I've always assumed that one day ... when I die ... I would spend the rest of eternity being forced to do math problems while demons stuck pitchforks in my ass. Who knew I wouldn't have to die for my personal vision of hell to come true ... minus the pitchforks.
Backstory, you ask? Why sure ...
I have worked for my agency for over twenty years and the second week of June has always been the busiest time of our year ... our "sweeps week" if you will. In years past, we have worked like dogs ... working weekends and staying late every night during the week of our final push.
This year, half of our work has been outsourced to the office in St. Louis. The half that is usually completed by statisticians still needs to be done ... editing and estimating. The half that was done by support staff is now gone ... keying and sorting and filing. Management has started leaning heavily on the support staff to edit because my office is so painfully shorthanded that it's tragic.
Now ... I'm fine with helping. I'm a team player. But ... I am also bad at math. So bad, in fact, that it's laughable. I seriously ... there aren't words. When I pay for dinner I can't even be all secret ninja surprise about it. I have to ask Stoney to figure the tip ... otherwise I panic and start shoving twenty dollar bills at people. "I'm not cheap! You're a good server! Here, take my money!"
What other words can I use to convey to you how I ... don't ... do ... math. I can rip a motherboard out and replace it in under 12 minutes. I can troubleshoot computer problems and get you up and going in a matter of minutes. I replace drivers, install software, I scan and Photoshop and create GIS maps. But I don't do math.
I sat there for twenty minutes looking at a questionnaire ... "If Farmer John has 275 pigs ... and 53 of them die ... is he still within an acceptable pigs per litter mortality percentage rate?" Fuck I don't know. Yes? No? Purple because aliens don't wear hats? For the love of God just let me replace your ODBC driver or create an Excel spreadsheet or let me write some HTML and upload a press release to our website. Anything that doesn't fucking involve math!!
I had to work late tonight. I edited three segments ... and it took just over two hours. This is ... not good. I sat there punching numbers into the calculator ... mumbling and cursing under my breath like a 3rd grader with Tourette's.
Tomorrow I'm going to be late ... my piano tuner is coming back to fix one of the keys that still sticks ... but after that, I have no choice but to go back to editing. I've never imagined a scenario where I would try to get the black plague ... but ... you know ... if you see any sickly rats out there ... help a sister out.
Don't know much trigonometry
Don't know much about algebra
Don't know what a slide rule is for
But I do know that one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be
Sam Cooke - Wonderful World