Saved by MicroSoft

After years of CP/M, I moved – courtesy of clients – into MS, and there I stayed, suffering in darkness and despair – irony of “customer service” heavy on my soul – until one of my sons lighted the way to Apple.

I never looked back. Never, that is, until last week, when Excel saved me.

This is what happened.

I applied for work as a (US) census taker, expecting to get out and meet new and interesting people.

A week ago, census called and said it had a job for me.

(…be still, my heart…)

Doing what?

It’s a clerical position.

(…crest begins to fall…)


Now, your form says you have experience with computers.

(…ha! had I but known…)


So I assume you’ve used Word.

(…here it comes, eight weeks in an office with…)

I’ve used it.

And Excel, you’re familiar with Excel?

(…what’s that sound? a trumpet? is the cavalry about to charge over the hill?..)


Oh, I’m sorrry. We can’t invite you in for this position, as it requires Excel.

(…yes, horses and sabers to the rescue…)

But we’ll keep you on the list for the next opening.

(…images of ever-more-drab office duties nearly stifle sighs of relief…)

Yesterday, census called again.

We’d like to offer you a position.

(…do not make the obvious smart-ass reply…)


The position is transient enumerator.

(…talk about ambiguous terminology…)

Which means?

You’d be out in the field, interviewing people with no fixed address.

So. Had I not been ignorant of Excel, I’d have been stuck in an office instead of going out to talk to people.

Thank you Bill Gates.


It can be dangerous if you know too much. This is common knowledge among lovers of good stories, isn’t it? :wink:

I’d rather have the office job.

But then, I know how to use Excel.

The general public, and especially those with no fixed abode (homeless :frowning: ), just aren`t ready for you, yet, Pumpkin Pip.

Should have just lied. Theres a recession out there after all.

I have worked with gods of Excel but you would have just have been entering data into a template which is locked so you cannot change values.

Please think of the work of the photographers of the 30’s. Steinbeck and his work. You will be entering hundreds, maybe thousands of stories in a few months.

A test, a challenge, an experience.

Good luck

Sorry, not much muck here.

Not ready for me? I would’ve thought myself not ready for them.


You will keep throwing up these, profundities! :open_mouth: Terribly disconcerting for the normal members of Scriv`s crew. Stop it!

Why is that, Pumpkin Pip, have you already had your breakfast? :confused:

Things I would have said.

“What is the pay?”
“Ok triple that.”

“Also I want 8 weeks vacation time taken at my leisure.”

“I want a company car with cruise control and GPS”

“I want a fresh bowl of Green M&Ms on my desk every morning.”

“I want a three year contract that I can dismiss at any time yet until I dismiss said contract I am paid my salary with a 38% increase every year for the rise of costs.”

“I would like my mortgage paid in full through any available Government Program.”

“I want myself and any living relative to be from this day forward exempt from all taxes.”

“And last, I want my bosses office.”

“If you cannot do all of these things for me I am afraid I will have to pass on your offer as I know my Excel skills are worth what I am asking.”

…see… uh…

… the point was, I wasn’t in it for the money. Not even for greenies.