Wednesday, November 19, 2008


In school, work, and social situations, I've generally been content to remain anonymous. I can be employed for years with a significant segment of my co-workers not even knowing my name.

But now, in my ushering job, I'm suddenly as unanonymous as I can get. I'm like Norm when he walks through the door of Cheers. It's all because I created a database that directly affects the part-time income of several hundred people. Now those hundreds of people all know my name. And my email address. And they have questions. And they have suggestions.

I worked on Sunday. I went in a little early so I could eat some lunch before we got started. It took me 10 minutes to walk the 40 feet to the microwave. And some of them aren't even asking about the database; it's just that now they think of me as the resident computer expert. Retirees ask me questions like, "If I use Outlook Express and put all of my contacts in there, why does Word use some other address book when I want to do a mail merge?" And I'm paraphrasing here, because it took several minutes just to get to the point where I understood that he was trying to do a mail merge in Word. He doesn't know phrases like "mail merge." Or "Outlook." Or "Word." Yet he was filled with hope that I would be able to solve his problem without ever laying hands on his computer.

When I was finally at my post, all afternoon ushers stopped by to chat. What about this? What about that? Could it do this? Can you reset my password? Can you check and see if my grandson has an account? I took a restroom break. Just as I was pushing open the door, behind me I heard, "Hey, Rodius, I've got a question for you." So I had to have a 10-minute hypothetical discussion outside the restroom about what wonders the future might hold if my bosses have the vision to approve some of the more grand ideas.

It's not that I'm complaining. Well, I guess I am complaining. But really, part of me likes it. It's like I'm a rock star now. It's just unsettling. What if things go bad? It's one thing to have everyone know your name when they're thrilled about what you've done, but they're still all going to know my name when they don't get on the events they want or when the server crashes. And then, there will be no hiding at the back of the room.


suttonhoo said...

embrace the rock star that is you.

He Said said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
He Said said...

Ah, the "computer guy" syndrome. Tell people you would be more than happy to fix their computer, but they will need to call your on your business line ... and hand them a 1-900 number

anniemcq said...

I feel your pain. We get a lot of that too, Hubby working for Apple and all. And some of it is people wanting discounts on computers, or friends calling pretending to chat then, "Hey, I was wondering.. my iPhone is...)

It could be worse. You could be a proctologist.

I, Rodius said...

I'm trying, Ms. Hoo. I don't think I make a very good rock star, though. I don't have enough hair to put product in.

Ooh, the mystery of the deleted comment may haunt me forever.

He Said, I don't think I can be so callous to the retirees. They're kind of adorable in their helplessness.

Ah, Ms. McQ, I forgot the hubby was an Apple guy. I am forever cursing Microsoft. Maybe he can get me a deep discount on a Mac laptop? And would he mind coming over and helping me setup a wireless network? That'd be great, thanks!

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