One day away

So far, the first morning of meetings has gone by without incident. I’ve managed to stay quiet, anonymous in my corner, avoiding the ill-informed comment that brings the rains scorn upon my head.

It could change this afternoon though. After a four hour false start, we get to the area of my (relative) expertise.

This post really starts twelve years ago. That was when the first computer was placed on my desk. No, 1996 was not my introduction to the personal computing revolution – just the first time my department thought it was necessary for the regular folk to tinker with 20th century technology.

Since I was one of the few folks in the office with any computer skills, I was the default trainer. It was also an amazing time where small investments of time had huge payoffs in increased productivity. Having grown up with computers and a pinch of programing, I was in the right place at the right time. In one notable example, I took a little bit of initiative and converted a common calculation to a simple spreadsheet. It started off very simple, with a few formulas and a table look-up, and grew over the ensuing years to include almost every contingency we run across when determining the amount of support someone should pay.

This is how I came to be a “guidelines expert.” It’s not from any unique perspective on the law, or from any special programming gifts. I happened to be the one guy in the office who knew his way around a spreadsheet, in one of the first offices statewide to get desktop PCs.

Now it’s twelve years later and I’m sitting in a large room in the state capital, discussing a component of the new database/case management system being designed for my department.

It feels a bit overwhelming. I think I tend to shy away from self promoting for this very reason. I’m afraid I’ll have to live up to an undeserved reputation.

There are worse things in life, I suppose.

Give the gift of words.