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13 February 2004 @ 12:00 pm
I Have A "Special" User  


So we have a new guy in our planning department. He is "special". He can get my systems to cower in fear and wail in terror just by walking past. He's an utter spaz case so he can't remember what he did so I can find out what he did wrong and fix it. And he breaks something on a nigh-daily basis. I want him to encounter an unfortunate accident with anything fatal, soon.

Oh, and when I point out that he's screwing things up, he gets belligerent. Isn't that a charming trait?

So today's little joy. Yesterday, he created a problem. The guy who could fix the problem wasn't here, so I couldn't finish cleaning up after his mess. For some incomprehensible reason, he thought that everything was just fine (even though I told him that I couldn't fix his problem until this other guy came back), and sent the work on its merry way.

Is anyone here surprised that at the next step in the process it failed?

So, deciding that he had screwed it up completely, he went and cancelled this order. Herein lies the problem... See, we have a special status that means "cancelled". It's a really wonderful thing, since it tells people that an order was, well, y'know, cancelled. Unfortunately, this person (and his entire group -- I must be fair and share with everyone) does not use the method that will give that status. Oh no.

What they do is jump ahead of the entire process and say that the order is complete. As in "ooh, look, I made salable product." That kind of complete. Which is really different from "ooh, look, I screwed up so I killed that order and started from scratch." So in effect what they do is bypass the entire system for tracking the lot number used, the quantities made, and all that good stuff. You know -- the stuff the FDA audits us on. Not hugely important, right? Right.

So the end result of this lovely process is that we have records sitting around in the database that say they have been completed (i.e., product made) that have ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THE FDA-REQUIRED TRACKING INFORMATION RECORDED. Arrrgghghghghghgh!!!

Oh, the best part about this is that when this happens, the program doesn't record a quantity made of zero. Oh no. See, it doesn't create the records tracking this information until the process is actually started. Of course, the users will "cancel" this order before the process is started, so the end result is that it looks like required information is deleted out of the database. I had seen this problem once before and been utterly baffled by how it could have happened. It cause quite a flap, in fact, since the QA people were quite concerned that all the QA records had "vanished". It made me wonder at the security of the database, since somehow records were being "deleted". It was all kinds of not good.

This screws me and my programs over in deep and profound ways. There are reports that run which have checks to make sure that cancelled orders are excluded. Of course, they don't exclude order that have been "completed" even though there was no product made.

And you know what the suckiest part of all is? I have absolutely NO confidence that we are going to do anything about this problem. I fully expect that everyone will come up with dumb work-arounds to sweep this under the carpet, leaving me with a data mess of epic proportions. Nnnghghgh!

Bitchy Boss Lady happened to come by and ask how things were going while I was still fuming over this issue, so I griped about it to her. Her comment was that the system was badly designed. Oh? Really? You don't say! My system, badly designed. Who would think? Perhaps that's why I've been begging for years now to do a serious redesign of it. *rolls eyes*

I think I need this week to end sometime before I kill my "special" user, or get fired for mouthing off to Bitchy Boss Lady.
 
 
Current Mood: Not with the happy