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Andy's Blog

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A whinge and a whine



So I have just finished working my seventh straight day, and it's gonna carry on for another three weeks. That means I'll have worked twenty-eight straight days by the time this is done (or 252 hours, or 15120 minutes, damn this just sounds worse and worse)!


At work we are setting up a new database for our cancer treatments and diagnoses, which will form part of a much larger new national dataset. We knew this design project was going to be happening over these four weeks (have done since April), and my manager chooses these three weeks to bugger off on holiday! So that leaves muggins here having to design the entire database from scratch; and that's on top of working my regular Monday-Friday 9-5 job.


There are three other senior clinical statisticians, and have they even offered to help? Of course not. Why would they? After all, they are going to benefit from the database once its finished and I've covered for them before! It's the first rule of the National Health Service - I scratch your back, you stick a knife in mine!


It's a highly clinical two hundred and thirty eight item dataset. I have to set up all the table relationships, do all of the data mapping, set up the data item dropdowns, set up all of the reverse look-up values, write in all of the validation rules, and write the reporting. And then to cap it all off, I've got to the bloody QA on it as well.


With a go-live date of October 15th, I've got so much work to do to pull this off, and most of it is actually my manager's responsibility. I am so pissed off, it's not even funny.


The only thing keeping me going through all of this, is knowing once it is finished my job will become a lot easier.


So anyway, I'll apologise in advance if I'm snappy with anyone. I should also probably give soapbox a wide berth for the next month.

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Chin up buddy, nobody will blame you for having a rant. If it helps then rant, easy as.

I can offer you a smile and a hug and say, keep up the good work :):hug:

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Take it from me, that's too much work to do without some downtime. As soon as you get tired, you'll cock up a code, drop a sql statement and end up going rond in ever decreasing demented circles.


And a warning ... if you are one of five statisticians, and the only one doing the coding, juuuuust be sure that you have a couple of wee fallbacks in there in case some idiot thinks you're so clever they can do without you once the thing is up and running. Sure sounds like your manager is enough of an idiot to do it. A wee coding error might just be the thing that keeps you around, and it would serve them right. I don't suppose you're getting paid for twenty eight days straight work? That's six weeks for the price of four, if you count holiday entitlement.


Good luck! There's nothing like writing relational databases to drive you clean round the bend ... and I only work in Access. I tried sqlserver and it was beyond me, lol.

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Thanks Mark :hug:


NotNoNever - don't worry vengeance shall be mine. I'm going to set up the reporting so that it will require a password (which only I will know, and will periodically change without warning :devil: ). As for being paid? Yeah right. I've been told I can take the time back (as and when it is convenient with my manager).

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My sympathies. But, all that back breaking labour must give you some satisfaction, with a sense of supremacy over the other numbskulls in the department. And not to mention the great service you are doing to all those cancer patients and future policy makers and epidemiologists. Please feel free to vent. We are all here for you.

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I can feel a little self esteem here that should be proud of your efforts. Hope you rest when needed, and if you need to snap, snap at me.

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No pressure then Andy :D


Seriously, though, you shouldn't do the QA. QA is a key process control - it has to be done independently otherwise it's not a control but a fudge. Email your Risk Manager or Internal Audit and request a speedy reply to get something suitable in place. You need to protect your back. If it goes pear-shaped QA is your protection. Oh, and the general public's. Not that we count of course. Being only the customers ...


I'm serious, this is a horror story. Your manager should be fired - what an irresponsible d*^@head - and you should be given the job.

Good luck!

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