Being Multi-skilled

b.f. from May 2005

Recently we were helped on a unique (nearly funny) problem. Understanding a language – whose script we didn’t know. So we went and asked someone who knew the script. Well, she knew the script, but she did not know the language! She knew another language that used the same script.

Now, I had to explain the requirement and I did. I obviously did not make sense. She made a face. On her face a big question mark doubting my sanity. She asked the question back to me: “You want me to check if the alphabets are in correct order even if the words don’t make sense”. This is a requirement nobody ever asked me – and I have never asked. She couldn’t have said it better.

“Yes,” I said, slightly miffed, because I knew I should have been able to make that statement myself.

And there we were, looking at an Arabic sentence, which was gibberish (for all of us), but we found out that we could do something about transferring Arabic from MS-Word to Macromedia Flash. We spent about 30 minutes Alt-Tabbing between MS-Word and Macromedia Flash. On each Alt-Tab I learned of an Urdu alphabet that she was reading aloud.

It also got me thinking about how well we use our faculties, but only when we choose to. Being multi-skilled got new meaning for me. Being multi-skilled is not about having more than one skill – it’s about using your existing skills in many ways.

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