February 15, 2012

February 15, 2012

Work Books

My co-workers at Cabinet Department That Shall Not Be Named are an intelligent lot. I spend my days in the midst of very sharp people. While you may be used to that sort of environment, I’m not. At all. The bookcases around here are filled with texts on subjects that I can’t even pretend to have studied. Haven’t even brought in any of my business school textbooks, because “Innovative Marketing Strategies” seems like it would be out of place here. The two things I have brought in so far: “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Statistics” and “SQL for Dummies.” Seriously.

Sure, I have two degrees, but neither of them is in any of the STEM fields. It’s a good thing I’m a quick study, because the six credit hours of database management and three hours of programming I took as an undergrad were very long ago. They prepared me to make an Etch-a-Sketch in Visual Basic and do a SWOT analysis. Neither of those things is required by my current job. Shocker.

You all work in a lot of different places. You’re teaching, and statting, and filmmaking, and GISing, and so on. What books are on your office/cubicle/desk/virtual shelf? Do you have any just for kicks, a la my copy of “Who Moved My Cheese?” (My fellow fundy grads will be amused to know that I have my blue backed A Beka Handbook of Grammar and Composition. Possibly the only existing A Beka textbook in a federal government office. Daring!)

Do you actually refer to those books, or are they mostly for show? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. 99% of degrees displayed on office walls aren’t required during the normal course of business. Unless you’re a doctor, I don’t need to know that you graduated from the Online University of Good Times. In fact, it makes me like you a little less.) I’ve inherited a couple of programming books since coming on-board at CDTSNBN, and I’ve found them quite handy.

Still, I’m feeling a serious lack of credibility around here. Time to troll the thrift store book sections for some texts on COBOL and analytics, and maybe a biography of Charles Babbage.

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