Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Information Overload - Out With The Old, Out With The New

My brain has become so full of information lately that it no longer stores things neatly in files to be found later. The clerk inside my head who processes information is so busy that she hasn't gone home to eat or sleep in weeks. I picture her as Madam Trelawney in the Harry Potter movies.

Instead of the neatly filed drawers in alphabetical order, there is now just a huge in-bin with papers cascading to the floor. Sad really.

What's sadder is that I have full confidence that this system will magically work when I need it too. For example: Yesterday, at one of my jobs, I had the pleasure of learning a new task. I enjoyed this new task very much. However, it taxed Madam Trelawney to no end. Not only did my new task involve math, which both I and Madam Trelawney hate more than screaming babies, but it also involved me having to try to remember where an entire warehouse of ingredients was stored.

I bet you think I'm kidding. I assure you I am not. It was like playing an all day game of Memory, which I also hate. I would ask a co-worker "Where is the Energy Boost?" and they would explain in full detail where in the warehouse to find it. Then I would say "Ok, well, where is the epsom salt?" And they would explain that also. While they were explaining that, Madam Trelawney would throw down the information containing the whereabouts of the Engergy Boost and begin to furiously scribble down directions to the epsom salt. By the time we got to the warehouse, she had forgotton where she put that also. I would forgive her and look for a mysterious third ingredient in hopes that I would just happen upon the missing first two in my search.

Some of the ingredients I searched for had no label and some had a label named something different than what was written down. (Me: Where is the biotin?  Co-Worker: Oh, that's in the bin labeled "magnesium sulphate."  Of course it is.) I felt like I was trapped in the Legend of Zelda, where you search for stupid Zelda all day long but no one ever really finds her. In the end, you die jumping over something pointy and have to start all over at the beginning. I did level up and gain an extra life after I successfully remembered where the red rumensin pellets where.

All of this was a challenge, and yet, at Thanksgiving, when my sister was bemoaning the fact that she couldn't find the envelope containing her employment papers for her new job, I clearly recalled that she told me the week before that it was in her van. This is info I did not need to retain, but somehow, I did. Well done Madam Trelawney.

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