The Thousand Steps


Now that I’m leaving my payroll job I’ve been trying to make a step-by-step guide to help train or re-train anyone they decide to pull in to cut checks once I’m gone. As it turns out, this is a nightmare. It takes about a million steps to navigate the system and it is all done with key commands. Not all of these are intuitive. Does this step require going to the list entitled “Check” under the header “Client” or the sub-list entitled “Checks” under “Templates”? Do I need to hit “F10” to select this option or do I hit “Enter” or do I hit “End”? How can I tell if it’s working? How do I know which lines to delete and which lines to add details to?

It took me months to learn all this. I remember being TERRIFIED of it in the beginning. I didn’t have a clue how the program was structured or how to fix any issues or what to do if there was an unexpected variable like withholding for dues or a miscellaneous reimbursement.

Now I can do it so fast I do it by counting key strokes instead of reading the screen. Arrow arrow arrow Enter Down Down Down Down Enter Enter Down Right Down…

I’m realizing now just how much information I’ve accumulated over three years, which doesn’t seem long considering the volume and considering that about six months was spent learning a completely new system that was subsequently abandoned.

To be fair, some of this information is kinda Dummy information: once you know how to navigate to the invoice program, for instance, you won’t need a refresher every time. But it needs to be in there for someone who is coming at this with zero experience. The document is over thirty pages long already, and I haven’t even gotten into any of the variables like other work states or union checks yet. It’s going to be yet another monster magnum opus, but at least it has pictures. And I know someone will read it, LOL.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on September 19, 2019.

One Response to “The Thousand Steps”

  1. I’m terrified just thinking about the steps I’d have to learn and somehow feeling bland and lacking creativity in the effort. 😛 Feeling like a typewriter with a few parts missing, parts which need to be fitted into place as I merge with another larger machine to make the whole function smoothly. Can I do it, or will the keys jam, sending me to the rejected parts pile?

    It’s like riding a bike or swimming! You just get your feet wet enough, and you find your way to make it work…sort of.

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