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The Fun Never Stops

With luck this Friday will possibly feature some kitten pictures, but I’m not promising because I can hear them, but I haven’t seen them.

Fortunately they are nowhere near my house, as I am clearing brush away from it, which has involved a string trimmer, a hedge trimmer, loppers, a chain saw, a hoe, and a garden rake. Needless to say, I let things get out of hand last year, and some of the local ‘weeds’ [lantana, camphor trees, and crown palms] can do a lot of growing in a year.

I’m clearing it on general principles, and to get at the back eave so I can install a gutter. I’m sick of getting soaked when it rains and I use my back door. In addition, the rain has damaged the sill and some of the siding, which will require attention after I divert the water.

When I’m not outside I have been dealing with what should have been about 15 minutes of computer work involving converting some data generated by a COBOL program on a mainframe into a format that an individual needs for a program on a PC.

I have been doing conversions like this for years, so the actual process is just locating the appropriate software and running it in sequence. No sweat.

The problem is that the data is garbage. There were obviously no standards for the data entry people, and it shows. I am spending time cleaning up the most egregious errors, but this is just pathetic. I get a feeling from some of the mistakes that the people who entered it were not native English speakers, nor familiar with the US. I say that because I can often determine what should be in a field by saying what is in the field aloud, meaning they heard the sounds, but didn’t recognize the words. If you have ever used one of the early voice recognition programs, you would understand what I’m talking about. If they had used a computer program, the errors would be consistent, but they aren’t, so this was people.

2 comments

1 Badtux { 05.01.12 at 3:08 am }

Outsourced to the lowest bidder, no doubt. Apparently American businessmen haven’t heard of the phrase “you get what you pay for”. Or else simply don’t care.

I’m back from my spring migration and found roughly 80 emails that needed action immediately sitting in my inbox. Then at the end of the day, my boss came by and basically created about three weeks more work for me doing something I’ve done multiple times before but apparently is something new and novel for my current employer. Oh well, at least I won’t get laid off anytime soon…

2 Bryan { 05.01.12 at 9:47 am }

In this particular case, I don’t think the Fortune 50 company that provided the data cares. They get an obscene amount of money for it, and cleaning it up would reduce their profit. It’s all about keeping that profit margin high this quarter, customers be damned.

Having paid work is what it is all about at this point in the world. If you like what you do, it’s a bonus, but money in the credit union has to be the realistic goal.