#359: Autodidacticism


Me after my first week or two at my current job in 2007.  Iron Maiden shirt!

#359: Autodidacticism

I was very excited to begin my current job, back in 2007.  I was hired as sales coordinator for the “custom forming” department at a steel company.  I would mostly be dealing in railcar parts (weighing anywhere from 4 lbs to 3000 lbs each) and shipping them all over North America (and once even Dubai).  It wasn’t all new to me, but a lot of it was going to be.  I was replacing someone on a maternity leave, before I was hired on permanent in 2008.  She was absolutely meticulous and had a real talent with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.  I was inheriting all this and I hadn’t much experience with Excel.  I used it at home for budgets and whatnot, but upon seeing my predecessor’s work, I realized I knew relatively very little about it in reality.  I had to self educate very quickly.

What does this have to do with rock and roll? asks the bored reader.  I’m getting there!

I learn by doing, so I sat down with Excel for a few nights to get myself up to speed.  I began making some spreadsheets and familiarizing myself with the software…I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to make a spreadsheet of!  Then it hit me: let’s make it fun.  Let’s chart all the different official Kiss albums!

It actually ended up being a lot more fun than you might think!  I added an on-the-fly (but somewhat arbitrary) album rating system and then calculated the mean and median ratings.  I added up studio vs. live. vs compilation albums and made a pie chart of them.  I made it look as visually appealing as I could.  In my job I would be creating spreadsheets that went to VP’s and the president of the company, so I wanted everything to look perfect.   And it was fun to do.  This is obvious, because looking at it today, I even kept updating it into 2008, a full year after I made it!

My final observation is that when I abandoned this spreadsheet in 2008, I apparently hadn’t yet learned that the Kiss Alive! 1975-2000 box set had an iTunes bonus track, because that information is omitted here.

Yeah, I’m a nerd!  Always have been, and hopefully always will be!



  1. This is cool Mikey….dig your rating system….u should post more of these! Great read! I would have given Aces album a 10 and Stanley’s a 6…..that’s my only beef!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My inner geek is tingling.

    I was sent on two training courses for Excel for a job I had in Saskatoon (Beginner and Intermediate). I didn’t do the Advanced course because the job didn’t require macros. I don’t know if any of that makes me an expert on it, but I can do lots of stuff with it! But man did I fall in love with Excel. When I had Winblows computers, I always had Excel. My CD collection was my main at-home project.

    For the past decade I’ve had Macs, and never did buy Office for Mac. Why? I don’t know, honestly. I don’t really care about the rest of Office, but I would love to get Excel again. I have the Mac version of it, called Numbers, but it’s not as good (in my mind). Pretty sure Excel and Numbers talk easily without losing too much formatting, but I’ve never done my collection in Numbers. Weird. I should try! I’m a spreadsheet GEEK!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha Excel & Rock and or roll, talk about two of my loves!
    That’s how I’m keeping track of my 1001 progress, with worksheets for each decade & if statements to automatically update the first tab with the summary table.
    This is a safe place to speak geek, right?!

    Liked by 2 people

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