"In many disciplines, for the majority of graduates, the Ph.D. indicates the logical conclusion of an academic career." Marc Bousquet

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Can I Just Say...

*Updated below.

There is something wrong with you if you work in an administrative position that requires you to "coordinate" with people 700 miles away doing MS Office-type functions YET YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT A GOOGLE DOCUMENT IS!

Holy stupid cow!!

I know I don't have to explain this to readers, but, in case there's someone out there even more technophobic than I am, a Google document is an online document that you can "share" with others. All you need is a Google/gmail login, and you can create, edit, upload, download, and share documents that you create in Word, Excel, and other programs. I forgive anyone in academe who doesn't know this, because we don't often "share" our work this way, but in an office environment? When you work with people halfway across the country?

Here's how Google documents can be useful in this setting: There's an event coming up that your organization is hosting. Would-be participants can RSVP and register by sending their info to any one of several people. All of this registration information needs to go into a very simple chart, but it can be a challenge to manage the chart if multiple people are constantly adding to it. Every time you add something, you have to forward the file to somebody else, who then has to do the same thing when they add something.

Pain in the a$$, right? More to the point, it's an organizational nightmare because (some) people constantly forget to send their updated files -- or forget to check that they received an updated file (remember this post from the other day?).

So, Google documents provide a really simple solution. Everybody shares the file. Everybody updates the same online file. It's there online in real time. There's no sending back and forth of emails necessary. You don't have to remember to send everyone else your updates. And you can always download it at any time and save a copy to your computer (you know, in case you think Google is going to crash or something).

Duh. All you need to do is know what a Google document is and login. Don't have Gmail yet? It'll take you less than five minutes to create an account, which you don't have to use for anything else. And I'm the biggest technophobe ever. If I can figure out how to use this thing, anyone can.

Instead, here's what my coworker 700 miles away wrote in an email today: "In our last email you sent me a link or something to download the_______ from google and it wanted me to create an account, I don’t want to do that. Please just send me the list as an attachment."

Yeah, and you don't know what a comma splice is, either, but, hey, you don't need to have perfect grammar to do your job. BUT IF YOU'D TAKE FIVE MINUTES TO GET YOURSELF INTO GOOGLE DOCUMENTS, YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO DO YOUR JOB A WHOLE LOT MORE EFFICIENTLY. And so would I. And I wouldn't have to waste time venting my anger at you by blogging about your stupidity. Again.

So, one more time, Coworker in a Different City (in case you missed the link to that post earlier), here's to you:

*You don't even need Gmail to access Google docs. You can just sign up using your current email and creating a Google password. How freakin' hard is that?

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