This week I've been mostly wrestling with a leopard.
As part of the transatlantic transition, I've also migrated to Macs - the first time I've touched one since Quark Xpress was a hot piece of software.
[I can hear your gasps of shock. That's right - TIGS has been IBM compatible all this time. Now stop being platformist.]
As a geek I'd been looking forward to the chance to become ambidextrous - I had assumed that as Macs are famously intuitive and user friendly and whatnot that I'd pick it up in a few clicks.
The reality has been slightly more painful.
Over many, many years of using Windows the interface metaphor, the translation of desire into action on the screen, becomes internalised. It's like driving - you no longer think about turning the wheel, you think "I want to go left."
Whilst the point and click mechanics of the OS are basically the same, there are enough differences to force me to have to think about it and its slowing me down to a learner's crawl, which has been driving me crazy.
It's perhaps analogous to learning to snowboard when you are already a confident skier. It's familiar but different and you're being forced to re-learn the basics when you want to shoop down the slope.
But I shall persevere, for I have drawn strength from an unlikely source: the sagacity of the Harvard Business Review.
HBR current issue highlights their pick of the breakthrough ideas for 08. It's a good round up, although there's nothing new there if you're a cutting edge blog reader: p2p economy, ARGs, the metaverse, avatars, China and so on.
One of their breakthrough ideas is the fact that gamers are ideal employees: with WOW in mind they point out they thrive on change, are used to working in teams, look for original solutions and think of learning as fun - overcoming obstacles, learning how to master the game engine, is the point of the game - good games are ones that manage this learning curve well.
So, I'm repositioning my with struggle with leopard as a game in the hope that I will trick my brain into a positive hedonic response as I climb the steep face of the curve.
I can't wait to level up.