Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"What'd you do at work today? Oh really, because I got to play God."

A large part of my job involves messing around with the software application that we've developed. I suppose that's where the "Analyst" part comes in.

We are scheduled to begin training the client on how to use the latest release of the application tomorrow, and I've been helping Roger set up the system for his training sessions. He will be training on functionality that requires a member account in the system to have certain conditions, like that the person is ready to retire, or that they are divorced, or dead.

This is where things get weird.
All the data is in a test environment- a website that is a mockup of what our real website will be, with all of the actual members in it (which for me includes people I've known my whole life, including teachers, family members, and friends' parents) but for some reason I cannot get it through my head that whatever I change in the system doesn't actually happen in real life.

For instance:

Roger had me go through and perform divorces on like, 33 accounts the other day. I felt bad THE ENTIRE TIME. I had to add Alternate Payees to another 26 accounts, and since it's all just to get the account in order, it doesn't MATTER who you choose to add as the member's spouse, or ex-spouse (you can click buttons in the system and associate a woman with a woman, a man with a man, whatever) but I could not shake the feeling that I HAD to pair up people who are about the same age. I tried to make sure the woman's name sounded nice with the guy's last name, and that they didn't live too far away from each other. This added on a fairly large amount of unnecessary time to my day.

I felt like I was playing that horrible computer game "The Sims" all week. My greatest work-related fear (other than the client discovering my temporary internet files and wondering what the F it is I do all day) is that somehow the training data will go live, without me knowing it, and I will just be sitting at my desk, divorcing and killing people all the live-long day. Just ruining lives.

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