Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lying Liars on the Internets

I just completed about 5.5 hours of Excel 2007 training on the Internet. I know what you're thinking: No. It doesn't get any better than this.

Honestly, I learned a lot of tricks that will prove useful at work. It's not riveting, but I would say that the utility involved is Excel-lent. (I'm sorry, that's been rolling around in my head all day and I had to get it out.) I guess the monotony at least makes you appreciate the small, hilarious moments, many of which I recorded as I was watching video after video. I thus present to you:

Things I heard during Excel training that probably were not true, some of which are fairly dirty-sounding

"This next feature has gotten ooos and ahhhs every time I've demonstrated it."

"Make sure you know what you're doing before you start, so that your Macro is smooth as silk."

"I really enjoy working with functions in Excel."

"This will whet your appetite."

"There's no pain when working with panes!"

All that, and a moderately professional certificate to put on the wall.

While the training was a little goofy sometimes, I certainly wouldn't classify anything I heard as potentially destructive. For instance, the woman leading the training videos at no time made an attempt to ruin my life and career in the name of taking my money. This is where Excel training and the University of Phoenix are different.

While I have never had the pleasure of partying with an enrollment counselor, I have met various characters on the Internet that would like to take my money in elaborate ways. I often post ads to tutor Spanish, and receive a multitude of emails. A few are legit, and most are poorly-written inquiries from a man wanting tutoring for his kids, who can only pay me in an oversized-money order, a portion of which I will have to send back to him. I usually ignore these, or write back something snarky that makes it clear that I'm not going to fall for it. Here are some examples of what I could have done that would be much more entertaining and productive. This involved tale takes the cake.

I got a response from my most recent posting asking if I could tutor two children immediately and what my rate was. Thinking I would end it, I told him I charged $500/hour. Then, to my surprise and delight, he wrote me back today with an unexpected answer, which I can only see as a fantastic opportunity:

"Your rate is ok."

Game's on, you sad bastard. Get ready to meet a self-employed cat clothing designer who is looking not for money, but for anyone to be her friend.

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