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You probably won’t care...

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reifidom View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 May 2008 at 11:04am
[rant]

I'm having another coffee because I just saved myself untold hours of tedious work. I am elated. E-LA-TED. As in PO-TA-TOES.

There is a lady upstairs that sends down masses of scanning. We're talking large masses. For weeks she was sending down 100 items (5 pages each) of scanning a day, so I went and asked if she had them all ready instead of sending down chunks. She did. She sent me nearly 800 items. It took me more than seven hours to do them all. I did my delivery runs that day, and that. Solid. No lunch or anything else. That will give you an idea of how long it takes our scanners to function. You have to scan the pages, and when the scanner stops you tell it that that's all for that item, then you ok the item, then it archives. Then you can open the scanner set-up again and start over. These scanners are old. I've had mine for seven years, and I know it was with my predecessor for at least five years previous to that. My co-worker's scanner's serial number is 27.

I run the machine at peak capacity. I know the hotkeys, and nobody else here works their machine like that (not so computer literate and can't visualize how that should work), and using the hotkeys allows me to jump between screens and OK buttons before the window asking me to press the button has even opened. 100 items was taking me about 40 minutes if I really pushed it, and pushing it sometimes gums up the programming and you can jack yourself over and have to rescan that item, and sometimes, rarely, you have to reboot the system. By comparison 100 items takes any of my co-workers about three hours, give or take a few minutes. You can imagine how long the 800 would have taken with deliveries and breaks in the way. Closer to three to four days.

I digress.

Nobody knows everything there is to know about our scanning software. Nobody. There are a few of us that have been working with it for so long that we know tricks and some of the ins and outs, but for most people it works and they don't care to know any more than that. They also discourage messing with any settings, but I do anyway because I've been at it for six years on this system. We used to have separator sheets with bar codes that would tell the scanner to stop a scan there and start a new one with the next page. They made huge bunches of scanning easier because you could go through and put a sheet between each item (tedious, but not as tedious as without it) and scan the whole bunch. Assuming it read every separator, there were no double feeds (they looooooove to double/triple/quadruple feed), and the system didn't hate you, you could breeze through it. Then came a software update and they no longer worked. Too much paper they said.

Here we are, years later, toiling at this mundane crap. I didn't much feel like doing the 200 items she sent me today so I started messing with settings. The "Use Separation" setting doesn't work, never has, but there is another button by it, and it says "Use by pages retained". Hmm... does that mean it will separate every time it reads a page? If you use both settings at once then it turns out that yes, that is exactly what that means. I tried it with two, ready to reject it if it put them together as one. It didn't. I tried it with five, and it worked still. 30. 50. 100. Yes!

So, 800 previously took me an entire workday and precluded everything but two short delivery runs. I just did 200 in about 8 minutes. 800 would now take me about half an hour. I'm putting this in my company goals under "Efficiency." I just saved myself hours of work, and I just saved my coworkers days of work at their pace. That is money back in the company pocket.

[/rant]

tl;dr I figured out how to take seven and a half hours of work and make it last only about thirty minutes. I am happy and have to share with people who don't care.


Aside -

Rather that sit here through my break doing her work I'm going to walk over to the art museum instead. There is a very cool German artist with an exhibit there and I want to go back for another look. Julia Oschatz is her name and her work features the Wesen, German for spirit or essence, as it travels through alien looking landscapes. Some of her works are paintings, some installation pieces, and some video. I was pretty facinated but there was a lot to see and not much time. I got caught up reading a Choose-your-own-adventure story one of the artists had written across the walls around an entire, large, room, and some very nice photographs from the 70's, just before I was born.

Today is all about the Oschatz work.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ctchofday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 11:09am
i love finding easier/faster ways of doing stuff

good job
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ozwarg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 11:10am
I wouldn't be surprised if you get heavily rewarded for this. You saved the company probably tens of thousands of dollars a year by doing this. I mean don't expect to become a huge boss, but don't hold yourself down enough to where they wouldn't give you a promotion or a raise.

Originally posted by ctchofday ctchofday wrote:

i love finding easier/faster ways of doing stuff

good job


seriously look into warehouse work then.


Edited by Ozwarg - 13 May 2008 at 11:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reifidom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 11:12am
Well, I've been given a preliminary nomination for a company award. The next stage up puts me up for the biggest award our company gives out each year, and that is a highly sought after award, virtual guarantee for promotions and awesome on a resume. That's pretty cool. If nothing comes of it I've at least saved myself a lot of trouble, and that's more than enough.

Now I can get up away from this cube more.

Edited by reifidom - 13 May 2008 at 11:13am

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ozwarg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 11:16am
^Saving tens of thousands of dollars in man hours, and thats not counting how much more money they will "Gain" from this, unless someone else saved the CEO's Dying child from cancer I doubt you have a competitor.


Edited by Ozwarg - 13 May 2008 at 11:16am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sinisterNorth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 12:54pm
Congrats! Nothing beats finding time/money savers. Sounds like you've set yourself up nicely for that company award.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reifidom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 1:22pm
Originally posted by Ozwarg Ozwarg wrote:

Saving tens of thousands of dollars in man hours, and thats not counting how much more money they will "Gain" from this, unless someone else saved the CEO's Dying child from cancer I doubt you have a competitor.


Our founder built a medical research institute with his own money a few years ago and then donated 1.1 billion in personal assets to work towards curing cancer. He really hates cancer. A lot.

If I could do that I'd be a shoe-in.


Edited by reifidom - 13 May 2008 at 1:22pm

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 2:33pm
Reif,

I'm a pessimist.  My experience has been that whenever I figured out a way to do work more efficiently/quickly I always ended up with additional work.  In some cases I had workloads that were double or triple that of my peers and the explanation from supervision was it was because I "could handle it."  Since this was the military the additional work did not come with additional rewards of any type.

My advice is to make it sound like you're still working and surf the internet all day.  At the end of the day claim about two hours of time savings to make yourself look good.

How's that for cynical?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote .357 Magnum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 3:38pm
Hmm, tl;dr.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reifidom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 4:01pm
Originally posted by .357 Magnum .357 Magnum wrote:

Hmm, tl;dr.


Therefore the bold-faced tl;dr segment.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 5:45pm
Originally posted by .357 Magnum .357 Magnum wrote:

Hmm, tl;dr.


Why would you post just to let us know that you have either an insufficient attention span or lack the education to successfully read a few measly paragraphs?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 5:45pm
Very odd, how'd this post get here?

Oh well, since it's here, I agree with him ^^^.


Edited by Mack - 14 May 2008 at 11:24am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Skillet42565 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 7:17pm
Reif, did you know you're an amazing writer?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reclusivetorrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 7:44pm
Good job...way to be productive!

I hate it when people that don't understand company equipment decide to pile their crap on your head because you do understand. Like you don't have anything better to do!

Way to go man.

Later
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote choopie911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2008 at 7:47pm
Originally posted by reclusivetorrid reclusivetorrid wrote:

Good job...way to be productive!

I hate it when people that don't understand company equipment decide to pile their crap on your head because you do understand. Like you don't have anything better to do!

Way to go man.

Later


Holy crap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reifidom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2008 at 7:07am
Originally posted by Skillet42565 Skillet42565 wrote:

Reif, did you know you're an amazing writer?


Thank you.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote proteus316 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 May 2008 at 2:40pm
You just wrote the manual for your coworkers to use the scanner.
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