In which our intrepid hero wrestles with bad software.

A couple of months ago, I was collating data from about 150 different sources in MS Access (don’t get me started); I was also simultaneously posting off a couple of my boss’ parking fines whilst the data imported.

I was extremely tired at the time, just having physically moved almost everything in the office to the new premises about four doors down. I was also probably hungry and depressed and very much over importing data into Access.

Which is why, for a period of about four minutes, I was certain that MS Access had an item on one of its pull-down menus that read Traffic Infringement Wizard.

Personally, I put all the blame on Access. It’s just so infuriatingly unfriendly that I’d liken data processing in Access to rolling up 30 reams of paper and inserting them in the nearest rabid moose. And then expecting not to get bitten, trampled or gored.

Given that I also described the task I was given as working out how to screw a rottweiler safely, I’d suggest that using a real DBMS might not only be easier, but would result in less hypothetical sexually-induced injuries to animals.

But my boss thinks, firstly, because everybody uses Access (everybody being synonymous with nobody I can actually name), and secondly, because using Access will solve any possible file compatibility problems with clients (because of the first point, and despite the fact that our data is either delivered as tab-delimited ASCII or an Excel spreadsheet derived from tab-delimited ASCII), we shouldn’t use something free that he’s never heard of. Because it’s free, he reasons, then it must be worthless. And because he knows nothing about computers, he uses Microsoft.

Is it any wonder that I’m losing my marbles?