So I haven't updated you in quite a while.
Currently I'm in the process of (along with The Tongue and The New Wonder Intern) training the people downstairs how to load data. The concept behind this is for me to stop doing data loading and instead do other things like -- not a fan -- database reporting. Plus I'll be out for part of Thanksgiving week and then out again for a few weeks in January. Someone has to load the data. Hence our friends downstairs (sounds like a dungeon, but I swear they have windows and not just the operating system) will be taking it over.
This is a good thing. I have been the only data loader (it's really called ETL, which stands for Extract, Transform and Load, as opposed to Emerson, Take and Lowell) for the entire time I've been working here, which is coming up on a year and a half. It's about time I had some decent backup.
And it comes at not a moment too soon.
This morning, or rather yesterday afternoon, The Tongue raised the first alarm: there's something bad! The users have bad data! I was already gone for the day so The Bulb told The Tongue to notify the users. The Tongue cannot get rid of the bad data but at least can warn others. Okay.
Then this morning I walk in, thinking, hey, ETL is done for the week. I'm leaving early (dentist) and then tomorrow I ain't workin'. Life's grand!
I read the notes. I start sending emails to everyone and his brother. JJ - back out the data the users can see. Sneezy, help me get the password for FTP'ing. New Wonder Intern, you gotta help me. Tongue, you need to verify data. All day long. Note after note after note.
And this was one of those days where I kept doing wrong stuff, like trying to load when there was nothing to load. This happy little act causes the system to iterate through an entire process (and you cannot stop it, otherwise you create other bad mojo) even though it has nothing to actually do. This wastes a good 25 - 35 minutes. Ewps. I am talking fast. I am barking orders. I am running, fast, around the building, getting people to do things. The only thing I didn't do was run downstairs to visit the downstairs folks and give them marching orders.
Now, back up a second.
I also now work as the QA Dispatcher. This is where the developers send over development updates to QA, through me. And QA sends their feedback to the developers back, also through me. Often these parties cc one another. My job is to make little notes and forward the exact same emails to the various affected parties. QA says, XYZ is still bad, please fix. I send it to the developer. The developer fixes it and tells me, XYZ is fixed. I send that note to QA. QA says it's not really fixed yet. I send that note to the developers. The developers write to me and say, but in the spec it says blah blah blah so this is not really a defect, it's a feature. I send this off to QA. QA writes back, no, it really is a feature.
No, it isn't.
Yes, it is.
No, it isn't.
Yes, it is.
No, it isn't.
Yes, it is.
And on and on ad nauseum
You may be wondering why I am involved in this silliness at all. And I oftentimes wonder that myself, seeing as I have the developmental skills of a squirrel and haven't done QA since 2001.
But, you see, I am needed. Why? So that someone is a witness to all of this. And, this semi-assures that (except I have zero power, so I can't assure diddly) things will be handled in a semi-logical order. One thing it does assure is that everything is in writing and then the developers more or less evenly distribute it amongst themselves, as opposed to QA just working with whoever they like this week.
But it takes up time. As in, I get dozens of emails on it every single day now. I also spend time tracking all of it in Microsoft Project, which looks nice but truly is no more useful to me right now than a good old Excel spreadsheet would be, except Project is fancy and funky and paid for and makes it look like I'm managing, er, something
. If I ever really figure it out and/or get training in it, it'll go on my resume. But right now Project just makes it look like I, Dispatcher Supremus
, am doing, er, something, somehow in some way. Sometimes.
If you've read this far, you may be wondering what this has to do with ETL. Well, aside from the fact that I do both, not much, except I was under a time crunch today. Bickering ensued in Dispatch Land about, um, something, and so I was treated to (and had to forward) a buncha back and forth email chains. All while I am trying to get FTP set up, The New Wonder Intern semi-comfortable, send out user notifications, get info from The Tongue (who insists on delivering all news in person even though I need it in writing anyway) and also assuring The Bulb that all will be well and the world will not go careening off its axis while I am getting my teeth cleaned.
Finally, I just had to leave. I bid everyone farewell and got outta Dodge. Far as I can tell (I did look briefly at email, which I can do remotely but it's not syched well - I did not bring home the laptop), everything actually worked and The New Wonder Intern, The Tongue, The People Downstairs (now they sound like a horror flick), plus JJ and Sneezy, all did as they needed to do, in a beautiful example of choreographed mayhem.
As for Dispatch Land, there were two other back and forths also sitting in mail.
Those I ignored.
Let the world careen off its axis if it will. In the meantime, one of the coolest things about taking a day off is that you don't actually do anything that resembles work.
Instead I'm gonna go out and buy a trellis.
PS My teeth are nice and clean.