The Wizard

The beloved husband and I are a great team. We complement each other…sort of.

I can see a completed project and he can figure out how to implement my inane brilliant ideas.

I am the queen of the schemes dreams and he is the master of the boring details.

There are only a few minutia kind of things that I am better at then he is. One of them is Excel.

I am the Excel wizard in this house!

Yes, it’s so hard to believe. I hate details. They clutter the mind. If you focus on them too much, you miss the beautiful BIG picture.

Excel is a frustrating wonderful program that I used at work. Like any computer program, when you first learn it, you want to kill strangle the computer. Toss it out the window. Hit it with a hammer.

It can drive you to do things you wouldn’t normally do – like buy more shoes. (I know, I would think of some half-assed reason to buy shoes anyway!)

But…the more you learn the more you can see the logic to it. (So they say.)

I was very fortunate to have learned it at work. I had wonderful financial people who were true wizards and patient teachers. Eventually I could do a lot of calculations and formatting easily. (Yes, it took a lot of shoes.)

Not so with the beloved husband. He was very familiar with computer programs and designed some many, many years ago but Excel was not something he used.

He uses bad interesting words when he does spreadsheets. He does not share my theory on retail (shoe) therapy. It would do him good if he tried it. Of course, the last time he tried retail therapy he bought a humongous TV. It cost a lot more than a pair of shoes and you can’t wear it out.

I know what you’re thinking. Why is a retired guy using spreadsheets? Nope, not for financial stuff. He uses it for his music and for his work on volunteer projects.

The best part of Excel is that it doesn’t take much to be a hero in this house. This morning I formatted a spreadsheet – just the fonts. Easy peasy. The way the beloved husband tried it should work. He was trying to change the default. It wasn’t working the way he did it.

I slipped in with two clicks and the world was set right.

How many of you can say that you righted someone’s day with so little effort?

Yes, I’m a wizard! They need to write a song about me.

This is for Carol who taught me most of what I know about Excel even while I was swearing and threatening to bash my computer those many years ago.

30 thoughts on “The Wizard

  1. Hopefully in our marriages we can demonstrate complementary skills! My husband just jumps in and often has to fix a problem he created because he was too quick to engage. Fortunately he works fast and never complains. I strategize and and plan for a long time in my head and then get the job done. Fewer mistakes, but sometimes slow to the point of being labeled a procrastinator. But between us, we’re dynamite! (I love Excel, too). I’ll miss making charts when I retire…I can’t imagine I’ll really need to visualize the data with charts. I’d better enjoy them while I can.


  2. Interesting this Excel. It can even enhance marital relationships? Wow! No, I don’t know Excel. So many of my colleagues don’t use the standard grade book they give us at the college in favor of cleaving tightly to their dear Excel. It must be powerful, and it must be wonderful, because it has so many loyal fans, followers and users. I can help colleagues activate their course, navigate our new online learning environment, design my online learning lab, host online meetings, and a bunch of other stuff…but no, I don’t know Excel.


    • If you have something that works for what you do, that’s a better deal. That’s how it was with my husband. He used a lot of programs when he worked corporately but none of them were Excel. They were all specific to his company.


  3. Being compatible with your spouse is nice. But complementing each other is even better sometimes.
    I’ve never had anyone nearby who could teach me computer skills. I’m not particularly interested or patient in that area, so I only teach myself what I absolutely need to learn. The same thing holds true for the technical parts of blogging on WordPress. I don’t really know what I’m doing. I need a WordPress wizard.


    • Mostly I operate the way you do. I use Photoshop but I only learned the things that I use and it does so much more. As for WordPress, some parts are a mystery to me. I read all their notices but I often close them up and delete. I tried changing my theme and I wasn’t happy so I kind of stay put although one day….


  4. I am very proud to know a wizard…I’m a bit fallow in cyberspace and have noticed how skilled you are on your site which is one of the prettiest ones I’ve seen. Simple but snazzy with cat wallpaper…how can you go wrong.

    Your husband is one lucky retired dude.


  5. I have an unnatural attachment to, and love for, Excel. I can come up with all kinds of crazy reasons that I need a sophisticated spreadsheet with pivot tables and long complicated formulas. The day after I was diagnosed with cancer the first thing I did was set up a spreadsheet to track various doctors, test results, etc. It made me feel like I was in control of one teeny aspect of the whole experience…


    • I track a lot of things….shoe stores, landscape plants, birthdays, food diaries, magazine subscriptions (they always trick you into renewing 2 years early), and a bunch of other stuff. I did not use a spreadsheet for my cancer. I spent a lot of time in the valley of denial!


  6. How delightful to be able to swoop in and be his Excel hero. And they thought all those years in the corporate world were just about making money. Nope. We were learning secret skills that one day would come to the rescue.

    I’m also an Excel aficionado, and use it for tracking all sorts of things. I’m all over something that can do the calculations for me, since mathematical brain calculations were never my forte. How much easier to input a formula, and press a button, and *presto*, you get an instant answer. Like a calculator on steroids.

    I once tried to teach someone Excel, and they couldn’t begin to wrap their head around the concept of individual “cells”, (which made the process very difficult). Eventually, I had to resort to calling each little rectangle a separate room, and had to explain how in this room, there was a fixed number, and in this room there was a formula that resulted in a calculated number, and in this room, there was an average of all the other rooms, etc, etc. Finally! I had hit on something that made sense to them (even though it didn’t make much sense to me). One day in frustration, they said something along the lines of “this spreadsheet has way too many rooms”. LOL

    Pinball Wizard? Rock on, sister. That was one of the first albums (yes, the spinning vinyl sort) that I purchased with my very own dollars. The Who. Tommy. Major coolness factor, back in the day. Way back in the day. 🙂


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