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Friday, July 16, 2021

 "What is the learning curve?" a job applicant asked this week.

I'd been thinking about this earlier in the day, particularly in the newspaper industry where learning is the career itself. If I stop learning, then I'm dying.

I've always said the learning curve is at least a year and for some jobs it's up to five years. But in my varied experiences, it wasn't so much about what I knew.

While driving to get lunch -- a healthy serving of pineapple as suggested by a reader -- I thought the learning curve is when one feels comfortable on the job.

So we discussed the language difference and the applicant agreed "comfort" is a better goal.

I'd been thinking about it because I'm finally starting to feel comfortable in a new job, a new community and pretty much new everything else.

Comfort comes from an awareness that I'm not confronted by a new computer program each day, where I know the names of colleagues spread across a couple of states, when I can answer simple questions from readers. Imagine when someone calls and asks what a subscription costs and my answer is, "I have no idea." That does not inspire consumer confidence.

Not only can I answer simple questions, I can help fix problems facing my colleagues. Any good newspaper editor knows not just writing and editing but how to fix a copier issue, order office supplies or -- this week -- find a damn pair of scissors.

I don't feel as overwhelmed as before and I'm not exhausted at the end of every day -- just most days.

I can't imagine how good it will feel to get my stuff here when I have comfort at both home and work.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Peace and comfort unto you my brothers and sisters.


  1. Don't forget the 80 - 20 Rule.
    80% of what you have learned about a subject occurred in the last 20% of the time you have spent learning the subject.

  2. I knew this fisherman in Texas, where all they have are lakes. Man-made lakes to boot. He travelled with 3 rods, rigged various ways. Plying said rods, he could "learn" any lake in about an hour. In two hours, he usually caught more fish than I ever did, after having fished there for years.