Thursday, May 18, 2006

Going Down for the Third Time

I'm drowning in work this week, so hence the scarce postings. May is a four-letter word for me. It involves statutory requirements that result in my processing as much work in May as I do for January, February, March, April, June, October, November and December put together. I leave out July, August and September, which are their own special kind of work hell, but with less State regulations involved. Let's just say that I earn my salary primarily for the efforts that are exerted in those four months of the year. I earn my ulcers in May.

Yesterday I worked until 11PM trying to make silk data out of sow's ear input. I'm finalizing that particular file as I sit here at 6AM. I want this particular mess off my desk before I hit the office this morning.

I am continually amazed at the bad data that keeps coming my way these days. If what I see is a representative sample of the data that is floating around the world, I wonder how on earth the world keeps functioning. What scares me is that we may be heading for a 1929 panic, not in finance, but in crashed computers. Programmers just don't seem to be able to program their way out of a paper sack anymore. Fast and sloppy is the creed these days. Let the guy on the other end of the data beware.

There was a time when I didn't consider myself to be a real programmer. "I do maintenance programming," was my belief. Hell, at this point I'm light years beyond some of the so-called geniuses that are pulling the big bucks these days. A lot of my time is spent debugging the data of much higher-paid programmers. Who, by the way, are not that pleased to hear that I've located holes in their Swiss-cheesed programs. You're welcome, guys.

I'm a dinosaur who works primarily in COBOL. So I get little respect from the Microsoft certified generation. But how is it that the old dinosaur can spot garbage from a mile off that they work in up close and personal and are convinced smells like roses?

Oh, well. I said all that to lead up to sharing my first grin of the day. My horoscope today: "You probably feel a lack of guidance. You're dealing with the sort of person who'd throw a drowning man both ends of the rope".

That's the way I feel right now. Floating in a pile of sewage and nobody on shore is able to help, except to keep throwing the entire rope at me repeatedly.

Excuse me while I go find a brick wall to bang my head against.


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