You know how you develop a certain skill (which can be completely mindless like Excel formulas), then because of that, everyone turns to you to do their work for them. They couch it in terms like, “Oh but you’re the Excel expert.”
Let me tell you something, people. You too can learn Excel. It ain’t hard. You don’t even have to buy a book. You just have to open up the application, play with it, and hit Help when you don’t know how to do something. That formula you’re asking me about? All you have to do is type it in Help and it will walk you through everything step-by-step. It takes very little mental capacity.
I personally think that people are just lazy. No doubt I have some lazy tendencies. But I actually try to solve my problems on my own before asking for help. They are, after all, MY problems.
One area of expertise I’m frequently called upon is for writing. I’ve been told, “But you’re the writer in the family!” Sure, I write. So do you! We don’t communicate via sign language. You write letters and emails and all sorts of communications. You, too, are a writer. Yet I get asked (ad nauseum) to write out cards, essays, speeches. The other day my mom said, “You’ll be the one who says my eulogy, right?”
My aunt is retiring at the end of the year and she called me twice to make sure that I would write her retirement speech. Hmmm. I have no idea how long you’ve worked at that hospital or what your fondest memories are or even which department you’re in, but sure! I guess I have to throw something together. I should point out that my aunt is pretty friggin brilliant. She’s smart, hard-working, ball-busting, and she carved out a commendable career for herself. Yet I drafted up her retirement speech. Strange.
Here’s another way I think about it. I have zippo expertise in cooking. However, I don’t show up to people’s homes and say, “Well you’re the cook in the family so I brought my big appetite and nothing else!” For those who’ve taken advantage of my writing skills, I just might start doing that.