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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Adventures With Numbers

When it comes to numbers, I think I'm dyslexic. Not with words. I never look at a word and have my brain transpose letters, but I can look at a number--even a short one--and see the numbers mixed up.

It can make things like balancing my checkbook a challenge and I have to double check amounts when I'm paying bills. It's way too easy for $12.99 to become $19.29. When I used to pay by check in stores, it's led to more than one embarrassing moment when the number in digits didn't match the number spelled out on the line below. Oops.

It's something I have to be aware of at work, too. Our maintenance tasks have numbers, and when I want to look up a specific task, I need to have the numbers right. I'm working on a project now that has had me stopping more than once because I've entered the wrong number and the information didn't match what it was supposed to match.

You'd think if I was dyslexic in one area, that I'd be dyslexic across the board, but that's not the case. Words always come out right. If something is transposed there, it's because I typoed, not because I didn't see it right.

Remembering numbers? Very difficult for me. I have to write down phone numbers and even then I'll transpose numbers. I try to always repeat it back to the person I'm talking with. I can, however, repeat much of Hamlet's famous soliloquy. I can name all 195 countries. I could easily memorize dialogue when I participated in theater in junior high. Just don't ask me to to type in "6722."

Seriously. Somehow, some way, it became 5272. Don't ask me why my brain saw those numbers, but it did. The more tired I am, the more off I can be, too, and I am tired today.

I try to be careful and I usually catch myself. I think. I hope. But every time I'm forced to work with numbers, my life becomes an adventure. No doubt.