Day 170: A Little More Progress, and a Small Rant

I managed to put two more blocks together tonight, for a total of five so far. Four more to go! Then it will be time to put the top together. Maybe I’ll get it done this weekend…

Work was slow again today. However, I got a call from someone trying to help me improve my database at work, and she needed me to map out which fields depended on other fields in the database. So I made a table of each field, the type of data (manual, automatic, date, text…), its purpose and whether it depended on another field in the table. Then I made a visual map of the main table, and each table of related data. It took me most of the day to complete, what with all the thinking and tweaking and such. I hope it’s what she needs to make the new database work properly.

What does all that have to do with creativity? Creativity is about solving problems, not about art. This is a problem I’ve been working on solving for months (really, it’s been over a year now), and just to prove how complicated it is, my expert is having a difficult time with it, too! So, I feel validated that I’m not really an idiot. It’s hard when you inherit a system, then you learn how it works and look at the guts of the thing and go, “Hmmm…  I wonder why the guy before me did it that way?”, or even “I have NO idea what that is or what it does, but I’m afraid to turn it off, in case I lose some report or something.” My expert agrees that it wasn’t done smartly in the first place, which is why we are having such a hard time making it better now. Never mind the crazy process where we have to input some data into the database, and other data (some is a duplicate of the database stuff) into… wait for it… an Excel spreadsheet. That’s right: an Excel spreadsheet. And a database. Worst. System. Ever! Well, since desktop computers were invented, anyway.

Oh, and did I mention that we also have to keep a paper file of every document we process? Which includes every email we send or receive related to each. Document. Printed. Out. Yep. Crazy.

My office is why we should start making paper out of hemp or bamboo (or both), and save the rain forests from ending up in my filing cabinets. Whatever happened to “paperless files”? Hey, people! This is the 21st Century! Wake up and get a clue!

OK, enough ranting for tonight. Obviously I’m tired. Time for bed, methinks.

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