14 December 2006

Stop Making Sense

I just have to complain. I know it's going to make me feel so much better. This morning, the Accounting Office asked for my help with the relational databases I've been working on that creates both invoices and purchase orders. There are three different files for three different types of invoices. K. works on two of them. S. and her boss, the Comptroller, couldn't find an invoice that S. knew we'd billed because we had the check that cited two invoices. I took the information and went back to my office to look for them. I opened up what we'll call the "JLLCity" files, performed a find request and there they were. I knew they were in that file because I've been working on it for the past couple of days. K. asked that I delete the information in one of the fields. Now she wants it back, so I've been updating this file.

I went back to the Accounting office and showed S. where they were. They were in the wrong database. They should have been in the "Miscellaneous" database. As a matter of fact, there are at least 135 invoices that should have been in that database. Of course, both the Comptroller and S. immediately became irate at K. for putting them in the wrong place. Well, you know. I just create the database; other people enter the data. My goal has been to make the process faster and more efficient for everyone who does billing. In order to do that, I had to rely on K.'s input to some extent. Turns out K's wrong. Again. Great.

I've spent the last month or so working my behind off trying to get the system up and running so that I can find and address needs for more information, design flaws or glitches in the system. That's because, beginning January 3, I won't be in town. After January 8, not only will I not be in town, I'll be heavily drugged for several days. Anything that goes wrong then is just going to have to stay wrong until I get back.

I've been moving information from one database to another all morning. It's not a huge deal, but it's not work I enjoy. The Comptroller suggested that we scrap the "JLLCity" database and create a new one dedicated to that customer. We have invoices for that customer in all three databases. Several thousand records. I'd also need to figure out a way to make all of that information remain accessible in the current files so that we won't be any more confused than we obviously already are. I can do that. No question about it. Can I do it by the first of the year? No. Would it have been better if the responsible party (i.e., the Comprtroller) had actually participated in the planning? Oh yeah. It would have been fine if he'd just looked at the skeleton of the databases after I'd created them. Now it's all just a huge mess.

I was telling Hubby and my Mom over lunch about the whole brouhaha. "I don't know why I care," I said. "But you do," my mom pointed out. She's right. If I design something, if I work on something, I need for it to be as close to perfect as I can make it. This is obviously not perfect at all. I'm frustrated and irritated. I may even be frustrated with myself for being upset about this. I should know better than to get too emotionally invested in anything here. This company is not conducive to that.

I sent the Comptroller's office an email, asking if they wish for me to create that new database. I recommended that we retain the old files in their current location, mark them as void and note that they've been moved to another database. More work for me, but closer to perfection. Will anyone think about this? I don't know. All I know is that if I create this database and then someone says it isn't what they need after all, I'm going to be furious.

I'm clearly going to have to spend some time today divesting myself of emotional ownership. Yeah. That's easy for me to do. In the meantime, I'll just be moving those 135 records. Funny. I don't feel any better about any of this after all.

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