Posted in Humor, Opinion

Cell Mate

I love circles. In addition to a gentle reminder of thy physical shape, they also fill one with hope and color and patterns and the possibility of a smiling person’s face on them. My fascination and appreciation for this shape only seems to grow with time. Mangoes, ice cream scoops, rasgullas, jamuns , rain drops, parathas … they all have a circular inclination. Compare this to bricks, cardboard cartons, circuit boards … I am not intolerant , don’t get me wrong. But the harrowing memories of straight lines , crossing each other like a Lungi on a computer screen, are not one you want to create and live with every day.

If you really want to understand what I am going through, you need to work with Excel or any spreadsheet application.Of everything I do at work, dealing with these is one Herculean task which makes me question my existence in a cubicle.

I fail to fathom how tiny ridiculous quadrilaterals can gain such increasing importance in one’s professional life. In addition to being full of numbers, they also have a mind of their own.You never know when they stand in unison and when they display their uniqueness. Like that day when all of them took up an uncharacteristic yellow colour as I tried to highlight how significant one of them is. Any attempt at partiality was promptly thwarted in unison. Try sizing these unruly squares in one go, and they balk and spit fire at you.

Ever purchased a silk saree in Chennai ? The manner in which some experts carelessly flip through filters and worksheets, as they explain the plethora of numbers and coloured columns, reminds me of a storekeeper displaying an unwieldy 6-yards of fabric.

Initially, I was thrilled.  The idea that dragging a tiny ‘+’ symbol can fill an entire series was truly fascinating. And then the Sum function caught my fancy. So I became obsessed with the idea of totaling anything and everything in order to make use of it. But beyond that, I really don’t appreciate all the intelligence that it flaunts. I mean, who will ever imagine that a misplaced 0 can bring down the house. And the timing for embarrassment is just brilliant. It chooses to (mis)behave when everyone is alert in a full house in the wee hours of the morning. So while you are hoping nobody demands an explanation about cell B3, you forget that 10 pairs of eyes have their own idea of what is abnormal , and would like to know why N34 is negative C59 is more negative than J59. Nobody was willing to take ‘Emotionally charged up cells’ as an answer

I have not yet broached the topic of macros and recordings. I still remember the day an excel aficionado had those sparkling eyes and  fire in his voice , as he explained how a macro should be recorded. But eyes being round, were more fascinating than those moving rectangles in front of me. It was a Wodehouse style love triangle of sorts. Me and those sparkling eyes, sparkling eyes lit up by obscure squares and squares trying to seek my attention.

Did I tell you about VLookUp? It looks down upon me. And the random number generator ? I think I use plenty of that one without my knowledge. So when someone asks me to run a pivot, I would rather not hear beyond run.

So those demi-gods who got this nightmare figured out, I hail you.  And I thank you for doling out that summary sheet , which can so deftly be copied into a power point and decorated with coloured texts and call outs.