It was a regular Friday. Actually it was not a Friday. It was a Thursday, only it was more of a Friday, because, the weekend was about to begin. This time, a day earlier.
And actually, it was not regular either. It was a once a month occurence. It was the Financial Quarter close day for the company. The company she worked for.
As part of their job, they happened to churn out almost a hundred 40 page reports every close. They churned them. And checked them. And re-churned them. And re-checked them. And then re-re-churned them. You know where I am going. So, sometime near the end of the day, they put up the final version of these 100 odd reports for all and sundry to refer to. And make big decisions, or point out issues, and the like.
She was churning their 8th or 9th version. Now the point is, in this world of automation, you have the luxury of making one report, adding some technology here and there, and then getting yourself 50 reports, which are very similar, but not the same, in one go. She was doing just that. Working on the one report, and trying to add the bits of technology She was aware of.
And then, he came online. As usual. And all was fine. There was a little bit of chatting, and updating, and general talk. It was fine. ‘I am tired of all the work , X’, she said, calling him by the nickname only she used. ‘I need a long vacation, come back soon, and we’ll plan one.’ After a while, the chat was done, and she was back to her original job of churning reports.
At the end of the extremely hectic 9 hour long day. She finally had it all done. All she needed to do was press that little ‘Go’ button on the file. And sit back. While it did it’s job of churning out 50 variants of the same report. To satisfy 50 different parties. So that’s what she did.
She went for a chat. And a coffee. Looked around, walked around. And returned. Ah! The reports were ready to go.
She glanced through the little thing they called an error log. Some reds. Here and there. But majorly green. Cool. That was good news. A few reds were ok. The computer was afterall a computer. The team mate came along and had a look. ‘Cool’ , he said. ‘Such few reds? You’re good to go. Don’t bother about them.’ She was happy.
All set to put them up for the world look at, she was doing the last minute checks. And something made her want to open just one of the reports and see, why those tiny reds were showing. It couldn’t matter, but still. And it would waste a few more minutes. And she was tired.
But she chose to go ahead and check ‘just one file’. She went to the highlighted page. Ah, the Income Statement. That’s important. What could go wrong there.
And there she saw.
In place of the Sales figure for the second most popular brand of the company
Something unintelligible. Something she had to move to the slide show mode to check out.
She rushed back and randomly opened 10 of the other 49 reports. And there it was. X.
The sales value for the second most popular brand for all the countries the company had branches in was X.
Oh. My. God.
And so she began her original process of churning reports for the day. Once more.
And that’show, the 9 hour long Thursday, became a 14 hour long one.