the program for the day to let my brain take it in. The hospital I worked at had an educational library that included Microsoft Excel lessons on VHS. I checked them out and had fun learning how to use the program. That was over 20 years ago.
Over the years I have used Excel in many different business and personal applications. From listing household items, music collections, balancing my checkbook (before I had Quicken), tracking my Tupperware parties, tracking patients, to tracking and billing construction projects. In some of these cases a database program would be best, but sometimes we just don’t have one. To see my database project go to inScoreOrder.com.
The Chicken and the Egg
One of the hardest things about learning advanced skills is having some real data to work with, and before the tutorial, knowing what kind of data should be entered. It’s one thing to read how to do something, but without something to practice on, it’s all conceptual. For my topics below I have included a practice Excel file with basic formatting. If your computer will not let you download the file please comment below. Please subscribe to my blog to be notified when I post a tutorial.
Julie's Dream House - Practice File
This practice file has data to practice:
- Data Filters (future post)
- Pivot Tables (future post)
- Formulas (future post)
- Conditional Formatting
Other topics covered in my blogs:
- Working with Time
- Advanced Paste Special (future post)