his progress through life was hampered by his tremendous sense of his own ignorance, a disability which affects all too few people
Like I said last time I have another temp job in the university. Unitemps simply described it as "Data entry". As I feared would happen, I didn't get any sleep at all before my first day. I eventually found myself at a desk in that office with the counter where you'd go to collect your grant cheques or loans or whatever and it was pretty funny being legitimately on the other side of it.
Turned out I was entering stuff into the student records system (called SITS) or checking that stuff other people had put in was correct or anything else they wanted me to do along those lines. Checking was pretty straightforward, you get a printout of transactions from the system which you check corresponds with the cheques, credit card payment slips, campus or PLU housing fines and charges forms or whatever the hell else came with the printout. It's pretty straightforward but following a fairly rapid explanation and with me in my sleepless state it took me a long time to get the hang of it.
It took me even longer to get the hang of entering data into the records system. For example I had about 140 records of 8 fields each to enter, and as they were all the same type of payment all the fields, except the initial student ID number, were identical. But the system insists you type them all in, you can't just copy the thing and change the number. Furthermore I was told it was easiest to keep a copy of the long string to go into the two description fields in the text buffer and paste it in for each record. It turned out to be very easy to paste this string into the amount field, which would cause the system to throw up all sorts of error messages and lock itself into a state from which the only escape would result in considerable loss of data. It took me about four attempts to get those 140 records in. Apparently its user interface is one of the reasons it will be replaced, and just for emphasis it's worth mentioning that for another bunch of other forms I had to enter, I was greatly relieved to find that I'd be using Excel.
That's pretty much it, except for the following list of semi-humourous events:
- The entire campus network, including the phone system, dropped out for nearly an hour on Wednesday. Having no checking to do, all my current work was on the computer, so basically all I could do was wait it out. As very few other people were able to continue to work I didn't feel too guilty, instead being amused by the idea that I was being paid to sit there doodling pictures of pacman ghosts rolling their eyes or abstract interpretations of goatse to pass the time.
- The funniest part of the actual job was probably the things for which people get fined, and in particular what the PLU house inspectors deem to be chargeable. At the risk of getting into trouble I won't be any more specific other than to say that the reputation that one way or another you'll lose your deposit wasn't an exaggeration.
- Also I've heard some hilariously negative opinions of members of staff with whom I was familiar during my degree. Again I can't be more specific, but it's like you're not the only one to think that so-and-so was a bit of an idiot and it's all good.
Anyway being mostly numbers and codes and stuff it's more difficult work than the forms I was entering for the union in May. PuTTY is available, so I can log in at home without having to pull the same sort of stunts I did before, although apart from lunchtime there isn't really much of an opportunity to do so. But I've got another week there at least and I'm not dreading it because it seems to be going okay. (touch wood)
The other imp shivered, and nodded
Get this: I just went to Doomworld and discovered that
- firstly Hell Revealed 2 is apparently nearing completion. I played the three year old beta version, with 17 maps, quite a lot in July, so I'm looking forward to the full 32 map version (they currently have 31)
- more importantly in the past two days there have been two new versions of PRBoom released. This is fantastic. There's a new stable version and more interestingly an experimental release with a load of extra stuff, some of which I already knew about from poking around the CVS tree ages ago.
Wow I'm excited.