Everyone's a champion at something

Well, this is... weird. Way back when Digitaledge was about 16, we went to a few employment agencies one long summer to try and get some temp work. Not being pretty, blonde and female, we were met with resistance in our attempts to get office-based work as opposed to labouring on some building site. Reluctantly, the agency staff agreed to allow us to do a test to assess our ability to use Microsoft Excel. Bizarrely, the test enabled you to browse around the menus freely without using up precious clicks, making it easy to find the item the question asked you to find (eg question asks 'sort this data' -> you browse the menus till you see 'sort' -> you get a point). To our delight and the person in the agency's amazement, we got 100%.

They still didn't find us a bloody job though.

In retrospect, perhaps we should have abandoned all thought of gainful employment in favour of becoming professional Excel champions. Because that is, it seems, A Thing. (At least the champion part.)

Microsoft has just crowned its latest 'Excel World Champion', the person whose Excel skills are just the best in the whole wide world. No, we're not making this up, we wish we were. Funly, the champ is a Brit, Rebecca Rickwood, a schoolgirl - just 15! - from (appropriately somehow) Cambridge. According to CNET, 'Spreadsheet whizz Rebecca beat 78 rival students in the final round, in a competition that saw 228,000 hopefuls competing for the title. For her troubles she was awarded $5,000, or about £3,000.'

If even we can get 100% on an Excel test, our minds can only boggle at what sort of fiendish chicanery Rickwood was required to pull off in order to clinch the title. But we have to wonder: assuming Microsoft wants to present its software as easy-to-use, is it really the best idea to run a competition presenting it as a mental battle on a par with chess?

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