Nick's Journal
2006-06-28 00:18:12 (UTC)

Boolean Logic is lost on our HR Guy

i'm not great with computers. i'd say i know enough about
computers to put one together and somewhat co-exists with
these beasts. yet, apparently my knowledge of computers is
enough to fix about 90% of our computer problems at the
firm. normally it's some stupid shit like someone moved
their mouse cursor off of the screen and could no longer see
it and started freaking out.
well we have an IT guy. he's a genius. no joke. this man
is insane. he took microsoft access and brought it to its
knees. microsoft access has been giving adam head for about
1 and a half years now, and he hasn't let it up. basically
the man wrote a database program (from fucking scratch) and
basically, the livelihood of our firm depends on this database.
it's beautiful. wait no it's not. it's fucking ugly. it
isn't necessarily intuitive and it makes you want to puke
from an asthetic viewpoint. but you know what? it works
like none other. it takes maybe a week or so of using it to
get a feel for the way it operates.
so we have this database program. then i put together a
document assembly program for our firm. essentially what it
does is put together "form documents" (72.3% of law consists
of formulaic documents). and allow you to insert variables.
took me about 3 months and i have been fine-tuning it ever
so here we have: adam's database (the sould of our firm) my
document assembly program (the anus of our firm) and then we
have gregory.
who the fuck insists on being called gregory? why not greg?
seriously, gregory? eh. well this man 'used' to be our HR
guy and then he is also a spokesman for a proprietary legal
this thing is blinged out. it looks absolutely beautiful.
it is so powerful i'm sure it would annexx mexico if left
running for a night un-supervised. but the problem is that
it is TOO powerful. for the past year and a half adam has
been working with gregory to "convert" his genius program
into his cookie-cutter, law-firm standard program.
at first my boss was quite enthusiastic and then he realized
he had made a grave mistake. my boss does not like to admit
so every tuesday gregory and adam come in. adam quickly
scurries into the conference room and sets up his laptop and
gregory saunters around for a while always bullshitting with
people (he's a quite good-looking guy and most girls just
fall over themselves to fawn at him).
well this morning i got a call from my boss,
"come down here, i really need you."
now, my boss never really commands anything and he fucking
never uses the word 'really' in front of the word need for
so i fly down the stairs and there he and gregory are
standing together. gregory in a state of what i can only
describe as pure ire. apparently my boss wanted to create
some search filters. here is the tirade i was privy to:
"i want something, that when that son of a bitch regulator
or client calls me up....i click a fucking button and the
god damned thing pops up."
"look, it's quite hard to do that."
"nick, look at this. you know what i want? i want to be
able say....if a client calls up and asks how far along is
such and such community. i want to click a button to pull
it up. here's the search filter."
so i looked at the search filter.
"do you think you can get me a couple of search filters so
that we can COME TO AN UNDERSTANDING as to what we are
looking for in this program?!!!!!!"
at this he glared at gregory and gregory just sort of
abjectly said,
"ok, well you know, you just let me know when you're ready
to show me."
fuck you gregory.
for the next 6 fucking hours i was working thorugh your
program. it's an incredible program, but the problem is
that it was standardized for litigational/procedural law and
not something tailored to regulatory compliance. so what
happened was that adam had 'converted' all of the variables
he had in his database to gregory's program.
the problem was that the search filters worked upon highly
sophisticated boolean logic criteria.
so essentially you couldn't use keywords (as you would
search on google) because all parameters were pre-programmed
to contain a specific code.
the power of all of this is unbelievable. you can narrow a
search into one entry out of i don't even know how many
thousand with a single key-stroke. the problem?
the variables didn't match up.
i spent 4 hours discerning what matched up to what and then
started generating the filters.
at about 4 pm i sat down with adam and gregory.
"so what you got for me?" an exasperated gregory said.
fuck you gregory.
"well i came up with about 17 filters"
"oh, great so how's it work."
wait, did the 'proprietary representative' of this
highly-popular program just really ask me how it worked?
"well i had to match up the variables, as you can't use
keywords because all parameters operate upon boolean logic."
"so why can't you use keywords?"
this is where it felt like zoolander. i thought to myself,
'are you serious? i just explained that to you!'
adam looked up and had (i swear to god) a sly, 'you see what
the fuck i'm dealing with every tuesday' smile just
plastered on his face.
"um, because, um. well the parameters are pre-defined to
incorporate logistical expressions such as 'equal-to'
'greater-than', you know."
"what about the variables?"
"ummmm, there are no variables in your software, the only
potential variables are already defined in um......." at
this i casually gestured towards adam, "in um....adam's
database? i mean that's why you guys are working together
i couldn't resist that last sentence to him.
"yeah, ok, well great, so um... 15 filters hum?"
"17, even better!!!"
at this there was an awkward silence.
"alright well i gotta go man!"
and at this gregory jumped up like the devil himself was
after him.
i looked at adam and he just had that same grin on his face.
poor adam.
i know..........i know adam.