Andre was finishing writing documentation before he clocked-out for a much needed, 2-week vacation. He had stocked up his fridge with beer, energy drinks, and cola. He planned on working on raids with his gaming guild. He hadn't been as active as he liked lately, and was really looking forward to the break.

Andre's phone buzzed. He looked and saw Bob was calling. Bob struggled with the most basic of tasks, but worked in a large enterprise. His department contracted out to Andre to help offset the problem of their sales department.

“Hi Bob, how’s it going?” Andre asked.

“Hi, Andre thanks for taking my call. I have an unusual request.” stammered Bob.

“Yeah, shoot. I tend to enjoy the unusual.” said Andre.

“Well, uh…this is outside my department” Bob started, “and it’s rather personal. But, uh, you see, I left my car keys at the garage and they have my token...I need a login reset for the day, but because of company policy I could get, uh, disciplinary action for not having my token.”

“Yeah, sorry Bob. I can’t break the rules. You know I would.”

Bob sighed, “Ok, I understand. It never hurts to ask.”

“I don’t always agree with the rules but sometimes they are there for reasons we don’t know.”

After Bob’s problem, Andre went back to planning for his gaming weekend when he received an email. This was from another client, Initech Insurance. Initech used public databases, spreadsheets, and access for requesting information to financial advisors. The financial advisors sent updates back to Initech.

Angela, from Initech Insurance had bumped heads with Andre in the past. She was "process oriented", which is to say, she didn't care about the end results so long as you let her micromanage you. Once, she requested Andre send about 1000 emails out, but refused to let him use BCC and that every email had to personally sent. As long as they paid for his time, Andre only cared so much about their stupidity.

Andre looked at her email. It was a request to fix 16,000 records, in a shared Access database. The data, according to Angie, was "randomly shifted by a row". Ever a stickler for process, Angie explained that someone had already built an Access Form to manage the data, and someone simply needed to go through and manually copy/paste the data in that form.

Andre took a quick look at the dataset and saw that some of the data wasn't properly delimited, and on import had mashed some of the wrong data into the wrong columns. Glancing through the rest of the email chain, he saw that this had started over a month ago, when the account manager had asked Angela to fix this.

Andre clicked reply. He added the Project Manager. “Hi Angie, I think the best way to solve this challenge would be to use SQL to move the data between fields than using Access and copying and pasting. It’d also be faster and cheaper.”

He loaded up a game launcher and started to download a update and newly purchased games. He pulled out a energy drink and started to drink it when she responded, “NO! NO SQL, we are doing this in the Access Form.” He looked through the previous chain between her and the product manager.

The product manager asked her why she included Andre. Angie said she was working on it but wanted to ask Andre for the fastest result. He opened up Discord and messaged his friend, “Hey, I’m gong to be a few minutes late this consultant is trying to use me unofficially to fix a problem.” His friend responded with “K”

She responded “Please do the first 8000 records, and I’ll work on the next 8000 records. With both of us working on it, we should be done in a few days.” Attached was a spreadsheet of 8,000 row IDs that needed correction.

Andre sighed and looked at his rubber ducky. “Yeah, I know, but it should be quick and easy if I could use SQL. It won't matter if she doesn’t know.”

It was easy work in SQL. A careful select with a few case statements quickly created a new table with the corrected rows. It took Andre 15 minutes.

He resent an email to Angie, “Hi Angie Here is an updated list of the request changes.” He didn’t cc the product manager, because at the end of the day, he wanted to get paid and didn't care about the credit.

Angie immediately responded “That’s IMPOSSIBLE. Let me check.” After a few minutes. “Well, very good, maybe you can do the 4000 other records. I only managed to do 250.”

He sighed, “Yeah just send the rest of the records and I’ll clean them up.” A few minutes later he received the rest of the list and imported them into the previous database from before. Andre ran the same script. After fifteen minutes, he sent her an invoice and the data. He turned off his email notifications, and logged into his game. He looked at his rubber ducky and said, “Some rules are stupid and need to be broken.”

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