Re: deer in the headlights

Subject: Re: deer in the headlights
From: Brian Hooper <hooperbc -at- mindspring -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 12:46:58 -0800

Hi Keith,

I totally sympathize with you. I get exactly the same way. There is nothing
wrong with me, you, and the other techwhirlers affected. Perhaps there's some
psychobabble chemical thing that actually happens in our bodies. Or maybe, on
the logical tip, it's simply that while working without a "shadow" our bodies
and minds react more reflexively. Thus, we type without thinking about every
single key or if it's the right one. However, add a "shadow" to the mix or for
that matter, any kind of test situation, and we shift from autopilot to copilot.
If we had someone shadow us all the time, then suddenly we had to work alone,
we'd also freeze up. So, it's also partly just conditioning.

Gotta go, someone's creeping up!


kcronin -at- daleen -dot- com wrote:

> Does this happen to anybody else? I'm a decent typist, and a fairly
> self-confident guy. I'm pretty good at what I do (or just really good at
> surviving layoffs - that's admittedly a judgment call).
> So why is it that when somebody stands behind me, looking over my
> shoulder, and asks me to do something - anything - on my computer, I
> freeze up?
> Suddenly I'm typing like I have mittens on. My knowledge of my computer's
> operating system vanishes. Mouse accuracy plummets.
> This response seems completely independent of the task with which I'm
> charged. Somebody could say, "Go to this Web site" and reel off a URL, or
> they could ask "Can you crank out a couple paragraphs about our
> architecture?" and either way, I become Instantly Ineffective Man.
> This also has nothing to do with where I stand on the food chain in
> relation to the person making the demand/request. It could be my boss, or
> a mere developer. <g>
> It's weird. Sometimes I'll go so far as to ask them to leave and I'll
> e-mail them in 5 minutes. The second they leave the cube, I'm fine. A
> virtual Andrew Plato among men. <g> But when somebody's looking over my
> shoulder, I just lock up.
> Is it just me, or do I have a support group out there?
> - Keith Cronin
> _____________________________________

Brian C. Hooper
Writer/Editor and Web Text Analyst

"The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings." - Okakura

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