Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Drowning in Statistics, Formulas and incomprehensible German Words

It finally happened: I had a bad day in Germany. A very bad, frustrating day. A Statistic of expected/unbooked costs was due today... which means going through the actual costs and comparing them with the expected costs and orders that haven't been booked yet. Whatever is expected, but hasn't been booked is your "Statistik." Sounds simple enough, eh? Compare the actual with the expected, and calculate a nice, clean, pretty little value. Maybe even a whole number!

Well, let's throw in some other factors. Such as multiple cost elements. Multiple months. Costs being backed up over several months. Costs being booked in non-chronological order. One specific cost/order running over multiple cost centers. Costs running in little hidden corners of cost centers. Costs running over cost centers that I'm not responsible for. Formulas that calculate things I don't understand. Having to change formulas. Having to estimate based on what "feels right." Not understanding when co-workers are trying to explain things to me. And the list (like the beat) goes on.

The most frustrating thing is not understanding, and today was worse than usual. I was staring intently at my co-worker, trying so very hard to understand, but it simply wasn't happening. Sure, I understood about 95% of the individual words that were coming out of his mouth. I even understood most of his sentences. But for some reason, I couldn't put the pieces together to grasp the concept.

Imagine someone saying the following to you: "Yada yada yada Kostenstelle yada Einzelmonate und Auflauf blah blah Statistik bilden blah blah Ist-Werte blah gekaufte-bezogene Dienstleistungen yada Materialverbrauch yada yada ganz wichtig." Then, imagine having to take what was just told you, and having to calculate an official Statistic with it. A Statistic that's going to find its way into the upper management levels. Help!!!

Once 5:15 hit, I wrote a snazzy little Excel forumla containing an infinite loop that crashed both Excel and the computer. Then I called it an evening.

Lyrics of the day: "Do do do, da da da... is all I want to say to you... do do do, da da da... they're innocent and all that's true." (Thanks to Sting and the Police.)


Dad said...

Sorry for the bad fun. You're doing well to have one bad day every once in a while!

Hebrews 12

Mary said...

Thanks... and very true... it could be much worse. Hmm... I'll have to read Hebrews 12 tonight (or tomorrow, as it's rather late!).