Once upon a time, there was this moron, see.
He was an inexperienced moron, as morons go.
Excuse me. You misunderstand. He was quite good at moronity, having many skills and much practice, but in his new capacity as tech help for a local library concern, he was indeed out of his depth. That was the idea I was trying to convey.
No, wait. As a moron, he was still plenty in his depth concerning his new job. If he were making an attempt to be competent, however, going against his moron tendencies, he would indeed be miles from wherever he left his depth.
Oh, fiddlepricks. I'm afraid I have you all confused now. I hereby issue a formal apology.
Perhaps an anecdote would prove more illustrative. That is, after all, what this Blog is about: Dodging responsibility. In fact, I'm dodging it right now. I could be...well, that's not the point.
The Moron sauntered into the air-conditioned office environment. In this office, he would perform duties (called "tasks") that would be the basis for all his major paychecks. The Moron figured that this would involve a lot of sitting around near a telephone. He knew he was very good at sitting around.
"And near a phone? I'm your man! Boy, can I be near a phone! Better than most, I'd bet!"
He said these things very loudly, because they were very true.
The Moron rednecked his way over to the little enclosure that was to be his home for the next five hours. He noted the computer and the fabric-covered walls and the telephone. Yeeeees, the telephone. Sure had a lot of buttons on it, that phone.
"Best avoid that for now," he mumbled to himself.
The Moron was given a password in order that he might log on to his work computer. This pleased the Moron as he had always wanted a password protected computer. His instructor approached.
"Hi Moron!" she said. "Ready for your first day?"
"Am I ever!" he hooted.
"Okay. First, log on to your computer."
The Moron was ready for this. He poked the keyboard to wake his computer up. The screen remained obstinately dark.
"This is highly suspect," he said. "Must be a malfunctioning peripheral." Just to be sure, he unplugged his mouse and threw it away.
"More comfortable with keyboard shortcuts, are we?" asked his instructor. "Excellent. That shows aptitude. Shall we begin?" She reached over and turned his computer on.
While Windows Vista booted up, the Moron picked some crud out of his fingernails and smirked unpleasantly. After ten minutes, the characteristically mundane "Dingly-dong!" Windows noise chortled out of his speakers.
"Scared you? Yeah. Sometimes I forget and leave the volume up pretty high too."
The Moron picked himself up off the floor. "Never in a million years," he said sweatily. "I was just checking the power strip thing down there. Did you know it's a UPS? That stands for 'Uninterr--' no, wait. It stands for 'Un-ordained Papal Squirrels.' You know? To be honest with you, that's never made much sense to me. Hey look! Vista!"
The instructor waited patiently while the Moron flailed at the keyboard, minimized and maximized a window to watch it do its fady, flippy thing and moved all of his desktop icons into a big clump in the corner of his screen.
"Whew! I am so ready for a break," the Moron said, flinging beads of honest perspiration onto the power strip. "Should that be making sizzling noises?" he queried his instructor. "I somehow don't think it should. In fact, my training suggests that it really ought not to. I'm going to write the IT guys a note and have them call a plumber."
"You're allowed one fifteen minute paid break, and you can take a half hour for lunch. But that half hour is unpaid. You'll have to mark it on your time sheet if you decide to take it."
"Will I ever!" shouted the Moron as he sauntered toward the Snickers. He took a very long time to make his choice.
"I shall select this one," he said finally to nobody in particular, picking one of the "Fun Size" candy bars from amongst its identical peers. "Because it looks like the finest, most professional of the bunch." He popped it into his mouth, wrapping and all, and chewed like an executive. He wiped his fingers on his bowtie.
"Well, you've, uh, used your break for the day," his instructor told him.
"That's okay!" the Moron assured her, throwing himself back into his chair and releasing a peanut-scented burp. "I'm wearing corduroy pants!"
"I don't see what that has to... well, never mind. Are you familiar with Microsoft Office?"
The Moron stopped making zipping noises with his thumbnail and corduroys and looked up. He formed his face into a very serious expression. One that allowed a glimpse at his wealth of knowledge, but did not display it in a condescending manner.
"They wouldn't let me in without an ID card." And honestly, why would they? he thought.
"Are you okay?"
"Fine. Why asketh thou?"
"Your face. You...uh, there's no way to put this delicately. You appear to be experiencing bowel discomfort."
"Oh that? It's genetic. My nephew had it too."
"So we can assume you're unfamiliar with Office. Have you ever used a spreadsheet program before?" the instructor valiantly continued.
"I have no idea what you're talking about, ma'am," the Moron said, lowering his gaze respectfully. He read once in some magazine he'd found in the break room that employers appreciated an employee who was humble and contrite. Or perhaps that was God. Or maybe that was a hymnal he'd read. And maybe that wasn't a break room, but a church.
"It's a tool for handling and organizing large amounts of alphanumeric data. Have you ever done that before?"
The Moron, considering all the experience he'd had with alphabet soup, quickly and efficiently decided he was an expert.
"Indeed. What're all these little blocks?"
"These." The Moron indicated the Excel spreadsheet onscreen with a Snickery finger, leaving a goo smear. "These little white bricks with letters all near 'em."
"This is a spreadsheet."
The Moron recovered quickly. "Have tons of 'em back home. Use 'em to keep track of my many alphanumeric items. Add 'em. Subtract 'em. Fun stuff. What should I do with this one?"
"Be familiar with it," his instructor said, getting up. "I'm going to let you two get acquainted while I go rescue a few job applications I, uh, accidentally threw away."
"It shall be totally under my control within the hour!" chirped the Moron. He focused his laser-like concentration on Excel. He bore down. He grunted and strained. He poked the keyboard experimentally, and the letter "B" showed up in one of the cells onscreen.
"Victory!" he shouted.
Then, the Moron lusted after some Cheetos...