Space Invaders: An Office Manager Tip

I spent two weeks bussing tables at my mom’s work one summer and realized very quickly two things:

  1. All toddlers think Cheerios® are projectiles; and
  2. I needed to learn another trade.

In addition to the required typing class (is that still required or am I really dating myself?), I took two years of “Office Careers” and tutored it the third.  We learned everything from how to manually center text to how many hard returns should be between a date and the address on a letter from alphabetization rules for filing and how to use WordPerfect (now I know I’m dating myself).

The truth is, I have been doing this work since I was fourteen and, in 24 years’ worth of office experience, you pick up a few things including pet peeves.  Chalk it up to an occupational hazard.

I can’t even begin to recount how many documents I’ve had to edit or rewrite over the years where a seemingly simple task became daunting because of one culprit:  The Space Bar.

Seriously.  If you use the space bar to format documents in your word processing software, then I implore you to stop.  If setting tabs seems overwhelming to you, then may I suggest developing your skills at a computer learning center?  To this day, I am happy a former employer purchased blocks of classes for all of the staff to attend a few years back.

Once a few words are replaced the whole document becomes wonkey very quickly.  What was supposed to take five minutes now takes two hours and it seems that little green men from space have invaded your document and are holding it hostage to suck out your brain.  Okay, you can remove your tin hats now.

 For Thought:

4 thoughts on “Space Invaders: An Office Manager Tip

  1. Heather Steele (@UniTherm)

    This is a post after my own heart – I began my career as a technical writer and as a result am also very well versed in the (proper) ways to format a document in Word (or Framemaker, AuthorIT, InDesign etc).

    It is not common for people to understand how to set tabs in their documents, which is quite strange considering that this is, oh, the year 2011 – so I ask that if someone doesn’t know how to properly format a document, they just don’t do it.

    It is amazing how many legal documents out there are precariously strung together with spaces and underscores – just hoping they never need an edit or revision.

  2. Coleen Dolan (@CertifiedLeads)


    I was laughing the entire time! I too took the typing classes and all the other above, learned on Word Perfect first…yada yada yada….

    I think the real problem today is that they do not teach this anymore!!! No one knows or cares about it anymore! My teenage children are typing on a keyboard with 2 fingers…I really don’t understand. They look at me as some typing god because I can type something and be looking and talking to them at the same time! lol

    Thanks for the good laugh today, I needed it!


    1. Bridget Willard

      You are most welcome. Typing skills are needed today more than ever before.

      I try to bring some levity to a serious situation. The spacebar is your enemy, make no mistake about it. 😀


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WordPress Anti Spam by WP-SpamShield