Sunday, April 22, 2012

Brain Fart

Any clerical work demands real focus so I'm pretty bad at it. Three particular strategies I want to describe for the record so you'll know why I get fired:

1) When counting stacks of 25 I like to break it into 5 groups of 5. But when I count to 5 I don't use numbers; I use letters because the forms I'm stacking are full of numbers and when I think "2" but am looking at a "3" then it can mess up the count. So I say, "B" since there are no Bs on the form. A,B,C,D,E. This is crazy and it's also not flawless so don't listen to me. It's also impossible to count more than 26 of anything without saying, "B subprime...B prime...B superprime" as you cycle through the alphabet. Remember that I count from one to 25 for 8 consecutive hours.

2)I am separating two main groups of forms. One group is to be processed and is about 95% of all the forms I receive. So 5 of every 100 forms will go to the second pile which can not be processed by me. There is a secondary pile that are also not processed by me but they are not processed for a different reason and go in a third pile. Understand? But when I am sorting them first I like to sort for the main two groups that can be processed or are otherwise error free, but one small group is not processed by me. But the mental game that I have to play is what I want to focus on. I think in terms of grabbing a form and expecting it to be processed by me so it goes into pile A. Then once in a while I'll get a form that belongs in pile B. Make sense? But this is an important sorting stage so I am starting to feel this is not a good approach. To exercise my brain I try to think of the 5%, the "Main" pile and the 95% the "secondary" pile. In other words, I'm expecting every form to go to pile B and I act surprised when it goes to pile A. Basically, I'm faking myself into expecting the opposite result in order to remain alert. It's like, every form belongs in pile B until the moment I realize it belongs in pile A. Not the other way around. I should point out that the end result is the same but it's the mental acuteness that changes.
I'm a baseball fan and I remember when I was batting, the mental process boiled down to swing or don't swing. But you have so little time to decide that you have to prepare yourself one way or the other. The mental process of successful hitters treat every pitch like its going to be the pitch they crush. They anticipate a fastball or a breaking ball and then they already decide they are going to swing. They commit to swinging before it is thrown. And then, only when it is out of the strike zone or not the pitch they anticipated, they don't swing. Because it is easier to stop yourself from swinging than to decide to swing when you see a good pitch. You can already tell why my baseball career lasted a little past T-Ball.

3) Has anyone read about competition memory athletes? It's not a joke. The sport is to memorize the most consecutive numbers. Well, the champion, (I forget his name) says he has memorized 100 people, places or things that correspond to every number up to 100. For example: The number 278944.... How does he remember that? Well, 27 is the number assigned to Abe Lincoln and 89 is Little Ceasar's Pizza store, and 44 is Hank Aaron. So, when asked to remember that number he remembers Abe lincoln eating Little Ceasar's pizza with Hank Aaron.
I'm not joking that this is his method. Now when you get above 100 or 500 numbers then he has to literally imagine an architectural layout in a store or office building and inside each room, an event will be happening like Lincoln eating Pizza with Hank Aaron. And when he's asked to recall these numbers he will visualize each event in turn as he mentally tours his imaginary office building. I'm trying to learn this method so my ID number at work is my mother drinking a can of beer with two fish and inside Fenway Park.

Hint: I'm really not cut out for clerical work but bass guitars don't grow on trees.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.