Been a while since I’ve done this, almost a year…
Some years ago, there was a series of guide books to software entitled Tips, Tricks and Traps. Written distinctly with tongue firmly in cheek, the books purported to be merely a guide to the very important, nay vital things you needed to know in order to use a specific piece of software. Of course, the books were nothing of the sort – they covered everything from the very basic to the quite advanced.
They all ended up with three ‘lists of ten things’, which were essential reading. The first was “Ten Things you really do need to know”; the second was “Ten Things that it’s very helpful to be able to do”. The last was the genius bit: “Ten Things you’ll need beer for,” the idea being that with these things, it took too much time to learn how to do them, so it would be much easier to go to someone who really knew the software and say to them: “if I buy you beer, will you please do this for me?”
Now, I have no beer, but I sometimes get incredibly envious of the skills possessed by other people.
Time to address that envy, I think.
Teach me one thing about your job, or a skill you possess, something that the odds are that I don’t know. (Note, I’m not asking what skills you possess – I’m requesting that you teach me something about that skill…)
You want examples? OK, well, say you spend your professional life writing. Then tell me how you get over ‘writer’s block’. Or if you can touch type, what’s the hardest word to type, and how do you remember it? You’re a whiz at teaching others mnemonics? Then teach me some. Or if you write gags, how do you know what’s funny and what’s not? Or if you write web pages, did I know that by sticking <b> and </b> around a word, I’ll make it appear emboldened? (Well, “yes“, is the obvious answer to that one…)
Other examples people have taught me over the years include:
- how to feed a cat a tablet
- a sommelier explaining how he decides the description of a wine
- the key to cleaning up images for icons
- how to breed fruit flies
- the best way to corner at speed
- a teacher taking me step by step through the process of the “you’re about to be in trouble” stare
- how to design a room
- the placement of word balloons
- how to learn a really difficult piece of music
- to create a genuinely blind hem on a satin bridal gown or other formal outfit
- how to calculate the flow of bubble bath when you bathe
- how a cover teacher knows your name in class (when you don’t think they do)
Go on then – teach me something about your job, or a skill you possess.