the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur
plonq

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Important instructions

With the recent moves to push me onto project work rather than doing useful stuff, they have given me the mandate to hand off the bulk of my current reports to other departments.

One of the reports I run is for a quarterly transit study, which our accounting group uses to allocate revenues between our corporate entities - you know, the kind of stuff that my new boss recently dubbed "useless".

When I inherited these reports a couple of years ago, they were a mess. They were handed to me because they cut the position of the person who had been running them. The best way I can describe what I was handed was an undocumented disaster of disparate files and scripts with no logical way of linking one to the other. There had obviously been a lot of manual juggling of files, tables and script modification in running these.

One of our managers in the head office and I went back and forth repeatedly on the reports, desperately trying to track down documentation, or at least to figure out how they worked.

Eventually I reverse-engineered the output and built a completely new set of tools to produce the reports. To ensure the next person to inherit the reports would not encounter the same problems as me, I took pains to write extensive documentation for them. I called up the instruction manual this morning to make some tweaks before I sent it off, and I discovered that they were not quite complete.

I thought I had almost finished them before I got pulled away, but I noted with a sense of irony and bemusement that they end in mid sentence at the start of the most crucial part of the process.

This script will automate the process from this point on, but in the event that the script fails, here are the four critical steps to ensuring that

Maybe this is the part where I should just write aaaargh.... at the end and call it done.
Tags: documentation, irony, work
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