Just read Pat Watt’s Blog on GERs – Grrrrrr and I have to agree with her.  Here is my similar story.

The Problem

Focus is small but growing.  As we grow we find things we did manually in a short period of time, now are laboriously long.  To speed up the process I am creating Excel programs designed to make life easier and more accurate.  Our payroll coding was long seen as a log jam in the getting our Care Providers paid every two weeks.  Using ISP Data, exporting it to Excel, and then using macros and lookup tables I was able to complete most of the payroll coding.  One piece of the required coding was to capture if the Day Hab took place in our After School Program.  In the location block our Care Providers would enter: After School Program.  Or they would enter ASP, or asp, or AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM; one Care Provider with a sticky shift key always entered AFter SChool PRogram.  I tried to capture every possible variation using nested IF functions in Excel but gave up when I found one Care Provider who was very “creative” in her spelling.  As she told me,

“It is the mark of a handcuffed creativity, and a constipated mind to only spell words one way.”

I like a good turn of a phrase.  And in my effort to share these words of wisdom with my favorite elementary school teacher, I pulled out my phone to text her.

Brief Side Track

That surprises most folks that a dinosaur like me can text.  I am of the generation that took typing (not keyboarding) in Junior High School on a manual typewriter.  It took real effort to use a typewriter.  To type a single character, you pressed the key firmly, then an arm with your selected character snapped up and struck the printer ribbon and paper with a sharp thwack.  Thwack, thwack, thwack, ding!  When you heard the bell, you finished that word and then manually returned the carriage to return to the left side of the page and advanced a line.  I’m guessing 90% of you have no idea what a carriage is.

The difference between Typing and a Word Processor:

  • “White out” was not a term for a bad blizzard, it was how you fixed typing errors.  Just hitting the backspace key didn’t fix anything.
  • You used a dictionary to “spell check” and you had to do it before you typed the word.
  • Your font and font size were determined by the typewriter you used; to change fonts you spent $300 to buy a different typewriter.
  • If you wanted a copy of what you just typed, you grabbed a different sheet of paper and typed it again.
  • And a mouse next to your keyboard was grounds for your roommate to move out.

Back to the story

We have this old fossil texting.  But the problem with someone from the Jurassic era is that our thumbs are not as limber as they used to be and texting is a hit or miss proposition.  To help me most cell phones have predictive text.  The function of predictive text is to help you rapidly enter correctly spelled words or specific abbreviations.  And the predictive text could learn new words too, like “Groovy” and “Far-out.”  And other new words like “AARP” and “Metamucil.”

The Solution?

Now if someone from my generation can learn how to use predictive text while texting on a cell phone, why can’t those young, bright and energetic folks from Therap insert predictive text in certain data fields?  Wouldn’t it be groovy if the Location box on ISP Data could use predictive text to help Care Providers enter “After School Program” the same way every time?

And if Therap can’t do that, then I would wonder who had the handcuffed creativity and constipated mind…

If we could, I would be LMAO…