December 9, 2006

progress

I think I have some more achievements to report. I talked to my boss as I planned, and she has come up with a couple of things I have been working on from home. The first was running spell check on a protected spreadsheet in Excel. There’s a simple solution on the Mac side—a macro unprotects the sheet, runs spell check, and turns protection back on. The same macro should run on PCs, but macro security is a more complicated beast there. The macro has to have a security certificate or users are forced to disable security before attempting to run the macro. Even if I get a security certificate, I think users still need to change a default setting. This might be too much for the organization’s users, so I don’t know if we’ll go into production or not. Next is a much bigger job that will require organizing and rewriting a collection of sample performance elements for the agency’s new performance management system. This is a much more complex job with a lot of factors to consider. It’s a real challenge. It feels very strange tracking my time against this effort—almost the old feeling of going to work and having someone else decide how I’m going to spend my time, but it’s interesting and exhilarating to be working myself back into the flow of the workplace.

This morning I did my first public Toastmasters presentation in more than a year. I worked on it much longer ahead of time than I’m used to, but the effort paid off. I wanted feedback on fundamentals that I’ll really need to work on—gesturing from a wheelchair with only one hand, using space in a wheelchair, what I sound like to an audience now—but most of the feedback ignored this and talked about insight I displayed and inspiration in my message, determination in my outlook. (One friend did realize I must have had a hard time preparing so much and using a script—I’m much more comfortable winging it.) So I had a good outing, and I’m pleased with the results. I’ll try to post the speech here if I can.