Don’t Forget to Save Often

This week I am most proud of the initiative I took by producing a word cloud graphic from a summary I transcribed. I had to type a list of words from participants in an event my organization hosted this weekend, and I noticed that there were several repeated words. I realized that the repeated words could be emphasized if the list of words describing the event were formatted into a word cloud. So, I found a free website that produced the graphic and added the visual to the end of the document I turned in. My supervisor said the graphic may be featured in the eventual report on the event.

The greatest stress I had this past week came when I realized that a spreadsheet I began working had not been saved and all my work had been lost. I started working on it Monday, and the document had to be completed by Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday morning when I realized I had not saved the document, I had to come up with a strategy to quickly finish the assignment. After first saving the new document to the appropriate file, I looked up some keyboard short cuts and used the sort function to speed up my work. Having already partially done the job before also made the second attempt easier. Because I stayed calm and made a plan I was able to recover from a silly mistake.

The greatest challenge I faced this week was making phone calls in French. Two weeks ago when I made my first round of phone calls to confirm attendance at an event organized my NGO, I found that the calls were not as hard as I anticipated. I was able to closely follow a script I had written in French which even had the answers to some common questions I encountered. However, this past week when I made a similar series of calls for a different event, three in every four individuals I spoke to had very unique circumstances that with my limited French skills I could not effectively respond. Luckily, a coworker stepped in to answer the questions on the phone. He recognized that I had bitten off more than I could chew with this project, and agreed to move me to a different project for the rest of the day.

Other odds and ends of the week included a visit to a French junk yard, a visit the French equivalent of Home Depot (which had an outdoor expresso bar in the parking lot), and a weekend trip to Monet’s garden which was picturesque.