I am and never have been gifted with administrative skills.
I was told once by a teacher that I was “people smart”. (AKA – quite dumb really!) My skills in maths and English always were ‘challenged’ to say the least. I think if they knew of such things when I was in school I would have got a kind of mild ADHD diagnosis, seriously, I can’t handle a class room situation, the guys at Forge always put up with me complaining about having to come to another day (or two heaven forbid) long seminar – aghhh. I do love reading, very slowly, and can sit and contemplate life – at least for a while, but by personality, I think I am often jumping around a bit.
When it comes to sitting down and listening to anything complicated, I am lost, if someone tries to explain a diagramme with words, I am a gonner. And money stuff…money stuff – I did an accounting unit at TAFE and sat in the class listening to what sounded like jklhsljhiuhjkrp9879ycpn;OUHP(YO&*TI&^RO*GHJK or something of the sort for a whole semester. I have no idea what one of those sheets with all the columns and totals mean when I am in a meeting and the treasurer hands out his reports. I do not know how much I get paid, nor do I understand it when someone explains it to me, especially when tax, supa and fringe benifits are mentioned in that same sentence, no idea at all.
Basic accounting. If I have $1000 in my travel budget and fly to Brisbane and it cost $400, I now have $600 in my travel budget.
So why do I try to do it? Why even agree to take on trying to work out expenses and income from a mission trip? Why not just ask my wife (who is gold at this stuff), or other friends who even enjoy the challenge of working this stuff out. My Dad, he even does it for a living! But nope, I think pride makes me think, “If I just could put all the expenses down here, then income here, I will be able to have the satisfaction of knowing I did it”.
So…for the past few weeks, every few days I give it another go. The final cost sheet for our recent trip to the Kimberley. Not a big budget trip, 18 people, food, fuel, bus and whatever.
Every time I get lost in the mire of it all, pack it up and think I will be better at it next time.
Today, I finally think, this is it – I will do it! Hours later, I was angry, frustrated and confused as to why this seemingly simple task has made me nearly sick. Around 6pm, I am communicating with my mate Matt by skype…skype – numbers in lines, not columns, I don’t like numbers either way, but when typed along the line not down the line they make less sense 🙂 Poor Matt, (so sorry dude) he was getting mad at me, I was getting mad at me and him for getting mad at me, I couldn’t understand why the figures kept changing, he couldn’t either! I was at the same time burning spaghetti on the stove, which almost took an angle grinder to get off!
As the spag boiled dry, I screamed out to Christine “I just can’t do this, nothing is working I don’t get why nothing adds up!”, my hands were shaking, I lost my breath, my chest hurt like hell, I doubled over – I kid you not!! I have never had what must be called an anxiety attack before, it’s just not me, but this must be what it feels like.
I ate dinner in silence, watched the news and washed up, all the while Christine and Matt communicated with each other and sorted it in a matter of 30 minutes. She gave me a sheet of paper summing up what simply needed to happen. Gifted my wife – gifted. Thanks Matt and Chris!
Now please don’t think any less of me now you know I am useless with details, I can do some stuff…lift heavy objects and the like 🙂
I am also taking my wife’s advice and NEVER get involved in issues of money again, she said “ASK FOR HELP EARLIER!”
I go now – ug