• (disco)

    I am a curmudgeon that is efficient at frist-ing articles.

  • (disco)

    "Ace Automation Systems"?

    Doesn't seem too fitting for a company where people hate automation.

  • (disco)

    Clarke’s eyes lit up at the suggestion. “Really?”

    A Report Merging Associate not cowering in fear when somebody utters that they can make their job redundant automate this? This man must have nerves of steel or @mott555 added just too much embellishment...

  • (disco)

    Nearly had an upgrade project fail because of this exact problem. Access 97 was "working fine, why should we upgrade", as it routinely broke with things like "Error 0".

    Filed under: Just because it's working doesn't mean it's good

  • (disco) in reply to Tsaukpaetra

    At least it failed with status... Oh wait :headdesk:

  • (disco) in reply to JBert

    To be fair, I doubt that was his only job, since it was only a monthly task that took half a day.

  • (disco)

    Wouldn't the smart thing to do but not let the supervisor know, let the guy who runs the report use the program instead, and then have a couple hours to do whatever else he needs to do or just have it as free time?

  • (disco)

    ... and as soon as Dave casually mentioned Rick's reversion of the efficient automation to the CEO over a friendly game of golf, Rick's retirement plans were accelerated? If not, there's TRWTF.

    BTDTBTT ... there was a woman who needed to have to type a set of 12 filenames (whose names were predetermined) so as to be able to run a last-12-months summary report every month. Complained bitterly when presented with a script that did all that for her. "But then it will look as though I haven't got any work to do."

    To a certain extent I sympathise with people whose reason for existence has degenerated to emulating a computer program, but not much. If you've reached retirement age without investing in acquiring a skill or a hobby that you can maximise when you have retired, I'm afraid you haven't embarked upon a winning strategy in the Game of Life. And if you're a young person in the position of emulating a computer program, then you have some serious personal development that you need to get started on toot sweet.

  • (disco) in reply to Quite


  • (disco)

    I worked with a Sales department that reported monthly using a spreadsheet. I cross-checked it; every month they would report sales they had already reported last month, plus sales that wouldn't be made till next month. I wrote an automatic report that extracted the correct figures. Every month for 6 months they argued with the extract, which I proved line by line. After that they just ignored it and went on with submitting exaggerated results.

    Learning point: nobody ever makes a mistake in a spreadsheet that puts them in a bad light.

  • (disco) in reply to DocMonster
    Wouldn't the smart thing to do but not let the supervisor know, let the guy who runs the report use the program instead, and then have a couple hours to do whatever else he needs to do or just have it as free time?

    Yes, but one assumes they didn't know their supervisor too well.

  • (disco)

    I had something similar a few years ago on a multi-company project - someone was assigned to work a certain number of days each month for our joint project. Each month, she was sent web server log files, and had to count the number of distinct IP addresses viewing our site - which she did manually...

    A few hours gave us a nice little Perl script which did the same job in seconds for her. (There were various wrinkles involved: excluding 6-7 IP ranges which belonged to consortium members, excluding IP addresses which only made a single request, unless that request was for a certain set of files, filter out bots..)

    She was happy with the result: it was only one of her tasks, but automating that down to take seconds instead of a day or two meant she could devote that time to the other things. I think it hit the sweet spot really: it took enough of her time that automating it was a big help, but not enough that automating it reduced her workload to a dangerous extent.

  • (disco)

    If not trust computers then why use them at all? Not only scripts can be source of errors. A bits can suddenly flip on the HDD or whatever. The team should have been using only pen and paper to be consistent. And no electronic calculators. Only plain old abacus.

  • (disco) in reply to 111

    Get that modern technology crap out of here!

    Filed under: Get off my lawn.

  • (disco)

    C#? Does that mean that this was not 20 or 30 years ago? Shudder.

  • (disco) in reply to Lawrence


  • (disco)

    Reminds me of when I started working here. We were doing a data migration of commission plans into a new system (which worked on a very different basis, so it wasn't just a case of copying data over), and in each round of testing we'd run all the plans in the old system and the new system, and do cross-comparisons to check whether there were any issues.

    I wrote up what eventually became a fairly sophisticated Excel add-in that, as its primary function, would automatically identify the appropriate columns in each worksheet, do the comparisons, identify and classify any errors, categorise them by severity, colour code them, and sort the data so that the errors were at the top, from most severe to least (this was before sorting by colour was a thing in Excel). The other members of the team were pretty quick to request copies when they saw it in action; it collectively saved us a quite substantial amount of time over the length of the project.

    But then, (probably) part of the reason I got the job in the first place was that I'd previously written something similar for my dad's benefit; he was the supplies manager in a hospital and wanted a quick way to identify differences between two stores reports. I demoed that at my interview here and the person interviewing me seemed impressed - although they were just HR, as the IT people who were supposed to be in on the interview were unexpectedly unavailable.

    TL;DR: Doing freebies for your relatives sometimes pays off :D

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