It filled me with dread and maybe a few tears but learning a new skill has boosted my confidence no end /Sue Plunkett column
The moment I heard those words my heart sank. I have never been ‘tech savvy’, my colleagues will tell you that, but the thought of learning another new digital system filled me with dread.
But technology is changing and evolving all the time and we have to keep pace with it or get left behind.
So, the training began and after one and half hours on a zoom call with two very competent trainers I felt a great sense of ... dread!
Well I may be exaggerating a bit there but it certainly did make me feel nervous as we counted down to the day the system was due to go live.
And it made me reflect on when I began my career in journalism at the Accrington Observer with a typewriter and little sheets of paper that we used to make corrections on with Tipex!
The first computer was brought into the office two years later and the managing director was the only person allowed near it. We watched in awe as he tapped away on the keyboard and his words appeared on the huge monitor.
The reporting team soon took delivery of their own computers, got the hang of it and it became second nature eventually even though we were loathe to part with our trusty typewriters.
Even earlier than that, around 1979 I think, I recall my mum, who was an office manager, coming home from work one day in tears because of 'the computer.'
I remember the pain she felt and I even recall the name of the trainer they brought in to teach her and all her staff how to use 'the computer.' He was called Julian and he had to mop up quite a few tears I think.
Fast forward 30 years and my boss, who has shown the patience and resilience of a saint this week, has assured me it will soon become second nature again when I myself was almost at the point of tears.
I must admit I have persevered watching training videos and spent a few hours practising on the new system but the day it went live my brain just froze. It felt like walking into an exam which you know you have revised and prepared for, but when you sit down your mind goes blank.
After a couple of false starts we were up and running and we have all helped each other through and we are coming out the other side.
It may be a cliche but practise does make perfect when it comes to learning something new. Learning a new skill has boosted my confidence no end but it's not been an easy ride.
But like I say we have to keep up with new developments, whether you like them or not. It keeps you relevant, up to date and dare I say it 'down with the kids.?'
The fact I have used that phrase may write me off with 'the kids' for good!