Paying the Piper


Well, I worked my a$$ off over the weekend and got the danged non-fiction book finished. Finito, done. Uploaded by the love o’ my life, and I don’t have to deal with it anymore. That left me one day to sort of goof-off and laze about and thank God Most High I did, because I paid for my time off today in spades.

Got up at 5:40A, but woke up around 5-ish. Everything felt normal until I got to the office. My day starts with reports which were supposed to be done Monday, but because we were closed on the Fourth like everywhere else in America, I had to do them Tuesday. No biggie, this has happened before. I begin to run the data, and the first thing I get is a Microsoft error message on the web page which is used to generate the data.

What the f…?

Database locked. This is the second time that’s happened. The first time, last week, my manager inadvertently closed a connection without shutting down the database. He didn’t, however, use it over the weekend and so here I am scratching my head and wondering why the database is locked. Check the file and find it’s…the server. The one which runs the routine the database houses. So…wtf? Did I say that already?

Hour and a half later I’ve got the data repopulated but I’m no closer to figuring out what happened. I don’t know if I’ll EVER be closer to figuring out what happened. I’d have to stay up and watch at 1:40A to see what transpires when the routines run and sometimes they’re delayed. So there’s no guarantee I’d see what happens. And if I did, being connected might MAKE something happen.

Right now, I feel pretty screwed on that. I wish I could figure out why a production report is being run against a database meant to be non-production. But that’s another story, and I don’t have time to fix it. And when I do have time to fix it, I doubt I’ll have the requisite skills. Like I said, I feel pretty boned on that one.

Next, I have to finish this report. I get it going and things go swimmingly. I’m taking a little longer because of that lost time – couple of hours – trying to figure out what happened with the data. I’m rolling now, though. Still, I check the warranty claim mailbox because this is the week I’m supposed to train the Quality Coordinator on the process so she can start taking over. So I peek in.

Forty-three emails. Heavy sigh. I knew it. But that’s okay, I can show her how to do a few of them and let her go. When she needs some help I’ll pitch in and we’ll manage it.

Back to my reports. I have a few things I need the CSR to do for me, so I shoot off my weekly email and discover one of them is on vacation. All week. Uh…okay, so who’s his back-up? I send it to her. Coincidentally, it’s the same lady in charge of the other accounts I need information on. So I send the email to her instead of the normal guy, and I wait. She gets back to me in minutes about her accounts. Niiiiice! I thank her. I ask if she’s seen the other email yet, with the information for the accounts she’s supporting as back-up.

No response.

No biggie, I move on. Get the rest of the report done. Create and refresh the pivot table. Still no word? Really? Okay, give her some time, she’s not as familiar with his accounts.

I get an IM while I’m doing this from the pricing manager. For some reason, she’s not competent to run the stupid Excel macro which updates the mainframe system with new pricing, so I have to do it. I’ve been doing it since December, when the reason was, her computer wouldn’t run the macro. Okay, no problem, mine’s much newer, I can do it. Now, she’s got a new computer. Got it back in May or early June. It runs the macros fine. But she’s still emailing me to do it.

Wtf? Oh well, I’m a team player, right? I’ll do it. Even though I’m a little busy and now there’s about forty-six emails in the warranty inbox. So…yeah, all right, I’ll do it. It takes me about ten minutes to get the files ready, and then I execute the macro. Sit back, watch the updates. Any that fail I move to a new spreadsheet and let her know. Put the updates on a second sheet in the same workbook and then email it to her. This time there’s one failure and I tell her. But it’s rush-rush-rush because she needed it done July 1. You know, while she was on vacation. She took all week off knowing this was pending. Another heavy sigh. Okay, like I said, team player, just…shut up and do it.

Back to MY job now. And what’s this? No…nothing. I thought maybe the CSR had gotten back to me and let me know what was up. No dice. Okay, on to another report. I get that one done without any help from the CSRs. Then I spit out another one. I’m nervous about that warranty claims box, though, so I dump all the mail which comes to us but isn’t directly our stuff and get it all the way down to about 17. There! That’s better!

Back to my reports. I have a third report I need to do, meanwhile I haven’t heard back from the CSR about the first report yet. W.T.F.?. So I send her an IM, asking if she had any updates. No response.

I get the third report done and find the CSR for that account – who is a new girl taking over the account from the guy who’s on vacation – and she’s not really sure how to get me the information. She does her best to let me know she’s going to have an answer shortly. She does so twice, in fact, but after half an hour I get it. And it’s not at all what I need. So I have to ask her to come to my office to discuss it.

Instead of coming around my desk and staring over my shoulder at the computer screen – so she can see what I’m talking about – she sits with her hands folded nicely in her lap on the edge of the seat and looks at me like she’s scared. I mean, rabbit-fox scared. Squirrel-hawk scared. First day at a new school scared.

I feel bad. I don’t have the authority to be “trouble” for her, but she doesn’t know that. I try, as best I can, to ease the situation and let her know I just need to know why a certain date was changed. She apologizes and says she didn’t know she was supposed to, in fact thought she should NEVER, change the other date in question. I say we should ask my boss and he clears things up. By the end of it all, she seems to feel better and she goes away laughing. I joke that I’ll be talking to her again next Monday, and she giggles some more. I wasn’t kidding though.

I look at my boss and ask when the lady who’s supposed to be doing the warranty claims will begin to do them. And without cracking a grin (because I think he’s sick of my asking), he says, “Well, we can talk about that next week, but for this week she’s backing up the guy on vacation.”

I almost screamed and threw things. Instead I just nodded and headed back to my desk. I did a quick check. Twenty-three in the inbox now. And for this week, they’re aaaaaaaall mine.

I struggled through the rest of the report and updated as much as I could. Save it. Send it out to the contacts I need to hear back from before the end of Thursday. And looking up, I see it’s now four o’clock. I know, at that moment, the girl who should be doing this job – she has the title, she’s gotten the salaried pay instead of the hourly pay, and she’s gotten the increase that came with it – will be leaving soon. She’s always out the door around four, job be damned. And my day in the warranty inbox is just beginning.

I shaved it from twenty-six down to about sixteen before I called it quits and left the office at 6:15P. I drove home and before seven I was back on my computer, tossing more of them down. I got the count to six before I called it a day at nine. Nine, post-meridian.

The day needs to be slow tomorrow, because I have to do month-end reporting and YEAR-end reporting, because our fiscal year ended on June 30. And if the database is broken, I’m in deep, dark, bubbling sh!t.

If you’re prayin’ kind, I could use some.

-JDT-

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4 thoughts on “Paying the Piper

  1. Sounds like a nauseating day. Sorry it’s been a rough one 😦 but it takes the bad ones to really appreciate the good ones! Right? (Someone said that the other day… but I can’t recall who – it could have even been you – but it’s become my motto lately)

    It wasn’t me, I promise. Of all the things I’d ever say to someone, that’s not it. 😉 Still, it does make me appreciate how lucky I’ve been to have so few challenging days. 🙂

  2. Whew, sounds like one of those days. I’ll be praying everything is a little quieter tomorrow.

    It was really good today, except for anything and everything getting on my shirt. Thanks, hon!

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