Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

The Week

I seem to have convinced myself that editing A Rational Arrangement should be my top priority and I should finish it before I do anything else. The result of this is, naturally, that in addition to not editing RA, I'm not doing anything else. I give this my award for Least Effective Strategy. I don't know why I keep trying it.

Last week at the day job went better than usual. I have way too many long-term projects so I got my boss to prioritize them. It's a little frustrating to me that she prioritized the one that is the most complicated and takes the longest, which means that this stack of 2-4 hour projects are stuck behind the two-three week project which has to be done first. On the other hand, I am making progress on the multi-week project and may even finish it next week. Until then, everything else can keep getting in line behind it.*

* Every other multi-hour project, anyway. I get a lot of 15-30 minute requests that I'll just do because they're quick and not worth the extra effort of putting into the task list. And I have 10-20 hours a week of recurring tasks that need to get done, so there's only 20-30 hours for projects regardless.

Anyway, the multi-week project is kind of fun and kind of frustrating. Mostly it has involved a lot of digging around in one of our undocumented databases* looking for crap.

* We have two of these that were bought from third-party vendors. (I won't include the terrible in-house undocumented databases, of which we have too many, especially if you count the OMG WHY ARE YOU USING EXCEL AS A DATABASE PROGRAM NO OUTLOOK IS NOT AN IMPROVEMENT STAAAAHP). Our technology sucks and the documentation is worse. One of them has thousands of pages of completely worthless documentation. I mean, literally, they filled up thousands of pages without giving any useful information ever. I don't know how they did this. I don't know how it is even POSSIBLE to do this. You'd think now and again they'd slip up and give you a field name or how to do something or where it was located or SOME INFORMATION AT ALL. But no. The other one went the more straightforward route of never writing anything down.

Anyway, the fun part is when I can actually find something without having to ask where it is. I think I've only broken down and asked once so far. This included some particularly weird discoveries. For example, I was looking for a field which the UI calls "Current Liability", under the screen for parties with "Indirect Liability" on a loan. I found a table labeled "Indirect Liabilities" which had field descriptions corresponding to all the stuff on the screen. ALL OF IT. "Aha!" I thought. "This must be the table." I added it to my report. No data in any of the fields. "Huh. Maybe I did the joins wrong." I tried some different joins. Still nothing. I made a new query with nothing but the Indirect Liabilities table and queried it to see what data it had.

Nothing. The table contained no data whatsoever, on anything. WHY IS THIS EVEN IN HERE? It had three sibling tables (for reasons TOTALLY UNCLEAR to me, this database often has multiples of what look like the exact same tables -- same table description, same field descriptions, same field names, but the table name will be something like CUP019L instead of CUP019. Also, the naming convention is from 1982 so all of the names are utterly cryptic.) I looked at all the sibling tables. They were also all empty. WHAT WHY I DON'T EVEN. But I did finally find the right table, in the "loans" as opposed to "customer" section of the database, which is unintuitive for reasons too arcane to elaborate upon. WHATEVER I FOUND IT HAH.

The one good part about dealing with this antique is that finding the thing I need is very satisfying because it's so hard.

So I don't feel like I'm failing at work. I am still failing at my hobbies, though.
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