Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In regione caecorum rex est luscus

Over a year ago, I resigned from a job to take a new one. A short while later I was contacted by someone I knew casually who was interested in obtaining my old job, and offered to take me to dinner as payment for "picking my brains" about the job requirements and necessary skills. I was happy to do so, and actually thought it was quite brilliant and enterprising of her, because while others may have wanted the job, no one else contacted me. In the course of our conversation, we discovered that she would definitely need to improve her computer skills - mostly just word processing and basic spreadsheets. So she set out to do so, getting books and working her way through them on a laptop at home, and then once or twice I met with her to answer her questions, teach her a few shortcuts, and provide whatever help I could. It struck me at the time, how unusual it felt for someone to be turning to me for knowledge, or looking for my expertise on a subject.

After all, who the heck am I? I'm not a computer wizard or anything, never learned any programming, just years of bouncing from one office to another, adapting to a variety of environments, and teaching myself whatever software was available and required to get the job done. You use all Office products? I'm good with that. You only use WordPerfect and Lotus? Okay, I can handle that. You use Quickbooks? Sure. You use what? "New Views"? Okay what the hell ever - I'll roll with it.

But helping her was oddly satisfying, and not from an ego standpoint. Just the idea that I could pass on something I knew to someone else, and that it helped them in some way. (Oh, and by the way - she got the job!)

Flash forward to yesterday, and I am standing in what passes for my LYS. The current owner of the shop purchased it almost a year ago, and as a non-knitter and non-crafter-of-any-kind has certain limitations in her abilities to help customers. (I have to give her points for trying - as she is finally taking a knitting class now and seems to be picking it up quickly and apparently wants to learn.) I happened to walk in the door as someone was asking her a question and her eyes lit on me. "Oh, let's ask Kath - she'll probably know!" In just a moment I am explaining a rib stitch, and demonstrating the difference between 1x1, 2x2, and 3x1 ribbing, etc. Not that I mind - I like talking about knitting and there's precious little opportunity for that outside of my own family. But the idea that someone turns to me for knitting help? Me? With my extensive experience (3 years) in this area? Compared to someone like my mother - with 40+ years of knitting? I suppose it's all relative. (No pun intended!)

Then later in the day I logged into my Ravelry account and found a nice note from Logan, who was having difficulty with adding the ring code, etc. to her blog for Knitting Bloggers. And what she was trying to do was the exact same thing I was when I first started this blog. Which was all of - oh two months ago? The difference between me and Logan is that instead of struggling on alone as I did (with my admittedly genetic predisposition against asking for assistance with anything) she had the guts to just ask someone for help! I'm impressed - and just a tad bit humbled. So along with the notes I already sent her in a Ravelry message, here is the last piece:

img alt="Knitting Bloggers" width="95" src="INSERT IMAGE URL HERE" height="32"/>

(Find the section of the ring code that looks like the blue text above, then where the red text is, past the url to the image.)

I really hope I did help her, and that I didn't actually make things any worse! But if you stuck with this extremely long post to the end, why not just take one more minute to visit Logan and say hello!

1 comment:

Logan said...

Thank you SO MUCH for helping me out. Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. The part in the application that confused me was when they asked for a ringcode (if different from url) and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to put something else or if I'd mess it up...and I didn't want to apply and then not be able to put the little sticker in my blog because I'm completely html-impaired.

Thanksss, you are awesome.