Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

  • Mood:

Cleaning up after myself

For the last week or so, I've been going back & forth with the company that makes the catalog software our library uses about a problem we were having that seemed to point to a software bug.

(Long story short: After rolling over our data into a new fiscal year, when we delete an order record from the system, the record for the book that was ordered becomes unretrievable due to a "database error". If I manually decrement the total number of copies of that book that are supposedly on order, the "error" vanishes and the book record is again retrievable.)

Today, after some explanation & prompting from the help desk led me to attempt to exactly recreate the situation from scratch, I quickly discovered that the "error" was actually human error-- mine.

So as a penance of sorts, I ended up spending the entire afternoon today fixing the affected records.

All 300+ of them. (Because there isn't an quick way to fix that particular situation en masse,.)

If that doesn't hammer home the lesson that I should find the time to figure out how to do these edits the complex but safe way rather than the quick and usually efficient--but obviously not safe--method I used this time when this situation comes up at the beginning of next fiscal year, I don't know what will.

(On the one hand, if not for what I consider to be a design flaw--or at least a design oversight--on the programmers' part, I wouldn't have needed to try to get into the guts of a relational database to do some editing begin with, but on the other hand, it's still my fault for making edits on one side of the link and then neglecting to edit a counter I didn't know existed on the other side, and then not remembering, when I made my somewhat irate problem report, that those edits might possibly have been a factor and thus be worth mentioning in the first place.)

Aside: Is there something in the water of most help desks that makes such people habitually ask questions that are clearly answered in the exact terms they're looking for in the original problem report to which they are responding and which they have so helpfully appended after their questions? I mean, I know problem reports from clueless customers can be difficult to parse at best, but one should actually read them!

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: help desks, work

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