Oh sure, like YOU never used WordPerfect Office...

This help desk pilot fish has the job of getting the new administrative assistant for a remote office up to speed on the company's applications -- and, of course, the standard desktop stuff.

"I got the remote screen-sharing software running, and began to cover the basics," says fish.

We're using Windows 7 and Office 2010, fish tells the admin. I assume you're familiar with both of them, right?

"Yes, I am," she says.

OK, why don't you open Outlook for me, he says, using the mouse to point out the icon that's pinned to the taskbar.

"Which icon is it?" she asks.

Fish is surprised, but he describes the icon. Once Outlook is open, he discovers that even when covering simple Outlook features like sending an email, creating a contact and setting up a calendar entry, she doesn't seem to know much about those things either.

But fish presses on. Now I need you to open Word, he says, moving the pointer to that icon.

"And which icon is that one?" she cautiously mumbles, and fish can hear her embarrassment across the phone line as he points out which one to click.

And so it goes, as they slowly work their way through the basic workings of Windows and Office, the two applications she'll be using the most in her new job -- which seem to be brand new to her.

Reports fish, "After finishing the training, we got an email that was sent to everyone in the company by the manager of the office -- the one who hired the new admin -- telling everyone about the new administrative assistant starting today, and glowingly stating how she had 12 years of experience providing administrative support and how she was going to be a great addition to the team.

"After I read that, I assumed that the basic skills she didn't have must not qualify as part of her 12 years of administrative experience -- or she got that experience before the computer age!"

Let Sharky experience your true tale of IT life. Send it to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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