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This is a question Winging It

Don Spang says: I once found myself winging it in a job interview and somewhat exaggerated my technical experience in the field of mainframe computer operations. 24 years later, I'm still there. Ever had to improvise to get by? Tell us you tales of MacGyver-type genius.

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:31)
Pages: Popular, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Having not read one particular text
prior to an English lit workshop during the colonial authors module at uni I was rather eager to avoid being too involved. When I was then asked to give my impressions on the themes contained therein I somehow managed to talk on, and engage the class in a deconstruction of, the subject for 45 minutes using only guesswork and any snippets of information I gleaned from their answers to my open questions. Got a distinction too.

Not a funny story but what the fuck do you expect from a student?
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 21:27, 1 reply)
So I was involved in some competition or something,
in which various spirits were to be awarded to the victor.
None of the competitors liked rum, vodka or whisky so when I walked away with the bottle of Hendricks, they all berated me as the...
Win Gin Git
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 20:53, 2 replies)
Giving directions
When I first walk around a city I've never visited before, I like giving directions to befuddled locals. In response to their halting questions, I generally spout half-remembered gibberish from the tourist guidebooks, and use dead-reckoning. On their part, they are usually just disoriented and insecure, and looking for human contact. Surprise! I am too! And in exchange, we happily forgive error.
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 20:30, Reply)
Academic expertise
Not so long ago, I was asked at very short notice - less than 36 hours - to give a lecture to some of our postgrad students, the person slated to give it having had to go into hospital to have her appendix out.

So, the day before the lecture, I sat down to prepare. Like many academics, I work on the Micawberish principle that, as long as you finish the lecture at least one sentence better-informed than your students, you're fine. I didn't have to be an expert on the subject; I just had to know enough to talk convincingly for a couple of hours.

Talk convincingly? Waffle, I mean.

I thought I'd get away with it, too... until I arrived at the room where I would be teaching, and fired up the projector to show the PowerPoint slides to accompany my spiel. Something had gone terribly wrong.

All those lovingly-prepared bullet points - the which would both convey the important aspects of the arguments to the students, and provide me with prompts so that I knew what to say - were displayed not in nice big Arial, but as a series of abstract symbols and pictograms.

It was obvious to everyone that I was Wingdings it.
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 16:03, 3 replies)
Don't have any stories of my own...
Dunno if these links will work, but anyway, this is from an Australian TV series called "Bush Mechanics" featuring some very inventive aboriginal blokes. It is a fantastic example of "winging it". Beautiful language and scenery, and great aboriginal humor.

Take the time to watch both episodes, right through to the end. Sorry about the poxy ads.

Part 1:


Part 2:

Yeah, yeah, belongs to /links, but more in keeping with QOTW.
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 14:02, 9 replies)
I wanted to post a relevant story on this QOTW
But I couldn't think of one, so I just made something up on the spot hoping that no-one would notice. I think I got away with it.
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 13:04, 3 replies)
Dean Cain
Every acting job he has ever had.
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 10:02, 4 replies)
There was this one time....
Where I really wanted to enter a funny story to QOTW but I had nothing.

So I did this instead.

MOD EDIT: Pictures of girls in bras that barely constrain their enormous boobs might be considered a bit NSFW

Phew! That was close!
(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 4:08, 10 replies)
I just came in for a couple of days to help putting a document together
2 years later I'm still here, in charge of Water, Environment and Transport projects for the entire Asia Pacific region.

(, Fri 29 Mar 2013, 2:15, 1 reply)
I know it's not really safe to rehaet food more than once but...
Pea-roasted with extra gravy.
Few years ago I was showing a young English bloke around our lovely state.
Paul was his name. (If he's on here you may hear him have a chuckle @ the following story.)
I decided to take him down to a friends house in Busso on the coast for some sun-soaked days of hard drinking and smoking ourselves silly. I had the time off work, some readdies, a big bag-o-green and my trusty baby-poo yellow "fastback" Corolla to get us there.
Off we go waving goodbye to the missus. A couple of minutes after getting on the freeway headed south there is an almighty bang from under the bonnet. Over I pull, pop the hood and there is oil everywhere and no more "pop in cap" on the rocker cover. Fuck.
Paul seems a bit dismayed and appears to be think that we'll be limping home. Bugger that!
Now undue pressure in the rocker cover ain't good - even I know that. But I would not be dettered. Here's the bodge - I got some towel, soaked it in oil and fastened it to the rocker cover with an o-ring. My theory being that the oil on the rag would form a seal due to surface tension. Paul watched on a little nervously as I said "Nah, she'll be right" and gunned the engine. Tada - it worked. No oil and I think the engine even breathed a bit better!
When we got to Busselton (a good couple of hours drive away) I found another rocker cover @ a wreckers (with a screw on cap) for $20, swapped them over, fixed the problem - the breather tube from the airfilter to the rocker cover was as blocked as my arteries. Then Paul & I got stuck into a week of inebriated and stoned hedonism - drank every pub dry and glutted ourselves at many restaurants. From memory we even ate @ MickeyDs!
Loved that Corolla and apart from a battery change that was the only grief I had from it - not bad for a car that was older than me!
EDITed for little bit of clarity.

Scarily after nearly 2 years I read the replies & AB is still shit at trying to be funny.
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 20:13, 13 replies)
Stuck inside these four walls, sent inside forever,
Never seeing no one nice again like you,
Mama you, mama you.
If I ever get out of here,
Thought of giving it all away
To a registered charity.
All I need is a pint a day
If I ever get out of here.

Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun,
And the first one said to the second one there I hope you're having fun.
Band on the run, band on the run.
And the jailer man and sailor sam were searching every one

For the band on the run, band on the run, band on the run, band on the run

Well, the undertaker drew a heavy sigh seeing no one else had come,
And a bell was ringing in the village square for the rabbits on the run.
Band on the run, band on the run.
And the jailer man and sailor sam, were searching every one

For the band on the run, band on the run,band on the run, band on the run

Well, the night was falling as the desert world began to settle down.
In the town they're searching for us every where, but we never w I'll be found.
Band on the run, band on the run

And the county judge, who held a grudge
Will search for evermore
For the band on the run, band on the run, band on the run, band on the run

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 17:32, 4 replies)
...THEY'RE TOTAL AN UTTER CU........Oh, sorry, 'winging it' you say?

Never mind.
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 16:40, 17 replies)
Thank fuck for Apple
Got a job as head of IT in December, administering an office full of Macs. Hadn't really used a Mac before, but assured them that I wouldn't have any problems doing it. So far, it's been an absolute piece of piss.
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 15:31, 14 replies)
Best Man Speech
Many years ago now I was asked by my best mate to be his best man, in all honesty I was young probably about 22 years old, I drank a lot we dabbled rather often like in illegal substances (it's not big and it's not clever). The point is I was not exactly the most reliable person.

I did all the other prerequisites for a best man, organised a completely substandard stag do (mini bus to Liverpool city centre which resulted in most of us spending the night in cells).

It was a few weeks before the wedding and my and my mate went for a pint and we discussed the best mans speech, it suddenly dawned on me I had forgotten all about it, we had been friends for years and I just imagined that I would say a few bits off the top of my head and get away with it, then he told me that that's gonna be the focus point for everyone (he is in the army and a lot of squaddies were going to be in attendance).

Even the day before the wedding I had nothing, that night I got totally trashed with his squaddie mates and him, we say at about 4am and wrote what could possibly be the single most offensive piece of literature since the bible.

The day arrives, seriously hung over, start drinking very early and dabbling.

The moment comes, I stand up, I check my pocket the speech is there....relief....I open up the paper to see the compete and utter scrawlings of a drug fuelled alcoholic binged brain. Indecipherable characters that looked like something that would be found in a pyramid, huge CDC's all over it including the back that the whole crowd could see.

I paused, stuttered, took a deep breath and absolutely fucking nailed it. Well that's what everyone said. I can't even remember what I said at all, not one thing, but everyone bought me lots of drinks later including the father of the bride (phew) and patted me on the back and said it was the funniest thing they have ever heard.
They may have been lying but I don't care.

Does that count as winging it?
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 15:07, 15 replies)
Perls of wisdom
Out of the blue, a friend who was working in California, surfing the DotCom bubble at an online music company, called me up and offered me a month's work - at consultant rates, with free accommodation in San Francisco. I think I left scorch marks on the doormat as I headed for the airport.

The only slight problem was that the job was programming in Perl, a language had never used, and in fact never even seen. As a "fire fighter", brought in to save the project, I would be expected to get stuck into the work first thing on day one - there would be no "getting up to speed" period.

So I bought a textbook on the way to the airport, planning to spend the entire flight cramming the language. As soon as we had reached cruising altitude, I got out the thick book and turned to the first chapter.

Which was titled, with alarming prescience, "Perl from 37,000 feet"...

Now THAT'S winging it!
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 14:34, 11 replies)

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 14:12, 28 replies)
Military Winging
Back when I was just a wee corporal, I got transfered to a new unit, which did CBRN recon (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear reconaissance). It so happened that a certification exercise was scheduled the next week.

The Setup: Our two Bio guys got sick. Bad sick. On the morning of the exercise. Which we couldn't call off, since "readiness" is part of the judging criteria. Boss Woman tells me that I'm it and to suit up. Now, I did do something like this a few years before, as a civvie firefighter. TOP MAN, right?

Anyway, we suit up, grab our gear, and enter a room in a coal power plant full of pipes, lab equipment, and general crap.

The Setup part deux: It turns out that the (also new) team leader was a total spacker. Physically and mentally uncoordinated, he didn't even know what he was doing half of the time (We do forensic sampling, and he contaminated pretty much every piece of evidence he touched). The 2IC saw this, and got him to swap patches with me.

The execution: It turns out that except for different radio talk, the military version of this is pretty much like the civvie version. So, never having been one, I winged the whole team leader thing, got good samples, good evidence, and prevented a (simulated) weaponized botulinum toxin attack on a football stadium.

Later, a note turned up in our in tray:

"We know you pulled a bait-and-switch on us. Consider this an inofficial commendation for the corporal, and tell the team leader he's an idiot. Be glad we like you enough not to fail you on your certification.
-The Judges"

The Fallout: A 500 euro bonus for "Services beyond the scope of normal duties", and a glowing recommendation for Officer Training. Result!
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 13:56, 7 replies)
I once
X-winged it.
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 13:44, 7 replies)

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 13:27, Reply)
I'm not a terribly good shot.

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:51, 2 replies)
Ever since it first started receding in 1952
I've been wigging it

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:44, Reply)

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:40, Reply)
I am a parent. My Son is 2 and a half (give or take)
Read all the books ya want, listen to all the advice, it might come in handy. I've pretty much winged it every day. Probably will until he's old enough to tell me how things work. The Mrs knows what she's doing though (or that's how it looks anyway).
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:40, Reply)
Fourth, woo.
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:39, Reply)
(hairy chest etc.)
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:36, Reply)

(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:35, Reply)
Yeah, I'm first.

Fuck you; I'm first.
(, Thu 28 Mar 2013, 12:35, 3 replies)

This question is now closed.

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