“You’re the best, Karen. I don’t know how you do it!” the look on Tony’s face was of pure amazement as he patted his assistant on the back. “You are a PDF genius, seriously…” he continued shaking his head at her expertise.
“Oh, now I wouldn’t say all that,” Karen said, obviously embarrassed by the praise. “It’s really no big deal, Tony,” she said as she silently backed out of his office back towards her desk. Tony was still going on about how impressed he was with her skills and Adobe ‘know-how’ but Karen could barely make out the words as she slid into her chair behind her desk.
“Sheesh, you’d think I built the Great Wall or something,” she thought to herself. She really didn’t like what she believed to be unwarranted praise, it made her nervous. In her mind it was a simple matter of her boss asking for something and she providing it, nothing exceptional about that. Besides, she was sure Tony would have figured it out eventually, she just happened to stumble upon the answer first… for the seventeenth time (not that she was counting). Pulling up her email, she was just about to respond to a message requesting donations for the hungry when her phone rang. Letting out a reflexive grumble (answering the phone was her least favorite aspect of the job, the jolt she always felt from the first ring was always the worst) she let it ring twice and then picked up.
“Hey Karen! It’s Bill, down in shipping. I heard through the grapevine that you were the PDF guru so I was hoping you might help me out with something…”
Karen bit her lip, she knew this would happen. She figured out how to do a few things with PDFs and now the whole office somehow decided she was the PDF girl. “Oh hiya, Bill. I’m really not… but I don’t really know… oh, okay… well, I guess I could… sure, I’ll be down in a minute,” Hanging up, Karen mentally kicked herself. She had caved as usual, and now she’d have to figure out how to not look like a complete idiot in front of Bill as she desperately attempted to seem knowledgeable about a program she hardly used.
The thing was… Karen was clueless when it came to working with PDFs. She felt like a fraud, promenaded around like some sort of savant, but it wasn’t her fault. Truth of it was anyone could be ‘as gifted’ with the program as Karen if they utilized her technique, something so simple and obvious she couldn’t understand why no one else was using it. “I just Google search the answer until I find something that works… and if that doesn’t help then I use the HELP feature, why is that such a big deal?” Karen wondered as she left her desk and headed downstairs to help Bill delete text from a saved PDF.
Ten minutes later…
“Karen, they were right about you! You’re a genius! I don’t know how you figured it out, but I’m sure glad you’re around to help! I know who to call from now on with these sort of problems, and I’ll be sure to spread the word on how great you are with this stuff too!” Bill’s overexcitement still had Karen feeling a little queasy and she ducked a bear hug from the well-meaning man and quickly escaped back to her desk.
“Great. Just Great.”
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: There are a few unofficial titles I’ve accumulated at work over the past three years, and most of them leave me feeling a bit sheepish and definitely silly. I’m commonly called “tech support”, “Records Guru” and “PDF Expert” none of which I feel are fitting. Here’s the thing, my ‘secret’ if you will on the how and why I’ve become known as these things…. I know how to look up answers, usually with a few clicks of a mouse. That, and I’m willing to do the leg work to discover the answer because, well… I’m a super-giant nerd and once a question has been asked or I don’t know how to do something I HAVE to figure it out. So today my boss needed to know how to delete text on a PDF he created from a web page. After playing around with it a bit, he gave me a call as I am the “PDF expert”… his words not mine. So after some toying around, a few web searches and the a trial run I figured it out. Expert? Hardly. Handy with a Google search? You betcha.
Love & Squirrels.