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We've Always Done It This Way
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True, we've always done it this way. Projects that started up during the month of August are written up in Equipment Allocation Requests (affectionately or otherwise, known as EARs). The reason? Well, they do not follow the normal pattern and so must be written up separately.

Like a good soldier, I have written up my 19 EARs, and submitted them forthwith. How did I get the information for these EARs? I looked it up in the computer program into which I had done the data entry for them less than a month ago.

So you see the pattern: I get the information originally from the field on paper forms. I enter the information into the computer. Then, a few weeks later, I am told to get another paper form and copy the information from the computer onto the hard copy and forward it to the office which has the same access to the computer system I do (more, in fact, since I'm just a peon.)

Something is seriously wrong with the process. Once the data has been gathered from the field, winnowed and formatted into the appropriate program format, that should be the end of the manual labor. From then on, reports could--and should--be derived from the computer in which they reside, happily munching their bits and bytes and having a data picnic, whilst the rest of us sharpen our pencils and gnash our teeth.

Seriously, folks, this series of idiocies must cease. A well-thought-out process could eliminate the busy work. All the data is in place; we have to make the computers earn their keep. Workers of the computer world, unite! You have nothing to lose but an opportunity to practice your penmanship!

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