Friday, August 21, 2009

Work Fun

Yesterday I planned to leave early to retrieve my car and put myself further in debt when I decided to fix a quick problem just before leaving. In English-ish, I had to update the database so a few people would show they had the proper tech certification. To avoid mistakes, I typically copy and paste what I can instead of retyping it, but this time the application I used secretly inserted into the text an invisible signal to tell the computer to act as if the Enter button had been pressed. The computer language I'm using places the limits at the end of the statement, and the Enter command occurred at precisely the worst place possible so that my brief conversation with the database went like this:

Me: Change the certification name to 3rd Level Lava Snorkeling...
Computer: Okay, I'm done.
Me: ...but only for these 12 people and not for all 50,000 in the database OMFG WHAT DID YOU JUST DO!?

And then I had to leave to return the rental before I got charged for an extra day. If I was a doctor and you my patient, this would be the equivalent of you coming in with an ingrown toenail only to have me shoot you in the gut before stepping out for 9 holes and a martini.

Thankfully I had made a backup of the table before touching it and I was able to return with my car (now working again) and restore it, and today nobody seems the wiser. I am as yet unfired and unkilled, so I think I'm safe to continue my daily attempt at living until the next day. Besides, as everyone in corporate America knows, it pays better to screw things up repeatedly than it does to get it right the first time. That's part of how I got to where I am now. Another department wanted to charge us $87,000 for nine hours of computer work and I said "You know, I'm already here and I can do that in my spare time." And now, five years later, both I and the other department are still employed, and they still make much more money than me and have better benefits.

There's probably a lesson in there somewhere, but I'm not seeing it.

6 comments:

Hit 40 said...

I think the lesson is that your more valuable than they are paying you!! Time to job hop. My hubby usually makes an additional $10,000 to 20,000 with a hop. And...

he finally managed to hop into a really nice company. Great people and work atmosphere. He is not hopping anywhere for now.

I wish teachers could hop for $10,000 to 20,000.

If your wondering... he does accounting. He has specialized over the years into international accounting for US holdings overseas.

Kudos to your back up!! I am impressed. You must have been a boy scout? Always prepared.

Captain Dumbass said...

Maybe you should have offered to do it for $40,000.

Whitemist said...

The last Sounds like something i did once. Retained by the State of Alaska in the Summer on an environmental case. They were going to fly me there for 3 weeks all expenses paid plus $150 an hour for any time to the case I put in. They want to to know what I would present, so I spent about 20 hours on what I would present. The defense saw it, capitulated and I was out the trip. Never again, I vowed.

Jay said...

I think the lesson is that you never offer to do something that is not part of your original job description. I have some experience in this area. I offered to "take care of something" for my former company once. Two days later they were pretending that I had been doing that from day one and it was part of my job. I couldn't convince them otherwise either. It was like talking to someone who believes the Earth is flat because the Bible refers to the "Four corners of the Earth." Cause everyone knows that a circle "ain't got no corners."

In other news I think Hit 40's husband is hiding money for the Mafia in countries with banking secrecy laws. I think we should be nice to her. Just for our own safety.

Grant said...

Hit 40 - I've been too ill to job hop and the opportunities for IT people in this country are not that great, but I may check again now that I'm a little better.

Captain Dumbass - I've tried that before but it didn't work. When my previous company moved from Lotus 1-2-3 to Excel, they found an external company that would upgrade their spreadsheets for $1,500 each. I countered with $1,000 but the rules said no internal programming allowed - only outsourcing. The lesson there is never work for anybody, especially a large, moronic corporation.

Whitemist - Alaska is scum.

Jay - I highly recommend you win the lottery and share the money with me since it was my idea. That way we'll be excused from the rat race.

GreenJello said...

Yup. I've done the scramble to fix my screwup before the manager notices... LOL! I'm lucky I didn't get fired. :)