28
Apr
10

Office Space Part 2

To continue the story:

I had a little bit of a Peter Gibbons moment. During the fourth revision of the report design, I was not hiding my disgruntlement well. My boss asked me what I thought. I told him that I thought the information was married with all its parts well on the first format. I told him it made since to my linear brain. I told him the other version seemed to be just an orgy of data to me and not the monogamous relationship of the first format. Where the analogy came from, I really don’t know. Yet, I think it was bizarre enough to get his attention. I redid the sample report in the fourth version and printed him a copy of the first format. He acted as if he had never seen it before. He asked if I had done all the reports in that format. I was baffled. That was the original format! It was based on what we have used for other reports! That giant binder I put on his desk last week had every report in format 1.0 and format 2.0. He obviously had never even bothered to look at it. Amazing! Bottom line, he is deliberating on this and I have a feeling we will return t o format 1.0.

In the end, none of the data has changed one bit. It is simply how it is arranged on a page. All this time on arranging information that no one will read!!

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2 Responses to “Office Space Part 2”


  1. 1 n2blues
    May 2, 2010 at 3:37 am

    At my work, I’m pretty good friends with a woman that puts together a report with literally millions of bits of data. She does it every month. She asks me to look at it each month in order to give her ideas on trends, blips, etc. When this first started she would ask me for tips on improving the report, but she never took the advice.

    She is a CPA that meticulously arranges the data, backs it up with graphs, charts it, analyzes, and attempts to explain the whys and hows of the data. The report is around 15 pages. I told her that my days are usually pretty busy and the last thing I want to do is read a 15 page report. I told her I just want to know did we go up, down, or stay the same. She said the data she includes is important and needs to be there. I told her provide an executive summary and attach the 15 pager as backup data for the numbers in the report. Let them get the info they need, and dig for more detail if they want to.

    For a few months after I told her this she would complain to me that she was getting questions from people about the data that, had they looked, they would have seen it was explained in the report. She went a step further and asked angrily, “Does ANYONE read my report?”

    One day she quit complaining to me about the non-readers. I think she got my point about the summary page, but she still didn’t change the report format.

  2. 2 prolix42
    May 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I think she needs the 15 pages to justify her job. That’s not uncommon if you define yourself by your job, I bet.


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