Tricks of the trade

An image of a magic wand and white stars on a black background, to go with my post about tricks of the trade.

I believe we all have things we are good in. We all have skills we have learned, techniques we have fine-tuned to tricks of the trade, and which makes our jobs easier. We might be doing the same kind of jobs, but don’t have the same skills, as we are specialized in different things. Think of doctors. One knows more about surgery, the other about infectious diseases, but both of those are tricks of their trade.

The same goes for bloggers. Even though we are all blogging, we aren’t all good in the same thing, which is why it’s wonderful when we can share our knowledge and learn from each other.

But of course there are other tricks too, and since it’s just been April Fools, I’m sure some people have been tricked, sometimes in the most funny ways. Today I want to take a trip down memory lane, of tricks played on the first of April.

The trick in my story

I wrote a story for April Fools, and the trick in that story had really been played. My second husband was the one making the call from the State Vehicle Authority, and the person the trick was played on, was a colleague of mine. We had been planning it for about a month, and by the time the first of April came around, we were more than ready for it.

There really was a meeting that morning. My manager and I sat in one office, and she nodded to me to set the wheels in motion. The colleague was in the office next to us, with another colleague. We were a team of ten people, and everyone was in on it, except of course this one man.

Gosh, did we have a good laugh that day. He thought he was clever, and really hung up on my husband, and called the number back to verify it. When he realized it was ‘genuine’, he was in a panic. He barged into our office and frantically started telling about the call and that he needed to go to arrange the insurance… and then we couldn’t hold our laughter anymore!

Silly office tricks

If you work in an office, there are a million silly tricks you can play, from sticking a stapler to a desk using double sided tape, to rotating the computer screen so it’s upside down, to sticking a piece of paper under the mouse so it doesn’t work.

Back when I was in the army in South Africa, and we still had those old style phones, either the handset would be glued to the receiver, or that little lever would be stuck down with tape so even when you picked up the handset, the phone kept on ringing. And then of course, there always was a colleague somewhere in the office having a fit of laughter seeing you answering the phone.

The trick everyone always fell for, over and over again, was when you a colleague called out to you: “The colonel called, you have to call him back.”
Of course, being in the army, the next question always was: “Which colonel?”
And the answer to that?
“Colonel Sanders.”

Now some people immediately knew it was a prank, but newbies frequently started searching for the number of Colonel Sanders, to the greatest hilarity of the rest of the office.

If you don’t get this prank, let me know and I will explain it.

My tricks of the trade

Streamlining processes

I have an administrative function, and have done every job in the office, which makes me one of the two all-rounders in the office. Now I am very honest, that with some of the tasks, things have changed, and if I have to do that again, I will have to educate myself. Other things, I can jump in with little effort.

I am currently mainly in financial administration, even after for many years I had said finances is nothing for me. But, I am thoroughly enjoying it, working with numbers, seeing the trends, bringing in the money. One of my skills is to work through a process, see the logic path in it and then streamline it. I have saved the company a lot of time over the years by optimizing different processes.

We have a programmer who has custom-designed all our administrative systems. Because of my understanding of computers — from working with databases, to word processors — whenever he needs to brainstorm about changes or additions, he calls me. Before Covid he would work on location a lot, and would hang on the cabinet next to my desk, telling me what changes he has to make and asking me to help him see the logical path. I love doing this, and a couple of months ago my manager, whenever she needed to have something added to the systems, started calling me and we would have a three-way conversation with the programmer.

Teaching others

Another skill I have and something I enjoy, is teaching others. Not by standing in front of a class — even though I have been told to reconsider this — but by writing manuals. I have recently written a couple of manuals on my basic tasks, so I can take an undisturbed break from work in May. I love doing those, writing out the steps people should take, and adding screenshots for them to understand visualize it.

This also ties in nicely with Blogable, I just love sharing my tricks of the trade!

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay


4 Thoughts or Fiction

6 thoughts on “Tricks of the trade

  1. You have so many wonderful talents and ideas. I’m always amazed by your work and am so grateful for the wisdom you share. You certainly have helped me grow!

    1. I think it’s my love of writing manuals (and writing in general) which makes me enjoy sharing on Blogable so much 🙂 xox

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