Monday, July 23, 2007

The Accidental Technologist

I remember the exact day I knew what I wanted to do with my life. It was October 3rd, nearly two months past my eighth birthday. I awoke in certainty and ran down to hall to share my news with my mother. She sat at the kitchen table sipping coffee in a rare moment of peace in her otherwise Perpetual Motion Machine of an existence.

"Mom!" I shouted. "I know what I want to be when I grow up."

"That's nice, dear." She smiled her soothing Mona Lisa. It had the power to reduce fevers and quiet nauseous stomachs. "What have you decided to be?"

"A computer software tester."

"And what is that, dear?"

"Well, you know those big machines at the bank that sort all those holey cards and keep track of your account information?"


"Well, I want to be the person who tests those to make sure they don't make any mistakes with your money."

"Can you maybe make sure it does make a mistake and gives me more money?"


OK, well, maybe it wasn't exactly like that. After being lost in a blissful hour-and-a-half reverie of piano practicing, I ran upstairs and found Mom slurping a vodka gimlet while she concocted that evening's hot dish.*

* Translation for non-Minnesotan's: a one-pot meal consisting of ground beef, frozen veg, and a starch of your choosing all glued together with a can of cream of something soup and, if you're lucky, shredded cheese that's baked in a Pyrex or CorningWare dish at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour.

No, no, I fib again.

The Truth
When Englishman and I moved to Boston from Old Blighty, I landed my first job as an Administrative Assistant at a software company. Before much more than a year had passed, an opening in the QA department and some encouraging testers pulled me into the profession before I had a chance to give it the consideration it deserved. All I could see were the potential dollar signs flashing in my eyes and the security of it all. At that point, Englishman still hadn't found any employers impressed by his decade-plus experience in the British civil service. He was working part-time and temp jobs. It was a brutal economy back in the early Nineties which probably influenced my political leanings to a vast degree. Supply-side economics, My Great-Aunt Fanny!

To break with VBDS convention and cut a long story short: here I sit today, staring at tree tops and trying to de-code this instruction from a co-worker who is helping me fix my total botch-job on a software installation:

"You'll want to make sure that the IUSR_machinename (where machinename is the name of your computer) has full control access to the install directory and all parent directories, as well as all sub-directories."

Eeeeeew-kay. Me no speaky geeky.
Translation: What have I done to myself? What have I done?!?!


At Monday, July 23, 2007 3:32:00 PM, Blogger NeedleTart said...

Maybe full imersion in "Geek speak" will come through for you. Good luck with that. Imagine trying to tell them "K3tog through back loop and KPK in the next stitch" adn imagine their heads exploding.

At Saturday, July 28, 2007 1:16:00 AM, Blogger Amy Lane said...

'Me speeky no geeky..."

LOL.. considering the fact that I feel like a level 1 magician working a level 5 trick by cheating with the manual, I understand completely...


Post a Comment

<< Home