May, you really kicked my butt! Keep reading for a sorta-retrospective and some cute data-tastic moments. And look out for some new spreadsheet tips coming your way in June! One quick plug while I’m here – if you’re a Salesforce-nik in Philadelphia and identify as someone underrepresented in technology (or an ally) – I hope you’ll consider joining Amplify Philly aka Salesforce Equity Practitioners. We have a kickoff meeting happening this week!

Putting the “support” in tech support

This week, I picked up my work phone (which only rings once in a blue moon!). On the other end was a kind, optimistic, but ultimately beleaguered grantee. She needed help submitting their interim report. Admittedly, it’s not a particularly intuitive process; the instructions, alone, constitute a several-page-long brochure. Like many card-carrying millennials, I avoid phone calls like the plague – especially unscheduled ones. (“Why are you calling me??? Is there an emergency??!”) That being said, I have limited audience with grantees, and I’m always eager to hear their feedback or provide tech support where possible.

This call was SO FUN because not only did I get to help this grantee with a tech problem (so fulfilling!) but I also learned that her organization uses Salesforce and sometimes gets stuck, but their free lance consultant is no longer free lance. I was so happy to have an invitation in my back pocket – to join the newly emerging Philadelphia chapter of Amplify at our upcoming launch event THIS Thursday! Best part? She was well aware of the launch announcement because she reads one of the list-serves where we publicized the group! *Heart eyes* *dizzy spin* (learn more about Amplify / Equity Salesforce Practitioners at the link above!)


How I feel about May, 2019.

The past few weeks have been so busy with travel, deadlines, board meetings, and shenanigans that I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging. I only made 4 posts in May, the least blogging EVER since TDAA started! Worse than number alone, I’ve been feeling run-down, irritable, and generally exhausted (hopefully June will be a more spacious month with lots of swimming, cross-stitching, and lazing around). Despite my personal busyness, I’ve had no shortage of blog material! (Want to read more about any of these teasers? Leave a comment on this post!)

  • I created a version of Slack for our household to keep track of plans, to-dos, and minor decisions (can you get toothpaste? etc)
  • I learned how to use a piece of technology that lets you mailmerge more than one file at a time! (Perhaps The Mail Merge Are Alright #5?). Plus, I did a spring fundraiser mailmerge for my beloved Earth Quaker Action Team.
  • I previously submitted 2 conference session proposals that I was excited about and they both got rejected. womp womp >,< Maybe I should write about them here?? (One is an expansion on this post)
  • A work project that took me 2 weeks last year took me 3 hours this year!
  • I wrote friendly/complex documentation to help guide a client who’s never been a (Salesforce) Sys Admin to log into a sandbox, update Apex code, and move it to Production with change sets. Ahh yes, the non-blissful life of being a nonprofit staffer who has to occasionally fix stuff WAY beyond their comfort zone! We meet again, but this time, we have brains and brawn and chutzpah on our side!
  • I went on a diatribe about automated Tasks versus Chatter posts in Salesforce to my generous, ambitious, and very enterprising friend who is doing a DIY Salesforce implementation at our synagogue (has this been written about elsewhere, interwebs?)
  • My mom asked me for help crafting a spreadsheet for her literary research 😀 (this will be so fun!)
  • I got my 150th Trailhead badge!

And I’ve been reading! (aiming for at least 25 minutes per day!) Insofar as a tertiary purpose of this blog is to mark the passing of time, here are some of the books that have been my companions over the last few weeks:

  • The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
  • Engendering Judaism by Rachel Adler
  • Roots in Reverse by (the one and only) Rick Shain (my dad!!)
  • Jane by Maggie Nelson

(By the way, as I make my way through my dad’s recently published scholarly book, I realize that he didn’t pull any PUNches in his writing either! Apple, meet tree…)

A debate for the ages

The Jewish tradition teaches that debates are holy as long as they are for the sake of heaven. Which is good – because we almost got into a thumb war in my synagogue’s budgeting Slack channel over spreadsheet preferences… (by the way, yes, we do have publicly available budget visualizations!)

This is the culmination of months and months of work, but that’s not why I’m sharing it here. I’m sharing it because I want to show that it’s possible to be our brash, goofy, weirdo selves AND make smart, accessible spreadsheets ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I think deep down I’ve always known this, but my beloved collaboration with Emily and Katie (more announcements coming soon!) has given me even more permission to show up as my uncensored self in my data work. And I want to pay it forward and offer you the same invitation!

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