#REF! (Relationships Gone Sour)

I work hard to not work hard.

Remember that allegory that featured some ants and a grasshopper?

I now think that that allegory is wasted on humans. We don’t need it.

See, no human is a grasshopper, we’re just one of 50 shades of ants crammed between dull grey and jet black.

Why am I getting philosophical? It’s a coping mechanism.

Why am I executing coping mechanisms? To cope with the failure of a hair-brained scheme that would have make things easier for me had it worked.

So this is what happened:

Today, in lieu of a long-overdue mother’s day present, I decided to help my mom with her Student Information Database. (My mother is a high school teacher)

It’s filled with every sort of information about all her students:

Their name, their father’s name, their mother’s name, the house that they belong to, their club, their co-curricular interests, their addresses, their bus routes, their religion and the name of their pet (If dog, specify breed) and on and on and on…

And the higher ups in administration have a fetish for coloured excel worksheets.

Which is why the teachers at my mum’s school spend the better part of their working hours cooking up colour schemes to go with their personal Student Information Databases.

The field with phone numbers are coloured in a sassy Atlantic Blue, The names of parents in a bold Cassanova Copper, The bus routes in a brave Voodoo Violet, email IDs in a subtle Welsh Brown and the addresses in a Sublime Bitter Lime.

But Excel is more than a colouring book!

It’s supposed to be a friggin’ database management system, right? I felt it was up to me to give those goofy higher ups a tour of the wonders of Microsoft Excel.

So I spend the whole day fostering bubbling relationships between the cells in different worksheets. I sat down to explain to them a few things about life and it’s struggles:

You don’t have to be told the student’s bus route twice, worksheet beta. Look! You’re a tiny but essential part of the database. Many drops make an ocean!

Why don’t you try talking to your neighbor?

Admonishing them ever so gently sometimes:

Tch tch…  No, Sheet, no! I won’t add up the number of students with ‘swimming’ as their extra curricular, you’re supposed to help me do that Sheetums, it’s character building stuff. Karo chalo. 


A few dozen hours later

  • Half the cells display an unrelenting #REF!
  • I’ve run out of printer ink

Maybe what I need now is a copying mechanism?



Bipolar Bear


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