My ERP software and I can now crush Jane Doe like the insignificant insect she always was.
I graduated from high school in 2002, a long time ago. During my MBA program, when one of my professors didn’t recognize a Groucho reference, (“Any program that will take me isn’t good enough.”) I took that as the final smidgen of proof that the traditional education system had nothing more to teach me.
When I was in high school, computers were only just becoming standard in certain classrooms. They were old Apple iMacs— you remember the brightly colored, neon one-piece boxes Steve Jobs used to hawk back in the day— and some nameless PC that was probably handed down to the school from a city auction. Back in those days, I didn’t see the computer as a friend. I didn’t recognize these hunks of junk as the predecessor of the tools that would help me crush Jane Doe.
You don’t know Jane Doe. Even if you spent all last night ‘Netflix and chilling’ with her, you wouldn’t know because I’ve changed her name. I changed her name for two reasons. One: I don’t know much about libel law, but I know she’s not famous, and non-famous people can sue you at the drop of a dime for accusing them of dropping a dime. And two: I can’t remember how to spell her real name. There is no three: “I don’t want to cause her any more trouble,” or “it wasn’t really her fault.” Compassion and forgiveness aren’t a factor here. She was the name for my high school pain, and that will not be forgotten.
Jane kept to herself and studied hard. Every assignment to little Miss Jane came in on time, and with perfect penmanship and impeccable spelling. She never raised her hand in class, but when called on, the answer she gave was not only a textbook answer, but the textbook answer from whatever pages of the textbook had been required or optional reading from the day before.
I, on the other hand, loved to read, and considering what a loud, unpleasant, crazy-looking, troublemaker I was, read a good half of the assigned reading, understood it, and enjoyed it. But teachers couldn’t read my handwriting (and neither can I). I couldn’t spell. I like to trash elected officials as much as the next guy, but every time a politician has to spell something publicly on the spot… Can’t help but feel bad for them. If I had to choose between a 3×5 index card and my own judgement on spelling, I wouldn’t even hesitate. It didn’t matter who wrote the index card.
I taught myself how to type, as there weren’t required typing classes yet when I was in high school. I would make little mistakes that would embarrass me enough to throw it away, but not enough to ‘overcome the inertia of the laziness’ to retype it. So, I spent four years watching Jane get As with her perfect-little-neatness-clear-vinyl-cover-and-red-binder-reports, and I turned in a sloppy first draft or nothing at all. I didn’t get praise for my writing, and I blamed Jane. And my physics teacher would certainly confirm that I passed his class on a plea bargain.
Now I have computers and applications that kick a$$. I can type “indistingushible” and it asks (or sometimes just correctly assumes) if I meant “Indistinguishable.” I can mix up my debits and credits on a depreciation entry (I’m a sales and marketing guy after all, who even lets me into an ERP?) The software now will warn me, “Are you sure you meant to debt that Contra Asset account?”
With a click of a button, I can send copies of my books to CPAs, or even transfer hieroglyphic CDEX files to third parties via the internet in perfect, neat, little binary packages of grooviness to make the data entry less time consuming. Because of computers and technology, I now get praise and money.
But I still blame Jane Doe.