Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Beginning of the End

Tomorrow is the last day I will be employed by GreenLeaf Auto Recyclers. I must admit that I've given some serious thought to the idea of not showing up. You shouldn't worry, though, I've only been entertaining the whimsy and I'll not be degrading to that level of irresponsibility.

I wouldn't be missed if I did skip, though. The summation of everything I have "accomplished" in the last two weeks could have easily been completed within a fifteen minute time span. Since last Monday, roughly seven hours and fifty-six minutes out of each eight hour day have been spent passing the time in whatever way I can find that doesn't draw attention to myself. This alone, though, is not all that bad. Who's going to protest getting paid to surf all day?

My dissatisfaction probably needs a little explanation. Over the last several months I have been working on streamlining a certain process that is essential to the company's success. Prior to my being designated as the (only) data entry person in this process, the filing system in place went no further than a handful of folders and several boxes on the floor. I should probably mention that this is taking place in the corporate office in order for the full extent of the absurdity to sink in.

Being the only person involved in this particular "system" with the inclination to do so, I took it upon myself to reorganize the entire procedure. Instead of authorizations being unchecked, directly resulting in unquestioned costs to the company, without any way of tracking individual claims or recording the totals for these issues, we now have (at least for the moment), a structured system which combines all aspects -submission, approval, accountability, and tracking- into one conjoined form. Sweet, sweet efficiency and productivity- at long last.

It turns out that the transactions I've been 'data entry'-ing have created a total cost of nearly a half million dollars in the last six months. -And this isn't even hypothetical or projected costs; this is a total of actual dollar amounts being given away via checks written and mailed to customers. Granted, the majority of these are unquestionably valid, but it seems like a company of any size, with any claim of being responsible would like to track the particulars of transactions whose combined totals reach nearly a million dollars a year, right?

This new system has been in place for a month, and things have been going smoothly. No more digging in a box to find out why so-and-so got a check for such-and-such. Within just a few seconds, two mouse clicks, and a half-dozen keystrokes, all relevant information jumps onto the screen (and it even tells you which box/file to look in if you should happen to need a hard copy for some reason). Given the available resources (i.e.; limitations), there really couldn't be a better system in place.

Yet, as I mentioned, tomorrow is my last day. Given that this has been my personal "pet project" (and given the general computer illiteracy of the others involved), the entire process has been watered down to accommodate those who will be using it after I leave. I can already tell that the way it's going to be (and already is) misused will actually become a hindrance in the process. In the end, my name will be cursed for creating the thing- I'm sure of it.

I suppose I really shouldn't care what they do with it since I'm leaving, but I can't. I can't just not care that something I spent time on creating for the specific purpose of improving efficiency and productivity is now going to be dissected and neglected to the point of losing all functionality.

I need to become a consultant. At least then I would get paid large amounts of money to come up with these productivity increasing ideas that will be ignored and never implemented correctly...


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