On Friday I had the dubious pleasure of being trained with the other PAs in London on eVenture – the Access database we log everything on at work.
I went in ‘in comfortables’ as Nancy Blackett would say, spending a day using one of the most unfriendly computer systems ever written, I wanted jeans on. Got a few comments about dress down Friday and how efficient I looked, but 2 out of the other 3 girls took one look and muttered ‘B*gger!’
In the end, it was an interesting day, I felt a whole lot happier with using it at the end of the session. H who trained us, knew her stuff, was full of useful information on how we could get the best out of the system, and filled me with a sense of optimism. I had a play with one of the reports for the MD and we are going to be able to use it in the meetings on Monday mornings. Hurrah.
I still think that Access was written by someone who doesn’t have to actually use it. If you don’t ask it exactly for the information you need, it won’t play. If you have never really used Access before (moi and everyone else in the office) then not getting it exactly right doesn’t give you what you want. At least Excel lets you guess, then refine it.
Like most things that have been invented, the objects/tools/whatever that are so blindingly simple are invented because someone has gone ‘Argh!’ at what is available. Everything else seems to be asking people to go ‘Argh!’ and tweak it to get the best out of it. Access is one of them. Come on Microsoft, tweak it like you tweak everything else, I won’t forgive you for changing Internet Explorer 7, but at least I still can use it!