Tuesday, September 11, 2007


I'm now well into my second week working at Windhorse. The building itself is of course very familiar, I recognise its quiet relaxed atmosphere, it feels a steadier place to work and be in. The work is mostly new and still seems a huge overwhelming challenge. I'm pretty good at dealing with people and I know what needs doing to meet customers requests. However, my understanding of the XAL system,which would enable me to provide the solutions, still has major gaps in my understanding of it.

Considering I wasn't brought up using computers with my mother's milk, and have slowly learnt how to use one in the ten years since I was forty, I think I do pretty well. David's job is maintaining the computer network in relation to our Evolution shops, so he is obviously quite a whizz with these things. At home I sometimes ask him how to do a simple task, which he does with such speed I can't follow how he's done what he's done, so there's not a cat in hell's chance I'll remember it for next time. I do, in my own way, get there eventually, and do develop quite consistent practices and methods when working with computers. Computers don't strike me as particularly logical, more methodological, if you know the method it seems logical, if you don't know the method, logic wont get you anywhere.

This second week has, so far, felt a little less like my brain was a supersaturated sponge that could take no more water,thank you. Last week I had so much input and barely enough time to absorb or practice what I've been shown, before I was doing it live with a customer. I have, after all, just arrived in the team at probable their busiest time after the major gift trade show of the year. Training me up is the last thing they need really. When I worked in another admin team at Windhorse I learnt on another version of XAL and a whole different set of procedures, only some of which appear to cross over. My memory, of something I did on a daily basis two years ago, frequently deserts me. Though I can now sort of bluff my way through a day, I'm aware I could very easily stumble into a huge hole in my knowledge or comprehension, right in the middle of dealing with a customer. The full breadth of tasks that we do has understandable yet to settle into any recognisable form, pattern or scheme of comprehension.

My current mental state is a recognisable anxious one, I'm mentally uneasy on occasions simply because I'm not feeling fully in control of my work. I find myself being mentally clumsy, making simple mistakes, suddenly I forget what comes next and have to ask for help, or have something explained yet again. In my experience repetition of a task is the best way for me to establish understanding. Explanations or taking notes are good for reference, but they're no substitute for the doing. I have dearly wished in the past that I could grasp processes quicker, but actually that isn't how I learn, it is more a gradual and, lets face it, slow application of effort. I feel more confident in my approach these days and don't give myself a hard time. This doesn't mean my self esteem sits easily with the learning of new things, its still impatient not to feel like a stumbling novice and be the competent all knowing one, once again.

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