I am Paula

I’m learning German.
I’m learning German so I can sound
angrier than I already do
and a little sad.
Just kidding.
I’m learning German so I can at the very least
converse with my preschool-aged
granddaughters who are remarkably fluent.
(Vas ist “Paw Patrol”?)
And maybe order a coffee.
(Einen kaffee, bitte!)
Practicing with my Babbel app,
which I’m using to augment the actual class
I’m taking,
I got stuck on the voice recognition version
of “I am Paula”.
Ich bin Paula.
Ich bin Powella.
Ich bin Paulwa.
Ich bin Pawoolah
Ich bin Pallaowah.
Ich bin Pawlowah.
Babbel wasn’t having it
even though I’m pretty sure it knew what I meant.
After about 75 unsuccessful attempts,
my son appeared in the doorway of my office.
“Stop. Please stop.
You will literally never need to know how to say:
‘I am Paula’
in any language.”
I had to admit, he was right.
How often do I get head-down focused
on the activity in front of me
and lose sight of the bigger picture
and the desired outcome?
I see this in salespeople quite often.
Lots of activity; not a lot of useful outcome.
Now I think of that as “pulling a Paula”.

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